Media Release: National Theatre of Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012

THE National Theatre of Scotland presents two productions at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Appointment with The Wicker Man returns after a successful Scottish tour earlier this year, with Greg Hemphill and all the original cast, as does Molly Taylor’s, Love Letters to the Public Transport System, following Scottish tour dates and an acclaimed run as a work in progress in 2011.

Both productions are being presented at the refurbished Assembly Rooms on George Street.

Since the National Theatre of Scotland’s launch in 2006, the Company has presented  six productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Black Watch (2006); Venus As A Boy (2007); Architecting (2008); Beautiful Burnout (2010) and The Wheel and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart  last year.

All winners of  either a Herald Angel or a Scotsman Fringe First.

Appointment with The Wicker Man

Written by Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary and directed by Vicky Featherstone

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. The Wicker Man composed by Paul Giovanni © StudioCanal ( p ) Canal+Image UK Ltd

Assembly Rooms: Music Hall

Wed 1 Aug – Sun 26 Aug at 3:10pm Press Performance: Fri 3 Aug at 3:10pm

The full cast is Sean Biggerstaff, Jimmy Chisholm, Greg Hemphill, Johnny McKnight, Sally Reid, Paul Riley and Rosalind Sydney.

Creative team: Martin Lowe, musical director; Phil McCormack, assistant director; Chloe Lamford, designer; Imogen Knight, movement director; Lizzie Powell, lighting designer and Nick Sagar, sound designer.

Having played to packed out houses throughout Scotland in February and March 2012, the Loch Parry players return to wreak am dram havoc on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

On a remote Scottish island, amateur theatre company, the Loch Parry Players, is rehearsing their stage version of cult film The Wicker Man.

Their leading man has gone missing in mysterious circumstances but all is not lost as a TV cop from the mainland is arriving on the island to step into his shoes.

Co-written by and starring one of Scotland’s most popular performers, Greg Hemphill (Chewin’ the Fat ) as Lord Summerisle; with Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter) as the TV Cop, and featuring a top line-up of Scottish comic talent,  Appointment with the Wicker Man, is a new musical adaptation and an affectionate spoof homage to Robin Hardy’s cult film classic.

A little more Glee than Christopher Lee, the show takes audiences on a bawdy and hugely entertaining romp through the strange goings on in a small Scottish village, to the show’s incendiary finale.

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!    

Vicky Featherstone is artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland.

She has directed many award-winning productions at the Edinburgh Festival including The Wheel by Zinnie Harris, 365 by David Harrower, The Drowned World by Gary Owen, Splendour by Abi Morgan and Crave by Sarah Kane.

Appointment with The Wickerman is supported by Bank of Scotland Pioneering Partnership 




Part of the Made in Scotland Showcase 2012.

After debuting as a work-in-progress in 2011 and receiving rave reviews, Molly Taylor’s Love Letters to the Public Transport System returns to celebrate three extraordinary life -changing journeys.

Based on Molly Taylor’s quest to find the people who have the invaluable but often thankless task of working in the public transport industry, this  one woman show explores the ordinary and extraordinary journeys we make every day, and finally thanks the people who make them possible.

in telling her sweet and ravishing stories Taylor… offers a memorable portrait of Britain, rich in diversity, strewn with remarkable cities, and still underpinned by public services without which the fabric of our lives would simply collapse.” The Scotsman ****

this fragile and utterly beautiful piece of work reminds us of the reason we’re alive” The Herald *****

Molly Taylor is an experienced performer and fledgling writer.

A theatre studies graduate of Glasgow University, her theatre credits include Fringe First Winner The Caravan,  documentary theatre piece Counted, understudy Rita in the Educating Rita (West End) and the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Accomplice.

In 2008, she was part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate programme, based in the Learn Department, and it was during this time that she was given her first opportunity to develop a new way of working; to write and perform her own material.

Her experience as a performer in documentary and verbatim theatre led to an appetite for finding real stories from real people.

As part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate Programme she researched her first piece, A la Carte, an one-woman show about the nature of our dining experiences: the final piece was site specific, staged as a dinner party with the audience cast as ‘guests’.

Molly also took part in the Bank of Scotland Emerge Programme which supports and nurtures promising theatre-makers.


The National Theatre of Scotland often supports additional productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

This year, the Company is supporting Gary McNair’s Born to Run.  Inspired by a true story, Born to Run explores the ordinary and extraordinary journeys the body and brain can go on when they are tested beyond the point of exhaustion as one woman tells of her attempts to escape death by pushing her body to new limits.

Everyone is running from something. The question is – when is it time to stop?

This critically acclaimed production by one of Scotland’s most exciting young writers was originally produced for a Play, a Pie and a Pint at Òran Mór. Born to Run is at the Traverse Theatre from 21 to 26 August.



Venue: Music Hall, Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2LR

Dates and times: Wed 1- Sun 26 Aug (not Mondays), 310pm

Press performance: Fri 3 Aug at 310pm

Box office: Tel: 0131 558 7272 online: or

Ticket prices: Previews £10 all other performances £16/£12

Running time: 1 hr 45mins

Accessible performances:  BSL interpreted – 16th Aug/Audio Described – 19th Aug /Captioned Perf – 23rd Aug                             

Age guide: suggested 16+


Venue: Studio One, The Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2LR

Dates/time: Friday 3 to Sunday 26 August 2012 (excluding Monday’s) at 615pm

Running time: one hour

Press might: Friday 3 August at 615pm

Box office/ticket price: £10 (£9 conc)

Accessible performances:  Signed Performance: Tuesday 14 August/Audio Described: Saturday 18 August

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For further information contact Emma Schad, Press Manager

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

You can 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. 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.       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.

3.      Made in Scotland is a curated showcase of high quality performance from Scotland at the world’s biggest arts festival, made possible by support from the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. It is a partnership between the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST) and Creative Scotland.

4.       We would like to make a request for your support: Corporate sponsorship of the National Theatre of Scotland is crucial to its 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.

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Contact: Emma Schad
Phone: 0141 227 9016