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Shinty’s Heroes - The Finale

Shinty’s Heroes - The Finale

Badenoch commemorates the shinty players of WW1

Shinty's Heroes - The Finale -  the acclaimed tribute to the shinty players who lost their lives in the First World War, is to be performed in Badenoch for the first time in what will be a finale for the cast of the show.

Shinty's Heroes is supported by the Badenoch Heritage: Bringing the Past to the 21st Century Project which is grant aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and it will be one of the highlights of the celebrations marking the Camanachd Association's historic 125th anniversary milestone. events. Given its performance just a week before Remembrance Day, the show will be particularly poignant.

Produced by musical Director Gary Innes and presented by historian and broadcaster Hugh Dan MacLennan, Shinty's Heroes uses music, story-telling and song to highlight the story of the impact shinty players had on World War 1 and the devastating effect WW1 had on Highland communities such as Badenoch.  It also examines how that impact is currently reflected in the area, highlighting the area's current success in men and women's shinty.

Shinty has long held an important role in Scottish, and particularly Highland communities, and was played by Highland Regiments during both World Wars. Shinty’s Heroes tells some of the stories of these players through visual images, stories, songs and music in Gaelic and English.

At the centre of the event will be moving stories of Dr Johnnie Cattanach, commonly regarded as shinty’s greatest ever player, who died at Gallipoli; Dòmhnall Ruadh Choruna and the Great Gaelic song An Eala Bhàn; the Paterson of Beauly pipes from Festubert and accounts of the 1913 and 1914 Camanachd Cup Finals, the latter of which being a key moment in the history of Kingussie Camanachd. 

Many of the players who appeared in these matches never returned from the war. There will also be the tale of the three Ballachulish Musketeers who did return from World War II  in an extraordinary adventure. The show is brought up to date with a tribute to the game's current heroes, heroines and stars.

This will be the final time Shinty's Heroes will be performed, various versions having previously visited shinty-playing communities such as Wester Ross, Inverness, Fort William and, memorably, Skye, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Festubert. The show was also performed at Celtic Connections in Glasgow. Hugh Dan MacLennan said: 

 "This will be a very special occasion and we will be producing a new show for the finale with some additional material which has emerged since we first set out on this long journey. In the Badenoch Centre, we’ll be building on the success of previous WW1 commemoration shows which have been performed from Skye to Glasgow and everywhere in between. It’s shinty’s  way of paying tribute to those who died in the wars and telling their stories in a slightly different way - through the eyes, stories and tunes of shinty-playing communities."

The main performance features Mànran star Gary Innes who is now host of BBC’s Take the Floor dance music programme, and a former captain of Scotland on the shinty field and he will be joined by a  highly accomplished band of award-winning musicians.

World renowned piper Duncan MacGillivray of Calrossie will play the Paterson pipes of Beauly which were returned from the Battle of Festubert and have since been played world-wide including on the Copacabana and at the Grand Canyon. Also on stage will be the highly acclaimed musicians Iain MacFarlane along with Ingrid and Allan Henderson and

Shinty’s Heroes is a unique partnership currently supported by Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Highlife Highland, shinty’s ruling body the Camanachd Association and the Ogilby Trust, which is funding a specially commissioned film and DVD of the event as part of their Sporting Heritage Network Armed Forces Project which will become available in due course; the Academy of Sport, University of Edinburgh and Scots Camanachd Shinty club.

The event will take  place at Newtonmore Village Hall, Newtonmore on November 2 from 7.30pm - 10.30pm.

It is anticipated that demand for tickets will be high, so the advice is to snap them up. Tickets cost £15 for Adults, £10 for concessions, and will be available to purchase on-line at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shintys-heroes-tickets-51016945056 or on the evening at the door.

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