THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND’S 2016 SEASON – JANUARY TO JULY 2016
TEN DRAMATIC YEARS
Laurie Sansom, artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland, says: “I am delighted to announce the first half of the National Theatre of Scotland’s tenth birthday year programme which sees the Company travelling widely throughout Scotland, as well as presenting world –class Scottish theatre on stages in London, England, North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating ten years of working with the best Scottish theatre-makers with a programme that reflects a robust and aspiring national theatre, collaborating with artists and theatres across the country to make adventurous and powerful work.
“It is has been a significant ten years for Scotland and the National Theatre of Scotland has been on a similarly remarkable trajectory since our launch in February 2016. We have learned so much along the way. I hope this year will celebrate what the National Theatre of Scotland continues to do best: to collaborate, surprise and embolden, whilst hugely entertaining audiences across Scotland and beyond.”
JANUARY TO JULY 2016, IN BRIEF
- National Theatre of Scotland’s Artistic Director Laurie Sansom hosts Meet the Artists, an evening of conversation and performance as audiences have the chance to preview the Company’s upcoming productions and to hear more about the work from many of the theatre-makers involved. Sunday 24 January 2016 at The Lyceum, Edinburgh.
- National Theatre of Scotland’s award-winning production Let the Right One In arrives in South Korea for an ambitious new Korean-language restaging, courtesy of Sensee Theatre Company. John Tiffany directs, with associate directors, Vicki Manderson and Jessica Richards. (Seoul, South Korea from 21 January 2016.)
- The mighty The James Plays return to the stage, as Rona Munro’s ground-breaking historical trilogy embarks on a five month Scottish, UK, and international tour, directed by Laurie Sansom. Three generations of Stewart kings rule Scotland through blood and betrayal, with audiences once again invited to view the plays as a day-long triple bill of performances. Opening at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre before touring to Inverness, Glasgow, Northampton, Salford, Newcastle, Sheffield, Norwich, Canterbury, Plymouth, Nottingham, Adelaide, and Auckland (February to June 2016)
- The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, one of the National Theatre of Scotland’s most successful touring shows, hits the road again. David Greig and Wils Wilson’s seminal folk theatre fable heads back to the USA (10 February to 8 May 2016) before returning to Scottish town halls and barns (17 May to 11 June 2016).
- Acclaimed theatre-makers Told by an Idiot present I Am Thomas -a brutal new comedy with songs, co-produced with National Theatre of Scotland and The Lyceum, Edinburgh in association with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. Opening at Liverpool Playhouse before touring to Salford, Salisbury, Edinburgh, and Inverness. (18 February to 16 April 2016) A world premiere.
Opening March and April
- Aberdeen’s famous Marischal College will provide a fittingly majestic backdrop to the epic theatrical finale of Granite, an eight-month participatory arts project celebrating the history and character of the Silver City and its people. The National Theatre of Scotland has collaborated with some of the City’s leading cultural groups to collect stories that will be woven into the final performances (31 March to 2 April) . A world premiere.
- This Restless House, a new trilogy of plays by acclaimed writer Zinnie Harris, inspired by Aeschylus’ Greek tragedy The Oresteia, presented in a co-production with the Citizens Theatre. Dominic Hill directs the bloody saga of a family torn apart by a succession of murders and betrayals. At the Citizens Theatre (15 April to 15 May 2016). Three world premieres.
Opening May and June
- The 306: Dawn, the first part in a brand-new cycle of three music pieces commemorating the First World War, written by Oliver Emanuel with music composed by Gareth Williams, co-produced with Perth Theatre and 14-18 NOW, in association with Red Note Ensemble. Laurie Sansom directs the first part of this trilogy exploring the stories of the 306 men shot for cowardice and desertion during the First World War. Dawn is set around the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, and will be ambitiously staged in the Perthshire countryside (24 May to 11 June 2016), with parts two and three to follow in 2017 and 2018 respectively. A world premiere.
- Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour burst back onto the stage following their award-winning debut in 2015. Based on Alan Warner’s hit novel The Sopranos and directed by Vicky Featherstone, Lee Hall’s raucous and life-affirming piece of music theatre about six girls on the cusp of change was an unparalleled hit with audiences and critics alike, and returns for performances in Scotland, the UK, Ireland and USA including a return for the National Theatre of Scotland to the National Theatre of Great Britain. A co-production with Live Theatre. (May to September 2016).
- Now in its eighth year, the National Theatre of Scotland’s vibrant Exchange programme brings together groups of young theatre-makers (aged 16 to 25 years-old) from Scotland and across the world, to facilitate a national and international exchange of new theatre works. Exchange 2016 features eight groups of theatre-makers from Scotland, the USA, and New Zealand, who will present their pieces at Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre ( 5 to 9 July 2016).
A NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND FREE EVENT
The National Theatre of Scotland presents
Meet the Artists… in conversation with Laurie Sansom
The Lyceum, Edinburgh on 24 January at 4pm
The National Theatre of Scotland’s artistic director, Laurie Sansom, hosts an evening of conversation and theatrical extracts, as he previews the company’s upcoming productions and discusses the work with many of the theatre-makers involved.
Meet the Artists… offers the rare opportunity to hear more about the 2016 season directly from the writers, directors, designers and actors involved with the productions. This event will launch the company’s tenth birthday year.
There will be the chance to see exclusive excerpts from forthcoming National Theatre of Scotland performances, gain unique insight into how the shows are put together and hear more about the special stories and ideas that inspired them. After the event, audiences are invited to the bar for refreshments, to meet the team behind the shows and to chat a little more about the National Theatre of Scotland’s tenth birthday year.
On sale: This event is free but ticketed; tickets are limited to two per person.
To book please call The Lyceum, Edinburgh Box Office on 0131 248 4848
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND INTERNATIONAL REPERTOIRE
A REPLICA PRODUCTION
Sensee Company Inc presents the National Theatre of Scotland’s production, by arrangement with Marla Rubin Productions Ltd and Bill Kenwright, of
Let the Right One In
A stage adaptation by Jack Thorne based on the Swedish novel and screenplay of the film by John Ajvide Lindqvist, directed by John Tiffany, associate directors, Vicki Manderson and Jessica Richards,
Associate designer – Bret Banakis; lighting designer – Chahine Yavroyan; sound designer – Gareth Fry; associate costume designer – Aileen Sherry; special effects designer - Jeremy Chernick, associate special effects designer – Niamh O’Meara; technical consultant – Martin Woolley.
At Seoul, South Korea from 21 January to 28 February 2016.
Let the Right One In is a stage adaptation of the hit Swedish novel and film, a brutal and tender vampire myth told through the turbulence of a coming-of-age romance. Oskar, a lonely boy from a broken home, is bullied at school and longing for friendship. Eli, the young girl who moves in next door, doesn’t attend school and rarely leaves home. When a series of mysterious killings plagues the neighbourhood, these two young misfits, sensing in each other a kindred spirit, forge a deep connection. But the shocking truth about one of them tests their young friendship and love beyond all imaginable limits.
First presented in Scotland in 2013, the original production was directed by Tony and Olivier Award-winning director, John Tiffany (Black Watch, Once), and was adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne following the international success of the original Swedish movie and the subsequent Hollywood film, based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s hit novel. The original creative team also included Olivier Award-winning associate director Steven Hoggett (Black Watch, Beautiful Burnout, American Idiot), music by Icelandic composer by Ólafur Arnalds, set design by Tony Award winner, Christine Jones, lighting design by Chahine Yavroyan, sound design by Gareth Fry and special effects design by Jeremy Chernick. The production enjoyed a critically acclaimed run at Dundee Rep Theatre before touring to London’s Royal Court Theatre, and Apollo Theatre, London, as well as St Ann’s Warehouse in New York. In 2014 it won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best Theatre.
This ambitious new restaging by South Korea’s Sensee Company will be performed entirely in Korean, with an all-new cast taking on the roles. It follows on from a Japanese production of National Theatre of Scotland’s one-man production of Macbeth in 2015, with celebrated actor, Kuranosuke Sasaki, inheriting the role played by Alan Cumming in 2012. Director, John Tiffany, returns, alongside associate directors, Vicki Manderson and Jessica Richards.
Touring to Seoul, South Korea from 21 January to 28 February 2016.
