Media Release: The Tin Forest Glasgow tickets now on sale

picresized_1400576947_The Tin Forest Glasgow Communities 1

Tickets now available for four theatrical events created by the people of Glasgow
Performances across June 2014 in Govan, Springburn, the East End and Southwest Glasgow
Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme

Produced in association with Scottish Youth Theatre and supported by Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Homecoming Scotland 2014

TICKETS are now on sale for one of the National Theatre of Scotland’s most ambitious projects to date.

Following a six-month period of story-collecting, participatory arts workshops and creative collaboration with the people of four Glasgow communities, The Tin Forest will come to life in a series of site-specific theatre events, to take place across the city in June 2014.

Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, The Tin Forest has so far involved the participation of over 6,000 adults and children from across Glasgow. Between now and early June, a combination of professional theatre makers and community casts, choirs and writers will create the new theatre pieces, to be performed in a range of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Tickets (£5/£3 concessions) are now available for the events in Springburn, the East End and Southwest Glasgow, online at or by phone on 0141 552 4267. The Govan event is free and unticketed, taking place in Elder Park as part of the Govan Fair celebrations.

The inspiration for the The Tin Forest project is the bestselling children’s book of the same name by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson. It tells the story of a lonely old man who lives in a ‘wide windswept place, near nowhere and close to forgotten’, beset by bad weather and ‘filled with all the things that no one wanted’.

By sifting and sorting through the debris of the past, and through creativity and hard work, the old man re-imagines and reinvents the world around him, building a forest out of discarded junk. The Tin Forest is gradually overgrown by a flourishing real forest, “filled with all the things that everyone wanted.”

As an allegory for Glasgow’s continuing regeneration from 20th century industrial decline to 21st century creative city, the story has provided a creative point of departure for the artists and community participants devising the June events.

The Tin Forest Govan invites audiences to Stand Up!, a free, family-friendly evening of live music, theatre, acrobatics and speechifying at a specially recreated, temporary Elder Park Bandstand on Govan Fair Fun Day, Saturday 7th June from 6.00pm – 8.15pm.

Local singers and choirs will take to the bandstand to perform in the round, as will an eclectic bill of local bands.

A series of theatrical surprises and soundscapes are planned, including performances by Bright Night International circus group, the Fairfield Tea Dancers and actor/singer Frances Thorburn. The evening’s events will be MC’d by Maria Leahy, of Friends of Elder Park.

As part of The Tin Forest Govan project, free acting classes have been running since January on a weekly basis at Govan’s Pearce Institute; participants from those classes will perform a selection of competition-winning soapbox speeches, inspired by Govan’s history of standing up and speaking out, throughout the event on Saturday 7th June.

It is hoped that the bandstand event will demonstrate the potential of such a valuable community platform and enhance the ambition of the local community to see the bandstand permanently reinstated.

The original bandstand was gifted to the people of Govan by local champion Isabella Elder in 1885, on the condition that ‘good music’ be played there by musicians twice a week.

During World War II, however, the bandstand was dismantled, with a view to its iron fittings being melted down to make armaments and ammunition for the war effort. The bandstand never returned.

After consultation with local groups like Govan’s Hidden Histories and Friends of Elder Park, it was decided that the bandstand should form the focal point a The Tin Forest Govan finale event.

The people of Govan have been invited to take part in workshops with local community heritage organisation Galgael, to design and make a series of commemorative panels depicting key scenes in Govan’s history.

The panels will be paraded through the streets as part of the Govan Fair procession on Friday 6th June, before being ceremonially affixed to the bandstand upon which the Govan Fair Queen will be crowned.

It is hoped that panels might one day become permanent fixtures on a permanently reinstated bandstand.

Lu Kemp, lead artist for The Tin Forest Govan, says: “Local musicians, funny speeches, some acrobatics, perhaps some dancing, maybe a big collective anthem… It will be a gig on a bandstand – a bit of a party, bands to entertain you, things to arrest you, people to chat to, conversations to be had, ideas to be generated.

“Hope for good weather. Prepare for the worst. Enjoy it either way!”

Reinventing Springburn Park Rockery from Wednesday 11th to Saturday 14th June as a fantastical steampunk-styled promenade into the North Glasgow town’s past and back again, The Tin Forest Springburn brings together a community cast of more than 80 to offer the audience an interactive and immersive experience, exploring the locomotive history that once made Springburn one of the powerhouses of the British Empire.

