Festival celebrates poetic world of a beloved Scottish character

Karen Dunbar opens the exhibition
Karen Dunbar opens the exhibition

People in East Dunbartonshire are being invited to go ‘Tam O’Shanter’ crazy as a festival dedicated to the famous 18th century character begins.

TAMfest 2015, which runs until March 18, is celebrating the Lillie Art Gallery, in Milngavie, hosting ‘Tam O’Shanter - A Tale Told in Paintings’.

The free exhibition features 30 of artist Alexander Goudie’s celebrated collection, depicting the Burns classic. The collection is on loan to the Lillie from Rozelle House thanks to South Ayrshire Council.

Festival events include a puppet making workshop at Kirkintilloch’s William Patrick Library.

The renowned Yugen Puppet Company will perform a short re-telling of ‘Tam O’Shanter’ with puppets and then give children the chance to make their own.

It will take place at the library from 12noon-2.30pm on Saturday, February 28 and admission is free.

Meanwhile, ‘Burns’ Last Supper’ – for kids from p4 and upwards – is a family-friendly performance celebrating the great man’s life.

It will be staged at Hillhead Community Education Centre at 4pm on Tuesday, February 17, and 4pm on Friday, February 20, at the Lillie Art Gallery.

And if you are part of a local community group you can book the TAMTRAM - a free bus to take you to the Lillie Art Gallery exhibition. You’ll need to book soon though as there is limited availability.

Scott Hill, chairman of EDLC Trust, said: “Securing this exhibition was a real coup for the Lillie. We want to make the most of it while we have it with us, so we decided to use this opportunity to celebrate all things Tam O’Shanter, and of course Burns. I believe it has something for everyone and is Scottish culture at its best.”

A manuscript copy of ‘Tam O’Shanter’ in Robert Burns own hand will also be on display during the exhibition.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, said: “This exhibition is a national treasure and I hope as many local people as possible come along to see it. You’re never too young – or old – to appreciate the great works of Burns and I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to sample TAMfest.”

“East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Museums Galleries Scotland and other funders in making TAMfest possible, and South Ayrshire Council and East Ayrshire Leisure for the works on loan in the exhibition.”

To book any of these events call 0141 777 3143 or email your request to: edlc.bookings@eastdunbarton.gov.uk.

TAMfest leaflets will be available on the EDLC website, as well as in cultural services venues.