Taking on a production as iconic and treasured as Sunset Song is no easy task. The enduring classic is widely regarded as the most important novel to come out of Scotland, so any adaption of it has to hit the mark and then some. Thankfully, this co-production from Dundee Rep Theatre and the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, directed by Finn den Hertog, does exactly that, bringing us a dynamic and fresh take on Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s enduring tale.

The talented star cast add real depth to the drama. Danielle Jam brings grit and determination to role of Chris. The audience feel her pain and turmoil as she negotiates her difficult and often traumatic life on the farm. Ali Craig delivers a chilling performance as John and Naomi Stirrat is mesmerising as Chris’s brother Will, who rallies against their father’s ways. Rori Hawthorn is heartbreaking as Jean and demonstrates the brutal reality of what it was like to be a woman in the early 20th century.

The setting of this tale is very much a character in its own right. Designer Emma Bailey provides a simplistic but affecting set, which perfectly mirrors the land and sky of Aberdeenshire’s rural landscape, grounding the characters in the land that Chris Guthrie knows and loves so well. The modern-day costumes add a rawness to the drama, reminding the audience that this is a story for the ages. Much of the show’s music and sound effects are created by the actors on stage, making the production a truly immersive experience for the audience.

Morna Young’s adaptation of this sweeping story is simply stunning. The writer brings the women of this piece front and centre, and shows us that this coming of age story, which is filled with violence, sorrow, war, and human resilience, is just as a relevant now as it has ever been. Chris’s story has never been told from her own perspective before, but Young gives this scorching female protagonist a real voice and true agency.

Sunset Song is a poignant, unflinching, and remarkable production that will make you fall in love with Gibbon’s work all over again.