Stories from Perth

DATE: 30 March 2024 - 31 March 2024

TIME: 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm

LOCATION: Mill Street Plaza, Perth

EVENT TYPE: Partner Events


Perth is a city full of stories – of politics and power, amazing women who protest and protect, of nature and nurture. All these stories and so many more are told within Perth Museum with the collection of objects, artefacts, and exhibitions. Opening weekend is a unique chance to tell these stories in different ways, outside the walls of the museum, from traditional storytelling to modern dance, music and theatre.

Playing four times over the weekend, do not miss these unique performances from some of the most exciting talent in Scotland.

JAMES I BY BRUCE FUMMEY // Saturday & Sunday, 12pm & 2:30pm.

Perth’s favourite historian has developed a new piece of work to tell the tale of James I. King, prisoner, tyrant, visionary and murder victim, he was eventually crowned upon the Stone of Destiny in 1424. James I divides opinion even to this day, so this telling of his extraordinary story will be fascinating. A solo show from the brilliant Bruce Fummey, taking time out of his UK tour.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS BY COURTNEY STODDART // Saturday & Sunday, 12:20 and 2:50pm

Frederick Douglass – emancipated slave, writer, social reformer, and statesman – had several visits to Perth, speaking three times at the City Hall – now Perth Museum – bringing stories of the horror of slavery and hopes for political change to Scotland and challenging people to think in a different way.

Poet and actor, Courtney Stoddart, performs their newly written piece of poetry to commemorate the man and his important visits to the city as part of the opening celebrations.

GEORGINA BALLANTINE BY NEVE RENWICK // Saturday & Sunday, 12:40pm and 3:10pm

Georgina Ballantine from Caputh, was a Scottish nurse, registrar and salmon fisher. In 1922, Ballantine landed a 64lb (29kg) salmon on the River Tay, the largest recorded from a British river with rod and line. The cast of the salmon – and Georgina’s story – is a favourite in Perth, but it has never been told in this way before, through a newly commissioned dance piece from Crieff’s Neve Renwick.

SUFFRAGETTES BY PERTH FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS // Saturday & Sunday, 1pm and 3.30pm

A star object in Perth Museum is the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Society Banner, from around 1900, used as part of a protest against the brutal and invasive procedure of ‘force-feeding’ which took place in Perth Prison. 3,000 women marched toward the prison, singing the Robert Burns song ‘Scots Wha Hae’, an unofficial Scottish national anthem often sung as a call to rebellion.

Perth Museum and Perth Festival of the Arts have collaborated on a commission for a new protest song inspired by the march, with words and music by Debra Salem. The song will be performed for the first time this weekend by Debra and Craigie Choir.

THE TRAVELLER BY JESS SMITH // Saturday & Sunday, 1:20pm and 3:50pm

Perth and Kinross is proudly home to the largest population of gypsy travellers in Scotland and the queen of them all, Jess Smith, has spent her life striving to tell their stories to help bring understanding about her people and their way of life. Jess is a master storyteller and it’s a treat to welcome her to Perth.

AN EXCHANGE OF WORDS BY JD HENSHAW// Saturday & Sunday, 1:40pm and 4:10pm

Perth Town Hall has always been a place to gather, to hear voices sharing disparate opinions, and to wrestle with the issues of the time. As Perth Museum takes on that role of giving a voice to our shared history, voices that have echoed in its walls stir once more. Considering the role of Margaret Thatcher in the history of our country, who returned to Perth repeatedly after winning elections throughout the late 70s and 80s, we hear her words and her ardent opponent outside of parliament, Arthur Scargill. Remixing and recontextualising their own words from key early speeches, this dynamic new piece of short theatre is presented by multi-award-winning playwright and director, JD Henshaw, with Sweet Productions