Sole Searching – A Hootenanny comes to the Scottish Parliament !

Three West Fife women performed a “thought-provoking and provocative” social piece about life in Inverkeithing’s Fraser Avenue at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday night and met with Scottish Labour leader kezia dugdale to discuss the initiative and how much they have overcome to develop the performance.

Mary Thomson , Heather Kernachan and  Muriel Houston  who come from Fraser Avenue and Spencerfield Road, put on a performance of ‘Sole Searching – A Hootenanny’, which they also wrote.

The project is an autobiographic political piece which questions their “invisibility” in the system; challenges the perception of people on benefits as “scroungers”; and celebrates their identity, class, and right to positively protest and be seen and heard.

The docudrama stemmed from a ‘provocation’, called ‘Can You Hear Us?’, organised by Inverkeithing Community Initiative, two years ago, where the women created a CD about the issues of living in Fraser Avenue, as they felt “nobody was listening to us”.

The CD in turn helped bring the regeneration of the street forward, and they then received £5000 from the National Lottery for their theatrical piece, which they worked on with Jo Ross from Fife Council’s community learning and development, and Clara Bloomfield, from Tiny Fragments Theatre Company.


Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley, who hosted the reception and performance, invited fellow MSPs and local Fife councillors to attend.

He said, “The performance challenges perceptions of women and families who struggle to get jobs and get by day-to-day. It’s an excellent performance and I’m so glad that I was able to sponsor the women to bring this event to parliament and preform it at the centre of political power where these messages need to be heard .”

“Id like to thank all of those who attended and want to pay a special thanks to Labour, Glasgow list MSP, Anne McTaggart who compared the event and did a fantastic job of welcoming everyone to the parliament and settling some of the pre performance nerves.”

I understand that all those involved in the production thoroughly enjoyed the event and I have been reliably informed that Mary, Heather, Muriel and Gemma (who was unable to attend Wednesdays performance)  are already planning there next project together!”


Post Author: Alex Rowley