Opening performance in Seoul on Saturday 23 January 2016.
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND REPERTOIRE
The National Theatre of Scotland, the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain present
The James Plays
Three plays about James I, II and III of Scotland by Rona Munro, directed by Laurie Sansom
James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock, James II: Day of the Innocents, and James III: The True Mirror
Design by Jon Bausor, lighting design by Philip Gladwell; sound design by Christopher Shutt (James I and II) and Nick Sagar (James III); movement director Neil Bettles; music composed by Paul Leonard Morgan (James I and II) and Will Gregory (James III).
Ensemble cast: Rosemary Boyle, Daniel Cahill, Ali Craig, Malin Crepin, Blythe Duff, Nick Elliot, Peter Forbes, Andrew Fraser, Dani Heron, Brian James Sian Mannifield, David Mara Steven Miller, Callum Morrison, Matthew Pidgeon, Sally Reid, Andrew Rothney, John Stahl, Andrew Still and Fiona Wood
The three kings are played by Steven Miller (James I), Andrew Rothney (James II) and Matthew Pidgeon (James III).
Touring to Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Northampton, Salford, Newcastle, Sheffield, Norwich, Canterbury, Plymouth, Nottingham, Adelaide, and Auckland from 3 February to 12 June 2016.
Following critical acclaim and box office success in 2014, The James Plays by Rona Munro, and directed by Laurie Sansom undertake a major UK and international tour in 2016, visiting 11 venues across England and Scotland, as well as performing at international festivals in Australia and New Zealand.
The 2014 productions originally co-produced with the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain, opened at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh during the Edinburgh International Festival on 10 August, and then subsequently played at the Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London, selling out both runs and playing to over 88,000 people. The plays went on to win the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best New Play and the Writers Guild Award for Best New Play (James I)
Described by The Telegraph as “better than Shakespeare” and ‘Rona Munro’s thrilling trilogy could be the finest history plays ever penned ’ The James Plays, exhilarating and vividly imagined, bring to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland from 1406 to 1488.
Each play stands alone as a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future, with its own distinct theatrical atmosphere. Viewed together they create a complex and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood.
The James Plays are historical drama for a contemporary audience, served up with a refreshing modern directness.
Audiences are invited to view the performances from the actual stage and share the performer’s perspective of the space. These on-stage seats, built into the set, are at heart of the action, as an ensemble of actors takes the audience through a rarely-explored period of history with playful wit and boisterous theatricality.
Audiences responded enthusiastically to the opportunity of viewing the plays as a complete trilogy, seen over the course of a day. This 2016 production will pioneer a new bespoke touring pattern, with English venues offering audiences the chance to see all three plays together, on a Saturday or Sunday. The Scottish venues performance schedules vary with individual James Plays performances as well as a triple bill of plays on offer.
Touring to Festival Theatre Edinburgh: James I – Wed 3 and 10 February 2016; James II – Thurs 4 and 11 February 2016, James III – Friday 5 and 12 February 2016; Trilogy Day: Saturday 13 February 2016
Adelaide Festival Centre (Friday 26 February – Tuesday 1 March 2016); ASB Theatre, Auckland Arts Festival (5 to 12 March 2016); Eden Court Theatre, Inverness: (James I – Wed 30 March 2016; James II: Thu 31 March 2016 and James III: Fri 1 April; Trilogy Day: Sat 2 April 2016); King’s Theatre, Glasgow (James I – Fri 8 April 2016 Trilogy Days: Sat 9 and Sun 10 April 2016); Royal & Derngate (Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April 2016); The Lowry, Salford Quays (Saturday 23 and Sun 24 April 2016); Newcastle Theatre Royal (30 April and Sun 1 May 2016); Sheffield Theatres (Saturday 7 and Sun 8 May 2016); Norwich Theatre Royal (Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May 2016); Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (Saturday 21 and Sun 22 May 2016); Theatre Royal Plymouth (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 2016); Nottingham Theatre Royal (Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June 2016)
Join the conversation: #JamesPlays
On sale: all booking information available at nationaltheatrescotland.com
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND REPERTOIRE
The National Theatre of Scotland presents
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
Supported by Benromach Single Malt Whisky
Created by David Greig (writer) and Wils Wilson (director) with designer, Georgia McGuinness, composer, Alasdair Macrae, and movement by Janice Parker.
The full cast is Annie Grace, Jessica Hardwick, Alasdair Macrae, David McKay and Paul McCole
David Greig and Wils Wilson’s folk theatre fable has proved hugely popular with audiences from Govan to Rio. The production has been part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s touring repertoire since 2011 and has travelled extensively across the UK and internationally, spanning four continents, nine countries and 50 different venues.
In 2016, the production will initially tour the USA from 9 February to 7 May, taking over theatre stages and non-traditional theatre spaces in Virginia, Richmond, Illinois, Vermont, Winchester and Arkansas. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart will then return home, touring to Fife, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders from 17 May to 11 June 2016.
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart premiered in the Victorian Bar at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow in 2011, before achieving phenomenal success and critical acclaim at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In keeping with the site-specific origins of the show, the production has been staged in a tavern, breweries and village halls and studios with bars built in. In 2016, the production will tour town halls and to a barn in central Scotland as well as to a host of playing spaces in the US.
Annie Grace, Alasdair Macrae, David McKay, Paul McCole from the 2014 tour are all returning to join the ensemble cast and will be joined by acclaimed young Scottish theatre actress, Jessica Hardwick, most recently seen in Lanark (Citizens Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival).
“my heart is lost to Prudencia Hart. ” ***** The Guardian (Adelaide)
“it should tour for eternity” **** The Guardian (London)
One wintry morning, Prudencia Hart, an uptight academic, sets off to attend a conference in Kelso in the Scottish Borders. As the snow begins to fall, little does she know who or what awaits her there. Inspired by the Border Ballads – and delivered in a riotous romp of rhyming couplets, devilish encounters and wild karaoke – Prudencia’s dream-like journey of self-discovery unfolds among and around the audience.
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart takes theatre into pubs and other unlikely venues, where stories are told, re-told, sung and passed on. Audiences are invited to share a lock-in with the National Theatre of Scotland’s company of actors and musicians and to indulge in an evening of supernatural storytelling, music and theatre inspired by the Border Ballads, Robert Burns and the poems of Robert Service.
Benromach Single Malt Whisky is delighted to announce that it is continuing its ongoing partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland in sponsoring The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.
The sponsorship is part of Benromach’s venture into the arts and will enable each audience member (18 years and above) to share a dram of Benromach whisky during the show, in licensed venues.
Join the conversation: #PrudenciaHart
Touring USA – Shenandoah University at Brewbakers Restaurant, Winchester (10 to 14 February 2016); Modlin Center at the Rare Olde Times Pub, Canterbury Shopping Center, Richmond (17 to 21 Feb 2016); Krannert Centre, University of Illinois (24 to 27 February 2016); Factory Luxe, Seattle Theatre Group (2 to 20 March 2016); Flynnspace, Flynn Center, Burlington, Vermont (8 to 10 April 2016); Virginia G. Piper Theatre, Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts, Arizona (19 to 24 April 2016); The Parlor on Granby Virginia Arts Festival (28 April to 1 May 2016); Starr Theater at Walton Arts Center, Fayettesville, Northwest Arkansas (4 to 8 May 2016).
Touring Scotland – Blairgowrie Town Hall (17 May 2016); Montrose Town Hall (18 May 2016); St Andrews Town Hall (19 May 2016); Strathearn Artspace, Crieff (20 May 2016); Alyth Town Hall (21 May 2016); Aberfeldy Town Hall (23 May 2016); Kirriemuir Town Hall (24 May 2016); Carnoustie Beach Hall (25 May 2016); Castle Green Centre, Broughty Ferry (26 May 2016); Bonar Hall, Dundee (27 May); The Byre at Inchyra (31 May 2016); Woodend Barn, Banchory (1 June 2016); Biggar Municipal Hall (3 June 2016); McMillan Hall, Newton Stuart (7 June 2016); Sanquhar Town Hall ( 8 June 2016); Carlops Village Centre (10 June 2016); Stichill Village Hall (11 June 2016).
