Media Release: National Theatre of Scotland and Bank of Scotland join forces to support emerging theatre-makers


Bank of Scotland’s Emerge Programme at the National Theatre of Scotland 2012 to 2013

New artists announced

THE National Theatre of Scotland and Bank of Scotland announce today that four emerging artists and three emerging directors have been successful in their bid to join Scotland’s National Theatre company on a programme aimed at developing the talents of writers and directors.

The four emerging artists are: Eilidh Daniels, Catriona Lexy Campbell, Martin O’Connor and Adura Onashile.  The three emerging directors are: Deborah Hannan, Rob Jones and Sarah Macdonald.

Committed to developing the emerging talents of writers, theatre-makers and directors in Scotland, the announcement follows the success of the partners’ 2011-2012 New Director Placement Programme and Emerging Artists Attachment Programme. This year, these two strands will now be brought together under the umbrella Emerge Programme.

The Emerge Programme will support the artists by offering bespoke opportunities, including creating access to creative resources, giving time and money in order to allow them to fully concentrate and develop their work, in their chosen field.

Commenting on his experience as an Emerge participant, Alan Bissett said:

“The Emerge Programme was an invaluable experience for me, helping me test and fix a piece that I’d been having difficulties with.  Showing it before an audience, with the support of the National Theatre of Scotland meant I was able to push the project on to the next stage of the creative process. It’s now ready for a run at the Fringe. This couldn’t have happened without the vital event of the Emerge programme.”

The National Theatre of Scotland also invites audiences to come and share these artists work at its earliest stages, at Emerge Events, free and intimate evenings of performance, programmed throughout the year. The first Emerge event will be held at Glasgow’s CCA on Friday 20th July.  Full details to be announced shortly. For updates:

Bank of Scotland Emerge Programme artists also get the opportunity to be part of the National Theatre of Scotland company for the year with access to free tickets and exclusive opportunities to see the work the company produces.

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director, National Theatre of Scotland said: “The National Theatre of Scotland’s success over the last six years has been built on the talent of Scottish artists who remain at the heart of our organisation. Bank of Scotland’s Emerge Programme at the National Theatre of Scotland is a vital organisational resource that helps us identify and nurture emerging and diversifying artists. We are committed to enabling a new generation of theatre-makers to become key players in Scotland’s successful cultural future. Our Pioneering Partnership with Bank of Scotland is spread across all aspects our company’s programme of work and empowers us to achieve greater experiences and opportunities for the people of Scotland.”

Susan Rice, managing director, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, says: “Through Bank of Scotland’s Pioneering Partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland, we support the next generation of theatrical talent.   We’re always excited when we meet one of these new directors or aspiring artists; for some, our support is the only way they can manage to continue learning and gaining experience. It’s truly gratifying to be part of their journey with this focus on emerging talent, which sits in the core of our multi year relationship with the National Theatre of Scotland.”

The Emerge Programme represents one element of the National Theatre of Scotland and Bank of Scotlond’s Pioneering Partnership – a sponsorship connecting Bank of Scotland and the National Theatre of Scotland in a relationship across a wide range of National Theatre of Scotland programme elements over two years.  The partnership offers geographic spread and reach across productions, initiatives, workshops and events particularly in the area of supporting creativity and emerging talent.   In Year 2(2012) the elements of Bank of Scotland Pioneering Partnership include support of An  Appointment with the Wicker Man  by Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary; The Guid Sisters by Michel Tremblay in Scots translation by Bill Findlay and Martin Bowman – a co-production with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh; the small scale tour of The Monster in the Hall and Yellow Moon, by David Greig and directed by Guy Hollands and the Emerge Programme supporting flourishing artists and directors.

Emerging artists biogs:

Eilidh Daniels recently graduated from the first Queen Margaret University’s Drama and Performance course and has since written and performed in a her one woman show, Zona Morriate at the Edinburgh Bothan, Comann na Comadaidh at Cottiers and at a National Theatre of Scotland Reveal scratch night. Eilidh has a particular interest in devising Gaelic speaking bilingual theatre and is keen to develop new contemporary Gaelic theatre in Scotland.

Catriona Lexy Campbell is from the Isle of Lewis and has worked extensively as a writer, poet, actor and theatre artist, working predominantly in her native Gaelic. She has four published books and her book of short stories for children, Sgeulachdan Eagalach Feagalach, won the award for the Best New Children’s book at the National Mod in 2009. She is currently working on new plays for Oran Mor, the BBC and Rural Nations.  Catriona lives in Glasgow and has recently completed her term as the first Gaelic Associate Artist for the National Theatre of Scotland.

Martin O’Connor is a Glasgow based performer and writer specialising in text based performance and spoken word. He is interested in exploring authentic dialects and investigating how this can inform and inspire Scottish audiences. Mark has performed with the Citizens Theatre Company and The Arches Theatre Company. Since 2005 he has written and directed Playing Houses and Ch Ch Changes for Glasgay, Inner Circle for the Subway festival and Daniel –supported by a Playwright’s Studio writer’s bursary. This year, he has been working on a series on non-narrative performances that form a diptych entitled Theology.

Adura Onashile is a Glasgow-based theatre maker of Nigerian descent. Her mediums are devised work based on physicality, character and text. She has worked with the Young Vic Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Arcola Theatre, The National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Traverse Theatre. She is best known in Scotland for her role in the multi-award winning Roadkill by Cora Bissett.

Emerging directors biogs:

Deborah Hannan trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before directing Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground, a large scale, site-specific imagining of the Grimm Tales and an interactive adaptation of Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus. Most recently, Deborah assisted Vicky Featherstone and John Tiffany on the National Theatre of Scotland’s Enquirer.

Rob Jones began directing whilst studying at the University of Glasgow.  Since graduating in 2010, Rob has led independent arts company, Flatrate, creating contemporary theatre and grassroots arts events including directing The Belief Project, at The Tron in 2011. He has most recently worked with John Tiffany on the National  Theatre of Scotland’s Macbeth.

Sarah Macdonald was the artistic assistant for the New Works New Worlds Festival in Glasgow and Festival Director for STaG Nights: Boom and Bust theatre festival. Sarah has her own theatre company, Giddy Aunt creating work for young people and she enjoyed success at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe with A Stone’s Throw. She was recently awarded the Ideas Tap Innovators Fund for a collaborative project with Ankur Productions’ The Gaelic Laboratory which explores storytelling across a range of cultures present in Scotland today.


For further information contact Emma Schad, press manager

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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 181 productions in 156 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 770,000 people, across three continents.

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.

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