Media Release: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish theatre tour and Saturday Swap Shops

Goldfish publicity picture


The National Theatre of Scotland presents

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, in a new adaptation created by Lu Kemp and Abigail Docherty.

Written by Oliver Emanuel. Directed by Lu Kem

A National Theatre of Scotland theatre show for children touring Scotland in Spring 2013

With a Saturday Swap Shop for the family supported by Mackie’s at each venue.

THE Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is an interactive promenade theatre production created especially for families and schools, adapted from the cult children’s graphic book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean.

Throughout the tour families will get the opportunity to take part in a Saturday Swap Shop.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish has its Scottish premiere at The Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock with an opening performance on Saturday 27th April at 11am.

The production then tours to Howden Park Centre, Livingston; Imaginate Festival 2013, Edinburgh; macrobert, Stirling; Tron Theatre, Glasgow and Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

Cast: Laurie Brown, Veronica Leer, Anthony Strachan and Rosalind Sydney

Set design: Laura Hopkins; lighting design: Simon Wilkinson; sound design: Daniel Krass; composer: MJ McCarthy

What if you wanted your best friend’s goldfish so much that you would swap anything you had for them? Anything.

Absolutely anything.

Even your dad.

Well, that’s just what Tom does and when M=mum finds out, she’s not pleased and Tom and his little sister have to ’GO GET DAD BACK’.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Nathan doesn’t have dad any more.

He swapped him for Vashti’s electric guitar.

And Vashti swapped dad, with Blinky, for a Gorilla mask.

And Blinky swapped dad, with Patti, for Galveston the rabbit. And Patti lives a very, very long way away.

Young audiences and their friends and families are invited to take part in an interactive promenade production to help Tom and his sister on their mission to get dad back.

The performance will move throughout interesting spaces in each theatre building and the audience will go on a journey with the cast, encountering surprises along the way.

The Day I Swapped My Day For Two Goldfish is a theatrical adventure for children aged six to ten, which is a little bit about being a sibling and a little bit about being a genius.

On Saturdays at each venue, and in keeping with the swapping themes in the play, National Theatre of Scotland will host their own free Saturday Swap Shop event in the foyer of each venue. Children and their friends and families can bring a toy or a book to swap for other items on the swap table.

This family activity is supported by Mackie’s of Scotland. Mackie’s are coming back on board to support the National Theatre of Scotland’s work following a successful partnership with their sponsorship of the company’s first foray into eco-friendly theatre with the tour of the Last Polar Bears.

The Saturday Swap Shop is a fun and environmentally friendly way for children to recycle unwanted toys, giving them a future life in a new loving home and giving children the chance to take a home a new toy for free.

As a carbon neutral company, Mackie’s are the perfect partners support this free family activity that promotes sustainable consumption in a fun way.

The production is also supported by a programme of free primary school workshops, for schools booking to see the show, subject to availability.

The workshops are delivered by Eilidh MacAskill and Fiona Manson, who have previously performed to great success as The Polar Bears and in The Polar Bears Go Wild! (macrobert/Fish & Game).

The first stage production the National Theatre of Scotland produced in 2006 was a musical stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s The Wolves in the Walls, directed by Vicky Featherstone.

This toured with great success, over a number of years, throughout Scotland, the UK, with a run at the New Victory Theatre, New York.

Lu Kemp has created vibrant, theatrical adaptations for children and young people working with leading young playwrights in Scotland. Kemp and writer, Oliver Emanuel, created Titus, with a new translation of Jan Sobrie’s text, which toured to acclaim in Scotland, including the Imaginate Festival 2012 and dates in Austria, Sweden and Northern Ireland.

Lu Kemp and Abigail Docherty created One Thousand Paper Cranes which appeared at the Imaginate Festival 2010 and was part of the Made In Scotland showcase 2011 where it won Best Scottish Contribution to Drama on the Fringe (Edinburgh Guide and Scottish Arts Club).

Individually, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean have created a phenomenal wealth of creative projects encompassing books, TV, film, comics, music and photography.

