Scots page header

What we do & why

Braw Clan makes new theatre in Scots, inspired by the people of Clydesdale, and we tour it to rural communities in the south of Scotland. We bring world-class performers and powerful local stories to your village hall.

There's often English as well as Scots in our plays, as in Secret Wrapped In Lead. If you're not sure whether you can understand Scots, find out at ayecan.com. To find out what's on, have a look at our Productions page.

"When I was young, speaking Scots was not allowed. Seeing this play made me very happy."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"Scots is beautiful and very rich but at risk of being lost. It's important to nurture it. It's part of our identity."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"I wasn't sure before I came but I really enjoyed the story and hearing the Scots language."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

Scots page header

What we do & why

Braw Clan makes new theatre in Scots, inspired by the people of Clydesdale, and we tour it to rural communities in the south of Scotland. We bring world-class performers and powerful local stories to your village hall.

There's often English as well as Scots in our plays, as in Secret Wrapped In Lead. If you're not sure whether you can understand Scots, find out at ayecan.com. To find out what's on, have a look at our Productions page.

"When I was young, speaking Scots was not allowed. Seeing this play made me very happy."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"Scots is beautiful and very rich but at risk of being lost. It's important to nurture it. It's part of our identity."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"I wasn't sure before I came but I really enjoyed the story and hearing the Scots language."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

martin circle headshot

Martin Travers, Braw Clan's playwright and Creative Producer, on why he writes plays in Scots.

I fell in love with Scots on the hip of my Auntie Isobel.

Like a lot of Lanarkshire women born in the 1930s she left school at 14 and went to work in a factory. Her Scots tongue was always direct. Unfiltered. Armour piercing. Earthy and organic. And could be delivered in a swirling plume of laughter that was infectious. My baby brain soaked it up. Scots was my language. The language of the kitchen and the glen and of safety and love.

A language that lived in the air between people.

It was the language I spoke and the language I dreamed in. Then I was dragged to school.

Throughout my early life reading was never a joy for me. Written English was another language with horrible rules and impossible spellings that didn’t sound like the words my brain knew. English felt imposed on me. It made me feel stupid. Inadequate. “Speak properly!” reverberated down the corridors of my primary school years.

I went to a Catholic school, so for some reason we didn’t do any Scots - not even Robert Burns.

For years I thought Burns night was for red-faced whiskey-glugging golf bores wearing itchy tartan trousers.

At high school when we should have been reading John Galt we got Shakespeare and Trollope and, thankfully, the magnificent poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins led me to Dylan Thomas. Both men’s poetry connected

with something deep in me. The reel of life in me. The words they used and the order they put the words in was like listening to the rhythm of steam engines and crashing waves. Their fury and their flourish reminded me of the rhythmic blether of Scots I was baptised in as an infant.

I was fascinated by their version of English - it felt pagan and from the dark places in nature. As a writer, I owe as much to Hopkins and Thomas as I do to Burns, Robert Ferguson and Tennessee Williams.

My early theatre experiences came through reading plays. I fell in love with the big character-driven American plays.

And I’m still in love with them. A simple story told well is a thing of wonder. A great line is a great line forever.

It wasn't until later that I had the chance to read the works of Ena Lamont Stewart, Joe Corrie, Hector MacMillan, Robert McLellan, and Irvine Welsh. There are some wonderful world-class Scots plays out there but not enough in my opinion.

Braw Clan is here to make new, dynamic, dark and delicious plays that bring new audiences to Scots.

We want to get people excited about our magnificent language. And we want make work for Scotland-based actors that they'll be proud of.

Why do I write in Scots? It has the power to be tender, savage, hilarious and dramatically theatrical. And if I'm honest, it is a compulsion, an addiction, a black art. I want other writers to fall under its spell too. It's the language I still dream in.

I want our audiences to hear it in the air and sweat of every story Braw Clan perform for you. Come on the journey with us. Sit in the village halls of Clydesdale with us. Be as captivated by the power of Scots as we are. Be brave. Be in awe. Deil the fear.

martin circle headshot

Martin Travers, Braw Clan's playwright and Creative Producer, on why he writes plays in Scots.

I fell in love with Scots on the hip of my Auntie Isobel.

