Having played Òran Mór in Glasgow, the Traverse in Edinburgh and Eden Court in Inverness we asked CHORALE company member Valerie Gogan for her thoughts on returning to her home country of Scotland with the Sam Shepard Roadshow.
It’s not returning to Scotland for the first time, but it is very special to me - having left in the 80ʼs to go to drama school (LAMDA) - I surprised myself by missing my homeland hugely, the people, the humour, the sensibility and really all that is unable to be put into words - “the soul of Scotland”.
I love that I am a Scot, even if I have now lived south of the border longer than I have up north.
I “met” Sam Shepard in my recollection when I watched an afternoon viewing of the film The Right Stuff and he had me from the get-go. And was introduced to his writing later, mainly working with our director Simon Usher - who it turned out had worked with Joe Chaikin in his (Simonʼs) early days at the Riverside Studios in London.
A few years ago he presented the duologue The Hunger to a group I was working with and asked if any of us would be interested in working on this piece for a one-off performance at the Globe (I believe it may have been meant for two men - but I loved it - it spoke my language and I volunteered) not knowing that this wonderful piece was written by Sam Shepherd and Joe Chaikin. On starting our production, CHORALE, I have now seen it performed magically by Joe Chaikin himself as a solo performance, with music, in Shirley Clarkeʼs innovative video Tongues, which we are showing with our workshop. Absolutely wonderful.
To come home to Scotland and to be working in general on this wonderful trio of theatre pieces (plus the film, Savage/Love) is quite special. All these pieces of theatre make me feel inspired and energised, full of guts, challenge and beauty.
Happy to come home, hope you enjoy it too.