Alyth’s first outing as a professional actor was in 1998 as WPC Seonag MacFarlane in Scottish Television’s Gaelic soap opera ‘Machair’ but it was her theatre work with Dogstar Theatre Company that would launch her career as a stage actor.
Making her debut appearances in Dogstar’s award winning productions The Captain’s Collection and Seven Ages, written by Hamish MacDonald, would spark a lasting relationship with the company. The Captain’s Collection also became an award winning BBC Radio Scotland series and, more recently, Alyth and the rest of the Dogstar company took Seven Ages to the Ukraine were after her performance she was offered a job with the National Theatre Company in L’viv. Dogstar restaged The Captain’s Collection at Celtic Connections in 2013 and are hoping to tour it again.
McCormack has; ‘a sensitive dynamic, revealing a gift for comedy and movement.’ The Scotsman
She’s played roles with with Scottish Ballet, Dance Productions, Theatre Hebrides, Birds of Paradise, Rightlines Productions, TOSG, theatrecollective@highland, Wee Stories, ‘Some productions storylines were humorous, some tragic, but all engaging’ and recently fulfilled an ambition by performing with Dundee Rep’s award winning theatre company in the part of Queen Guinevere in their production of Sleeping Beauty.
In 2003 Alyth found herself cast in the Wee Stories touring production Arthur – The Story of a King. Touring in Scotland, England and Ireland the show would win the Equity Award for Best Show for Children and Young People at the 2004 TMA Theatre Awards.
‘Not since Monty Python has King Arthur been this much fun. Absolutely top class theatre.’ Sunday Herald
2004 came brought the offer of the female lead in the musical On Eagles Wing, directed by Tony award winning director Ian McIlhenny.
The show opened in Belfast’s Odyssey Arena to an audience of 6,500 and told the story of; ‘Three great cultures, Scotland, Ireland, America. Forged together in the fire of History’. On Eagle’s Wing toured again in both Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2008 with Alyth again in the lead role and it is hoped it will be touring again.
‘Most memorable is the remarkable singing and haunting presence of Hebridean Alyth McCormack as the universal mother figure, the guiding spirit of this perilous odyssey to a place where cultural difference is celebrated not condemned.’ Jane Coyle, The Irish Times
Then there was Cameron Macintosh’s Quest for a Highland Musical in 2005. From 150 entries worldwide, Alyth found herself in the cast of one of the five finalist shows. Whisky Kisses, written by Dave Smith & Euan Martin with music by Jim Bryce was pitched against the other finalists in an ‘X-factor’ style battle over a week in Ullapool.
‘Ullapool had never seen anything quite like it – locals discussed the proceedings on street corners and the bars were certainly sad to see us go!’ While Whisky Kisses didn’t win, Alyth remained on board to help with the show’s development before it finally made it into full production at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe it toured in Scotland again in the summer of 2010.
Back to film, and Alyth’s role in Simon Arthur’s 2007 short film, Rebel Song, set in 17th century Scotland was well received at film festivals at home and abroad.
That same summer would see her take part in what Alyth describes as; ‘A truly amazing performance.’
St Kilda – Island Of The Bird People was a spectacular opera production that took place simultaneously in five different EU countries incorporating film, dance, theatre and acrobatics beamed by satellite. The St Kilda Opera – L’ile des Hommes d’Ouiseax opened the Edinburgh International Festival August 2009 at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.