Like a lot of Lanarkshire women born in the 1930s she left school at 14 and went to work in a factory. Her Scots tongue was always direct. Unfiltered. Armour piercing. Earthy and organic. And could be delivered in a swirling plume of laughter that was infectious. My baby brain soaked it up. Scots was my language. The language of the kitchen and the glen and of safety and love.

A language that lived in the air between people.

It was the language I spoke and the language I dreamed in. Then I was dragged to school.

Throughout my early life reading was never a joy for me. Written English was another language with horrible rules and impossible spellings that didn’t sound like the words my brain knew. English felt imposed on me. It made me feel stupid. Inadequate. “Speak properly!” reverberated down the corridors of my primary school years.

I went to a Catholic school, so for some reason we didn’t do any Scots - not even Robert Burns.

For years I thought Burns night was for red-faced whiskey-glugging golf bores wearing itchy tartan trousers.

At high school when we should have been reading John Galt we got Shakespeare and Trollope and, thankfully, the magnificent poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins led me to Dylan Thomas. Both men’s poetry connected with something deep in me. The reel of life in me. The words they used and the order they put the words in was like listening to the rhythm of steam engines and crashing waves. Their fury and their flourish reminded me of the rhythmic blether of Scots I was baptised in as an infant.

I was fascinated by their version of English - it felt pagan and from the dark places in nature. As a writer, I owe as much to Hopkins and Thomas as I do to Burns, Robert Ferguson and Tennessee Williams.

My early theatre experiences came through reading plays. I fell in love with the big character-driven American plays.

And I’m still in love with them. A simple story told well is a thing of wonder. A great line is a great line forever.

It wasn't until later that I had the chance to read the works of Ena Lamont Stewart, Joe Corrie, Hector MacMillan, Robert McLellan, and Irvine Welsh. There are some wonderful world-class Scots plays out there but not enough in my opinion.

Braw Clan is here to make new, dynamic, dark and delicious plays that bring new audiences to Scots.

We want to get people excited about our magnificent language. And we want make work for Scotland-based actors that they'll be proud of.

Why do I write in Scots? It has the power to be tender, savage, hilarious and dramatically theatrical. And if I'm honest, it is a compulsion, an addiction, a black art. I want other writers to fall under its spell too. It's the language I still dream in.

I want our audiences to hear it in the air and sweat of every story Braw Clan perform for you. Come on the journey with us. Sit in the village halls of Clydesdale with us. Be as captivated by the power of Scots as we are. Be brave. Be in awe. Deil the fear.

Gripping stories, in Scots.

Braw Clan's actors work far and wide, performing for companies like Shakespeare's Globe, the BBC, ITV and Netflix. But Clydesdale is our home. When we turn up to do a play in your village hall, you better believe we're going to make it a night to remember.

Sign up for our fortnightly newsletter to find out what's on.

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Your information will never be shared. By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.
illustrated badges deep green

"After watching the play, I feel re-energised about my village and sharing our stories."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"When I was young speaking Scots was not allowed. Seeing this play made me very happy."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"I wasn't sure before I came but I really enjoyed the story and hearing the Scots language."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

illustrated badges deep green

Gripping stories, in Scots.

Braw Clan's actors work far and wide, performing for companies like Shakespeare's Globe, the BBC, ITV and Netflix. But Clydesdale is our home. When we turn up to do a play in your village hall, you better believe we're going to make it a night to remember.

Sign up for our fortnightly newsletter to find out what's on.

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Your information will never be shared. By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.

"After watching the play, I feel re-energised about my village and sharing our stories."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"When I was young speaking Scots was not allowed. Seeing this play made me very happy."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"I wasn't sure before I came but I really enjoyed the story and hearing the Scots language."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

illustrated badges deep green

Gripping stories, in Scots.

Braw Clan's actors work far and wide, performing for companies like Shakespeare's Globe, the BBC, ITV and Netflix. But Clydesdale is our home. When we turn up to do a play in your village hall, you better believe we're going to make it a night to remember.

Sign up for our fortnightly newsletter to find out what's on.

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Your information will never be shared. By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.

"After watching the play, I feel re-energised about my village and sharing our stories."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"When I was young speaking Scots was not allowed. Seeing this play made me very happy."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

"I wasn't sure before I came but I really enjoyed the story and hearing the Scots language."

AUDIENCE MEMBER

clare marketing director circle headshot

Clare Yuille, Braw Clan's Creative Director, on why we put spoken Scots on stage.

