Special Screening - How The Earth Must See Itself (A Thirling)


“So there I lie … between the fire of the rock and the fire of the sun, scree, soil and water, moss, grass, flower and tree, insect, bird and beast, wind, rain and snow – the total mountain.” — Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain.

An evocative and atmospheric homage to Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains, How the Earth Must See Itself is a new short film based on Aberdeen writer Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain, and artist Simone Kenyon’s Into The Mountain project.

Filmed on S16mm film, with a dreamlike voiceover by Shirley Henderson this sensuous film takes us on a journey into the ecologies of Glen Feshie inspired by Shepherd’s unique approach to being in the mountains.

A cast of five dancers, an evocative polyvocal score and a natural soundscape echo the sounds of a living mountain with choreography and weathered images bringing the mountain’s life to the screen.

A pioneer of women’s mountain-walking, Shepherd’s original prose is born out of total immersion in the Cairngorms’ landscape. This visual companion piece, to both Shepherd’s The Living Mountain and Kenyon’s Into The Mountain performance project invites us to experience a meditative, visceral and poetic being with the mountain, its ecologies and the nature encountered.

A short film produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

Based on the book The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd and performance project Into The Mountain by Simone Kenyon.

A film by Lucy Cash and Simone Kenyon.


Performed by: Jo Hellier, Claricia Parinussa, Caroline Reagh, Keren Smail and Petra Söör,
Into the Mountain Choir.
Voiceover by: Shirley Henderson
Voice Over Text: Extracts from The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd.

With thanks to Erlend Clouston and the literary estate of Nan Shepherd.



Accessible performances available:

  • Wheelchair Accessible


Creative team

How The Earth Must See Itself

How The Earth Must See Itself  is a new short film project conceived and developed by Edinburgh-based artist and choreographer Simone Kenyon and filmmaker Lucy Cash. It is created in response to Kenyon’s performance project Into The Mountain and takes inspiration from celebrated Scottish poet and writer Nan Shepherd and her book The Living Mountain.

Find out more about the film