Weel duin tae Taylor Dyson wha hae bin nominatit in Scots Performer o the Year sponsored by Tracs in the Scots Language Awards. Vote now!
The Scots Language Awards are in the Johstone Toon Ha, Johnstone on 16th September at 7pm. Tickets fir the ceremony are available tae buy here: https://handsup.link/SLA-BuyTickets.
We askit Taylor Dyson o Taylor Dyson thae speirins.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
Taylor Dyson is a Dundonian performer and playwright. She co-runs Dundee based theatre company, Elfie Picket Theatre. Taylor is passionate about Scots language in her poetry and plays, creating work that represents Dundonian, working class stories and championing the language. She is dedicated to creating an accessible theatre scene in Dundee, taking plays to community spaces and working with charities in the city.
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
I've been brought up with a family o' very strong, very Dundonian wummin'. I started writing my own work when I was 19 or 20 and I automatically wrote in Scots. I found it the only way to really express myself. I look back and realise all the plays and poetry I've connected with the most has been in some variation of Scots. I am super passionate about the language, I get enraged with the stigma surrounding it and it fires me up more to keep on performing and writing in Scots.
Why dae ye feel it is important tae use Scots in everyday life?
I just love hearing Scots, in any way, it can be the most mundane sentence, an argument, a whispered comment, an exclamation o' adoration, any person of any age speaking in it.
I think it's so incredibly cool that we have a unique language in Scotland, and that it changes from region to region. I think it's important to no mak' people feel ashamed or embarrassed about speaking the wiy we speak and that we should be so proud to have a language that has survived years o' oppression, and to keep encourgaing people to use it in any setting- that it's no 'unprofessional' or 'silly'.
Dae ye hae a favourite Scots phrase or saying?
There's too many to choose fae! I love so many words and sayings. Something that always gets me though is "What's fur ye'll no go by ye".
I don't think it's necessarily a saying, but I used to love when I was younger and my Gran would iy say "Tell Ben tae come ben, if he doesna come ben, tell Ben, eh'll be ben tae bring Ben ben".
Is there a Scots speaker who inspires you?
I love that so many people in Dundee speak it without trying to. It's just how we talk. My family and community inspire me to use Scots in a creative way and to cherish it. I'm also hugely inspired by Scots poets and writers like Liz Lochhead.
Do you hear Scots spoken regularly in your local area? Have you noticed any changes over time?
I feel like I hear it all the time in Dundee. I think myself and a lot of my friends use Scots in some way or other. I think people my age are less embarrassed to speak in Scots now- I'm no saying everyone speaks entirely in Scots, but I hear it more. I think that there's definitely a hope amongst a lot of people to keep Scots alive, and I see it with local artists and poets, etc.
Ony particlar career heighlichts
I've had a few over the last 12 months. I toured my play called 'Dolly Parton Saved My Life' last year in community spaces across Dundee, Fife and East Renfrewshire. It was an amazing experience to take theatre into spaces for free and to be able to do a 2 hour social event after, in which we met the audience and had a great day oot for people. It was such a joy to bring a play about Dundonian wummin', spoken realistically and not shying away from the reality a lot of people face, but also finding the joy and beauty in it.
I performed my award winning one wummin' show-"ANE CITY" at Dundee Rep Theatre in April this year. A show about a young wummin' visiting hame and going on a journey of self discovery after a night oot in Dundee. It's a show about a working class wummin's experience, with realising the reality of what moving up and out actually means. It's filled with poetry, comedy and music. I loved being able to finally perform it in Dundee, to a largely local audience and for the audience to have given such a wonderful response. I was so happy to be able to use Scots in a comedic and dramatic way and to feel that the response was positive from the audience.
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
I want to keep making work in Dundee, writing and performing, and also continuing to create work with my theatre company, Elfie Picket Theatre. We are hoping to keep working in communities and we are currently trying to get a new project off the ground inspired by Scottish folklore, which we are super excited for.
The Scots Language Awards are in the Johnstone Toon Ha, Johnstone on 16th September at 7pm. Tickets are available to buy here: https://handsup.link/SLA-BuyTickets There wull be some grand entertainmint oan the nicht tae, includin a recital fae Renfrewshire’s poet laureate Shaun Moore,wha wis appointit as the region’s Tannahill Makar last year. talks fae weel regairdit Scots scrievers Cat Cochrane an Shane Strachan, alang wi musical performances fae celebratit multi-instumentalist brithers Euan and Lewis McLaughlin, an sangster Iona Fyfe.
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