When Mountains Meet

Anne Wood

Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow
26 January, 2023

Surprise was on the faces of all during this performance to dispel the ages and separations in culture, class, style and a hard hitting story were brought to life by traditions of meeting as friend with a leap in the Connections stage. “When mountains meet” had as subtitle; Jub Milain Pahaar: a musical adventure from Scotland to Pakistan. This gave the evening something good to grip onto and take hold of in a big way.

The subtitle acted as a kind of recognition of the fine arts of theatre and music that was above exquisitely put together. In the spirit of the Connections, who are celebrating 30 years of hard and very fun work they yearly bring together. To the delight of all in well attended shows that differ wildly and yet are connected in the world wide (Scottish) festival.

The gorgeous church hall/room saw shadows stretch up with a feeling of a low fire burning in the deep. That burning was this most gracious and temper able play/gig that got straight into the state of story. Old Celtic clothes and shawls were worn by the 4 piece band on stage providing such a great basis for the music, while Pakistani clothes were worn by the actors who stayed to one side of the room or roamed freely through the seated audience.

It’s a long way from Scotland to Pakistan and it was a journey well made as to mimic the true story of a long absent and even unknown father who for Anne Wood lived on the other side of the world. But she decides to go anyway seeing it as a return to a home she had long not seen. Coming together were every track that you can think of in a musical and theatrical and very softly spoken and unintrusive telling that was so well.

They travel as Anne one and all together through sights of such brilliance as to be celebrated as they stood to celebrate every theme by singing, dancing, swinging of the best of taste and the most compelling tale where the whole room rooted for Anne. But it was all cut short to the shock of our protagonist when her own father denounced her as taboo as he tried to make her world into something she was not used to.

The spirit of fusion is very much alive at the Connections and has been since the beginning when they decided to give it an international stage. The work does nothing less than forge and form collaborations and this work “When Mountains Meet” were as vividly and triumphantly seen as to move closer and further away from each other with the epic emotional seismic, joyous hearts. Hearts that go through every level with the courage of conviction winning out on splendid and attractive proportions.

It was a night of mystery, uncertainty, pain and regret but it held up a torch to a room filled with praise and love. The journey described was remarkable, beautiful, refreshing and soulful. And a definite benevolence poured through in the interactions, as compassion and reasonability won the day. A play/gig about abandonment, and choosing the right paths to tread – the ones where you never know how things may end or come to be.

An exciting, enthralling, magical evening from wardrobe to expert fusions of style that though are so far away from each other and so distinctly similar. A grouping of storytelling very enthusiastically moulded for the stage that spilled into the room, I thank them with gratitude for a great time.

Daniel Donnelly

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