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7:84 (Scotland) Theatre Company

   

  Playwright John McGrath set up the theatre company 7:84 in 1971. Its name derived from the fact published in the Economistthat 7% of the nation owned 84% of the country's wealth. The company's avowedly socialist aim was to take popular, political theatre to venues shunned by the established national and regional companies.

In 1973, it split into 7:84 (England) and 7:84 (Scotland). The English group folded in 1984, having lost its grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain. On 31 December 2008, the Scottish company ceased trading, citing 'the changing funding structures in Scottish theatre'.

 
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Productions and Projects

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The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil
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1973
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A musical drama by John McGrath, 'The Cheviot' drew on recent research into Highland history, on Gaelic song, and on variety and popular entertainment.

McGrath called it 'a ceilidh play'. As 'a good night out', it tells the story of the exploitation of the Highlands, from 1746 to the 1973 oil boom. The post-Rebellion suppression of the clans, the Clearances, the shooting estates and the oil boom are all dramatised through a mix of quotation from original documents, reportage, Gaelic language and song, music and broad comedy. The play also tells the stories of local resistance.

First reading at the 'What kind of Scotland?' conference, Edinburgh, 31 March 1973. First performance at Aberdeen Arts Centre, 24 April 1973.

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  7:84 (Scotland) Theatre Company

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