They are internationally acclaimed, award-winning artists.

Together Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean have created two children’s picture books The Wolves in the Walls and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; two illustrated children’s novels; Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

They have also co-created the celebrated series The Sandman and worked together on a short graphic novel, a comic mini-series, a TV mini-series and on the film MirrorMask, as writer and director team.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish Tour 2013 – Suitable for ages 6 – 10

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock from Thursday 25 – Saturday 27 April 2013

Thursday 25, 10.30am (preview), Friday 26, 10.30am (preview) and 4.30pm, Saturday 27, 11am

Saturday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 27 April from 12 to 1.45pm

Tickets: £8/£5 (preview £4) Box Office: 01475 723723  Website:

Howden Park Centre, Livingston from Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 May 2013                 

Thursday 2, 10.30am and 1.30pm, Friday 3, 2pm, Saturday 4 – Sunday 5, 11am and 2pm

Saturday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 4 May from 12 to 1.45pm

and a bonus Sunday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 5 May  from 12 to 1.45pm

Tickets: £8, £5.50 (West Lothian school groups)

Box Office: 01506 777 666 Website:

Imaginate Festival 2013, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Learning Centre, Level 1

Wednesday 8 – Saturday 11 May 2013

Wednesday 8 – Thursday 9, 10.30am and 1.30pm, Friday 10, 10.30am, Saturday 11, 11am and 2pm

Saturday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 11 May from 12 to 1.45pm

Tickets: £10, £8 (family), £5 (schools)                                                                                                                                                                                    Traverse Theatre Box Office: 0131 228 1404 Website:

 Macrobert, Stirling from Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 May 2013

Wednesday 15 – Friday 17, 10.30 and 1.30, Saturday 18, 11am and 2pm

Saturday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 18 May from 12 to 1.45pm

Tickets: £7/£5.50 (friends and schools) / FAMILY PASSES: £13 (family of two); £19 (family of three); £25 (family of four)

Box Office: 01786 466 666 Website:

Tron Theatre, Glasgow from Wednesday 22 – Saturday 25 May 2013

Wednesday 22 – Friday 24, 10.30 and 1.30, Saturday 25, 11am and 2pm

Saturday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 25 May from 12 to 1.45pm

Tickets: £10, £7.50   Box Office: 0141 552 4267 Website:

Eden Court Theatre, Inverness from Wednesday 29 May – Saturday 1 June 2013

Wednesday 29 – Friday 31 May, 10.30 and 1.30, Saturday 1 June, 11am and  2pm

Saturday Swap Shop: free family foyer event on 1 June from 12 to 1.45pm

Tickets: £8 /£5. Box Office: 01463 234 234 Website:

Please note that this is a promenade performance which moves from space to space, within the venue. If you have any specific access requirements please contact the National Theatre of Scotland directly on 0141 221 0970 or


Lu Kemp works as a director and dramaturg for new writing, physical theatre and dance. She is Associate Artist with the award-winning company Inspector Sands for whom she recently directed Mass Observation at the Almeida Summer Festival. Directing credits include Arabian Nights for the Tricycle Theatre;  If That’s All There Is for Inspector Sands (Edinburgh Fringe First Award, 2009); Titus for macrobert and Imaginate Festival 2012; Encourage the Others for the Almeida and The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Latitude. Lu created the award-winning One Thousand Paper Cranes which will be touring to the New Victory Theatre, New York in 2013.

Oliver Emanuel is a playwright based in Glasgow. He has written plays for the National Theatre of Scotland, Dundee Rep, Oran Mor, Visible Fictions, Macrobert, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Tron, as well as extensively for BBC Radio Drama. Recent theatre includes Spirit of Adventure (Dundee Rep/Oran Mor); End of the World (for one night only) (Red Note Ensemble); Titus (Macrobert). Oliver’s next play is Dragon in a co-production by Vox Motus, National Theatre of Scotland and Beijing Children’s Art Theatre. For more information visit:

Abigail Docherty won the Tron Theatre’s Open Stage Playwriting competition for her play Sea and Land and Sky which was subsequently staged at the Tron Theatre in October 2010. Abigail was a writer in residence at the Tron Theatre through the Pearson Playwright Scheme. Recent writing credits include: Polar Molar (macrobert); One Thousand Paper Cranes (Made in Scotland Showcase 2011 and Imaginate Festival 2010); Four Parts Broken (National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre); Room (Mayfesto/Tron).


