This coming year will see the 10th anniversary of Scotland’s landmark Burns Night event that takes place annually in Dumfries, the town where the Bard spent his final years. The event, the Big Burns Supper, comprises a mixture of cabaret, comedy, music and entertainment and usually takes place at 30 different venues across the town over 9 days in January.
The effects of Covid reach every aspect of life and with the birthday of Robert Burns being only a matter of weeks away, the usual hearty celebrations can’t go ahead in their traditional form. This year, the Big Burns Supper will go the way of all events that can’t proceed normally and transmit digitally instead as it joins forces with Scotland’s much loved comic Janey Godley for a special broadcast. This will also feature contributions from local, national and international artists such as KT Tunstall, Dougie Maclean, Donovan, Tide Lines and Skerryvore who are weel kent faces in the Dumfries Festival’s history.
The national dish and traditional Burns’ supper fare of haggis, neeps and tatties is not feasible in a virtual setting so instead the Big Burns Supper goes for the Dumfries-born Celtic cabaret that is Le Haggis. This year they will offer a curated set of artistic collaborations from past and present acts that come with a Le Haggis twist. Artists involved in the 2021 extravaganza include Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise Theatre Company, Robert Softley Gale; comedian Ray Bradshaw; Jamaican World Roots Reggae singer Brina; burlesque starlet Vicky Butterfly and Scottish Hollyoaks star, Amy Conachan, plus a few surprises on the night.
Councillor Adam Wilson, Events Champion for Dumfries and Galloway said, “The Big Burns Supper team have put together an inventive upbeat way to celebrate Burns Night, wherever you are, in January 2021. They continue to showcase both the work and humanity of Robert Burns and many of the creative talents of Dumfries – the Queen of the South. Order your haggis, be prepared to mash those neeps and tatties and revel in the fact that a world class poet’s legacy still speaks so powerfully to us today.”
Janey Godley’s Big Burns Supper also includes a performance by pupils from primary schools from across Scotland with a massive community singalong of Auld Lang Syne that was first arranged by Robert Shields and featured at the opening of the first Big Burns Supper in 2011.
This special 2021 Big Burns Supper, that will feature performances from musicians, comedians, actors, aerialists and historians from across the world, will be broadcast free of charge from the comfort of Ms Godley’s living room to yours from 7pm till 8.15pm on 25th January 2021 across its Facebook and YouTube channels.
Further programming information will be released early in the New Year.