Kevin P. Gilday is an award-winning writer and spoken word artist from Glasgow, Scotland. He is the curator and co-host of spoken word cabaret Sonnet Youth, a National Theatre of Scotland Breakthrough Writer and a BBC Writers Room Scottish Voice.
He brings Suffering From Scottishness to this year’s Fringe.
Suffering From Scottishness by Kevin P. Gilday is at Assembly Roxy 1st – 26th August (not 7th, 13th, 20th).
Suffering From Scottishness is coming to Assembly Roxy what can you tell us about it?
Suffering from Scottishness is a dark comedy at heart but is also a sort of one-man cabaret of Scottish identity. I’ll be rapping about inventors, reciting poems to the weather and generally getting into the nitty gritty of what exactly makes Scotland so unique.
What inspired you to write this show?
I’ve always wanted to do a piece talking about how bizarre and fractured the Scottish identity is. I grew up never feeling particularly Scottish but the independence referendum really changed how I saw myself as a Scottish ‘citizen’. I wanted to write a show that could tell that story dramatically through a character while making the audience part of the show.
Tell us about the character you play?
Joe is a pretty average guy who has worked his way up from the call centre to being a consultation rep for Citizen Scotland, the fictitious government department running the focus group. Joe is excitable, energetic and maybe a wee bit naïve. He’s a guy who has tied his identity to Scotland and is finding himself questioning why as he brings the audience in on his journey.
What’s the one thing about Suffering From Scottishness that makes it different from all the rest?
The show is a completely immersive experience that relies on the audience’s interaction. The concept is that the audience is actually a focus group who are asked to vote on what questions should be added to the first ever Scottish Citizenship Test. Through this device we start to explore the absurdity of Scottish identity.
How have Assembly Roxy supported you with this production?
Assembly have been incredibly supportive, they put the show forward to be part of the Disruption Festival, so not only are we subtitled ‘The Best of New Theatre’ (no pressure), but we get to work with the brilliant High Tide to bring the show to the fringe.
Who will Suffering From Scottishness appeal to the most?
I think it has real universal appeal. Of course, anyone from Scotland will have an instant insight into the weirdness I’m talking about, but anyone with an interest in Scottish culture will find the show illuminating – and hopefully fun. But I say the show is universal because at the core it’s a show about nationalism and what that means to an individual in 2019.