A ONE-WOMAN play in Scots, English and Urdu and a celebration of queer Scottish folk music are to be part of this year’s Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.

The 10-day event, which is the largest rural performing arts festival in the world, is returning in May with a programme combining theatre, music, dance, comedy and spoken word.

The National:

Theatre will see award-winning Scottish company Vanishing Point present The Metamorphosis: Unplugged, as well as a brand-new partnership with Glasgow’s Oran Mor to bring A Play, A Pie and A Pint to the region with The Infernal Serpent, a modern twist on an age-old story that looks at how and why people protest.

Tickbox is a one-woman play in Scots, English and Urdu which interweaves the journeys of two Scottish Pakistani women united by blood, passion and determination. For young audiences, Starcatchers and Andy Cannon will bring a family-friendly dinosaur caper that focuses on the passing of time told through theatre and dance.

The National:

In film, Sanctuary Queer Arts, Scotland’s newest arts organisation for LGBTQIA+ artists, present Threads, a new production from Sanctuary’s First National Queer Young Company, a group of 10 LGBTQIA+ artists aged between 18 – 25, celebrating a year of queer creativity and togetherness.

The National:

New for 2022 are the Gallovidian Gathering and the Doonhamers Gathering – brand new ceilidh nights which will bring together local artists for an evening of music, storytelling, theatre and dance, with local food and drink on offer. The gatherings are aimed at offering a new night out for friends and family to share together and fully immerse themselves in the festival atmosphere.

As a result of challenges of the pandemic, last year’s festival saw the introduction of D&G Arts Festival at Hame – bringing artists directly into audiences’ homes online. The platform will continue to bring further accessibility to the festival programme this year, and will run alongside the in-person events.

The 43rd festival will open with music from Bogha-Frois, who bring queer folk musicians based in

Scotland to perform and collaborate together. On the final day, Oi Musica will present The Tubes, a brand new street music band, before joining up with D&G Dance for the culmination of D&G Dance Dare, a challenge to get the whole region dancing, before the festival closes with acclaimed circus theatre company Paper Doll Militia’s powerful aerial circus performance, Egg, the final stop in its long-awaited national tour.

Throughout the festival, top names in comedy will visit Dumfries and Galloway, including Britain’s Got Talent winner and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Lost Voice Guy with his show Cerebral LOL-SY, and award-winning comedy duo Your Dad’s Mum with their Partridge-esque cabaret game show.

Creative director, Melanie Purdie, said: “We look forward to inspiring and engaging audiences, artists, venues and communities across the region this year – offering escapism through a vibrant and diverse programme of world-class performance. We are proud to celebrate and promote local artists and welcome back national companies – returning to venues, outdoor locations and online screens this May.”

The festival will take place from May 20–29.