Outdoor cinema overlooking Firth of Forth planned for Scottish coastline celebration

Pop-up plays on CalMac ferries, an outdoor cinema overlooking the Firth of Forth and a night-time flotilla turning the Clyde into a “river of light” will be part of Scotland’s first countrywide celebration of its coastline and waters.

A tour of historic yachts around classic holiday destinations and a festival aimed at establishing Aberdeen as one of Europe’s best dolphin-watching locations are also expected to be among the highlights of a £1.14 million campaign.

The biggest ever drive to promote Scotland’s maritime events, unspoiled beaches, seafaring stories and waterfront attractions has been launched in the wake of previous showcases of history and heritage, architecture and design, food and drink, and young people.

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The first major projects to benefit from a £600,000 event fund for the Coasts and Waters 2020 campaign were revealed to coincide with VisitScotland’s annual international “Expo” trade fair in Glasgow.

Pic: Stewart Attwood

The Edinburgh International Film Festival says it will be screening a season a classic films which showcase iconic coastline and waterfront locations across Scotland as part of “a totally unique outdoor cinema experience, where audiences can swap the multiplex for the sandy shores of the Forth.”

Although the details of the location for the pop-up cinema are being kept under wraps, the Film Fest on the Forth event is being promoted with an image of the three iconic bridges across the estuary.

Other specially-themed events will also be programmed as part of the 2020 EIFF line-up under the banner of a “Scotland’s Shores” strand.

Mark Adams, the EIFF’s artistic director, said: “Audiences will get to dip their toes into a selection of classic Scottish films, and we’ll take people behind the cinema screen with amazing Q&As with filmmakers and location managers sharing their stories of filming on Scotland’s lochs, seas and waterways.”

Meanwhile the National Theatre of Scotland will be staging musical theatre shows on three CalMac routes next spring.  

Drama, live music, song and the Gaelic language will feature in “pop-up gig theatre” production Ferry Tales, which will be inspired by real-life stories drawn from coastal communities served by CalMac.

Jackie Wylie, artistic director of NTS, said: “Thousands of Scots and visitors make ferry crossings every year and we are excited about the opportunity, with the support of CalMac and their ships, to create Ferry Tales, a theatrical project which explores the personal stories behind these journeys.

“The community, informality and sociability of the CalMac ferry journey, in terms of the potential audience experience, lends itself beautifully to this style of pop up gig theatre.”

Other special events in the Coasts and Waters 2020 line-up include a spectacular week-long regatta of classic yachts built by at the family-run Fife yard at Fairlie, in Ayrshire, with many of them returning from the Mediterranean to visit the likes of Dunoon, Rothesay, Tighnabruaich and Largs in June.

A major new night-time element of Scotland’s biggest boat show, which is staged at Kip Marina, in Inverclyde, will see a flotilla of boats gather off-shore to form a mass illuminated floating spectacle.