Organisers of the annual Big Burns Supper in Dumfries today revealed plans to reunite some of the most popular acts from its first decade for a free digital show which will be available to watch around the world on Robert Burns’ birthday next month.
Musicians, comics, actors, acrobats and cabaret stars will be peforming in locations in Dumfries and Ayrshire with links to the celebrated poets, as well as from their own homes around the world.
Scottish trad stars and festival favourites Tide Lines, Manran and Skerryvore, Edinburgh Fringe cabaret star Camille O'Sullivan,
comic Ray Bradshaw, burlesque star Vicky Butterfly, and Scots singers Claire Hastings and Grant Dinwiddie will also be performing at the Scottish Government-backed event.
The 75-minute show will be free to view on 25 January on the YouTube and Facebook channels of the Big Burns Supper.
The annual event normally features more than 150 events and 300 artists performing in around 30 venues across 11 days in January and February.
Other highlights of the Virtual Burns Supper, which is expected to feature a mix of Burns material and reflects on his life and legacy, are expected to include a mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne featuring primary school pupils from across Scotland.
Tunstall, who performed at the event last year and will be beaming up from her home in Los Angeles next month, said: “Big Burns Supper was easily one of my top Burns Night celebrations ever.
“The energy in the Spiegeltent that night was totally electric and although for now we can’t party again in-person, I’m so looking forward to joining the digital celebrations in 2021 to help mark the festival’s 10th anniversary with a very special performance from yours truly just for the occasion.”
Godley, who was named Scots Speaker of the Year and honoured by the Scottish Comedy Awards this year, added: “I’m super excited to do this as it’s the first time I can do a Burns do in my bare feet beside a window.”
Graham Main, executive producer of the Big Burns Supper, said: “It doesn’t matter where you are on Burns Night, tune in online and raise a glass to the world for Auld Lang Syne.
“We started the festival 10 years ago because we thought Burns Night had the potential to grow, and this free show is our thanks to the community, artists and audiences who have supported us to do just that over the last 10 years.”
Paul Bush, director of events at government agency VisitScotland, said: “We’re delighted to continue our support for the legendary Big Burns Supper through Scotland’s
Events Recovery Fund. The plans for their 10th anniversary virtual edition look set to offer a
fantastic array of unique entertainment, artistic collaborations and renowned community
spirit. Burns night gathers Scots and Scots-at-heart around the world to pay tribute to
the great poet’s life and works, so by adapting the event to be showcased digitally in 2021,
the Big Burns Supper will continue to offer a place for many to celebrate our national bard.”