Media Release: Staging The Nation December events at the Scottish Parliament and Citizens Theatre

THE National Theatre of Scotland’s Staging The Nation series of events continue with an evening of discussion, performance and provocation at the Scottish Parliament on 15th December 2011 and a rehearsed reading of Gay Landscape by George Munro on 20th December 2011 at the Citizens Theatre.

The event at the Scottish Parliament, Thorn in Their Side: Nurturing the Thistle of Scottish Political Theatre will see Graham McLaren interview David MacLennan and Linda MacKenney about the historical context of today’s political theatre and why Scotland proved such ‘fertile soil’ for the seeds of political theatre to grow.

Inspired by influential political theatre makers, nine artists will also each perform a three-minute provocation. The artists taking part are Morag Fullerton, Marianella Yanes, Liz MacLennan, Peter Arnott, Kieran Hurley, Amanda Monfrooe, Alan Bissett, Catrin Evans and Cora Bissett.

David MacLennan is a Scottish writer, director and producer. He was one of the founders of 7:84 and Wildcat Theatre and producer of Glasgow’s Mayfest. He is also a prolific and successful playwright. He founded Glasgow Lunchtime Theatre and started a Play, a Pie and a Pint in 2004 which has produced over 230 plays.

Linda Mackenney did the original research for John McGrath’s Clydebuilt Season presented by 7:84 Scotland in 1982: the season included Joe Corrie’s In Time O’ Strife, first presented by the Bowhill Players in 1926 and Ena Lamont Stewart’s Men Should Weep, which had not been presented in Scotland since Glasgow Unity first presented the play in 1947. She was appointed to set up the Scottish Theatre Archive at Glasgow University Library between 1981 and 1985. Her book The Activities of Scottish Popular Dramatists and Drama Groups, 1900 to 1950 was published by the Edwin Mellen Press.  She is currently researching a new book called Toppling the Trembling Giant: The Theatre of John McGrath.

Gay Landscape, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

George Munro’s family epic Gay Landscape tells the story of Govan’s fiery Gascoyne sisters on three separate meetings between 1908 and 1914. Full of biting sibling banter, wit and social commentary, Gay Landscape is a real Scottish classic play.

Gay Landscape was first performed at the Citizens Theatre on 24th February 1958 and has not been professionally produced since. The original production was simultaneously presented live on television.

Graham McLaren is directing the rehearsed reading and commented:

“In my opinion George Munro’s Gay Landscape is a real Scottish classic play, full of the robust, witty language, visceral characters and social commentary that we’ve come to expect from writers who developed their skills with Glasgow Unity Theatre Company, Ena Lamont Stewart being another. In a similar way to Men Should Weep, it is a family epic set in a Glasgow home and was a huge success when it played the Citizen’s Theatre in 1958. I am keen to see how a modern audience will respond to hearing it today.”

STAGING THE NATION is the National Theatre of Scotland’s year-long nation-wide conversation about theatre with Scottish artists and audiences.  Previous sold-out events include Alan Cumming’s Panto, Variety and the Scottish people at the King’s Theatre; The Slab Boys Reunion at the Traverse with original cast members, John Byrne and David Hayman and The Steamie, a reading hosted by Johnnie McKnight at the Winter Gardens, Glasgow.


STAGINGTHENATION.COM is a bespoke social network – a fully interactive community hub where audiences, commentators, pundits and opinionated folk from around the world can express their thoughts on Scottish theatre. Based around a set of eight provocations, the site reflects the diversity of the Staging the Nation programme while never being prescriptive – conversations can grow organically and can be started, maintained and expanded on by our users.  The website is a home for discussion, images and videos as well as live-blogs with industry professionals and the live-streaming of some of our Staging the Nation events. Since the site’s launch in September 2011, has hosted a simultaneously streamed live event and broadcast four live chats involving over a hundred participants.


Staging The Nation at the Scottish Parliament

Venue, date and time: Members’ Restaurant, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, 15th December 2011 at 7pm*

*All ticket holders are required to be at the Parliament for 6pm 

Online booking:     

Tickets are free

Staging The Nation at the Citizens Theatre

Venue, Date and Time:  Citizens Theatre, Glasgow on 20th December 2011 at 7.30pm

Booking Number:            0141 429 0022

Online booking:     

Tickets are free


For further information contact:

Emma Schad, press manager Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9016 / +44 (0)7930 308018


Andrew Neilson, press officer  Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9497 / +44 (0)7912540139


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

Notes to Editors

1. Staging Yhe 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 700,000 people, across three continents.


MEDIA RELEASE posted by the National Theatre of Scotland. You too can post a media release (aka press release) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Andrew Neilson
Phone: 447912540139