Opening Performance: Blairgowrie Town Hall on 17 May 2016
On sale: Book online via nationaltheatrescotland.com. Please note, online ticket sales will carry a booking fee. Tickets will also be available to purchase locally at a later date; see website for details
Told by an Idiot, National Theatre of Scotland and The Lyceum, Edinburgh in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse present
I Am Thomas – a brutal comedy with songs
Written by Told by an Idiot, music by Iain Johnstone, lyrics by Simon Armitage, directed by Paul Hunter, designed by Laura Hopkins, sound by Adrienne Quartly and lighting by Paul Anderson.
Touring to Liverpool, Salford, Salisbury, Edinburgh and Inverness from 18 February to 16 April 2016
Using Told by an Idiot’s trademark anarchic physicality and inventive storytelling, I Am Thomas glimpses into Edinburgh’s dark past to bring out the black humour in the true story of Thomas Aikenhead, a Scottish student who was the last person in Britain to be executed for blasphemy. With original lyrics by award-winning poet, Simon Armitage, the show is first-time collaboration between The Lyceum, Edinburgh, the National Theatre of Scotland and Told by an Idiot.
Resonating across time and cultures, this riotous and unsettling comic drama shifts between 1696 and present times to explore notions of freedom of speech. With a live score performed by a cast of eight, the show weaves together eclectic references from the Last Passion of Christ to Archie Gemmell’s goal for Scotland, against Holland, at the 1974 World Cup. I Am Thomas – a brutal comedy with songs is inspired by fact, fantasy and an original short story by James Robertson.
Told by an Idiot’s recent production of My Perfect Mind returned for a second UK tour in autumn 2014 prior to transferring to 59E59 Theater, New York in June 2015, as part of 59E59’s Brits Off Broadway season. In May and June 2015, The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley and directed by Paul Hunter, was presented at, and in collaboration with, the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. Get Happy, the company’s first show for children returns for a second run at the Barbican in December 2015.
Simon Armitage is one of UK’s foremost poets, playwrights and novelists. His production of The Odyssey: Missing, Presumed Dead opened at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool in October 2015.
Paul Hunter, co-artistic director of Told by an Idiot and director of I am Thomas, says:
“Told by an Idiot is thrilled to partner with the National Theatre of Scotland and The Lyceum, Edinburgh for the first time, to bring this extraordinary episode of hidden history to life. This is a highly pertinent piece, examining the notion of freedom of speech in a surprising, provocative and unsettling manner. We are delighted to collaborate with Simon Armitage alongside Associate Idiot Iain Johnstone to create a vibrant theatrical musical form to tell the universal story of Thomas Aikenhead.”
Cast: to be announced
Join the conversation: #iamthomas
Touring to Liverpool Playhouse (18 to 27 February 2016); The Lowry, Salford (1 to 5 March 2016); Salisbury Playhouse (8 to 12 March 2016); The Lyceum, Edinburgh (23 March to 09 April 2016); One Touch, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (12 to 16 April 2016).
Opening performances on 23 February 2016 at Liverpool Playhouse and The Lyceum, Edinburgh on 24 March 2016
The National Theatre of Scotland and Aberdeen City Council present
The theatrical finale to a major participatory arts project, co-created with the people of Aberdeen and performed in the courtyard of the world’s largest grey granite building
Performances at Marischal College, Aberdeen: 31 March to Saturday 2 Apr 2016
Directed by Simon Sharkey; dramaturg – Peter Arnott; costume and set design – Becky Minto; lighting design – Colin Grenfell; sound design – Philip Pinsky; video design – Graeme Roger; associate director – Phil McCormack; movement director – Brigid McCarthy
Headline sponsor: Deloitte
Supported by Aberdeen Inspired, Arts & Business Scotland, Balmoral Group, Mackie’s of Scotland and Creative Scotland
Produced in association with Aberdeen Performing Arts, ACT Aberdeen, Citymoves Dance Agency, Sound Festival, Station House Media Unit and University of Aberdeen Music
The majestic quadrangle of Aberdeen’s famous Marischal College will provide a fitting backdrop to the epic theatrical finale of Granite, an eight month participatory arts project celebrating the history and people of Aberdeen. Presented with Aberdeen City Council, Granite has seen the National Theatre of Scotland collaborate with some of the city’s leading artists and cultural groups, using the theatre arts to explore stories of people and events both famous and unknown, and the influence of the city – and its famous stone – around the world.
The stories collected along the way will be woven into the narrative of the final production, to be performed by a cast of professional and community actors, musicians and dancers on a huge outdoor set at Marischal College.
Tickets for the three performances on Thursday 31 March, Friday 1 and Saturday 2 April are on sale Friday 29 January 2016.
The project was originally inspired by the true story of a native Aberdonian granite cutter who, in the late 19th century, travelled with his wife to Odessa, in Ukraine.
At this time, granite was being exported for building purposes on an unprecedented scale and skilled granite cutters from Aberdeen were in high demand. They followed the stone across the globe, literally changing the face of the planet wherever they went. This particular cutter took with him his fiddle and his book of Burns poetry and started to host regular ceilidhs in Odessa.
He was swiftly expelled by the Tsarist regime on suspicion of sedition. The man and his wife, now with a young baby, then started an epic journey back across Europe to Aberdeen, on foot and by ship, with the man playing his fiddle and cutting stone along the way in exchange for food and lodgings. This tale of tenacity and poetry, of grit and glint, reflects the qualities of the Aberdonian character, and the qualities of granite itself – tough, resilient, but with an underlying sparkle.
Granite creative teams and participants have excavated many fascinating stories and have been engaging the people of present-day Aberdeen, to find out what they think it “means to be Aberdeen”.
These responses have led to the creation of four ‘trailblazer’ events – Granite Sound, Granite Theatre, Granite Video and Granite Dance. These free, pop-up city centre events take place across November and December 2015 and will use different artforms to present stories and ideas on the themes of Granite. Further discussion, including video, photography and audio content, will be presented on a dedicated website, graniteaberdeen.com.
Acclaimed playwright and Granite dramaturg Peter Arnott has been leading a group of local writers in the research and development of Aberdeen stories that may form part of the final production. A special one-off event on Tuesday 23 February 2016 will offer audience members a preview of some of these stories, brought to life by professional actors, and a taste of some of the music from Granite.
Granite director, Simon Sharkey, says: “Having grown to know and love this city since we launched National Theatre of Scotland there ten years ago, I am thrilled to have the privilege of bringing together the artists and people of Aberdeen to tell their story in a spectacle that will be housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in the UK. I can’t wait.”
Cast to be confirmed.
On sale: Tickets for Granite on sale from Friday 29 January 2016 at graniteaberdeen.com.
Ticket information for the Granite Writers’ Event on Tuesday 23 February 2016 to follow.
Join the conversation: #GraniteAberdeen
The Citizens Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland present
This Restless House
A trilogy of new plays based on Aeschylus’ The Oresteia, written by Zinnie Harris, directed by Dominic Hill, designed by Colin Richmond and music composed by Nikola Kodjabashia
At the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow from 15 April to 14 May 2016
Harris’ plays tell the bloody saga of a family torn apart by a succession of murders and betrayals, set against the backdrop of a society on the brink of a revolution and learning to operate within a nascent and flawed justice system. First performed in 485 BC, today’s audience will find that Dominic Hill’s raw and brutal productions bring the universal themes of justice, revenge, loyalty and the evolving relationships between teenagers and their parents to the fore in his trademark theatrical style. Nikola Kodjabashia, composer on the Citizens’ A Christmas Carol, Hamlet and Crime and Punishment returns to create new music for the plays, with Colin Richmond, designer on the Citizens Theatre’s Crime and Punishment and Doctor Faustus and the National Theatre of Scotland’s Men Should Weep, returning to the Citizens.
This Restless House: Part 1 Agamemnon’s Return, Part 2 The Bough Breaks and Part 3 Electra and her Shadow form a trilogy of original new plays based on Aeschylus’ The Oresteia. Together they tell a story originating from the root of modern theatre in ancient Greece with a thrilling and contemporary bite.
Audiences will be offered the opportunity to see all three plays in the trilogy over the course of two evenings: Part 1 on the first evening, Parts 2 and 3 form a double bill on a subsequent evening, or on special trilogy days.