The story is told from that era, through a period of decline, to the modern day via evocative soundscapes and music, poetry and rhyme written predominantly by the local Springburn Writers Group.

Audiences can expect to meet groups of characters such as the social-commentating ‘windae hingers’, the clownish ‘midden rakers’, the ever-scurrying ‘porters’, the ‘lovers’ and The Tin Forest-inspired ‘gardeners’.

Audiences will visit an old-fashioned funfair, watch games of peever and ropes, make badges, make promises, observe a rolling ‘sea of bunnets’, an animated train orchestra, the dance of the seven suitcases and archive footage of Springburn in its industrial heyday.

Performers include pupils from Saracen and Balornock Primary Schools and the newly formed Balgrayhill Players.

Philippa Tomlin, lead artist for The Tin Forest Springburn, says: “Working with the people of Springburn for the past few months has been absolutely brilliant! Springburn is one of those places where everyone has a tale to tell and the people we have met have been generous with their time and their stories.

“The piece of theatre we have made together reflects those stories, social and political history, the sense of community and of course Springburn’s sense of humour! I can’t wait to share our work and bring Springburn’s story to life.”

From Tuesday 17th to Thursday 19th June, The Tin Forest East End will see the transformation of the Reidvale Community Centre off Duke Street, into a specially created tin forest.

Playing to an audience in the round, the show loosely follows The Tin Forest story, and features actor and longtime East End resident Harry Ward as The Old Man, a character inspired by the Tin Forest custodian of the original story.

Harry will be joined by a community cast of over 70 performers from local community groups Playbusters, Fizzy Rascals, With Kids, Helenslea Community Centre Seniors, Reidvale Youth Group and three separate choirs and dance students from local primary and high schools.

Exploring the East End’s rich cultural heritage, its architecture and sounds, the show includes songs, dance, photography, video footage and features stories and reminiscences from local people aged five – 95 years.

According to lead artist, Simon Sharkey, as well as taking a “not too nostalgic” look at the past, The Tin Forest East End keeps an eye on the future and the place of this vibrant community at the heart of the city’s renaissance.”

Simon Sharkey, lead artist for The Tin Forest East End, says: “As an East-Ender it gives me great delight to bring a piece of theatre made by the people of East End of Glasgow for the people of the city to life.

“There’s nowhere quite like the East End – from Abercromby Street and Bridgeton Cross to the far flung Bailieston, there’s history and drama to be explored, but most of all we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the local people and the stories of hope they have shared.

“It’s my privilege to have been party of this amazing journey and I’m very eager to share it with an audience.”

The Tin Forest Southwest will appear as a promenade experience inside the transformed St Andrew Penilee Parish Church from Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th June.

Audience members will be invited to don helmets and hi-vis vests and to clock in for a shift at the old spitfire factory, where it’s the reluctant last day at work for old timer Willie.

Journeying through a series of factory spaces, guests will discover details of Willie’s life in the local area, his firmly rooted connection to his work and his relationship with characters like Lady Hillington, who signifies a bright, new future for the local area.

Featuring songs and stories from a local community cast and choir. An album of songs has been recorded as part of the Southwest project; entitled ASH AND EMBER, it has been written and composed by John Kielty with and for the people of Southwest Glasgow.

The songs are available to listen to at

Pete Collins and Gareth Nicholls, lead artists for The Tin Forest Southwest, say: “It’s been an absolute joy working and getting to know the people of the Southwest Glasgow.

“From the warm welcome we received at Hillington Park Bowling Club to the enthusiasm of the children at Our Lady Of The Rosary Primary School, we’ve been inspired by the vibrancy, ideas and drive of the people we’ve met. We’re looking forward to continuing our work in the area – unearthing stories rich in drama, singing songs, making miniature spitfires and working towards an exciting theatrical event with and for the communities of Hillington, Penilee and Cardonald.”

The Tin Forest Glasgow community events in June provide the people of Glasgow with a platform to respond to the themes of the story.

From 21st July to 3rd August, The Tin Forest Festival will offer the same opportunity to over 200 Scottish and Commonwealth artists via a programme of events at a transformed South Rotunda and along the Clydeside.

