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Whirling into Shetland from Wed 28 July - Tues 3 August.

Dance Artist Rob Heaslip revives the cultural tradition of 'The Strawboys', as he unveils his vibrant new pop-up work, up to forty times, in several unexpected outdoor locations across Shetland, Orkney, Caithness, the Highlands and Aberdeenshire in July and August 2021.

Strawboys is the second work in Rob Heaslip's trilogy, exploring rituals of death, life and birth amongst the Gaels, the people on the north-western edge of Europe.

Featuring luminous straw dancers whirling to Balkan inspired beats, the work is a unique spin on the cultural tradition of ‘The Strawboys’, also known as Mummers, Guisers, Burdie Boys and Skekklers. The groups were often identified by their ornate straw costumes while out rambling streets, fields, towns and parks, parading their merriment to the joy of onlookers. Having once thrived across Scotland and Ireland, the tradition is now enjoying a revived interest, notably as the Wren Boys of Ireland and the Skekklers of Shetland.

The performance features professional dancers Jack Anderson, Joanne Pirrie, Taylor Han, Tess Letham. Composers Zoe Katsilerou and Eilon Morris infuse lively Balkan vibes to match the colour popping costumes and woven masks of Costume Designer Alison Brown.

Strawboys is supported by Creative Scotland's Touring Fund. The summer 2021 tour takes place in partnership with Shetland Arts, Lyth Arts Centre, Kristin Linklater, Eden Court, Voice Centre, NEAT and the Barn.

Join us for FREE at the dates, times and locations below. Performance lasts 25 minutes and is suitable for all ages.




Wed 28 Jul



Thu 29 Jul


South Mainland Pool


Scalloway Pool

Fri 30 Jul


West Mainland Leisure Centre


Skeld Caravan and Campsite

Sat 31 Jul


Yell Leisure Centre


Old Haa Museum

Sun 1 Aug


North Mainland Leisure Centre

Tue 3 Aug




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