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Dolina MacLennan

Dolina MacLennan is a Gaelic writer, actress, singer and storyteller renowned as one of the originators of the Edinburgh folk scene of the 1960s. Brought up in Marvig, Lewis, Dolina was introduced to drama and the great Gaelic bàrds at the Nicolson Institute and would go on to devote her life to writing, singing, acting, broadcasting and political campaigning. She became well known for her role in the ground-breaking 7:84 stage play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil which changed the face of Scottish theatre and politics in the 1970s. She regularly presented and appeared in Gaelic radio and TV as well as writing scripts. In 1976 she came up with a milestone in Gaelic broadcasting – a radio soap Na Moireasdanaich (The Morrisons) for which she wrote all 54 episodes. She appeared in the long-running Gaelic TV soap Machair from 1992 to 1998, and in series such as Hamish Macbeth. Her big-screen credits have included the acclaimed Gaelic film Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle, The Legend of Barney Thomson and The Queen.

Her memoir, An Island Girl’s Journey was published in 2014. In recognition of her significant contribution to Scotland’s life and culture, she received the Saltire Society’s Fletcher of Saltoun Award in 2012. In 2016 she was awarded the the Services to Gaelic award as part of the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, as well as an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University.

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