Govan folk gather to celebrate their Gaelic heritage
Spàrr is an exciting community project about the shipyards of Govan, its history, the community and the spirit of the people. Spàrr is a Gaelic word with a dual meaning: it is the act of riveting or joining together and it also means to create an opening….. and that is what is happening in Govan through Spàrr. Local people are getting together to create new openings: new possibilities for themselves and their community.
Spàrr reveals the skills, motivations and inspirations of those Gaels from the Western Islands who were inspired by the craft of the shipwright and travelled to Govan from the time of the Highland Clearances, bringing their traditional shipbuilding skills to the newly industrialised Clydeside ship building industry. Spàrr looks at the significance of the industry, of the shipwright, and the legacy left by our seafaring and industrial cultures.”
The first stage of the project saw the partner organisations gathering oral histories, reminiscences and folk memories. These have been brought together and distilled into an exciting theatrical production which will be premiered at Govan’s ‘Big Shed’ – the former Harland & Woolf engineering shed which has hosted flagship productions such as ‘The Big Picnic’ and ‘The Ship’. A web based educational resource is also being developed by local people and trainees.
Spàrr is the brainchild of Govan based companies Fablevision and CRAN with Theatre Hebrides in Stornoway.
Liz Gardiner, Fablevision Director says “Frank Miller of CRAN Theatre is a spellbinding storyteller as well as an exciting and innovative director and with Spàrr, I feel he’s come up with a wonderfully innovative production.” says “The Big Shed is a really atmospheric venue and I’m convinced that Spàrr will be a truly magical experience for everyone who participates.”
“Govan has a vibrant, talented cultural community” Says Frank Miller from CRAN Theatre. “I have never been let down by their energy and commitment in the telling of their stories and I’m confident that they will pull together once again to ensure that this project, which is the most ambitious production I’ve worked on so far, really works and captures the imagination of Govan as a whole – individuals, groups, communities and organisations. It is a lot of fun discovering a part of Govan’s history which, to some extent has been forgotten. “