IT was the biggest vote in Scotland’s history, yet there has been very little theatre or art telling the tale of the 2014 independence referendum.

Welcome to the stage, Alba. This production by Action Theatre Scotland thrusts us right back into the high emotion of Yes Scotland vs Better Together, but homes in on one of the most intriguing aspects of the ballot – the lowering of the voting age from 18 to 16.

Alba follows the story of Paul – played by the hugely talented Christopher Nicol – who, along with his classmates at Alba High, faces his first ever political vote.

The audience watches him as he grows from an arrogant, self-centred troublemaker who doesn’t give a jot about politics and thinks he’s destined for the dole, into a boy who wants to make his voice heard and give himself a chance in life.

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Nicol delivers a cheeky yet heartwarming performance which will resonate with millennials who were handed a surprise pass to the ballot box for one of the country’s most defining moments.

As he tries to make sense of Scotland’s past from Mrs Lindale’s somewhat innovative history lessons, and grapple with his argumentative parents who are on opposite sides of the debate, Paul gradually comes to terms with the weight of the decision that is on his shoulders while trying to navigate life in working-class Glasgow.

Throughout the show, there are other standout performances from L.J Aitken who plays Paul’s bullish friend Craig and Brandon Ferguson as history buff Peter. Alongside Nolan, all three of them clearly have bright futures in the theatre. Aitken, in particular, silences the room during a fit of rage as he struggles with his emotions around his grandmother suffering with dementia in a care home. It’ll leave a lump in the throat.  

There are original songs throughout, mostly played out in Mrs Lindale’s history lessons. There is obvious inspiration from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and many of them are catchy and fun, but with almost all of them you felt they needed a bit of a polish. The composition was a little clunky and lazy at times. Some harmony and better diction, for example, would’ve given much more depth to some numbers, while the lyrics could have been more creative overall. That said, they all had solid foundations and much promise, with the last ballad “Aye or Naw” by far and away the best tune that was well placed in the story and, at points, got the spine tingling.

This was largely a young cast trying to capture the energy of a highly-charged time in Scotland’s history that admittedly has barely been touched by creative minds since the vote took place and audiences will be left impressed by the talent on display.

Writers Jordan Howat and Jack Byrne should be applauded for tackling a topic which remains sensitive to this day and successfully delivering the message that young people’s voices matter and must be heard.

Alba will be on at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, 3 Chambers Street. August 2-13 at 11.15am. Tickets £11 for adults, £10 for concessions. Tickets can be bought here.