Haggis, Neeps and Burns is about as Scottish as tartan and the trinity. Sit down for a delicious plate of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties while listening to the well-sung poetry of Burns. This poetry act’s an insight into the mind and times of this iconic man.
Come for the Haggis, stay for the poetry - this is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.
Burns is one of the most prolific romantic poets. The national poet of Scotland, his influence has grown alongside his many descendants. A notorious playboy, a heart-sick lover, an enemy of the church, an egalitarian, a father – Burns lived a full life.
The show makes note of many of these complexities. A script that focused on a few moments of his life may have provided some clarity into the structure of the show, however, almost like a meandering Dickens book, each point amounts to a more complete image of the whole. While the plot points may surmount to a survey course, the show reigns in this sprawling text by focusing solely on the main character.
There is a lack of depth in the relationship between most of the characters and no strong attraction could be felt between Burns and his love interests. Relationships may have been better fleshed out if there had been more choreography. Additional movement, especially within the music sections could have energized the whole piece. But, the moments of true sorrow, joy and humour are well reflected in the music.
The music is exquisite traversing traditional music and pub songs. It is completely acapella and delights in dissonant harmonies. The women carry extraordinary gifts, their straight-toned ballads are supported and perfectly on pitch. While, Burns may need a bit of help on the high notes, his bawdy recantation of poetry is alive with a romantic spirit.
Haggis, Neeps and Burns is a feel-good ode to Burns. A lovely biopic, portraying the wit and will of this great man. Come for the Haggis, stay for the poetry – this is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.