The project’s initial inspiration came from Oscar winning actress Frances McDormand. In 2015 Newell experienced McDormand’s ‘Early Shaker Spirituals’ in Los Angeles, a live-stage production that simply and beautifully told the story of the American Shaker spiritual tradition through song and dance. Newell came away from the performance inspired. Back in Edinburgh he immediately began to write a script that tells the story of the Celtic spiritual tradition in the Hebrides of Scotland through song, dance and music. And he dreamt of collaborating on this with young Scottish artists, to convey both the richness of the tradition in its awareness of the earth and also its decimation in the Highland Clearances of the 19th century when thousands of crofting families in the Highlands and Islands were torn from their ancestral lands.

Following well-received initial performances in 2019 and then post-covid in 2022, Kirsten Newell successfully secured Creative Scotland Touring Fund money to take the show out on tour in 2023. With John Phillip stepping back from performing due to writing commitments, award-winning actor Billy Mack joins the company in his former storytelling role. The production goes out on tour to eight Scottish venues this spring - see the  Performances page for more details.

Who we are

John Philip Newell

Writer and storyteller in the orginal cast


Charlie Stewart

Fiddle, Double Bass


Alison Newell


Mischa Macpherson

Music Direction & Lead Voice


Hardeep Deerhe


Sam Welch, Sam Welch Music Productions

Sam Welch

Sound Design & Engineer

Kirsten Newell

Dancer / Lead Artist


Ankna Arockiam


Shane Shambhu

Artistic Direction and  Choreography 


Billy Mack

Storyteller / Carmichael

Iain Louden


Alistair Iain Paterson