It will, at the very least, have you thinking about your own memories of home, and what it would mean to you to have it drift away.
Rona and Gillebride are friendly performers, each bringing their own personality to the show. Rona is an engaging storyteller, especially in the more formal set piece stories, and Gillebride is a truly mesmerising singer. Indeed, songs makes up some of Fuaigh’s most exciting passages; it is here that we get the strongest sense of South Uist as a place. We are given items of surprising information too – Gillebride, for instance, tells us that Gaelic spellings of names were forbidden by law to be used on official documents and birth certificates (his own reads Gilbert) for a long time. Rona backs this up with an anecdote about forcing a Glasgow registrar to include the accents of her daughter’s name by refusing to leave the building for three hours.
These moments are interesting, and bring to attention important subjects in an age where Hebridean culture has been so thoroughly marginalised. Yet elsewhere the project is dripping in too much sentimentalism and nostalgia to be effective. The dialogue between Rona and Gillebride is often forced, too obvious and doesn’t feel genuine. At its worst, this has the – no doubt unintentional – side-effect of patronising the audience. But this is saved by the welcoming atmosphere of the piece as a whole, which is created with the help of dancing and whisky.
While occasionally verging on the condescending and the overly pastoral, Fuaigh – Interweaving is nonetheless a worthwhile project. It will, at the very least, have you thinking about your own memories of home, and what it would mean to you to have it drift away.