Media Release: National Theatre of Scotland January – March 2012

THE National Theatre of Scotland announce January to March 2012 programme of work.


  • Glasgow teenagers bid for boxing glory in Australasia. The award-winning Beautiful Burnout will play at festivals in Australia and New Zealand in January 2012. A National Theatre of Scotland and Frantic Assembly co-production. Supported by the Scottish Government’s International Touring Fund.
  • Duncan McLean’s musical tribute to Shetland legend, Thomas Fraser, takes to the road in the USA in February 2012. Long Gone Lonesome, directed by Vicky Featherstone, is playing at venues in Chicago, Texas, Florida, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Supported by the Scottish Government’s International Touring Fund.


  • Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary join forces to bring their affectionate take on the cult movie classic, The Wicker Man, to the stage. Appointment with The Wicker Man, a new piece of music theatre, directed by Vicky Featherstone, tours to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness and Dunfermline in February and March 2012.
  • The people of Falkirk share their tales of social dancing in the lead up to a large-scale community show in a surprise location in Falkirk, in March 2012. Reasons to Dance is presented in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust and sponsored by ScottishPower.
  • The National Theatre of Scotland’s New Directors and Emerging Artists, supported by Bank of Scotland, will share their experiences in Emerge, a new series of events showcasing their work in progress. The first Emerge event will take place on 26 January 2012 at the Citizens Theatre Circle Studio.
  • Bothy boxes are appearing in selected bothies across Scotland, planted by a team of artists and inviting personal responses from the public. This gathering of stories forms part of The Bothy Project and will be available online at



An Appointment with The Wicker Man

Written by Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary

Directed by Vicky Featherstone

A new piece of music theatre

Based on the motion picture ‘The Wicker Man’, the motion picture screenplay by Anthony Shaffer

and the novel, ‘Ritual’, by David Pinner and by special arrangement with StudioCanal

Cast includes: Greg Hemphill and Johnny McKnight

On a distant and remote Scottish island, the Loch Parry Theatre Players mount a production of The Wicker Man. When their lead actor goes missing in mysterious circumstances, they call on the services of a television cop from the mainland to step in and save their production…

Regularly popping up at the top of ‘Best Horror Film of all Time’ lists, The Wicker Man is regarded as a cult film classic. Co-written by and starring one of Scotland’s most popular performers, Greg Hemphill of Chewin’ the Fat and Still Game, and directed by Vicky Featherstone, An Appointment with The Wicker Man is an all-singing-and-dancing love letter to a unique and timeless cult masterpiece.

Donald McLeary and Greg Hemphill have been collaborating together on various film and television projects since 2007.

Their feature film project, The Sea Hag of the Western Isles, is currently in development; produced by Andrew Eaton, directed by Matt Lipsey with Robbie Coltrane and Peter Mullan attached to star.

They are also developing a feature with Ecosse Films entitled Call Me Bill. Their BBC comedy Blue Haven is scheduled to shoot in April 2012 with Brown Eyed Boy/ Kudos, with Greg and Donald in central roles.

Donald writes and performs in Radio 4 comedy Fags, Mags and Bags (Best Comedy – Writers Guild Award), currently in its fifth season. He can also be seen every morning on CBeebies as Mickey John in Me Too!

An age guide of 16+ is suggested for this production.

Venues and Dates:

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen from 21 to 25 February 2012

Theatre Royal Glasgow from 28 February to 3 March 2012

Eden Court, Inverness from 6 to 10 March 2012

The Alhambra, Dunfermline from 21 to 24 March 2012

Press Performance:

22 February 2012 at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen



Long Gone Lonesome

Written by Duncan McLean, directed by Vicky Featherstone

Featuring the Lone Star Swing Band.

Duncan McLean’s poignant tribute to Thomas Fraser has been beguiling audiences across Scotland and beyond since 2009, having toured the Scottish Highlands and Islands, played to sell-out houses at Celtic Connections and travelled to Galway.

The band heads back out on the road again to the USA in February 2012. Duncan McLean on guitar and vocals is joined by Dick Levens on lap steel guitar and mandolin, Iain Tait on electric bass and Lynda Anderson on fiddle.

Thomas Fraser of Burra Isle, Shetland, a fisherman and crofter, died in 1978 aged 50, following an accident at sea. Thomas was dedicated to his art, mastering the styles of his heroes – especially pioneering country singer Jimmie Rodgers, America’s Blue Yodeller – and making the songs his own.

