The Airts Burns Club Burns Suppers are famed for their centrepiece plays mid way throughout the evening. These plays last approximately 30 minutes are based on certain aspects of Burns' life and work.

There are 4 plays performed by the Airts members, one play staged each year in rotation. The four plays are The Holy Fair, The Jolly Beggars, 1801 and Reflective Burns.

The first 2 plays are enactments of Burns' great dramatic poems of the same name. The Airts members assuming the roles of the characters named in the poems.

The Jolly Beggars is a straight performance of Burns' work but The Holy Fair incorporates other songs and pieces from the pen of Burns (particularly "The Kirk's Alarm") interspersed throughout the poem to capture the atmosphere of a "Holy Fair Gathering".

"1801" was written by Davie Jefferies who also conceived the idea of performing the "Jolly Beggars". Davie was an Airts stalwart over decades, former Chairman of our club and a renowned Burns expert and historian. The theme of 1801 was the gathering together of several of Burns' friends in 1801 at his birthplace to reminisce about their friend and pay tribute to his memory. This is now widely accepted as being the first gathering of such a nature and has now transformed into the celebration of a Burns Supper as we know it today. Although the first gathering of his friends is now accepted to have taken place at the anniversary of his death in July, "1801" is set in the month of January in celebration of his birth. A little poetic licence used to highlight the inconsistencies in the earliest biographies of Burns - particularly Dr James Currie who originally misquoted Burns' date of birth.

The theme of "Reflective Burns" was written by another stalwart and legend in the Airts - John Hogg. This play portrays Robert Burns spending some time in reflective mood over certain aspects of his past life and brings his human character to the fore as much as demonstrating his poetical genius and love of song and music.

These four centrepiece plays are included on this website for your perusal and enjoyment.

The Jolly Beggars                    1801                    The Holy Fair                    Reflective Burns