Spring Fling and Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival team up to offer a feast of live performances for the bank holiday weekend

Spring Out with Spring Fling – hear Beth and Jimmy’s experiences of life on the land, plus harp music, a piano quartet and stories from contemporary Dumfries and Galloway.

This year Scotland’s premier open studios visual art and craft event has teamed up with the Dumfries and Galloway Art Festival to bring visitors a superb selection of live evening entertainment.

Among the highlights will be Wee Betty, an outdoor production especially for young people, which has been created by actor Catherine Major.

A very personal creation, it has been devised from conversations with people all across the region. The main character is 16 year-old Beth who feels lost and stuck, wondering what the future might hold, and if she should stick around or escape to the city. Jimmy’s stories help her find her path.

Catherine said: “Wee Betty is about giving a voice to the rural communities of Dumfries & Galloway. This region has a rich history and I believe that we also have a very exciting future ahead of us. Wee Betty is about empowering the next generation to go out and shape the future they want for their rural community.

“It’s been an absolute joy speaking to people about their experiences of living in D&G. I’ve travelled from Langholm to Stranraer to get a full picture of what’s happening in the region. It’s been touching to have total strangers trust me with their stories.”

The Spring Out events take place from 23 to 25 May (overlapping with the Spring Fling weekend of 24 to 26). They offer some great things to do after this year’s record-breaking 95 participating studios have closed for the day.

Leah Black, Spring Fling Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with another of Dumfries and Galloway’s top events to offer lots of live entertainment during the Spring Fling weekend.

“Wee Betty promises to be something which the whole family can enjoy and that will offer an entertaining and fun insight into Dumfries and Galloway life.

“We have also collaborated with the festival to bring a rich mix of story, song, live music and performance art to the weekend – so there will be plenty for everyone to enjoy.”

Peter Renwick, Programme  Director of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, added: “It is great to collaborate with Spring Fling. There is a natural crossover between Spring Fling’s open studios during the day and our evening live arts programme.

“It provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase home grown talent. There is a real strength and diversity to what artist’s based in D&G are offering. So we can offer a programme that includes everything from  the Song Of Oak and  Ivy’s symphonic harp journeys, to Hugh McMillan’s tour to force of  D&G’s stories  myths and legends, via Ocean All Over’s incredible costumes and  Butoh inspired physical theatre.”

The entertainment includes:

Friday 23 May

● Wee Betty: An outdoor performance for young people and based on conversations with people across D&G, this is part of Make Performance Rural Talent Development and supported by Electric Theatre Workshop.

At: 6.30pm (Show bus leaves 6pm, Moffat Town Hall, High St, Moffat DG10 9HF. £5).

● Primrose Piano Quartet: The Primose Piano Quartet, was formed in 2004 by pianist John Thwaites, and is in residence from May 20-23. This Spring Fling concert is a duet with Susanne Stanzeleit: Violin and John Thwaites: Piano. The programme includes Elgar and Ireland sonatas and show-pieces by Kreisler, Faure, Sarasate, and Dvorak. See primrosepianoquartet.org.uk

At: Greyfriars Church, Church Crescent, Dumfries DG1 1DF. 7:30pm, £12/£6.

Saturday 24 May

● Robin and Bina Williamson: Presented in association with Kirkmahoe concerts. An evening of songs, stories and tunes to celebrate the joys of existence. Robin and Bina’s songs and music feature the evocative East-West harmonies, and diverse instrumentation. Drawing on a variety of Indian styles as well as the Celtic heritage and British folk traditions.

At: Kirkmahoe Parish Church, Kirkton. DG1 1ST. 7.30pm / £10

● Wee Betty: Created by Catherine Major
At: Mill Green next to the RBCFT, Mill Rd, Dumfries, DG2 7BE
6pm / By donation

● Song of the Oak and the Ivy: Corrina Hewat, Wendy Stewart, Bill Taylor, Heather Downie and Mary Macmaster. Written in 2011 by Corrina Hewat to celebrate 80 years of The Clarsach Society. Corrina Hewat’s five-harp suite – featuring some of the best players in Scotland – brilliantly encapsulates the diverse energies in the contemporary Scottish revival of this iconic instrument.

At: Castle Douglas Town Hall, St Andrew Street, Castle Douglas DG7 1DB. 7:30pm, £10/£5

Sunday 25 May

● Song of the Oak and The Ivy
At: Moniaive Institute, Chapel Street, Moniaive DG3 4EJ. 7:30pm, £10/£5

● Hugh McMillan: The Great Galloway Tale Hunt: Dumfries and Galloway is rich in history and myth. Open to the sea and five neighbouring kingdoms how could it be anything else? Hugh McMillan, shares contemporary tales and anecdotes spiced with historical insight, and dark humour. Hugh is hunting tales for the first book to be commissioned by the Wigtown Book Festival.

At: Broughton House, Kirkcudbright DG6 4JX. 7:30pm, £6/£3 includes a complimentary drink.

● Oceanallover: Sporopollen: A unique environmental performance on the tidal shores of the River Nith, devised by Alex Rigg and Guy Veale. A skin to protect during the passage of time and a flight across infinity, Sporopollen examines the relationship between exterior and interior landscapes, using complex sound elements in tandem with striking physical theatre.

At: Mill Green next to the RBCFT, Mill Rd, Dumfries, DG2 7BE. 8pm, free.

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