Zinnie Harris is reunited with Dominic Hill following the Citizens’ production of Miss Julie and Fall for the Traverse Theatre. This is the National Theatre’s fifth collaboration with Zinnie Harris. Previous productions include Julie (Scottish tour); The Wheel (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), a new version of A Doll’s House (the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) and Gallery 9 (Dear Scotland at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery).
Dominic Hill, artistic director of the Citizens Theatre and director of This Restless House, says:
“Our new version of this classic Greek trilogy will be a major theatrical event at the Citizens that I hope audiences will find exhilarating. I am delighted that we will be co-producing with the National Theatre of Scotland to enable us to present a memorable production that people from all walks of life will find exciting and relevant.”
Zinnie Harris, writer of This Restless House, says:
“I am delighted to be working with the National Theatre of Scotland again, and Dominic and his team at the Citizens on this huge project. Being asked to adapt Aeschylus’ extraordinary trilogy of plays has been a gift, and these stories of familial murder, faith and revenge, have the power to enthral audiences as much now as they did over two and half thousand years ago.”
Join the conversation: #restlesshouse
At the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow from 15 April to 14 May 2016
Opening performances on Thursday 28 April 2016 (Agamemnon’s Return); Friday 29 April 2016 (The Bough Breaks); Saturday 30 April 2016 (Agamemnon’s Return, The Bough Breaks and Electra and her Shadow).
The National Theatre of Scotland, 14-18 NOW and Perth Theatre,
In association with Red Note Ensemble, present
The 306: Dawn
Written by Oliver Emanuel and composed by Gareth Williams; directed by Laurie Sansom; costume and set designed by Becky Minto; lighting design by Simon Wilkinson; musical direction by Jonathan Gill.
Dalcrue Farm barn in the Perthshire countryside from 24 May to 11 June 2016
The 306: Dawn is a new piece of music theatre directed by National Theatre of Scotland’s artistic director, Laurie Sansom, written by Oliver Emanuel and composed by Gareth Williams.
Based on real events, it charts the heart-breaking journey of three of the 306 British soldiers who were executed for cowardice, desertion and mutiny during World War I (1914-18). The work is a co-commission with 14-18 NOW, the UK’s First World War centenary cultural programme.
The 306; Dawn is Part I of a trilogy of new plays, with live music, commemorating the First World War, to be presented in 2016, 2017 and 2018. These plays will explore personal stories of the 306, as well as looking at how the war affected women, families and communities on the home front. The first part of the trilogy is set in France, around time of the Battle of the Somme and will mark the 100th anniversary of this Battle.
Joseph Byers (17) from Glasgow. Too young to enlist, Joe, like so many at the time, has lied about his age to join the other men at the Front. However, his dreams of being a solider are quickly destroyed by the brutal realities of trench warfare and he soon finds himself in trouble with the authorities.
Private Harry Farr (25) from London. Traumatised by the things he has seen and lived through as a serving soldier, Harry is suffering from shell-shock and is now unable to fight. He has subsequently been convicted of cowardice and, as he waits to hear his fate, he dreams of his wife and hopes for a last minute reprieve.
Lance-Sergeant Joseph Willie Stones (24) from Durham. Having used his rifle to block the entrance to a trench during fierce fighting, Joseph stands accused of casting away his arms in combat – an offence punishable by death. He thought he was protecting his men, but the top brass want to make an example of him to maintain discipline in the ranks.
With a contemporary score performed live by the Red Note Ensemble, the songs explore the vulnerability and devastation of the battlefields, alongside the inner struggles of the men. Composer Gareth Williams is a long-term collaborator with both Red Note and Oliver Emanuel; the pair previously worked on The End of the World (for One Night Only) which Red Note commissioned, developed and staged in Edinburgh in December 2012.
Poignant and powerful, The 306: Dawn will be performed in a transformed barn in the Perthshire countryside, exploring the lives of these unknown soldiers – who appear on no war memorials, to give them back their voices, stories and names.
The 306: Dawn will open with a special dawn performance.
The production is being presented in Perthshire as part of the Perth Festival of Arts.
The 306 is written by the celebrated Scottish-based writer, Oliver Emanuel, whose work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Dragon (winner, Best Production for Families, UK Theatre Awards 2014) and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name. The music for The 306 is composed by Gareth Williams, whose work has featured in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, St. Magnus Festival, Sound Festival, 5:15, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Sonorities, Opera to Go, and the York Late Music Festival. Laurie Sansom directs, whose award-wining The James Plays trilogy also tours throughout the UK in 2016.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, says:
“This is a fantastic project highlighting one of the less acknowledged aspects of the First World War, and I’m pleased the very best of our creative talent will be helping to illuminate Scotland’s commemorations. The 306: Dawn is just one of many projects taking place across the country to encourage the people of Scotland to reflect on the significant impact the First World War had on our nation and its lasting effects on life today.”
Oliver Emanuel, writer of The 306:Dawn, says: “In 2012, Gareth Williams and I were looking at all the planned memorials for the First World War. It felt like all the stories were about bravery and sacrifice and heroism. And whilst these were powerful testimonies, it seemed as if there was something missing. What about those who failed to live up to this ideal?
“When we found out about the 306 men shot for cowardice, desertion and mutiny – and the story of their families and the hundred year campaign for their pardon – it was an instant connection. This story challenges what we think about the war and how we memorialise the dead.”
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, says:
“We are delighted to partner the National Theatre of Scotland for this, the first in what will surely become a series of iconic plays. While Perth Theatre undergoes restoration and redevelopment we are committed to taking theatre out and about to different venues across the community. The 306 fits perfectly with this approach, taking place as it does in a barn in the heart of the Perthshire countryside. The setting will serve to illustrate and enhance this poignant story and we look forward to welcoming audiences from across Scotland to witness what will truly be a unique piece of theatre.”
Venue: Dalcrue Farm, Pitcairngreen, Perth Dates: 24 to 26 May (previews) 27 May (school performance) and 28 May to 11 June 2016
Travel: Audiences will be transported from Perth Concert Hall to the farm.
Age guide: 14+
Opening performance on Sat 28 May at Dalcrue Farm, Pitcairngreen, Perth at 2.15am (dawn).
On sale info: Tickets are available from Perth Theatre Box Office – 01738 621031. Full ticket information is available from nationaltheatrescotland.com. Please note that all tickets need to be purchased in advance, and are not available to buy from the farm.
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND REPERTOIRE
National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre present
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Adapted by Lee Hall from the novel The Sopranos by Alan Warner.
Directed by Vicky Featherstone, music supervisor, Martin Lowe, designed by Chloe Lamford, lighting design by Lizzie Powell and choreography by Imogen Knight.
Touring to International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, Connecticut (North American premiere); Dundee Rep Theatre; Newcastle Theatre Royal; Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland and the National Theatre in London (London premiere) from May 2016.
National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre are thrilled to announce the return of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, the critically-acclaimed stage adaptation of Alan Warner’s cult Scottish novel The Sopranos, by Lee Hall and directed by Vicky Featherstone, coming back to stages in Scotland and the UK, and touring for the first time to London and the USA in 2016.
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour will receive its London premiere at the Dorfman Theatre, at the National Theatre of Great Britain, opening in early August and playing through until late September. This marks the National Theatre of Scotland’s return to the National Theatre in London, following the sell-out run of The James Plays, co-produced with the National Theatre of Great Britain in 2014 and touring again in 2016.
Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre of Great Britain, says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour to the National – not simply to give London audiences the chance to see this exhilarating play, but also because it reunites us with so many friends and neighbours: the National Theatre of Scotland, Live Theatre, Lee Hall and Vicky Featherstone. It will be a joy to have the uproarious Ladies at the Dorfman.”
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on 19 August 2015, and enjoyed a successful sell-out run at the Traverse Theatre, earning critical and audience acclaim, and picking up four awards before embarking on a sell-out Scottish tour and run at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.
Alan Warner’s novel and Lee Hall’s stage play tell the story of six girls on the cusp of change. Love, lust, pregnancy and death all spiral out of control in a single day. Warner’s blisteringly funny dialogue ends in fireworks (literally). Warner, whose 1995 debut novel, Morvern Callar, became a literary phenomenon, continues his themes of being young, lost and out of control in this musical play about losing your virginity and finding yourself. With a soundtrack of classical music and 70s pop rock, featuring music by Handel, Bach and ELO, Our Ladies… is a raucous and life-affirming piece of musical theatre.
Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, collaborates with Lee Hall, (Shakespeare in Love, Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters), to create a funny, sad and raucously rude production about singing, sex and sambuca.
Alan Warner wrote The Sopranos in 1998, followed by its sequel The Stars in the Bright Sky which was long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. He has written eight novels and is best known for Morvern Callar which was made into a film starring Samantha Morton in 2002. His most recent novel is Their Lips Talk of Mischief, published by Faber in 2014.
The UK and international tour of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour will commence in May 2016, with additional UK and international dates to be announced.
Join the conversation: #OurLadies
Touring to International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, Connecticut (9 to 25 June 2016); Dundee Rep Theatre (30 June to 2 July 2016); Newcastle Theatre Royal (12 to 16 July 2016); Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland (18 to 24 July 2016); The Dorfman, National Theatre of Great Britain (August – September 2016. dates tbc).
On sale: please check nationaltheatrescotland.com for details
A NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND FESTIVAL
The National Theatre of Scotland in partnership with Macrobert Arts Centre presents
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling from 4 to 10 July 2016
The National Theatre of Scotland’s international theatre festival for 16 to 25 year-olds
Now in its eighth year, the National Theatre of Scotland’s vibrant Exchange programme brings together groups of young theatre-makers (aged 16 to 25 years-old) from Scotland and across the world, to facilitate a national and international exchange and to enable the groups to create and perform new pieces of theatre with the help and support of a professional creative team. Ten groups of young theatre-makers have been selected to take part in Exchange 2016; eight groups from Scotland and two international groups.
The groups are each supported artistically and financially in the creation of an original work of quality contemporary theatre. The creative partners for this instalment of Exchange are Colin Bradie and Fiona Manson. Each theatre piece is initially performed in the group’s home area before it is staged as part of the week-long Exchange festival at Macrobert Arts Centre in July 2016. During that residential week on campus at the University of Stirling, participating groups are encouraged to develop their skills through stimulating master-classes and workshops with leading national and international theatre-makers. The popular Exchange TV returns for a fourth year.
The Scottish theatre groups taking part in Exchange 2016 are:
- Beacon Youth Theatre, Inverclyde
- Collision Theatre, Buckhaven
- Creative Electric in collaboration with Dance Base and #Artcore, Edinburgh
- Eden Court Collective, Inverness
- Ignite Theatre, Glasgow
- Macrobert Collective, Stirling
- Paperdog (Firefly Arts Youth Theatre), West Lothian
- Strange Town, Edinburgh
The international groups taking part in Exchange 2016 are:
- Epic NEXT, Harlem, Manhattan, USA
- Massive Company, Auckland, New Zealand
National Theatre of Scotland’s learning and outreach manager, Gillian Gourlay, says:
“From its inception in 2006, I have been delighted to see how not only the festival itself has grown and flourished, but also how the young theatre -makers involved have developed over the years, raising the bar year on year. To be able to bring such a mix of ideas, talent and enthusiasm together from all over the world, and to see them immerse themselves in sharing and creating their own form of theatre, is just amazing to witness. Exchange is an opportunity for everyone to bring something with them to the festival as well as to go away with not just new skills and experiences, but genuine friendships too – and you just can’t buy that.”
Venue: Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
Performances: Two groups each evening at 7.30pm and 9.00pm from 5 to 9 July 2016.
ROCKVILLA AND LIGHT A BEACON
On 26 October, construction work started on National Theatre of Scotland’s new permanent headquarters on the canal-side area of Speirs Wharf in north-east Glasgow. Designed by award-winning Hoskins Architects, the new building will be named Rockvilla, in recognition of the industrial and social heritage of the surrounding area, and is due to be completed in summer 2016.
The company simultaneously launched a campaign to raise the remaining £1.9 million of the £6.475 million needed to fund the project. People the length and breadth of Scotland are being invited to donate to the appeal and have the opportunity to engage with and be part of Rockvilla.
Central to the Rockvilla appeal is the creation of an original art work by the award-winning Glasgow-based design studio, Pidgin Perfect. Styled as a large-scale map of Scotland, the finished art work will be positioned in the entrance foyer of Rockvilla, creating a beautifully arresting affirmation of the organisation’s commitment to the whole of Scotland from the Borders to the Shetland Islands. Key locations on the finished map will be lit by translucent ‘Beacons’ which friends and supporters can ‘light up’ in return for a donation.
The campaign has already captured the imaginations of many people from across the communities the Company serves, with support already received for Beacons in a variety of locations including: the Italian Chapel in Orkney, Skeabost on Skye, Knightswood in Glasgow, Rhu, Nigg in the Cromarty Firth, Sma’ Glen, West Linton and Port Seton.
For more information please visit nationaltheatrescotland.com/rockvilla
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND PRESS OFFICE CONTACTS:
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Press images: there is a selection of images for current productions available for download from www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/press – please contact the press office for a password.
For season announcement images please contact the press office (contact details above).
NOTES TO EDITORS
The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. As well as creating ground-breaking productions and working with the most talented theatre-makers, the National Theatre of Scotland produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works constantly to develop new talent. Central to this is finding pioneering ways to reach current and new audiences and to encourage people’s full participation in the company’s work. With no performance building of its own, the company works with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. Founded in 2006, the company, in its short life, has become a globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work.
The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government. www.nationaltheatrescotland.com
About 14 -18 NOW. A programme of special commissions by leading artists from Britain and around the world to mark the centenary of the First World War as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. The first season centred around 4 August 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), and the focus of the subsequent two seasons will be July 2016 (anniversary of the Battle of Somme) and November 2018 (centenary of Armistice Day). 14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and by additional fundraising. 14-18 NOW made 31 commissions in 2014 resulting in 78 artworks across the UK, with over 19 million people experiencing a commission. LIGHTS OUT marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August and saw 16.7 million participate. 14-18 NOW aims to reach at least 25 million people over the course of the centenary.
Aberdeen Inspired is Aberdeen’s Business Improvement District within the city centre, funded by levy payers. Aberdeen Inspired works on behalf of 700 (approx.) city centre businesses. www.aberdeeninspired.com
Aberdeen Performing Arts is a charitable trust managing Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre, Music Hall and The Lemon Tree. APA’s vision is to reach for the stars in everything we do. Through staging and producing a wide and diverse range of work we aim to touch emotions, lift the spirits and expand the minds of both residents and visitors to the North East of Scotland.
ACT Aberdeen is a leading community arts venue run by a small core team of staff and over 80 volunteers, which provides facilities and opportunities for professional, amateur and youth companies and individuals to enjoy an enriching cultural life through tuition, performance and participation, regardless of age or social circumstance.
Arts & Business Scotland (A&BS) is a national charity which encourages and promotes new and sustainable collaborations between the creative and business sectors. It fosters dynamic cross sector relationships to enable Scotland to benefit from a vibrant cultural community. The New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) Grant scheme encourages private sector sponsorship of cultural activity in Scotland. Funded by the Scottish Government and administered by A&BS it offers £1 for £1 match funding to cultural organisations which have secured sponsorship from an eligible business.
In total, over £7 million has been invested in culture through NAS with Scottish Government investment exceeding £3 million since the grant scheme began in 2006.
Balmoral Group Holdings Ltd is a privately owned company based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Employing over 600 people, Balmoral has been providing solutions to the oil and gas, marine, construction, environmental engineering and processing sectors since 1980.
Beacon Youth Theatre (BYT) in Greenock is led by Andy McGregor and Marianne Yeomans, who specialise in facilitating, making and directing theatre with children and young people. This dynamic and creative group is always adventurous, making every one of their performances unique. They may decide to take audiences on journeys into fantastical worlds or they may have a burning desire to explore social media and its effects on young people. Whatever topic, story or genre, the group decides the creative process will always be a collaborative one. Participants are encouraged to use their imagination, share ideas, tell real life stories and together they make them come alive on stage.
Established in 1898, Benromach distillery changed hands many times and was virtually derelict when bought by Gordon & MacPhail in 1993. Drawing on generations of whisky expertise, the company carried out a painstaking refurbishment, and the distillery was officially re-opened by Prince Charles in 1998. Just three men hand-craft Benromach using the finest Scottish barley and the purest spring water from the nearby Romach Hills. They fill new spirit into the highest quality casks before leaving it to mature at the distillery for many years. The Benromach portfolio includes the award-winning Benromach 10 Years Old and the first fully certified organic single malt – Benromach Organic.
