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.

In the retelling of a Scottish tragedy, Newell invites awareness of the universal story of the displacement of native peoples throughout the world and the consequent loss of ancient wisdom. Hebridean Treasure moves through tragedy to portray with hope the recovery of spiritual vision for the ecological crises of today.

Who we are

John Philip Newell

Writer and storyteller in the orginial cast


Ankna Arockiam


Shane Shambhu

Original Choreography & Artistic Direction


Hardeep Deerhe


Mischa Macpherson

Music Direction & Lead Voice


Alistair Iain Paterson


Alison Newell


Charlie Stewart

Fiddle, Double Bass


Iain Louden