SCOTTISH culture has a deep love affair with Sunset Song, the first novel in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s famous trilogy A Scots Quair.

In addition to stage adaptations early in this century ­(directed by Benjamin Twist, and later Kenny ­Ireland), Terence Davies made a ­memorable film version in 2015.

It isn’t ­difficult to see the attraction for dramatists of this tale of tortured family relations, iron-clad social ­conventions and disputatious politics in rural Kincardineshire.

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Gibbon (who was born and raised in the north-east of Scotland) wrote about the land, nature and farm labour with the passionate, observant understanding of a Scottish Thomas Hardy. ­

Indeed, he portrayed the lives of the ­people who worked the land, and of the women in particular, with a forensic humanism similar to that of the author of Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure.

Add to that the impact of the First World War, Gibbon’s strongly held revolutionary ­socialist convictions and his use of the Doric tongue of the people of The Mearns (as ­Kincardineshire is also known), and one has a prose fiction that positively overflows with ­dramatic ­possibilities.

The National: An adaptation of Sunset Song is in Dundee until the beginning of May. 

All of which makes this new staging (by Dundee Rep in co-production with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) a good deed in our proverbially (and increasingly) naughty world.

Adapted by writer Morna Young (herself a daughter of the north east) and directed by Finn den Hertog, this production (which tours to Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh) is a thing of considerable beauty. Like Gibbon’s novel, its story is told from the perspective of Chris Guthrie, the clever and free-willed ­daughter of the brutal, pious farmer John and his ­long-suffering wife Jean.

Danielle Jam is cast perfectly as Chris, ­bringing to the role all of the necessary warmth, energy, intelligence and a delightfully lyrical ­facility in north-eastern Scots.

Director den Hertog has built around her a universally superb ensemble of seven ­actor-musicians who perform with verve Finn ­Anderson’s atmospheric score (which expertly combines folk and rock elements).

They play on designer Emma Bailey’s ­excellent, semi-abstract set, in which lanes of soil are set between iron tracks. These are placed in front of a wall that seems to have been streaked in mud as if by Mark Rothko or ­Gerhard Richter.

The production evokes brilliantly the ­moralistic gossip and political conflict (not least over the war and the draft) within the ­fictional rural community of Kinraddie. Ali Craig gives a powerfully disturbing ­performance as John Guthrie (a man whose authoritarian violence and sexual barbarism cloak a deep ­self-loathing).

Elsewhere cross-gender casting leaves the piece open to initial confusions. However, things soon fall into place, not least in the ­ever-excellent Naomi Stirrat’s compelling ­performance as Chris’s brother Will.

The production boasts emotive ­choreography by Vicki Manderson and – to den Hertog’s ­credit – some smart theatrical devices (both ­visual and aural) to represent moments of ­violence. Beautifully constructed and ­impressively ­coherent, this is a first-class ­adaptation of a great Scottish novel.

Tickets for Dundee Rep production until May 4 available HERE, then touring until June 8.