The Edinburgh Festival Fringe consistently surprises, delights and sometimes disappoints, but without it our culture would be poorer and a powerful medium for political expression would be lost to the people of Scotland.
While entertaining, the Fringe, as part of this remit, has a duty to challenge the status quo and make us ponder on issues of the day.
This year two major issues, the ongoing independence debate and the 25 December anniversary of the Lockerbie Pan Am bombing, are tackled in The Lockerbie Bomber, a new play presented by Falkirk’s Tryst Theatre Company.
Dramatic, insightful and superbly acted and presented, it forces us to remember and reflect on the greatest terrorist outrage ever committed in the UK.
It is also a reminder that despite the human suffering and the political expressions of outrage, governments, including ours in Scotland, have procrastinated, dissembled and protected the guilty by placing their own interests above those of the victims, their families and friends and the people of Scotland.
The play challenges the viewer to consider how an independent Scotland can ever be a stronger and better country when our politicians cannot “independently” work to resolve what has become “Scotland’s shame”.
The Lockerbie Bomber has lived in my memory and challenged me, a supporter of independence, to reflect on whether an independent Scotland would lead to a more just society or sadly just more of the same.
The irony that the play is showing in C Venues in Chambers Street, the very home of the Crown Office, that immovable barrier to the truth about Lockerbie, will not be lost on those of us who seek truth and justice.
Iain A J McKie
South Beach Road