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Our March 2018 Diary

by Alastair Hamilton -

March is a busy month, with some very appealing musical highlights on the menu. We haven’t quite completed the round of fire festivals, and there are exhibitions and some dramatic treats, too.

First, those exhibitions: three very different ones conclude during the month. The remarkable work of Dinh Q. Lee can be seen at Mareel until the 9th and the commemoration of the First World War, We’re Here Because We’re Here, is at the Bonhoga Gallery in Weisdale until the 18th. The exhibition of costumes and other material tracing the work of the Islesburgh Drama Group continues at the Shetland Museum until the 25th, where it’ll be followed by a display by the Society of Wood Engravers.

The musical offerings begin on the 3rd, when cellist Abby Hayward, one of the Shetland classical players whose work is known well beyond the islands, will perform with the Shetland Community Orchestra. She’ll be followed on the 22nd by another of our classical performers, also well known outside Shetland; Neil Georgeson will play a concert entitled Dance Music at Mareel, which will feature Grieg, Chopin, Haydn and Schubert, plus a fantasy version of Strauss’ Blue Danube. The Shetland Schools Music Festival runs from the 12th to the 15th, no doubt demonstrating the astonishing musical talent to be found in our community.

That’s by no means all. The Furrow Collective – ‘Best Band’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – are at Mareel on the 10th; another Scottish roots band (though with a nod to Bruce Springsteen) is at Mareel on the 16th, in the shape of Tide Lines. There’s a charity concert featuring the Lerwick Brass Band, the Lerwick Pipe Band and other local performers on the 21st; and the Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Club have their end-of-season concert on the 23rd.

There’s drama – in various forms – during the month. The Shetland County Drama Festival in the Garrison Theatre runs from the 5th to the 8th and it’s followed on the 9th by the South Mainland Up Helly Aa, one of the largest fire festivals outside Lerwick. The following night, Walls stages its Junior Up Helly Aa and, on the 16th, the Delting Up Helly Aa – also a large event – brings the season to a colourful close. Shetland Youth Theatre present The Free9 in Mareel on the 20th and 21st; the play tells the true story of eight teenagers who flee North Korea for a new life in the south. It’s back to the Garrison Theatre at the end of the month, where Islesburgh Drama Group is staging Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular from the 28th until the 30th.

There are all sorts of other diversions, ranging from workshops on ‘growing your own’ to a talk on sandstone, one aspect of the islands’ complex geology that is the foundation of the UNESCO-recognised Geopark Shetland. And, of course, there are all the latest cinema releases at Mareel, including The Shape of Water, I, Tonya and a return visit, by popular demand, for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It’s a lot to look forward to!

Posted in: Community

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