Over 1000 performers from the Army, this year’s lead service, along with a wealth of talent from around the world will join forces to stage a spectacular 60th Anniversary programme of music, song, dance and drama at this year’s Diamond Jubilee Tattoo on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle from August 6-28.
Among the many attractions lined-up for this year’s Tattoo is a thrilling display of daredevil motorcycling, award-winning pipe music, the best of British Military Bands, breathtaking gymnastics, enthralling never-before-seen overseas artistes and an all-action antipodean exhibition of top-flight entertainment.
“2010 will see one of the most colourful productions we’ve staged in the northern hemisphere”, said Tattoo Chief Executive & Producer, Major General Euan Loudon, preparing for his fourth Tattoo at the production helm.
“And”, he added, “this special show features a celebration of 60 years of the Tattoo, recognising the incredible encouragement the Tattoo has received from some 12 million people who have now walked across the Castle Esplanade to witness the annual gathering.”
To open this year’s distinctive Diamond Jubilee production will be the very essence of the event, the heart-stopping and unique sound of the Massed Pipes & Drums, featuring an enormous band – 12 pipe bands in all – embracing the very best pipe bands from across the globe.
This large massed pipe band will be brought together from the ranks of the Classical Brit Award- winning Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The Royal Dragoon Guards, The Queen’s Royal Hussars, 1st Royal Tank Regiment, 19th Regiment, Royal Artillery, The Highland Gunners, 40th Regiment, Royal Artillery, The Lowland Gunners, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, which this year marks its centenary. While from overseas, the South Australia Police, Cape Town’s South African Irish, The Citadel Pipes from the Military College of South Carolina in the United States, along with the Swiss Highlanders complete the prodigious pipe band participant roster.
Making their long-awaited Tattoo debut is the impressive Representative Band of the Border Guard of the Republic of Poland – instantly recognisable by their green capes, round hats and eagle feather.
Said the Producer: “I am delighted to welcome the first Polish performers to appear at the Tattoo. Their dynamic display of music and movement will be something to behold.”
One guaranteed crowd-pleaser will be the amazing 38-strong Imps Motorcycle Display Team. Sporting their immaculate red tunics combined with their highly charged, nerve-jangling presentations, the Imps have consistently provided mesmerising displays of breathtaking skill and precision. This year the Imps celebrate their 40th anniversary.
Also in attendance this year will be The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes from Charleston in South Carolina. These military college bands participated at the Tattoo 19 years ago and their return as the 2010 United States representatives contributing towards this special birthday occasion is enthusiastically anticipated.
Distinguished by the smartness of their turnout as well as their standard of drill heralds the return of The Band of The Royal Gurkha Regiment with an electrifying presentation of Accelerando, featuring flawless marching at an incredible 140 paces per minute.
A colourful and exciting display of traditional dance then showcases the skills of a combined 100-strong dance troupe drawn from the Tattoo’s Kinloch Anderson Highland Dancers together with a young group from New Zealand, embracing wonderful melodies such as The De’il Among the Tailors and The Reel of Tulloch.
And as a contrast to this traditional item, 77 armed forces musicians from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, accompanied by a 24-strong Drill Team, a Mounted Honour Guard – astride 8 military horses – and its six member Circassian Guard of Honour, will show off their skills with an exhilarating Middle Eastern display. For further information visit www.echoesfromjordan.com
Some of the British Army’s finest gymnasts will then enter the arena with an energetic exhibition of physical strength, flexibility, agility, co-ordination, balance and grace. This year the Army’s Physical Training Corps celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Musical entertainment from the southern hemisphere is then expected to enthral 217,000 Tattoo-goers as New Zealand’s internationally popular big brass band - The New Zealand Army Band – takes to the arena with its world-class instrumentalists, marching prowess and a few surprises.
One of the highlights of this year’s performance will be the appearance of the prestigious Military Bands of The Grenadier and Coldstream Guards – led by their renowned Corps of Drums – who parade under the Senior Director of Music The Guards Division and 2010 Tattoo Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones.
The Royal Jordanian Army Band, The New Zealand Army Band, The Representative Band of the Border Guard of the Republic of Poland, The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas and The Citadel Regimental Band from the United States will join them for a rousing collective musical demonstration.
The Massed Pipes & Drums will then assemble alongside the Massed Military Bands to perform time-honoured favourites such as A Hundred Pipers and Old Rustic Bridge.
Soloists from the Opera School of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama will accompany the combined bands on military tribute, Here’s to the Heroes. An Oscar-winning John Barry composition, which has taken the music charts by storm.
“Importantly”, General Loudon emphasised, “this Tattoo will provide a profusion of variety from around the world, which will I hope, stand as fitting testimony to the traditions of Edinburgh’s famous Tattoo and a celebration of its Diamond Jubilee.”
The Grand Finale, which pays tribute to the Tattoo’s 60th birthday, then brings the show to a climactic crescendo before the enduring symbol of the Tattoo, the Lone Piper, silhouetted against the night sky plays the hauntingSleep Dearie Sleep. This year the son of the first Lone Piper – Major Gavin Stoddart – returns to this coveted role for the BBC TV recording evenings.
While 3rd Battalion The Rifles will provide the Guard of Honour each evening, members of Scotland’s Cadet Organisations will proudly parade from 16-20 August during this year’s Finale sequence to mark their 150th Anniversary.
“Ticket applications from home and overseas suggest this year may well live up to its predecessor” said the Tattoo’s Chief Executive.
A limited number of half-price tickets for the Preview performance on Thursday 5 August 2010 at 9.30pm are still available (priced £8.00 to £25.00). These can be purchased online at www.edintattoo.co.uk, from the credit/debit card hotline (0131 225 1188) or in person from The Tattoo Ticket Sales Office at 33-34 Market Street in Edinburgh.