SCOTS comedian and actor Karen Dunbar is to introduce community groups to the joys of rap to help combat isolation during the pandemic.

She is also part of a virtual tour which will offer a panoramic view of Scotland under lockdown.

Before that is staged in April, she will be hosting rap sessions through her online Spoken Word Club.

The sessions, which aim to spread positivity, are in partnership with Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre and follow a successful pilot project with members of the Citizens’ Community Collective last year.

Dunbar said rapping was the “ideal” creative activity for lockdown.

“I love hip-hop, I’ve always loved it,” she said.

“It is essentially spoken word performance – and I’m an actor so that’s a big part of what I do.

“With its empowering lyrics and feel-good beats, it seemed like the ideal creative activity for lockdown.”

She said she was looking forward to the sessions as the pilots had been very successful.

“Some folks liked rap, some weren’t so keen, but by the end of the workshops they were all right intae it,” said Dunbar.

The workshops will cover lyric writing, beat making and performance techniques, culminating in a celebratory showcase event featuring some special guest artists.

The Spoken Word Club members are from the Citizens’ regular groups, including senior citizens who have never rapped before, learning-disabled performers, and care-experienced young people.

It is one of several online initiatives developed by the Citizens Theatre in response to Covid-19 restrictions in order to stay connected to the many communities the theatre serves across Glasgow.

Elly Goodman, community drama artist, said it was vital that it continued to reach out to people during the pandemic, especially to those who had been badly affected.

“Karen’s entertaining and empowering workshops are a fun way for people to come together online and try something completely new,” she said.

Dunbar is also to star in Distance Remaining, a new show from the team behind Islander: A New Musical.

The show goes into production next month and there will be a virtual tour across Scottish venues, with the show available to watch across the country via their online portals during the four weeks of screenings.

In the show, Dunbar plays a volunteer driver on a delivery round that quickly descends into a bolt for freedom during the first lockdown last year.

Meanwhile, a pensioner played by Dolina MacLennan makes an epic journey across her living room, and a teenager played by Reuben Joseph finally looks up from his phone to take in the world around him.

Writer Stewart Melton said that like many others he had often felt “marooned” during the pandemic and cut off from the people and activities he loves.

“Perhaps as a result, I am very curious about how we all differently engage with separation and solitude and find what we need within ourselves and our immediate surroundings,” he said.

“In writing Distance Remaining, I have loved following all three characters’ adventures as they confront, overcome or reconcile with their loneliness – they have helped me feel less alone and I hope they will be good company to others too.”

The virtual tour of Distance Remaining is from April 14 until May 9 hosted by theatres across Scotland.

More information regarding Citizens’ learning projects can be found at