Media Release: New partnership between the National Theatres of Scotland and China

EIGHTH March 2012 marks the launch in Beijing of a new partnership between the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre of China and the announcement of the first collaboration between the companies, an exciting new international new writing initiative for Chinese writers.

The National Theatre of Scotland prides itself on its commitment to new writing and places writers at the heart of its artistic programme.

The company has produced over 100 new works for the theatre in its first six years including new plays by David Greig, David Harrower, Zinnie Harris, Anthony Neilson, Douglas Maxwell, Gregory Burke, Rona Munro, John Byrne, Bryony Lavery and Abi Morgan.

The National Theatre of China, inspired by the National Theatre of Scotland’s artistic policies, is looking to develop new voices in Chinese contemporary theatre and film and to create strategies around new writing.

An international new writing project is being launched in Beijing on 8 March, the aims of which are to discover new Chinese writers and plays from China to develop their work with the assistance of National Theatre of Scotland practitioners, and to produce an International Play, a Pie and a Pint season at Òran Mór, Glasgow.

The National Theatres of Scotland and China are collaborating with the following partners and organisations on the project: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre; British Council (Beijing); Beijing Children’s Art Theatre Co. Ltd, The Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh; Peking University and a Play, a Pie and a Pint at Òran Mór.

The development activities in China are being led by leading Chinese director Tian Qinxin, who is the vice-director of the Institute of Film, Television and Theatre, Peking University. She is also a theatre director with the National Theatre of China.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:

“By bringing together Chinese theatre writers with Scottish artists and performers, this lively and exciting collaboration is another example of how Scotland’s relationship with China is being strengthened across a wide spectrum of cultural, business and education links. Artistic exchanges like this are crucial to creating a climate of mutual trust, understanding and friendship between our two countries.”

Mr Zhiqiang Zhou, President of the National Theatre of China, said:

“It looks like there will be many exciting possibilities for long-term collaboration between Scotland and China. We are thrilled to build a long-term relationship with the National Theatre of Scotland, a company of high artistic quality.”

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland, says:

“I am honoured and delighted to be able to announce the beginning of a long theatrical relationship that Scotland will develop with China. One of the most important things we can do in theatre is to make a platform for writers and to help them achieve their potential. We are thrilled to be working with the National Theatre of China, in this respect, with a country with such a rich culture, and such a diverse population. I am delighted to be part of this new initiative and can’t wait to see what new ideas and writing talent will be discovered.”

International new writing initiatives 2012 to 2013

  • Launch week in March in Beijing. For the launch week during 8th to 14th March 2012 in Beijing and Shanghai, there will be events including a writing laboratory and talks by literary manager, George Aza-Selinger, from the National Theatre of Scotland. Activities will take place in collaboration with National Theatre China, Peking University and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.
  • 24. Davey Anderson (playwright, director) and George Aza-Selinger (literary manager) from National Theatre of Scotland will deliver an intensive, two-week writing lab for ten selected Chinese writers in Beijing in the summer 2012, where writers will be supported and trained in the art of theatre writing. The writers will then be given 24 hours to write an one-act play, which will be given a public reading in Beijing (National Theatre of China or Peking University). These plays will be considered for a production in Scotland.
  • Exchange. The selected playwrights whose plays are chosen for production, will be invited in autumn 2012 to Scotland to develop their plays further and be given opportunities to engage in cultural exchange and work with Scottish artists.
  • Òran Mór A Play, A Pie and A Pint 2013, in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland

A number of new plays will be produced as part of an International A Play, A Pie and A Pint season. A Play, A Pie and A Pint is a ground-breaking new writing Scottish theatre event which recently celebrated its 250th play. The National Theatre of Scotland has collaborated with Òran Mór on two international seasons – a Latin American season (2011) and One Day in Spring season in 2012.

Background to the partnership.

In September 2011, Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland invited the executive producer, Li Dong, and theatre director, Tian Qinxin, from the National Theatre of China to participate in an artistic residency in Scotland. During the residency, Tian Qinxin observed both the creative process and management side of the company. The National Theatre of China representatives met artists and students from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, University of Glasgow and Sahba Mór Ostaig and were given master classes.

For further information contact

Emma Schad, Press Manager

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

Andrew Neilson, Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9497 / +44 (0)7912 540139    E:

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


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.

National Theatre of China (NTC) is the largest state-level performing art organisation of the People’s Republic of China, based in Beijing, the National Theatre of China has a venue of three theatres. Founded on 25th December 2001, National Theatre of China offers a platform where tradition meets modernity and state-of-the-art performance is pursued to nurture theatrical masterpieces. National Theatre of China focuses on producing original plays, and has performed many fine works of contemporary dramatists. It produces classical works whilst offering an open stage where young theatre-makers can create new innovative productions. The president of NTC is Zhou Zhiqiang.

A Play, a Pie and a Pint is arguably the UK’s largest commissioner and producer of new drama. Founded in 2004, it has mounted 250 productions in the last eight years. Plays from Òran Mór have been produced in England, Ireland, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Australia and the USA. In 2011, A Play, a Pie and a Pint co-produced a season of six plays from Latin America with the National Theatre of Scotland and, together this year, will co-produce a similar season of works from the Arab World. Future plans include seasons from China, Russia and the Commonwealth.

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Contact: Andrew Neilson
Phone: 07912540139