The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil

The Cheviot, The Stag, And The Black Black Oil

The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil

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The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil is a play written in the 1970s by the popular Liverpudlian playwright John McGrath. From 1973, beginning at a venue in Aberdeen, it was performed in a touring production in community centres around Scotland by 84 and other community theatre groups. A television version directed by John Mackenzie was broadcast on 6 June 1974 by the BBC as part of the Play for Today series.


A musical drama Cheviot recounts the history of economic change in the Scottish Highlands, from the Highland Clearances in the early 19th century through to the contemporary oil boom at the time of its first production. The 7-84 Touring Theatre Company presents its live stage play to the people of South and North Uist, Benbecula and Lewis. The stage play is mixed with filmed reconstructions of documented events in the Highland Clearances, darkly humorous songs and sketches and, later, interviews with those participating and affected by the North Sea Oil industry in 1974.

Scotland from 270 miles above the Earth. Castle from helicopter. Land mixes with water, seabirds, fiddle music; people enter the presentation in a community hall. Images of giant earth-moving equipment, sheep, stag, gas flare, then the faces of the locals watching the play - some baffled, some sceptical, some participating, particularly in a...
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