Media Release: 24 hours of live, online theatre




created by anyone for a worldwide audience of everyone receives:

22,000 visits from 722 different cities across 54 countries




TODAY, the National Theatre of Scotland is thrilled to announce that the company’s ambitious 24hour online broadcast of live theatre which took place from 5pm, Tuesday 21st June until 5pm Wednesday 22nd June at, received over 20,000 visits in more than 722 different cities across 54 countries.

All 235 theatre pieces are currently being archived and will be available to view again (and again) at from Monday 20th June.

The National Theatre of Scotland partnered with STV throughout the life of the project, enabling eight of the Five Minute Theatre pieces to be performed and filmed at STV’s studio at Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

The 24 hour online event was also simultaneously streamed live An archive of the 235 Five Minute Theatre pieces is also being hosted by STV at from today.

National Theatre of Scotland artistic director, Vicky Featherstone, said: “To everybody who participated, wherever you are in the world, we thank you for your creativity and your inspiration.”

Marianne Maxwell, Five Minute Theatre Project Manager, National Theatre of Scotland, commented: “The response to Five Minute Theatre from all over the world has been fantastic. The creativity of each theatre piece has offered live and virtual audiences in Scotland and all over the world, original, funny and brilliant entertainment over the past 24 hours. A great big THANK YOU to everyone who has taken part. It’s been a truly inspirational experience.”

Robert Dawson Scott, web editor at STV, said: “The individual Five Minute Theatre performances were a riot of variety, colour and ambition, and the technical team at National Theatre of Scotland did an astonishing job keeping the live stream on schedule for 24 hours. All pre-recorded pieces are now available to view on and we look forward to publishing the pieces that were recorded on the day very shortly.”

Audience and participant tweets and include:


#fiveminutetheatre Hugely ambitious and excellently executed project from @NTSonline Wowed by scope, imagination and skills of all. Thank you!


everyone at Knox Academy had an incredible day doing #fiveminutetheatre Thank you @NTSonline for giving us a wonderful project!


Hats off and happy birthday to our brilliant friends at @NTSonline – a great project #fiveminutetheatre


Great to see the variety and creativity of the work during #fiveminutetheatre Great job @NTSonline


Good times @NTSonline. You really outdid yourselves with #fiveminutetheatre. Now, go and get some kip. x


I’ve absolutely loved the creativity of #fiveminutetheatre from @NTSonline! Here’s to the next five years and many more…


#fiveminutetheatre great event from @NTSonline bringing together alot of talented people well done to everyone involved


This time yesterday, I was preparing to go live to the world from a bin bag in the rain, the first #fiveminutetheatre – now I’m on a sofa :)


I’m away to fall asleep and dream about a great day. Ta #fiveminutetheatre and #safetynet why can’t every day be like that?

Meanwhile, Facebook comments include:

Online audience member, Daniel Jackson (Jun 22)

Could not have been more cynical about 5 minute theatre. Could not have been less interested. Could not, now, be more transfixed.

Participant, Gerard Dignan (Jun 22)

My kids at Craigowl in Dundee couldn’t believe how well they were received by others watching. They didn’t think that anyone would bother. It put their confidence through the roof and are now ready to do their much longer show on the Rep tomorrow. Thanks everyone.

Audience member Edward Whitley (Jun 22)

Stumbled across the filming of Richard Gad’s monologue in the Halt bar with the cream of Scottish comedy in attendance including Kevin Bridges! Funny, poignant and from the heart.

Participant, Hope Dickson Leach (Jun 22)

Thanks for having us as part of your fantastic celebration.

For more comments, visit

On Monday 18th April, 2011, the National Theatre of Scotland announced that 235 five minute theatre pieces had been selected to take part in an extraordinary 24hour online broadcast of live theatre, taking place on Tuesday 21st June 2011, from 5pm until 5pm the following day.

The Five Minute Theatre project featured over 1,500 performers in eleven countries. Of the 235 successful entries, 202 were performed in Scotland, thirteen across the rest of the UK, four in Europe and sixteen across the rest of the world.

Those selected included poets, primary school pupils and film-makers; families, community groups and teenagers; visual artists, carers, professional theatre-makers and expectant mothers based in areas from Paisley, Paraguay and Govan to Milan, Orkney and New York; Brighton, Brussels and Dalkeith to London, Shanghai and Edinburgh; Mumbai, Livingston and Beijing.

Five to 65 year-olds took part in five minute long theatre pieces located indoors and out, in farmyards, forests, gardens and parks to bedrooms, tree-houses, kitchens, park benches, roof tops, public libraries, trains, cafes, offices, art galleries, shop windows and a cave.

Professional or amateur, young or old, absolutely anyone was encouraged to take part by writing, devising, directing, performing and producing a piece of theatre, five minutes long.  There were no set skills or qualifications required other than a good idea, dramatic flair, and some bravery!

A cross-section of selected Five Minute Theatre pieces featured the following:

Human Boggle: Aspiring Glasgow-based, physical theatre maker, Martha Burns Findlay presented an interactive interpretation of the well-known word game Boggle. Describing her five minute theatre piece as a “fun, bizarre and participative performance that uses physical theatre, clowning and melodrama set to a backdrop of ragtime music that all ages will enjoy”, Human Boggle represents the development of an earlier work Human Bingo and will feature fellow physical theatre performers and audience members. Human Boggle will subsequently be performed as part of a games event for Scottish Refugee Week on Saturday 25th June

DANCE FOR MOM: Although she frequently performs in front of large audiences in her chosen career as a professional dancer, Shanghai based Liu Yanan has never danced for her mother. Liu explains: “I think most performers have never done this, perform for their mom. It seems the easiest but the most difficult thing to do, to communicate with the closest person through performance. I’d like to dance for my mom, only for her.”