Benromach and the National Theatre of Scotland are committed to promoting responsible drinking messages within the sponsorship of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Scottish Government document ‘Alcohol Sponsorship Guidelines Scotland’
Citizens Theatre is an iconic venue and theatre company based in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. It has been one of Scotland’s flagship producing theatres since 1945 and celebrates its 70th anniversary in its Gorbals home in 2015.
Fondly known as the Citz, it is led by its artistic director, Dominic Hill. Within a beautiful Victorian auditorium that dates from 1878, the Citizens presents a world-class, contemporary repertory based on bold new interpretations of classic texts. As its name suggests, it places a strong emphasis on work that can enhance and transform the lives of citizens of all ages, cultures and social backgrounds through performance and participation to which everyone has access.
For the latest information on all Citizens Theatre shows, learning and participation activity and the building redevelopment project. visit citz.co.uk. Find us on Facebook: citizenstheatre. Follow us on Twitter @citizenstheatre
Citymoves Dance Agency nurtures a diverse programme of dance classes, performance groups, workshops, residencies, targeted partnership projects across Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland. It produces DanceLive – Scotland’s only annual festival of contemporary dance which is celebrating its tenth birthday in October 2015. Citymoves’ purpose is to make a difference through dance and we aim to forge strong partnerships, increase participation, develop audiences and nurture talent. Citymoves Dance Agency receives strong support from Aberdeen City Council and is a Creative Scotland Regularly Funded Organisation. www.citymoves.org.uk
Collision is a collective of Fife-based young theatre makers and is produced by Claire Bloomfield. They create work that responds to the everyday and explores the world in which they live.
Since its inception in 2013, Collision has presented work at The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Rose Theatre London, Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, Glasgow, various theatres across Scotland, and in non-traditional performance spaces, including parks and nursing homes. The company has created work with the National Theatre of Scotland, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, Kingston International Youth Arts Festival, Hearts and Minds and Scottish Book Trust.
Creative Electric is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning theatre company, which creates contemporary performance based on real experiences. Often their work is interactive, sometimes it’s personal, at times it’s one-to-one. The company creates socio-political work with an intentional emphasis on the social and an often unintentional emphasis on the political. Creative Electric aims to engage with young people who may not traditionally attend arts events and do so by producing theatre in non-traditional spaces including nightclubs, skate parks, trains, abandoned buildings and even on rooftops. They are currently working with a group of young men aged 16-24 to explore the themes of fragility and masculinity through verbatim and physical theatre supported by Dance Base and Artcore Edinburgh.
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (‘DTTL’), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms. The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press. For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk
Eden Court Collective is a group of young actors from all over the Highlands, who were brought together to participate in a performance project that would challenge us as young performers and theatre makers. We are an exciting, talented, modest, friendly, cooperative and awesome group of young people. We are up for anything and we are all committed to being part of something brilliant, pushing creative boundaries and challenging the common expectations of what youth theatre can be. We were first brought together in 2014 for a project called A Century Untold, and we are delighted that Exchange 2016 is our next challenge.
About the Edinburgh International Festival – Every August, the giants of the arts gather in the stunning city of Edinburgh for the International Festival. For three exhilarating weeks, the city becomes an international cultural epicentre with the finest creators and performers from the worlds of classical music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe offering intense, personal and exciting experiences to those who come from Scotland, the UK and overseas.
As a vibrant, innovative and energetic organisation, involved in commissioning and producing new work from the very best artists working internationally, while also nurturing grass roots arts engagement on its doorstep, the Festival contributes to many aspects of life, be it culture, economy, education and society, and enhances the lives of people not just in Edinburgh and Scotland, but around the world. The 2016 Edinburgh International Festival runs from 5-29 August. Find out more at eif.co.uk. The Edinburgh International Festival is supported by The City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland. Scottish Charity Number SC004694.
Firefly provides quality theatre, film and arts activity in venues across West Lothian, working with over 300 children and young people each week. Our programme embraces classic and contemporary text, new writing, devised, physical and multi-media work. Recent productions have included devised pieces These Shores and Humming for Contact and Chrysalis festivals, adaptations of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Aristophanes’ Women in Power, Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Molière’s Tartuffe.
Ignite Theatre was founded in 2010 by writer/director, Aileen Ritchie. and an original group of young asylum seekers and refugees, and is an award-winning Glasgow based charity which engages with a diverse range of children and young people who face multiple challenges in life. Through free weekly workshops and innovative drama projects, Ignite Theatre offers its members a supported environment in which they can fulfill their creative potential, develop confidence, forge new friendships and build their life skills.
Live Theatre is recognised as one of the great new writing theatres on the international stage. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne it is also deeply rooted in its local community. Live Theatre produces work as varied and diverse as the audiences it engages with.
As well as championing the art of writing for stage by producing and presenting new plays, Live Theatre uses theatre to unlock the potential of young people and finds, nurtures and trains creative talent. Through its creative enterprises it is also developing new models of business sustainability and growth. Founded in 1973, the theatre was transformed in 2007. The result is a beautifully-restored and refurbished complex of five Grade II listed buildings with state-of-the-art facilities in a unique historical setting, including a cabaret style theatre, a studio theatre, renovated rehearsal rooms, a series of dedicated writer’s rooms as well as a thriving café and bar. For more information, see www.live.org.uk
Live Theatre is grateful for the support of Arts Council England and Newcastle City Council and our many other friends and supporters.
Mackie’s is a pioneering family business from Aberdeenshire which has diversified into making ice-cream, crisps and most recently chocolate – all under the ‘Mackie’s of Scotland’ brand. Mackie’s is a vertically integrated, fourth generation family business who have been farming at Westertown, Aberdeenshire since 1912 and making ice cream in a ‘sky to scoop design chain’ since 1986. The award-winning environmental business is powered by renewable energy from Mackie’s wind turbines and a solar panel farm.
The 1500 acre arable farm supports a 450 cow dairy herd which supplies fresh cream and milk for their real dairy ice cream. Mackie’s now produces over 11 million litres of ice cream per annum in several tub sizes for both retail and food services markets and also make their own plastic packaging on the farm. 61 staff, with an average tenure over 12 years, work for the company. Mackie’s ice cream is the No.1 brand in premium ice cream in Scotland. In 2009, Mackie’s diversified into premium crisps, made in a joint venture company under license and now exporting to over 20 countries worldwide.
Mackie’s are currently building a chocolate factory at the farm to make their latest new product- a range of four flavours of chocolate – with a hint of Scotland provided with Scottish malt, Scottish-grown mint and their home-made honeycomb. Mackie’s chocolate is available in selected Scottish Tesco and Sainsburys outlets and online at www.mackieschocolate.co.uk
Located at the heart of the University of Stirling, Macrobert Arts Centre is a cultural hub for Stirling, the Forth Valley and Scotland. With a vision is to promote and develop participation in, and enjoyment of, the arts, the organisation offers a huge variety of activities with over 400 live performances – comedy, dance, drama, exhibitions, family shows, music, opera – a range of opportunities for all ages to get involved and a year round cinema programme. Macrobert Arts Centre also produces and co-produces award-winning new work and is acknowledged as a producer of quality productions for younger audiences, working in partnership with other companies and artists.
Macrobert Collective is an exciting new opportunity for talented young people from Stirling and the Forth Valley to get involved. Created especially for National Theatre of Scotland Exchange 2016 by Macrobert Arts Centre, this new company is open to 16 to 25 year olds.
The National Theatre of Great Britain is dedicated to making the very best theatre and sharing it with as many people as possible. We produce up to 30 productions at our South Bank home each year, ranging from re-imagined classics – such as Greek tragedy and Shakespeare – to modern masterpieces and new work by contemporary writers and theatre-makers. The work we make strives to be as open, as diverse, as collaborative and as national as possible. We want to inspire artists and audiences to think in new ways, to constantly re-imagine the act of making theatre.