At 16, I thought professional actors in Scotland were in Scots plays all the time.

I assumed they must be, because I was.

My amateur dramatics group, Biggar Theatre Workshop, had just performed Philotus, the oldest Scots comedy in existence, for the first time in 400 years. Adapted by Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter and directed by Ann Matheson, this riotous court play fizzing with politics, lust, scandal and merriment went along like a rocket, to huge acclaim.

If we were on stage in ruffs, bringing the house down with rhyming couplets, I thought it must be standard for professional actors.

I didn't realise that Clydesdale is a special place for the Scots language, and that I was very lucky.

After the success of Philotus, there was a sold-out production of James Scotland's The Sorceror's Tale, an adaptation of Robert McLellan's Linmill Stories directed by Ann Matheson and Kate Reilly, and a Scots language play about Marion Braidfute, the wife of William Wallace, for Lanark Players.

At the same time, The Brownsbank Trust, established to preserve the legacy of the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, was helping to bring ground-breaking Scots writers into Clydesdale's schools. We were taken to poetry readings and flytings, given books and dictionaries, and encouraged to write, speak and perform in Scots of all kinds, including for Higher English.

I got drunk on the sounds, rhythms, stories and humour.

Lanarkshire and Ayrshire words from my childhood, Jacobean words sizzling with power, bits out of Trainspotting.

I absorbed it all, dying to be in a Scots language play again. But by the time I was training to be an actor, it was clear that my experience of speaking and hearing Scots on stage was rare. It still is.

Almost no plays in Scots are put on in Scottish theatres.

Braw Clan is here to fix that.

When she heard a blackbird sing, my gran would say "it's throwing its heart to the sky."

That's what speaking Scots on stage is like for me as an actor. And when I hear it as an audience member, sometimes it's so beautiful, alive and strange, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Even when I don't understand every word, they understand me. It's like being home at last.

Audiences in Scotland deserve the chance to find how out they feel about Scots language theatre. I'm proud to be part of that work, and I'm proud it's happening in Clydesdale.

clare marketing director circle headshot

Clare Yuille, Braw Clan's Creative Director, on why we put spoken Scots on stage.

At 16, I thought professional actors in Scotland were in Scots plays all the time.

I assumed they must be, because I was.

My amateur dramatics group, Biggar Theatre Workshop, had just performed Philotus, the oldest Scots comedy in existence, for the first time in 400 years. Adapted by Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter and directed by Ann Matheson, this riotous court play fizzing with politics, lust, scandal and merriment went along like a rocket, to huge acclaim.

If we were on stage in ruffs, bringing the house down with rhyming couplets, I thought it must be standard for professional actors.

I didn't realise that Clydesdale is a special place for the Scots language, and that I was very lucky.

After the success of Philotus, there was a sold-out production of James Scotland's The Sorceror's Tale, an adaptation of Robert McLellan's Linmill Stories directed by Ann Matheson and Kate Reilly, and a Scots language play about Marion Braidfute, the wife of William Wallace, for Lanark Players.

At the same time, The Brownsbank Trust, established to preserve the legacy of the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, was helping to bring ground-breaking Scots writers into Clydesdale's schools. We were taken to poetry readings and flytings, given books and dictionaries, and encouraged to write, speak and perform in Scots of all kinds, including for Higher English.

I got drunk on the sounds, rhythms, stories and humour.

Lanarkshire and Ayrshire words from my childhood, Jacobean words sizzling with power, bits out of Trainspotting.

I absorbed it all, dying to be in a Scots language play again. But by the time I was training to be an actor, it was clear that my experience of speaking and hearing Scots on stage was rare. It still is.

Almost no plays in Scots are put on in Scottish theatres.

Braw Clan is here to fix that.

When she heard a blackbird sing, my gran would say "it's throwing its heart to the sky."

That's what speaking Scots on stage is like for me as an actor. And when I hear it as an audience member, sometimes it's so beautiful, alive and strange, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Even when I don't understand every word, they understand me. It's like being home at last.

Audiences in Scotland deserve the chance to find how out they feel about Scots language theatre. I'm proud to be part of that work, and I'm proud it's happening in Clydesdale.

Help us bring more spoken Scots to the stage

Help us bring more spoken Scots to
the stage