Media Release: Dear Scotland… an unique theatrical experience, written by 20 of the country’s leading writers


The National Theatre of Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, presents

Dear Scotland…

Written by 20 of Scotland’s Leading Writers

Directed by Joe Douglas and Catrin Evans

Supported by Creative Scotland and Homecoming 2014

THE 20 writers are Peter Arnott, Jo Clifford, Rob Drummond, Janice Galloway, David Greig, Zinnie Harris, Iain Heggie, Stuart Hepburn, Jackie Kay, A L Kennedy, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Liz Lochhead, Iain Finlay Macleod, Nicola McCartney, Johnny McKnight, Linda McLean, Rona Munro, James Robertson, Ali Smith and Louise Welsh.

The 20 portraits are of James Boswell, Robert Burns, Michael Clark, The Cromartie Fool, Robert Bontine Cunningham Grahame, James VI (of Scotland) and I (of England and Ireland), Prince James receiving his son Prince Henry, Jackie Kay, Michael McGahey, Chic Murray, Caroline Norton, Anonymous woman in the ‘Poets’ Pub’, The Oncologists, The Queen, Jimmy Reid, Sir Walter Scott, Mary Queen of Scots, Muriel Spark, Robert Louis Stevenson and Clementina Graham Stirling.

Performances at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 24 April – 3 May 2014

Opening performances on Saturday 26 April (Tour A) and Monday 28 April (Tour B), at various times from 7.30pm.

Cast includes Ryan Fletcher, Tunji Kasim, Colin McCreddie, Myra McFadyen, Anneika Rose and Benny Young.

Dear Scotland… offers audiences a unique promenade through the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s cast of heroes, villains, rogues and royals. Inspired – or provoked – by 20 of the collection’s celebrated artworks, twenty of the country’s leading writers will pen short, sharp monologues for a series of pit-stop performances around the gallery.

This dramatic celebration of the written word and visual art launches a series of events and performances under the title Dear Scotland…, all of which will come together to act as a letter to the country and an exploration of Scotland’s identity in 2014.

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, including the national collection of photography, follows Scotland’s history from the 16th-century to the present day, as filtered through the portraits of those who shaped it.

The collection features Scots from all walks of life.  Scottish characters featured in the Gallery and who will also appear in the show include Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Jimmy Reid and Muriel Spark.

Christopher Baker, director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, says:

“We are delighted to be working with the National Theatre of Scotland; to see its inspiring performances showcased in the context of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and its great collection will be one of the highlights of 2014.”

Dear Scotland…, in partnership with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, is part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Dear Scotland 2014 season of theatre, debate and celebration. The company is inviting audiences to take part in Dear Scotland…, not only by coming to events but also through sharing their thoughts about Scotland in 2014. Audiences in Edinburgh will be given a postcard with the greeting line, Dear Scotland, on which they are encouraged to share their rants and regrets, love letters or break-up sentiments, advice or demands, hopes and dreams, and then to send the postcard back for free to the National Theatre of Scotland. The responses will be interlaced to create a living record of this momentous year.

Dear Scotland… Listings

Dates: Thursday 24 April – Saturday 3 May 2014 (with no performances on Sunday 27 or Wednesday 30).

Format: This is a promenade guided performance located throughout the 3 floors of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Alternative evenings will consist of Tour A or Tour B and tours will start at 7.30pm until 9pm.

Tour start times: 7.30pm, 7.40pm, 7.50pm, 8.00pm, 8.10pm, 8.20pm, 8.30pm, 8.40pm, 8.50pm, 9.00pm.

Running Time:  Approximately 90 minutes.

Previews: Thursday 24 (Tour A) and Friday 25 (Tour B) February.

Press Performances: Saturday 26 April (Tour A) and Monday 28 (Tour B).

Venue: Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen St, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD.

Tickets: Hub Tickets on 0131 473 2000 or

Ticket Prices: Previews: £7.50/All other performances are £10/£15.

Accessible Performances: British Sign Language – Tuesday 29 April at 8pm & Thursday 1 May at 8pm. The performances are also all fully wheelchair accessible.

Age: Recommended 12+

Join the conversation: #DearScotland

For further press information and writers/actors biographies please contact:

Clare McCormack, Press Officer at National Theatre of Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9497/ +44 (0)7989 950871


Emma Schad – Press Manager at National Theatre of Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9017/ +44 (0)7930 308018


For a Press Contact at the National Galleries of Scotland, please contact Michael Gormley

Tel: +44 (0)131 624 6247  E:

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

Further information visit: or

Directors’ Biographies

Joe Douglas trained in directing at Rose Bruford College and was Trainee Director for the National Theatre of Scotland in 2007-8. Previous directing credits for the National Theatre of Scotland include The Last Polar Bears, Our Teacher’s A Troll, Allotment and re-directing the 2013 world tour of Black Watch. Recent directing credits include Bloody Trams: A Rapid Response (Traverse), The BFG (Dundee Rep), The Reprobates (HighTide), The Drowning Pond, Jabberwocky (Youth Music Theatre), Thank You, Videotape and The Sunday Lesson (Òran Mór, Glasgow). His autobiographical play, Educating Ronnie (Macrobert/Utter), toured Scotland and won a Fringe First in 2012. He is co-artistic director of Utter.

Catrin is a director and playwright based in Glasgow. Her most recent production, Leaving Planet Earth, which she co-wrote and co-directed with Lewis Hetherington, was produced by Grid Iron as part of Edinburgh International Festival 2013. Other recent directing credits include Some Other Mother (Tron, Glasgow), Sweet Silver Song of the Lark (A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Òran Mór, Glasgow), Fragile (Theatre Uncut ) and Could You Please Look Into The Camera (A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Òran Mór, Glasgow/National Theatre of Scotland). Catrin is also the artistic director of A Moment’s Peace Theatre Company. She is in the process of creating their latest show Endurance with women from all across Glasgow. The production is being co-produced with the Arches as part of the Commonwealth Festival 2014.


* 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 200 productions in 174 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 1,000,000 people across four continents. 

* The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings – a great red sandstone neo-gothic palace which sits proudly on the city’s skyline. Following a dramatic three-year refurbishment, completed in December 2011, the gallery now offers 17 exhibition spaces. Each of these explores different aspects of the story of Scotland and her people, told through a wealth of imagery including portraits of famous historical figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots, Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Robert Burns, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts. Highlight exhibitions 2014 include Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and John Byrne Portraits. For more information on the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and to view the national collection online please go to

* Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively. In 2013/14 we will distribute over £100 million in funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information on Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

* Homecoming Scotland 2014 Scotland will welcome the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 – providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run from 31 December 2013 to 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more, visit

PRESS RELEASE issued by the National Theatre of Scotland. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on Email for more information.

Contact: Emma Schad
Phone: 0141 227 9497