The National’s work is also seen on tour throughout the UK and internationally, and in collaborations and co-productions with regional theatres. Popular shows transfer to the West End and occasionally to Broadway. The National Theatre Live programme of cinema broadcasts, introduced in 2009, is now regularly available in over 600 cinemas across the UK; forthcoming broadcasts include Of Mice and Men (19 November), Jane Eyre (8 December), the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (28 January) and As You Like It (25 February). National Theatre: On Demand In Schools offers three acclaimed, curriculum-linked productions free to stream on demand in every secondary school in the country.
Our PaperDog company is committed to making dynamic and exploratory performance, developing contemporary practice that both combines and deconstructs theatrical form, creating work that is physically and visually arresting, and universally readable. PaperDog performers are keen to take risks and challenge boundaries.
Red Note Ensemble is Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, dedicated to developing and performing contemporary music to the highest standards, and taking new music out to audiences around and beyond Scotland. It is the Associate Contemporary Ensemble at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and an Associate Company of the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Red Note was founded in 2008 by Scottish cellist Robert Irvine, and is directed by John Harris (chief executive and artistic co-director) and Robert Irvine (artistic co-director).
The ensemble is led by violinist Jacqueline Shave. Red Note performs the established classics of contemporary music; commissions new music; develops the work of new and emerging composers from around the world; and finds new spaces and new ways of performing contemporary music to attract new audiences. Red Note’s work in 2016 includes a Reels to Ragas tour of the Highlands and Islands with Indian tabla player Kuljit Bhamra, The 306: Dawn with the National Theatre of Scotland, a new string quartet for invented instruments by Francois Sarhan, and a large-scale co-production and tour of Europe with Antwerp-based wind ensemble I Solisti.
Based at Banchory’s Woodend Barn, Sound organise the annual Sound Festival: Scotland’s Festival of New Music, as well as workshops and performances throughout the year. We aim to make new music more accessible through a variety of performances, workshops, talks and other activities, as well as to encourage excellence and experimentation by commissioning and producing new work, and to nurture local and Scottish talent. We do this in partnership with a range of local, national and international arts organisations.
Station House Media Unit (shmu), established as a charity in 2003, is one of the core cultural organisations in Aberdeen, and is at the forefront of Community Media development in Scotland, supporting residents in the seven regeneration areas of the city in the use of a range of media for a variety of purposes.
shmu is actively involved in radio and video production, traditional and on-line publications, music production and digital inclusion programmes. The organisation also supports other disadvantaged communities, both geographic and communities of interest, with an employability and training arm and a programme for offenders, both pre and post-release. www.shmu.org.uk
Strange Town is a performing arts company for 5-25 year olds based at Out of the Blue in Leith, Edinburgh. Strange Town consists of a “youth theatre that really works” (8-18s); a “startlingly gifted young company” (18-25s) (Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman); Young Actors’ Agency (5-25s) and schools outreach programme (5-12s). All the plays produced by Strange Town are original, written by young, emerging writers. These productions (70 new plays to date) have reached large audiences in Scottish venues (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Rothes Halls, Royal Lyceum, Traverse, Roxy, Summerhall and Edinburgh Castle) to critical acclaim.
Told by an idiot creates theatre for national and international touring and for specific spaces. They set out to explore the human condition by celebrating and revelling in a style of theatre that is bigger than life. The company always seeks to acknowledge the artifice of theatre and makes no attempt to put reality on stage. They remain, however, fascinated by the fine line between comedy and tragedy that exists in the real world. Through collaborative writing, anarchic physicality and a playful but rigorous approach to text, the company is committed to creating a genuinely spontaneous experience for the audience. Using a wealth of imagery and a rich theatrical language, they aim to tell universal stories that are accessible to all.
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND – ARTISTS BIOGRAPHIES 2016
Simon Armitage – lyricist on I am Thomas
Simon Armitage was born in 1963 and lives in West Yorkshire. He has published nine volumes of poetry, most recently Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid (Faber, 2006) and The Not Dead (Pomona, 2008). He has won numerous awards and prizes and been shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His dramatisation of The Odyssey, commissioned by the BBC, was broadcast on Radio 4. The book, Homer’s Odyssey – A Retelling, was published by Faber & Faber in the UK and by Norton in the US. He has written for over a dozen television films, and received an Ivor Novello Award for his song-lyrics in the Channel 4 film Feltham Sings, which also won a BAFTA.
His prose work includes two novels, the best-selling memoir All Points North, (Penguin 1998) which was the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and its follow-up, Gig. He was one of the judges for the 2006 Man Booker Prize Simon Armitage has taught at the University of Leeds and the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, and is currently a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. His translation of the middle English classic poemSir Gawain and the Green Knight, commissioned by Faber & Faber in the UK and Norton in the US, was published in 2007. An anthology of bird poetry, edited with Tim Dee, was published by Viking in October 2009 and his latest collection of poetry Seeing Stars was published by Faber in 2010.
Armitage’s 2012 non-fiction book Walking Home, an account of his troubadour journey along the Pennine Way, was a Sunday Times best-seller for over a month and is shortlisted for the 2012 Portico Prize.
Oliver Emanuel – writer of The 306: Dawn
An internationally award-winning playwright based in Glasgow. His work has been seen across the UK, Ireland, Europe, Canada, USA and China. His play Dragon won Best Show for Children and Young People at the UK Theatre Awards 2014. It was also the first play for children ever to be presented at the Edinburgh International Festival, in 2015. Titus won the People’s Choice Victor Award at IPAY in Philadelphia 2015. As well as theatre, Oliver writes extensively for radio and has been writer in residence for BBC Radio 4 and Children in Need in 2011. His play Daniel & Mary was nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award for Best Drama in 2010, and he is a leading writer on Emile Zola: Blood, Sex & Money starring Glenda Jackson for BBC Radio 4 to be broadcast in 2015-16. Oliver is a part-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews.
Vicky Featherstone - director of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Vicky is the artistic director at the Royal Court Theatre. In this role her directing credits have included Dennis Kelly’s The Ritual Slaughter of George Mastromas, Abi Morgan’s The Mistress Contract and Molly Davies’ God Bless the Child, and Zinnie Harris’ How To Hold Your Breath. She opened her first season at the Royal Court Theatre with Open Court – a festival of plays, ideas and events, chosen by over 140 writers. At National Theatre of Scotland, her credits included Enquirer (co-directed with John Tiffany), Appointment With The Wicker Man and 27.
Vicky Featherstone was the inaugural artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland (2004 to 2013) and was previously artistic director of Paines Plough (1997 to 2004).
David Greig – co-creator of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
David is a playwright, screenwriter and director. His work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, One Day in Spring, Glasgow Girls, Peter Pan, The Bacchae, Futurology: A Global Review and Gobbo. His production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opened in the West End in 2013 and his new play The Events premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in August 2013. Other theatre highlights include The Monster In The Hall, Midsummer, Yellow Moon, Being Norwegian, Damascus, Pyrenees, San Diego, The American Pilot, Outlying Islands and The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union.
Lee Hall – adapter of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Lee was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1966. He studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge and has worked as a writer in theatre, TV, radio and film. He has been writer in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne. Previous theatre work includes Shakespeare In Love (Noel Coward Theatre), The Pitmen Painters (2007- 2013), Live Theatre/ Royal National Theatre, Broadway, West End, UK Tours (winner Evening Standard Best Play Award, TMA Best New Play Award); and Billy Elliot – the Musical, London 2004-, Australia 2006-7, Broadway, 2008-, Chicago, 2010 (Olivier Award – Best Musical, 9 Tony Awards including Best Book). Film and television credits include War Horse (2011), DreamWorks; Toast (2010); and Billy Elliot (2000), Working Title Films (Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay).
Zinnie Harris – writer of This Restless House
Zinnie Harris is a playwright, director and screenwriter. Her plays include the multi-award winning Further than the Furthest Thing (National Theatre / Tron Theatre), The Wheel (National Theatre of Scotland), Midwinter, Solstice (RSC), Fall (Traverse Theatre / RSC), Nightingale and Chase (Royal Court) and a version of A Dolls House (Donmar Warehouse.) She has written episodes of Spooks for BBC1, Richard is My Boyfriend, Born With Two Mothers for Channel 4, and directed for the National Theatre of Scotland, Tron Theatre, 7:84 and the RSC. She is currently an associate artist at the Traverse Theatre, and is writing a new series for BBC1.
