Off on a Bearsden shark hunt!

This year’s Bearsden Festival team have created an interactive theatre show touring every primary school in the area this month.

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Cellist Simone Seales and actor Raymond Wilson at the site of the famous Bearsden shark fossil
Cellist Simone Seales and actor Raymond Wilson at the site of the famous Bearsden shark fossil

It is all thanks to an award from the Year of Stories 2022 Community Fund,

The fabulous piece of musical storytelling will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the famous Bearsden Shark fossil in the Manse Burn near Baljaffray back in 1982.

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Local children will be introduced to Sam and Jo, a pair of time-travelling fossil hunters who will take them on a journey through Space and Time to discover the shark swimming in a tropical lagoon 330 million years ago, when Bearsden was part of a prehistoric landmass close to the equator.

The audience will also be introduced to the poem, The Bearsden Shark, by Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s first Makar (or poet laureate) who was a Bearsden resident.

Bearsden Festival Association chair, Jane Gordon said: “The Bearsden Festival is all about making our community a more vibrant place to live and promoting wellbeing for everyone, so we really wanted our first live post-pandemic event to be something entertaining for all the children who have missed out on a lot of fun over the last two years.

"As well as learning something exciting about their local environment, we just want them to enjoy themselves. An adapted version of the show will also tour local care homes and sheltered housing in order to revive our successful 2019 “Festival at Home” for senior citizens now that we are allowed to visit them again.”

Councillor Lynda Williamson, Convener of East Dunbartonshire Council's Education Committee praised the Bearsden Festival team.

She said: "This performance promises to be a fun and exciting way for children to learn a bit about their local history, keeping it alive for future generations. It is fabulous we can welcome performers into our schools once again."

The show, devised and directed by theatre maker Hannah Justad, will be performed by actor Raymond Wilson and cellist Simone Seales.

Further events this summer include a Community Film School for young people and families and a Poetry Please evening in celebration of Scots poet Edwin Morgan.