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The Road to the Big Screen


The film director of period drama, The Road Dance, which was shot entirely on the Isle of Lewis, told audience members at a special preview screening in Stornoway, that he hopes to return to the island with his family.

Richie Adams was talking in a pre-recorded Q&A at the event held in An Lanntair arts centre yesterday (Thursday, 5 May), organised by national tourism body, VisitScotland, destination management organisation, Outer Hebrides Tourism, and film distributors, Parkland Entertainment.

The Road Dance, based on the book of the same name by STV News presenter and author John MacKay, was filmed on the island in October and November of 2020 – the first production to be shot on the island during the pandemic – and is set for release on 20 May.

Filming predominantly took place at the restored Gearrannan Black House Village near Carloway on the west coast.

To celebrate the film’s upcoming release and the involvement of local businesses and crew in its production, a special invitation-only preview screening was held yesterday (Thursday) including a pre-recorded Q&A with cast and crew discussing the film and their experience on the island. The event was attended by author John MacKay and featured live music from the film’s score played by composer, Alasdair White, with attendees also treated to Isle of Harris Gin.

It is hoped that The Road Dance will encourage further productions and have a legacy through screen tourism – whereby visitors are inspired to visit a location after seeing it on-screen. Past big screen productions in the Outer Hebrides include 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Whisky Galore! (1949) and Limbo (2021).

In the Q&A, Richie Adams, who lives in the USA, said:

He said he felt “immediately at home” when he arrived and would love to return with his family to explore the area.

Adams continued:

For Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dracula), who stars in the film as Doctor Maclean, it was his first time in the Outer Hebrides.

Gatiss said:

The Road Dance follows Hermione Corfield as Kirsty MacLeod, who dreams of a better life away from her small village in the Outer Hebrides. However, the outbreak of the First World War and a fateful road dance take her life on a dramatic and tragic turn. Corfield stars alongside Gatiss and Morven Christie.

Victoria Harvey, Outer Hebrides Development Manager at VisitScotland, said:

“It is perfect timing that The Road Dance, which is embedded in the island’s history and culture – and shot entirely on-location – should be released in Scotland’s Year of Stories. We hope viewers will be inspired to seek out the Outer Hebrides and experience this unique destination for themselves.” 

Sarah Maclean, Chief Executive Outer Hebrides Tourism, said:

“Back in 2020 the production brought a welcome boost to a beleaguered local visitor industry and the movie they made puts the majesty of Lewis on screen. Our event celebrated all of that – the beauty of the islands, the resilience of our local businesses and the telling of stories.”

John MacKay, author of The Road Dance, said:


Screen tourism insights:

Official Trailer for The Road Dance: The Road Dance (Official UK Trailer)

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The Road to the Big Screen

Event celebrates upcoming Isle of Lewis film

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ID 111752
Word count 941 words


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