The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival begins its ten-day stint with an opening night opera at the Easterbrook Hall.

Also on the stage over 16 and 25 May is a trio of ground-breaking theatrical performances.

With a five-star review in the Herald Scotland this week, Oran Mor’s lunchtime theatre experience of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, presents Voices from the Black that I Am, a quartet of monologues reflecting on the eponymous play of award-winning Jamaican playwright Karl O’Brian Williams. Voices will be heard at the CatStrand, New Galloway, on Sunday, 18 May. Watch the performance with a pie and a pint in an informal and cheery atmosphere.

The personal theatre experience continues with Pirates and Mermaids in Gatehouse and Thornhill. This is a passionate, moving and funny transatlantic love story set in both New York and a small coastal village in Scotland. This 90-minute production staged for small audiences sees actor Jeremiah Reynolds deliver an acclaimed solo performance in a small setting. Pirates and Mermaids takes place at the Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse, on Saturday, 17 May, at 2pm and 4pm; and at Thomas Tosh, Thornhill, on Sunday, 18 May, at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.

Drama al fresco, takes the form of a one-woman outdoor show in Moffat and Dumfries in Wee Betty. Catherine Major plays a dual role of young teenager and old farmer in this thought-provoking regional tale of hopes and dreams of home. Wee Betty takes place at Meikleholmside Farm, Moffat, on Friday, May 23, at 6.30pm. A show bus will be waiting outside Moffat Town Hall at 6pm to take audiences to the farm where the outdoor stage is set. The performance then moves to Mill Green, Dumfries, on Saturday, 24 May, at 6pm.

Tickets for all events (half price for the under 26s) are available from the Midsteeple Box Office, Dumfries, tel: 01387 253383. For a programme and further details, visit www.dgartsfestival.org.uk

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