Bards at the Barracks (2023), Army@theFringe, Review

Drawing of a soldier with a Scots bonnet
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Scottish Poetry Library and Army at the Fringe Company
Scottish Poetry Library and Army at the Fringe Company
Janette Ayachi, Nazaret Ranea, Caitlin Sherret, Ellissa Hunter-Dorans
Running time

Bards at the Barracks features a different line-up of poets every evening for four days. Exploring the themes of Scotland’s “collective history and common creative future”, this brings a range of poems, traditional and non-traditional, in English, Scots, Gaelic and Spanish. Presented in conjunction with the Scottish Poetry Library, the line-up on the day of review were all female: mentor Janette Ayachi led young Makars Nazaret Ranea, Caitlin Sherret and Ellissa Hunter-Dorans in presentations of their work.

Within the theme of past and present, subjects covered included battles, Robert Burns, first dates, Airedale Terriers, children’s video games, and songs, to name but a few. There is gentle energy in the presentations, and the variation in poems and language remind us of the richness of words. There is importance in being able to connect emotions to the world we are in and articulate in a lyric way. Even when listening to a poem in a different language, while you may not understand all of it – or very little of it – there is still something in the sound and the way in which it is expressed that can take the listener on a journey. 

War poets used poetry to express the difficult situations they had experienced. While these poems are not necessarily about war, they look at all facets of the human condition under the theme of past and present. The final day is a special presentation with a focus on Hamish Henderson the Scottish poet, intellectual and soldier, a fitting round-up to the poetry sessions.

Show Time: 25 August @ 17:00


Ticket Prices: £1

Accessible entry: Audiences will be checked in at street level before making their way down a flight of stairs to our courtyard waiting area. From here, there is level access to the Drill Hall space. Exit is via another flight of stairs leading from the building to the pavement. Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible. Stairs: 20+ Age: 5+