Theatre preview: Calum's Road @ Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Published by METRO

We often associate our roads with misery, don’t we? And with good reason, too – traffic jams, fuel prices and potholes aren’t much fun.

Never mind though, eh – you’ll be fine! You take the train every morning. You just pick up a Metro, take your seat, and relax.

But imagine what it would be like if there were no roads at all. Sure, you can still theoretically have your daily commute by rail, but think about how impossible it would be visit relatives in rural Dumfries and Galloway, go on a Highland road trip, or tour the distilleries of Islay.

Hold that thought. Now let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, in late 1940s, on Raasay – an island between the mainland and Skye – there lived a man who wanted a road built to serve his community. The local authorities refused, despite his pleading for more than 20 years, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. The man’s name was Calum, and with his pick, shovel and wheelbarrow, he started to make a road all by himself. A two-mile track was the fruit of his labour, but by the time of completion – a decade after he began the project – almost everyone had left the area.

However, it wasn’t all in vain. His efforts have not only merited a place in Scottish folklore, they’ve now been written for the stage in a joint production by the National Theatre of Scotland and the Communicado Theatre Company. Adapted by David Harrower and directed by Gerry Mulgrew, there’s something fitting about the fact that this tale is touring the whole country. At it’s core, it illuminates a truly Scottish grit. It will also start and end its life where its hero did – beginning its run in Glasgow before finishing up in Raasay itself.

With winter arriving, this might be just the thing to warm your heart.