A live stage outdoor opening event featuring leading Scottish musicians and community participants at the South Rotunda courtyard on Tuesday 22nd July, will mark the launch of a two week programme of theatre, music, visual art and cultural exchange.

Between Monday 21st and Wednesday 23rd July, The Tin Forest International Performing Company, comprising 90 performers from across the Commonwealth, will be flooding Glasgow’s streets and animating riverside landmarks with bursts of street theatre inspired by The Tin Forest and the history of Glasgow.

From 24th July to 3rd August, within the walls of a transformed South Rotunda, National Theatre of Scotland associate director, Graham McLaren, will direct his own adapted version of The Tin Forest, teaming up once again with celebrated puppet maker Gavin Glover and Glasgow School of Art Digital Design Studio.

The Tin Forest International Theatre Festival will take place in the South Rotunda between 24th and 28th July, bringing together ten groups of young theatre makers from Jamaica, Bangladesh, Malta, India, New Zealand, England and Scotland.

Enjoying a series of theatre and cultural exchange workshops at Scottish Youth Theatre HQ by day, in the evenings their focus will switch to the South Rotunda, where two groups will perform each day. Tickets for The Tin Forest Festival will be on sale in early June 2014.

A wide range of video, photographic and blog content documenting The Tin Forest project to date can be found at Content available to share on request – contact for further info.


The Tin Forest Glasgow community events are on sale now

The Tin Forest Festival at the South Rotunda and Clydeside – tickets on sale early June

All tickets for The Tin Forest events £5/£3 conc.

Available online at or on 0141 552 4267

No booking fee

Exceptions are: The Tin Forest Govan and The Tin Forest International Performing Company, which are free, unticketed events.


Reviewers are welcome to attend any of the performances listed below – to reserve a ticket, please contact Adam McDougall:
E: T: 0141 227 9231


The Tin Forest Govan:
Date and Time: Saturday 7th June 2014 at 6.00pm-8.15pm
Venue: Elder Park Bandstand, Elder Park, Govan, G51 (centre of park)
Entrance: Govan Road entrance
Tickets: This is a free, unticketed event
Accessibility: Performance is wheelchair accessible
BSL details TBC – please contact box office for details on 0141 552 4267
Age guide: Suitable for all
Seating: As there is no seating at this event, audience members are invited to bring blankets and to sit on the ground or to stand. Seating will be available for older/infirm audience members
Govan Fair Parade – Friday 6th June: Commemorative panels for the bandstand will be paraded through the streets within the Govan Fair Parade – the procession commences at 7.45pm from Fairley Street. We expect to arrive in Elder Park around 9.00pm, when The Govan Fair Queen will be crowned upon the bandstand.
Outdoor Events: Both the Friday and Saturday evening events take place outdoors – audience members are reminded to dress accordingly.

The Tin Forest Springburn:
Dates and Times: Wednesday 11th – Friday 13th June (5.00pm + 8.00pm)
Saturday 14th June (2.00pm + 5.00pm)
Duration: 1h10mins
Venue: Springburn Park Rockery, Springburn Park, Balgrayhill Road, Springburn G21
Accessibility: one wheelchair space per performance – please advise box office when booking
BSL performance TBC – please contact box office for details
Age guide: Suitable for all
Seating: This is a promenade piece that requires the audience to walk and stand; seating will however be available for older/infirm audience members
Outdoor event: This is an outdoor event and audience members are reminded to dress accordingly and are advised to wear sturdy footwear.

The Tin Forest East End:
Dates and Times: Tuesday 17th – Thursday 19th June (5.30pm + 7.30pm)
Duration: 45mins
Venue: Reidvale Community Centre, 13 Whitevale St, Glasgow G31 1QW
Accessibility: one wheelchair space per performance – please advise box office when booking
BSL/Captioned performances TBC – please contact box office for details
Age guide: Suitable for all
Seating: Seating is unreserved

The Tin Forest Southwest:
Dates and Times: Wednesday 25th – Friday 27th June (5.00pm + 8.00pm)
Duration: 1h15mins
Venue: St Andrew Penilee Parish Church, Bowfield Crescent, Penilee G52 4HS
Accessibility: one wheelchair space per performance – please advise box office when booking
BSL performance TBC – please contact box office for details
Age guide: Suitable for all
Seating: This is a promenade piece that requires the audience to walk and stand; seating will however be available for older/infirm audience members
Partly outdoor event: Parts of the performance take place outdoors and audience members are reminded to dress accordingly.