Beurgerfest 2011: Representing the culmination of an exchange project between Regensburg, Germany and Aberdeen, twenty young performers from both cities came together in Regensburg city centre to stage street theatre pieces inspired by Philip Pullman’s novella, Clockwork. The exchange project is run by Aberdeen Performing Arts, Visible Fictions and Aberdeen City Council.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: “Well, if you guys are going to be broadcasting all day, I think you’re almost definitely going to need at least one commercial break!” From his London home, David Lees re-created Scottish TV adverts including There’s a Moose Loose aboot this Hoose and Tennents’ Caledonia advert which he says, “always makes me cry”.

The Garibaldi Paradox: Two elderly women on mobility scooters have their friendship put to the test when one tries to convince the other that she has inherited the ability to travel through time. Written by Colin Hough and featuring a cast of professional actors, including Alison Peebles and Anne Lacey, the piece was staged outdoors on the Clydeside promenade of the newly restored Harbour District.

Colin explains: “The action will be played out on the move, against a backdrop of glass fronted, penthouse apartments. The audience will walk alongside the characters as they manoeuvre their mobility scooters along the promenade.”

PARAGUAY? YES, PARAGUAY! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?: Paraguayan artist, Paolo Irun staged his five minute street theatre performance during the morning rush-hour, in front of one of the most emblematic historical buildings in downtown, Asuncion – Paraguay’s capital – the Hero’s Pantheon. Paolo explains: “I’m a Paraguayan artist living and working in New York City and the director and creator of this experimental, collaborative, multidisciplinary and multicultural devised theatre piece about identity.”

Paolo collaborated with fellow artists in New York and Paraguay to develop the piece. Adding that “little is known about our theatre and our artists”, Paolo hopes his Five Minute Theatre piece will offer a glimpse of his native country’s cultural vibrance.

The Last Supper: At a farm in deepest Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland, 26 year-old performance poet Michael Pedersen is based the premise of his Five Minute Theatre piece The Last Supper, on a conversation that occurs between a cow and a young lad completing his paper-round.

: In a monologue delivered from a park bench, stand-up comic, David Innes, recounted personal experiences of dealing with the highs and lows caused by depression.

APE: Fifty seven year-old Robert Sian’s Five Minute Theatre piece, Ape took place in a town square in Belgium. Robert describes the scene: “A well dressed man appears in the town square – he metamorphoses into an ape – going through the various stages (backwards) of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He returns from whence he came – begging the question – what has he achieved?”

WEDDING NIGHT: Prince William and his new bride, Kate, are spending their wedding night in a hotel. Unable to shake off the press pack, a waiter is enlisted to help in their quest for privacy. His intentions however, are far from benign. Film and theatre-maker, Hope Dickson Leach conceived Wedding Night as a promenade piece. Audience members were given cameras and asked to record moments as they glimpse the royal couple as they make their way through the hotel. The actors responded to the audience as they performed. Hope says: “I’m excited by the idea of creating a piece of filmed live theatre, where the audience participates in a way that I hope will add tension – as well as being fun for them.”

Other pieces included librarians in a public library arguing over the purpose of literature;  a seven year old writer/director leading fellow primary school pupils in a piece called THE PLANET OF TERROR; two teenage boys who find themselves on a rooftop in the middle of the night, musing on their place in the universe and students staging a surreal comedy in which a group of squirrels attempt to land on the moon in a rocket made from a tree.

Of the 235 theatre pieces that were broadcast online across the 24hours, fourteen were recorded and streamed live at the CCA in Glasgow, eight from The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen and seven from Adam House Theatre in Edinburgh.

Simultaneously throughout the day, National Theatre of Scotland mobilised eight ’roving’ camera crews across Scotland. These crews recorded and live streamed Five Minute Theatre pieces in situ.  There were three roving film crews throughout Glasgow, and one crew in each of Edinburgh, Perth, Ayr, Haddington and Livingstone.

Further information and can be found at


Wendy Grannon, press manager (maternity leave)

Tel: +44 (0) 141 227 9016 E:

Andrew Neilson, press officer

Tel: +44 (0) 141 227 9497 E:


1. 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.

2. The latest Five Minute Theatre news can be followed on Twitter: and Facebook: National Theatre of Scotland where participants can ask questions, share ideas and tips and connect with other theatre-makers.

3. Envirodigital is consultant producer for Five Minute Theatre  Envirodigital is a lighthouse brand, guiding the creative and digital industries in a sustainable direction through the use of digital tools and technologies. Edinburgh-based Envirodigital helps organisations create economically and ecologically sustainable digital developments. Envirodigital helped to establish the new National Theatre Wales’ digital and environmental policies, and is helping to ensure many Scottish organisations’ and events’ environmental sustainability through providing webcasting production and consultancy.

4. STV reaches over 4 million viewers each month, STV brings viewers first class programming, including Emmerdale and Coronation Street, crime drama Taggart, live guests and features on The Hour, entertainment hits The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, strong home-grown productions and comprehensive news. STV’s digital channels attract over 2 million unique users per month and incorporates website, home to news, sport and entertainment; STV Player, where you can catch up with your favourite STV programmes; and STV Local, a network of hyper-local websites which is being rolled out across Scotland. Last year, STV announced a distribution deal with YouTube, making STV content available to a global audience.

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Contact: Andrew Neilson

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