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Theatre Review: The Village and The Road

As soon as the performance started, I was completely drawn in. From the voice on the overhead speaker, relaying the sadness she felt from trees being cut down and how the birds never returned; to the traditional musicians playing some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard; The Village and the Road is a beautiful production that leaves the viewer full of both sadness and hope. 

Aptly set in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, this production follows one man recounting his travels, relaying a truly emotive journey that explores the depopulation of rural areas, loss of natural habitats and more. The musicians draw upon the traditional European folk sound to add a truly beautiful emotional landscape and strengthen the narrative of each tale. 

As anyone who has the desire to leave home will know, there is a place that lives in the feeling between home and away; the pull of wanting and needing to be elsewhere. This performance oscillates around the feeling of leaving the familiar. 

There is profound sadness in the dying village, and people seem to not see the simple beauty in it. They instead are pulled in directions towards money and experiences and everything that a village life seemingly cannot offer, however, this road is also full of unknown dangers and fears. 

The nostalgia that this performance leaves you with is both enthralling and tragic. You are hopeful that the village stays as a village, that the simple life may always be full of humble pleasures like the scent of a lilac tree. The sadness comes in, especially as someone who has left home will know, when you realise that even if you return you are changed, the village is changed, and nothing can be as it was before. 

The folk atmosphere of the music accompanying the tale truly rounded out a beautiful and moving show. Whether or not you’ve travelled, this will stir something in you, and if you’re lucky, move you to tears. 

The Village and The Road | Theatre | Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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