The Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift, is to be transformed into a unique pop-up theatre venue this summer.
Macbeth’s Way and Wiz Around Oz, the new Canal Theatre plays from Scottish Canals, will see guests experience a unique retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish Play’ and L Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel set in the shadow of The Falkirk Wheel.
The new plays, produced by The Walking Theatre Company, build on the success of last year’s first-ever Canal Theatre production, The Resurrection, which saw visitors explore the eerie depths of the Union Canal’s 200-year-old Falkirk Tunnel as they learned about the grisly deeds of ‘resurrection men’ William Burke and William Hare.
More than 750 people joined the pair, who moved from Ireland to Scotland to work as ‘navvies’ constructing the Union Canal in the early 1800s, on a trip through the nation’s last-surviving original canal tunnel. 100% of attendees surveyed stated that they would attend a Canal Theatre production again.
Mark Smith, head of destinations and tourism at Scottish Canals, said: ‘The Falkirk Wheel is one of Scotland’s top tourism attractions but we’re always looking for unique new experiences to offer our visitors. Following its success last year, we’re delighted to bring Canal Theatre to the world’s only rotating boat lift this summer.
‘Whether they’re following the yellow brick road on a family-friendly adventure through the wonderful world of Oz or exploring our rarer monsters in a tale of dark deeds, magic and madness, Canal Theatre will offer our guests an incredible experience. We look forward to welcoming them to what must be one of Scotland’s most unusual theatre venues this July.’
One of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions, The Falkirk Wheel attracts visitors from all over the world keen to marvel at the working sculpture which combines modern engineering and technology with ancient principles set out by Archimedes more than 2000 years ago.
In recent years, Scottish Canals has created a range of new attractions at The Wheel, from water play parks to Segway safaris, in order to generate more income to be reinvested in caring for the nation’s 250-year-old canal network.
Sadie Dixon-Spain, playwright and artistic director at the Walking Theatre Company, said: ‘The Walking Theatre Company is delighted to be heading up the Canal Theatre summer season 2018 at The Falkirk Wheel. This iconic structure, with its stunning modern design immersed in a spectacular heritage landscape, is an inspiring setting for the weaving of magical stories. I’d encourage everyone to come to The Wheel for adventure, laughter, and merry meetings along the water’s edge.’
Tickets for Wiz around Oz at The Wheel and Macbeth’s Way are available now from www.canaltheatre.co.uk, with performances held on 7 and 8 July.