Media Release: National Theatre of Scotland reading to be talk of the Steamie

AS part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Staging The Nation series of events, theatre maker Johnny McKnight will host a reading of his favourite play, The Steamie, by Tony Roper on Wednesday 18th May, 7:30pm, at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow Green.

Johnny will bring together a Glasgow cast featuring well known faces from theatre and television (full details to be announced shortly) to bring to life Roper’s original script.

Following the reading, audiences will have the opportunity to take part in an open conversation session with Johnny and the cast.

First performed at the Crawford Theatre, Glasgow in 1987, The Steamie follows the lives of a group of 1950s Glasgow women washing their clothes in a public washhouse.

Johnny explains why he chose The Steamie as his favourite play: “It’s got everything in it that I believe makes theatre magic – it’s funny, no really funny, it’s for everybody, it’s dramatic, it’s for us.

“It’s the nostalgic comedy that’s really nostalgic to me. It’s my wee sister laughing at Galloway’s mince, or my auntie Aggie crying at naebody visting Mrs Culfeathers, or Auntie Libby saying that ‘Lil’s mother wis like that’.

“It’s the only play I know that has words jump from the page and into your front room. It’s a celebration of being Scottish, of being working class and of women. And I think that makes it more than qualified.”

Read more on Johnny’s reasons for choosing The Steamie at

Writer, director and actor, Johnny’s most recent projects include: Little Johnny’s Big Gay Wedding (National Theatre of Scotland, 2010), Promises Promises (Random Accomplice, 2010) and most recently, Smalltown (Random Accomplice, 2011). 

Gilly Roche, National Theatre of Scotland, said: “We’re thrilled to be staging The Steamie at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. It’s a truly illustrious venue that we feel really captures the strong Glasgow spirit that runs through this classic Scottish play.”

Following the reading there will be an opportunity for the audience to take part in a question and answer session.

Tickets are free and are available in person from the Tron Box Office or by calling 0141 552 4267.

This reading represents the second of the Company’s Favourite Play events whereby the National Theatre of Scotland has asked Scottish playwrights to pick their favourite Scottish plays and to host staged readings at locations across the country.

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow Green

Wednesday, 18th May, 2011, 7:30pm 

FREE ticketed event

Notes to editors:  

1. Staging the Nation: In its fifth year, the National Theatre of Scotland is resuming, provoking, and joining a nation-wide conversation about theatre with Scottish artists and audiences. Staging The Nation features a number of strands – lectures, debates, curated events, book clubs – and is open to everyone who cares about theatre-making in Scotland. The Staging the Nation online home, features further information, updates and box office details

2. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government. Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating over 137 productions in 125 different locations. With no building of its own, the company takes theatre all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to almost 600,000 people, across three continents.

3. For information and updates visit and/follow us on; National Theatre of Scotland and


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