Some plays come and go. Some endure. Matthew Zajac’s The Tailor of Inverness is one of the enduring ones. First performed at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it has since garnered numerous awards following over 275 performances seen by over 40,000 people in 12 countries.
Zajac’s play, from Highland Theatre Company Dogstar, is the physical re-enactment of a profoundly personal story that shifts from war torn Poland and Ukraine to the Highlands and back as the story about his father’s past unfolds.
During lockdown, Dogstar Theatre Online is making this memorable performance available to the public online, as the first in a series of Dogstar performance recordings to be released through Vimeo On Demand and available to the public for £3 to view and £8 to download from Monday 11 May.
As a means of continuing the company’s development and reaching audiences in these unparalleled times, Dogstar Theatre Online will also release Brian Ross’s film produced by Hopscotch Films, Circling A Fox – The Story of the Tailor of Inverness. Using old film reel footage, clips from the play itself and some dramatic reconstruction, Circling a Fox tells the incredible story of Matthew’s quest to seek the truth about his father’s past and his brilliant use of theatre to reach out to a family he never knew existed.
The hour long documentary, filmed, edited, and directed by Brian Ross, creates a beautiful exploration of Zajac’s emotional journey of discovery into the secrets and lies of his father’s fascinating past through travel across several countries. It was a journey that resulted not only in his now renowned play, but in the performance of that play in the Polish village of his father’s birth, Gnilowdy, and Pidlaisi where he learned his trade of tailoring.
The order of viewing is a matter of personal choice but either way the two films shed light on an intriguing tale of human capacity for change and survival through the complex life of one man who was “…all these things and none”.
The book of The Tailor of Inverness by Matthew Zajac is printed by Sandstone Press £8.99
Down the line from Dogstar Theatre Online, look out for The Stornoway Wayby Kevin and Factor 9by Hamish MacDonald