He was also an intensely private man, avoiding public performance and preferring to play in the privacy of his own croft. During his life he recorded thousands of songs at home using a reel-to-reel recorder.

His tapes were only discovered 25 years later by his grandson who compiled and released them as the album Long Gone Lonesome Blues in 2002.

Thomas Fraser is now acknowledged as a country music legend. The Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival is held in Burra Isle each November. A fifth CD, Just Call Me Lonesome, was released in 2010.

Venues and Dates:         

Texas Performing Arts, The University of Texas at Austin, from 19 to 21 January 2012

Purdue Convocations for Purdue University at the Mallett Theatre, Indiana, from 26 to 29 January 2012

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at the Hideout Club, Chicago, from 2 to 4 February 2012

Juniata College, Pennsylvania, from 8 to 10 February 2012

Seven Days of Opening Nights Festival for Florida State University at the Fred Turner Auditorium, Tallahassee Community College, Florida from 12 to 14 Feb  2012

Funded by the Scottish Government International Touring Fund



Beautiful Burnout

By Bryony Lavery

Directed by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett

Featuring the music of Underworld

Designed by Laura Hopkins, lighting design by Andy Purves,

Sound Design by Carolyn Downing and video design by Ian William Galloway        

A Frantic Assembly and National Theatre of Scotland co-production  

Cast: Duncan Anderson (Black Watch and Knives and Hens) and Kevin Guthrie (Peter Pan and Men Should Weep) join original cast members Taqi Nazeer, Vicki Manderson Ewan Stewart and Eddie Kay alongside Blythe Duff.

This festival tour follows successful runs in New York, London, England and Scotland and opening performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2010 where the production won a Scotsman Fringe First Award.

The production is playing at Sydney Festival, Perth International Arts Festival and New Zealand International Arts Festival. The National Theatre of Scotland has previously visited Sydney Festival and Perth International Festival with Black Watch and Aalst, and New Zealand International Arts Festival with Black Watch, in early 2008.

Frantic Assembly were last seen in Australia in 2010 with Stockholm, co-produced with Sydney Theatre Company, also written by Bryony Lavery.

Four young men and a battling lassie are training in a Glasgow gym. They want to be champions and win fistfuls of money.

Beautiful Burnout is about the soul-sapping three minute bursts where men become gods and gods become mere men. It is the second when the guard drops, the eyes blink and miss the incoming hammer blow.

Beautiful Burnout is the reverberating punch that bruises the hearts of all connected to this moment.

Beautiful Burnout tells a lyrical tale of aspirations and counterpunches, delivered in a visceral, heart-in-your-mouth production about one of the most controversial sports of our time.

Funded by the Scottish Government International Touring Fund.

Venues and Dates:         

Sydney Festival, York Theatre, Seymour Centre, Sydney from 18 to 29 January 2012

Perth International Arts Festival – ABC Television Studio, Perth from 10 to 25 February 2012

New Zealand International Arts Festival, TSB Bank Arena, Wellington, New Zealand from 3 to 18 March 2012


 Reasons to Dance

A National Theatre of Scotland project, created in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust

Sponsored by ScottishPower with support from the Scottish Government

Directed by Gillian Gourlay and Philippa Tomlin.

Reasons to Dance is a major new arts project in Falkirk exploring why people dance, their memories of dancing and traditions associated with going out dancing.

Created by the National Theatre of Scotland in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust and sponsored by ScottishPower, Reasons to Dance combines stories of social dancing with drama, music and visual art. In March 2012 the project will culminate in a major theatrical event created with, by, and for the people of Falkirk, in a surprise location filled with dancing memories. Venue details to be announced.

Performances will take place in March 2012.


An opportunity for audiences to go behind the scenes of the National Theatre Scotland development process and to share their views on the work.

The National Theatre of Scotland currently has seven emerging artists on attachment, supported by Bank of Scotland.

In the first of a series of intimate events, these artists are willing to share their work at its earliest stage and talk about their experiences on attachment. This year the writers and directors are: Alan Bissett, Amanda Gaughan, Ross Mackay, Amanda Monfrooe, Stef Smith, Molly Taylor and Jenna Watt.

