Diamonds are Forever
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will take an unusual tack this year, with the 62nd performance set to be one of the most unique in the event’s history.
Twelve pipe bands from across the globe will tie together an improbable and delightful ensemble of stories and characters, celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 60th year on the throne with an exploration of “the seismic changes in our society and in the world over her reign”, Brigadier David Allfrey, Tattoo Chief Executive and producer explains.
The Diamond Jubilee is at the heart of this year’s Tattoo, but the performance will begin in a setting well before the United Kingdom existed, as the sound of a Bronze Age carnyx – an ancient horn – accompanies a Pictish warrior in his discovery of a shiny pebble. In the revealing of the diamond beneath the dust, the Brigadier explains, we see the importance of skill, knowledge and industry, as the pebble is transformed into a gift fit for a Queen.
Dancers will then introduce one of Scotland’s most famous products, showing the spinning and weaving of Tweed, and continue the industrial theme with the narrative of Scotch Whisky. A musical interlude between the stories of these two iconic products will featured music inspired by the Disney/Pixar film Brave.
Australian performers will trace the transition from colony to present day, and others will join in celebrating Scotland’s history of engineering with a dance piece inspired by the work in a foundry. And it will be the Top Secret Gun Corps from Basel, Switzerland whose precision drumming will evoke the rapid growth in communications and computing technology during the 20th Century.
The Tattoo will also welcome some unexpected guest performers, as childhood characters Dennis and Menace and Minnie the Minx join the bands on the Castle Esplanade.
This incredible performance will climax in an orchestral re-enactment of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation of 1953, with projected images, church bells and voice-overs bringing the event into high relief against the dramatic Castle backdrop.
The Lone Piper will then make his famous appearance playing the haunting lament Crags of Tumbledown from high on the Castle ramparts.
But the mood will lift again, as the songs Diamonds are Forever and Auld Lang Syne are played to draw the evening to a close in a display of colour and sound that promises to be spellbinding.
The Brigadier remarked: “Diamonds are forever and I would encourage everyone to dust off their tiaras and … bring out a bit of bling!”
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will run from the 3rd to the 25th of August. Book your tickets here.