Variety of events for all at annual festival

Rohan McCullough
Rohan McCullough

The Aboyne & Deeside Festival is seeking to expand its reputation as a host for thought provoking and stimulating guests, with events ranging from political discourse to personal literary reminiscence.

For those wishing to listen to the voices of political experience at a time of great national choice in Scotland, ‘In Conversation with Tam Dalyell and Dennis Canavan’, which takes place at the Theatre at Deeside Community Centre in Aboyne on Saturday, July 14, will provide timely food for thought.

Richard Holloway

Richard Holloway

Organisers say both men are held in great affection across the political divide and provide an extraordinary overview of the last four decades in Scottish politics. This is a first for the Aboyne & Deeside Festival, as these incomparable heavyweights of Scottish politics have never shared a festival stage before.

At 6.30pm on Tuesday, July 17, Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, will be at Finzean Hall to talk about his new book, the literary memoir ‘Leaving Alexandria’, and explain how, after a life of service to deprived peoples across the globe and facing many crises of personal faith, he finally and painfully left the church. This is billed as a thought-provoking evening in the company of one of Scotland’s most ‘wise, poetic and fiercely honest’ men.

2012 sees another first for the festival with two evenings of drama. At 7.30pm On Friday, July 27, Rohan McCullough will perform her solo play ‘My Darling Clemmie’, which is the remarkable, moving and highly entertaining story of the woman who married Sir Winston Churchill. Rohan McCullough began her career in the original cast of the legendary musical Hair and has subsequently performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appeared in films by Derek Jarman and David Hare and has performed as narrator with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony orchestras.

Audiences can return to 1902 for ‘An Evening with Mark Twain’. This performance, which stars Canadian broadcaster, writer and performer Don Mowatt and musician, actress and teacher Carolyn Finlay, is an insight into the twilight years of Mark Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) and his wife Olivia Clemens as they look back over their lives through conversation, readings, quotes, letters and song. This performance is at 7.30pm on Saturday, July 28, in Deeside Community Centre theatre, Aboyne.

Tickets are available from www.aboyneanddeesidefestival.org.uk