Audiences are invited to join the Artistic Development team and artists at the Citizen’s Theatre Circle Studio on 26 January 2012 from 6 to 7pm, to sample the work, express their opinions and have a cup of tea  afterwards.

This series of events is supported by the Citizens Theatre.



Martin Travers (writer), Matilda Brown (composer and musician) and Martyn Robertson from Urbancroft (film maker) are appealing to the public to contribute to their bothies project. They are gathering people’s dramatic and memorable stories from walking and sheltering in the Scottish hills.

Five boxes have been placed in bothies across Scotland: Culra Bothy, north of Loch Ericht, near Dalwhinnie;  Doune Bothy, Loch Lomondside; Burly Whag Bothy, Dumfries & Galloway; Uags Bothy, south of Applecross and Coire Fionnaraich Bothy, on the  Coulin Pass between Achnashellach and Torridon.

Visitors to the bothies will encounter a box containing a notebook, pencils and a camera and will be invited to share their experiences of bothying. For those who won’t be passing, they can send their stories to These stories will form part of a future project and will be shared online at The project has the support of the Mountain Bothies Association.



For full booking information, performance schedules and on sale dates please visit:



For further information contact:

Andrew Neilson, Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9497 / +44 (0)7912540139


Emma Schad, Press Manager

Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9016 / +44 (0)7930 308018 


 Please follow the National Theatre of Scotland’s press office on Twitter @ NTS_press



  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.
  2. 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.
  3. The company has performed to almost 700,000 people, across three continents.
  4. Frantic Assembly’s celebrated physical style combines movement, design, music and text. Recent production highlights include Lovesong by Abi Morgan, Stockholm by Bryony Lavery, a radical reworking of Shakespeare’s Othello, pool (no water) by Mark Ravenhill, and Dirty Wonderland, a site-specific show for Brighton Festival.
  5. Frantic Assembly operates an extensive Learn & Train programme introducing 5000 participants a year to the company’s process of creating theatre in a wide variety of settings. Frantic Assembly is supported by Arts Council England.
  6. Bank of Scotland is a long-standing supporter of sports and the arts in Scotland.  Through their sponsorships they aim to support emerging talent across Scotland.  Bank of Scotland currently has partnerships with a wide range of Scottish sporting and cultural bodies including Imaginate, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Scottish Football Association and the Great Scottish Run. As part of the Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland is a proud partner for Scotland for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their mission is to inspire and support young people, colleagues, communities and businesses across Scotland all the way to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, through cultural and sporting activities.
  7. ScottishPower/National Theatre of Scotland - Between 2006 and 2010, the partnership between ScottishPower and National Theatre of Scotland supported the creation of 16 Transform projects across Scotland reaching and engaging school pupils and community members in creative and practical tasks that not only supported the Curriculum for Excellence but also gave them hands on experience in all aspects of creating theatre. ScottishPower continued its support of the National Theatre of Scotland through the sponsorship of three new community and education projects throughout 2010 and 2011: 99…100, Truant and Reasons to Dance.
  8. Falkirk Community Trust Falkirk is a new charitable company set up by Falkirk Council to deliver culture, library, recreation and sport services on its behalf from 1 July 2011. For further information please contact; Reasons to Dance forms part of the Falkirk Community Trust Dance & Drama Development programme. For further information regarding the programme please contact
  9. We would like to make a request for your support: Corporate sponsorship of the National Theatre of Scotland is crucial to our future. As arts supporters yourselves we hope you will help us in maintaining this important portion of our income and healthy relationships with sponsors by mentioning them in your coverage. This makes a real difference to the National Theatre of Scotland. Mentions are counted and used as an evaluation of projects. Please credit our sponsors.
  10. The Scottish Government’s £350,000 International Touring Fund is shared between the National Performing Companies and enables them to showcase the high quality of Scotland’s contemporary culture internationally.  More information at:


Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2011 – Best Music and Sound: Alasdair Macrae, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart 

Scotsman Fringe First 2011  – The Wheel

Herald Angel 2011 – The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2011 – The Wheel

Young People’s Awards Aberdeen  – Arts and Culture Award for Kingsford School for Extreme 

The Austin Critics’ Table Awards 2010-11 – Touring Show, Theatre, Black Watch, Texas Performing Arts


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Contact: Andrew Neilson
Phone: 01412279497