Dominic Hill – director of This Restless House
Dominic Hill took up his post as artistic director of the Citizens Theatre in Autumn 2011, having previously held the posts of artistic director at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh (2008 – 2011) and joint artistic director of Dundee Rep (2003 – 2008). Since his first season, his programmes of classic texts told for contemporary audiences alongside Glasgow stories, as well as his own distinctive productions, have won praise from public and critics alike and have reaffirmed the Citizens’ role as a leading producer of courageous new theatre in Scotland.
Highlights of Hill’s tenure at the Citizens so far include: King Lear starring David Hayman; Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape with a central performance by the late Gerard Murphy; a new stage adaptation of Crime and Punishment which won a record six nominations at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland in 2014, winning four including Best Production and Best Director; a version of Hamlet, widely acknowledged as one of the boldest and most insightful interpretations of the Bard’s work in recent times and a 5-star production of A Christmas Carol.
In 2015, he directed two newly-commissioned works at the Citizens Theatre: Douglas Maxwell’s Fever Dream: Southside and The Choir, a new musical by Paul Higgins and Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross in a co-production with Ambassador Theatre Group.
Other credits include Falstaff and Macbeth (Scottish Opera) and The City Madam (Royal Shakespeare Company). He has directed in theatres in London and throughout the UK.
Paul Hunter – director of I am Thomas
Paul Hunter is co-founder and artistic director of Told by an Idiot. Paul has worked on all Told by an Idiot shows to date as director/devisor/performer. Directing credits include: Every Last Trick (Royal & Derngate, Northampton); Get Happy (Barbican Pit); The Mouse and his Child (RSC), Low Pay, Don’t Pay (Salisbury Playhouse), Senora Carrar’s Rifles (Young Vic), Not With That Hand (BAC), Ordago (for Punto Finco in bilbao). As associate director at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Paul Hunter directed: The Venetian Twins, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Best Production, Manchester Evening News award), Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Cleo, Camping Emmanuel and Dick. Film and TV credits include: Cinderella (directed by Kenneth Brannagh); Pan (directed by Joe Wright); Alice Through the Looking Glass; Marvellous (BBC)
Vicki Manderson - associate director - Let The Right One In
Vicki trained at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and London Contemporary Dance School. Vicki’s credits as a Movement Director for theatre include The Drowning Pond (Youth Music Theatre), I Do Believe in Monsters (Central School of Speech and Drama), The Silence of the Sea (Donmar: Trafalgar season). As Associate Movement Director, her theatre credit includes Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National/London’s West End). As a performer, her theatre work includes In Time o’ Strife, Beautiful Burnout (National Theatre of Scotland with Frantic Assembly), Knives in Hens, Home Inverness (National Theatre of Scotland), Dr Dee (English National Opera/Manchester International Festival), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal and Derngate). Her dance credits as a performer include (in)visible dancing, LOL (Lots of Love), To The Bone (Protein Dance), One Up One Down (Barrowland Ballet).
Rona Munro - writer of The James Plays
Recent theatre writing credits include Scuttler (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) Donny’s Brain (Hampstead Downstairs), The Astronaut’s Chair (for the Drum Theatre Plymouth), Pandas (for the Traverse Theatre), Little Eagles (for the Royal Shakespeare Company), a contemporary adaptation of The House Of Bernarda Alba for the National Theatre of Scotland), The Last Witch (for the Edinburgh International Festival), Long Time Dead (co-production with Paines Plough and the Drum Theatre Plymouth), Iron (for the Traverse Theatre -winner of the John Whiting award), and Mary Barton (for the Royal Exchange Theatre). Television work includes the BAFTA nominated Bumping The Odds and Rehab (both for the BBC). Film work includes Ladybird Ladybird directed by Ken Loach and Oranges And Sunshine directed by Jim Loach. Radio work includes multiple episodes of The Stanley Baxter Playhouse. She is the writing half of Scotland’s award winning women’s theatre company The Misfits.
Laurie Sansom – artistic director and chief executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, director of The 306: Dawn and The James Plays.
Previously, he was artistic director of the Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, from 2006 and Associate Director to Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from 2002 to 2006. His productions for the National Theatre of Scotland include The Driver’s Seat (The Lyceum, Edinburgh) and The James Plays (Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Great Britain)
Productions at the Royal & Derngate include The Bacchae, Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler, which were presented as The Festival of Chaos, as part of London 2012 Festival. Other recent productions include Spring Storm and Beyond the Horizon which transferred to the National Theatre, London, and for which he received the 2010 TMA Award for Best Director, Frankenstein (with Frantic Assembly), The Duchess of Malfi and Follies. In 2009, the Royal & Derngate’s production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, winning Anna Francolini the TMA Award for Best Performance in a Play. He has directed for theatres around the UK including the Traverse, Birmingham Rep, Salisbury Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, New Vic, Stoke, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the National Theatre, London, where he recently directed The Holy Rosenbergs.
Simon Sharkey – director of Granite
Simon is associate director of National Theatre of Scotland and part of the company’s inaugural senior management team. He leads the Learn department and previous work for the company includes large-scale site-specific productions including The Tin Forest, Jump and 99…100. He has worked across the world and facilitates international cultural exchanges for the National Theatre of Scotland. Most recently, he has been travelling throughout Scotland and internationally, developing a wide range of projects for communities.
Jack Thorne – writer of Let The Right One in
Theatre work includes Stuart: A Life Backwards (Hightide/Sheffield Theatres); The Borough (Punchdrunk/Aldeburgh Festival); Mydidae (Drywrite/Soho/Trafalgar Studios); The Physicists (Donmar); Bunny (Nabakov/international tour); 2nd May 1997 (& Nabakov), Red Car Blue Car, Two Cigarettes, When You Cure Me (Bush); Greenland (National); Burying Your Brother in the Pavement (NT Connections); Stacy (Tron/Arcola/Trafalgar Studios); Fanny & Faggot (Pleasance/ Finborough/ Trafalgar Studios); Paperhouse (Flight 5065) and Solids (Paines Plough/Young Vic).
Television credits include The Fades, This is England 88, This is England 86, Cast-Offs, Skins and Shameless. Film credits include The Scouting Book for Boys and A Long Way Down. His awards include London Film Festival Best British Newcomer Award.
Gareth Williams – composer on The 306: Dawn
Originally from Armagh, Gareth now lives and works as a composer in Glasgow. His work has been featured in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, St. Magnus Festival, Sound Festival, 5:15, Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Sonorities, Opera to Go, and the York Late Music Festival. Prizes include the Dinah Wolf Prize for Composition, and his piece Search Engines was winner of the 2000 Great British Conservatoire Composers Forum. His music has been broadcast on BBC Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Ulster, RTE Television, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, and CBC Radio 2 in Canada. Currently, Gareth is Composer in Residence at Scottish Opera, where he has created two full length chamber operas – The Elephant Angel, with novelist Bernard MacLaverty, and Last One Out, with writer, Johnny McKnight. He is currently creating a new piece for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a new work for soprano and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and a new opera, with libretto by Canadian writer, Anna Chatterton, based on D.H.Lawrence’s ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’.
Wils Wilson – co-creator of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
Wils’s recent work includes Gastronauts (Royal Court), an edible performance exploring our complex relationship with food, Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales) a theatre event/gig created with electro-pop duo Neon Neon, and Anon (WNO), a new opera by Errollyn Wallen.
Other work for National Theatre of Scotland includes Ignition, Gobbo (Best Production for Children & Young People, Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland) and HOME Shetland (also winner of a CATS Award). Wils was co-founder and co-artistic director of wilson+wilson (1997-2007), creating site-specific art, installation and theatre. Work included HOUSE, Mapping the Edge, News from the Seventh Floor and Mulgrave, which took audiences to locations including a derelict house, a tram, woods, a ballroom and a department store at night.
Alan Warner – writer of The Sopranos
Alan Warner was born in Oban in 1964 and grew up there. He is the author of eight novels including Morvern Callar which was made into a film starring Samantha Morton in 2002, These Demented Lands, The Man Who Walks, The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven, The Stars in the Bright Sky which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and The Deadman’s Pedal which won the 2013 James Tait Black Prize. His latest novel is Their Lips Talk of Mischief, published by Faber in 2014. His novel, The Sopranos, was first published in 1998.
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