Time Out: “this raucous theatrical dance party”

What would we do without ceilidhs? The Scottish traditional dance has become increasingly popular in recent years. So much so, it’s now the norm to strip the willow in a country barn after a wedding, rather than get pissed in a hotel bar and listen to ‘Agadoo’. 

This is good news. Even better news: you don’t need to wait for your friends to tie the knot to get your ceilidh on. ‘This is Ceilidh’ is a theatrical production-cum-raucous Caledonian dance party that has just transferred from the Edinburgh Fringe, and taken up residence at the London Wonderground on the South Bank. That means that, until August 27, you’ve got the opportunity to learn classic ceilidh moves and listen to some of the best traditional musicians from Scotland, without the £200 train ticket to go north of the border.


The show weaves a narrative around a range of dances, with the audience encouraged to take part at all times. Really, it’s just a good excuse to get a Celtic groove on, with callers whipping up participants into a frenzy. Bear witness to a bald bloke wearing a pair of stag’s antlers and hollering, ’This is walking 500 miles. This is walking 500 more. This is ceilidh!’ – it’s a rousing sight.

The show has another draw. ‘Over 70% of singletons find new lovers at ceilidh dances’ is the entirely made-up statistic offered by the organisers. Still, we’d like to believe that bit of the Highlands’ romantic charm could touch the capital. Imagine, tripping over your feet, falling into the arms of a rugged redhead, then going out for a battered Mars bar after the show. Swoon.

‘This is Ceilidh’ is at the Spiegeltent at London Wonderground until August 27. Tickets from £20.50. Find out more at thisisceilidh.co.uk.