Laurie Brown appeared recently in The Ugly Duckling (The Arches/Andy Manley); The Man Who Lived Twice (Birds of Paradise); Beauty and the Beast (Royal Lyceum Theatre); Snowball (Reeling and Writhing); Rudolf (Howden Park Centre); Helium (Arches Live); Twelfth Night (Dumbstruck) and Up (Return to Work). Radio credits include Mary Stuart, Caterpillars, The Grapes of Wrath, Rebus – Strip Jack, BBC.

Veronica Leer appeared in Something Wicked this Way Comes for National Theatre of Scotland and Catherine Wheels. Other theatre work includes The Ugly Duckling (The Arches/Andy Manley); The Night Before Christmas (macrobert); Cyrano (Catherine Wheels); Girls and Dolls (Tinderbox Theatre Company); Charlotte’s Web (Citizens Theatre); Happy Prince (macrobert); The Lion the Witch and Wardrobe, To Kill a Mockingbird (Leicester Haymarket).

Antony Strachan’s extensive theatre credits include Elizabeth Gordon Quinn for National Theatre of Scotland; Mother Goose (Perth Theatre); Peter Pan (360 Entertainment, San Francisco); Sunshine on Leith (Dundee Rep); A Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum Theatre); Once Upon a Dragon (Grid Iron). Recent television appearances include Bob Servant Independent, Pramface (BBC); Garrow’s Law, Gary Tank Commander and Lip Service. Film includes Bulletproof Plan (Kino Kultas) and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (Midland Films, Shane Meadows).

Rosalind Sydney was seen most recently in Appointment with the Wicker Man for National Theatre of Scotland. Other theatre credits include One Thousand Paper Cranes (Lu Kemp/Abigail Docherty); Hard Gravity for Rough Cuts (Royal Court); My Romantic History (Bush/ Sheffield Crucible); Interiors (Vanishing Point/Theatro Eliseo, Rome); Beggars Opera (Vanishing Point/Royal Lyceum/Belgrade Coventry); Subway (Vanishing Point/Lyric Hammersmith) and Caged, Pobby and Dingan, Snow Baby, Cyrano (Catherine Wheels). 

Press contacts:

Jo Lennie – Freelance Publicist –             M: 07708 980 918

Emma Schad – Press Manager –

T: 0141 227 9016 M:  07930 308018

For press tickets please contact: Clare McCormack – Press Officer 227 9497

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  • Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating  189 productions in 162 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 over 830,000 people across four continents.
  • Mackie’s of Scotland began making ice cream on their farm in Aberdeenshire in 1986. Now 70 staff and 500 cows work in a ‘sky to scoop’ design chain. Mackie’s vision is to ‘create a global brand from the greenest company in Britain created by people having fun’. Their wind turbines generate power and they grow crops to feed the cows to produce the fresh milk and cream they need to make ice cream. Mackie’s also make their own tubs on site- avoiding many thousands of miles in transport. Mackie’s of Scotland have their own renewable energy supply- with three turbines  of 2.5 MW capacity and a further solar panel installation with 50kW.  Mackie’s use roughly 40 per cent of the wind energy generated and export the rest to the grid – to the UK’s only 100 per cent renewable energy supplier, Good Energy. Mackie’s was awarded The Green Award for Renewable Energy Development 2010 at the Food and Farming Awards at House of Commons in recognition of the fact that Mackie’s is a carbon neutral business utilising wind turbines, planting trees and having zero water waste.  Mackie’s chairman, Maitland Mackie is an enthusiastic proponent of wind energy and was awarded a lifetime achievement award in this year’s environmental VIBES awards.

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