The Tin Forest Govan Creative Team: Lu Kemp (lead artist), Michael John O’Neill (associate artist), Robin Peoples (set and costume designer), Daniel Krass (sound designer)

Lu Kemp biog: Lu Kemp is a theatre director and dramaturg. She is associate artist with the award-winning company Inspector Sands for whom she directed If That’s All There Is, Mass Observation and is currently developing their next show Rage, Rage. Recent work includes: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (National Theatre of Scotland), These Eyes are Windows (Artangel), Titus (macrobert, touring). She will be directing Don Quixote for Òran Mór and Kid O for Scottish Opera this summer.

The Tin Forest East End Cast: includes Harry Ward as The Old Man.

The Tin Forest East End creative team: Simon Sharkey (lead artist), Tom Hobbins (assistant director), Sarah Rose Graber (associate artist), Robin Peoples (set and costume designer), Julian Corrie (sound designer), Graeme Roger (video designer), Ruth Mills (choreographer), Alan Grieve (visual artist), Andrew McGregor (choir director)

Simon Sharkey biog: Simon Sharkey is associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland and part of the original team who brought the company to life back in 2006. Since then, he has created several large scale site specific productions the length and breadth of Scotland and has travelled the world with his distinctive approach to creating theatre with ordinary people in extraordinary settings. Previously, he was director of Cumbernauld Theatre and International Cultural Leadership Fellow of the National Endowment of Science Technology and Arts. He has worked in the Middle East, Singapore and the Caribbean and serves on the board of Arts and Business. He is an East End citizen and father of four boys.

Harry Ward biog: Harry is an actor and musician from Glasgow who has worked with various theatre companies throughout Britain including: National Theatre of Scotland, Òran Mór, Vox Motus, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Company Chordelia, Cumbernauld Theatre, Scottish Opera, Opera North, English National Opera, Mull Theatre, Edinburgh Lyceum, The Arches, The Tron, Perth Theatre, Visible Fictions, The Citizens Theatre and Eden Court. Harry’s film and TV credits include: Taggart (SMG); High Times (SMG); Still Game (BBC); Snoddy (BBC) Waterloo Road (BBC). Radio credits include; Dr Findlay’s Casebook and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (BBC Radio 4).

The Tin Forest Springburn creative team: Philippa Tomlin (lead artist), Claire Bloomfield (associate artist), Kirsty McCabe (designer), Tom de Majo (sound designer), Kate Bonney (lighting designer)

Philippa Tomlin biog: Philippa Tomlin is Creative Learning coordinator at the National Theatre of Scotland and is a community theatre maker. Since joining the company in 2010, she has created several unique pieces of work, including: a response to In Time o’ Strife involving young people making positive protest street performances in Kirkcaldy; Other, a large scale transmedia project that saw the creation of the National Theatre of Scotland’s first ever iPhone game – a horror themed alternate reality game, guiding players around the streets of Dundee; #TakeAStand, a piece of one to one theatre at Platform, Easterhouse and Reasons To Dance, a site-specific piece made in a nightclub in Falkirk. She studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Queen Margaret University College and previous jobs include Education officer for the Lyceum Theatre and freelance theatre practitioner.

The Tin Forest Southwest creative team: Pete Collins and Gareth Nicholls (lead artists), Lewis Hetherington (dramaturg), Claire Halleran (set and costume designer), Simon Hayes (lighting designer)

Pete Collins biog: Pete Collins is an actor and director. His recent work includes directing the Òran Mór /Channel 4 comedy award winner The Commission by Steven Dick at Òran Mór /Traverse; Kolbe’s Gift by David Gooderson at Leicester Square Theatre; Coriolanus, The Duchess of Malfi, Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ; Ghost Office at The Lighthouse in Glasgow and Swarm at Battersea Power Station for the National Youth Theatre. As an actor Pete has worked at Bolton Octagon, Manchester Royal Exchange, Tron Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic and with Theatre Babel, Paines Plough, Complicite and most recently with Catherine Wheels. Pete has been living in Glasgow since 2011.

Gareth Nicholls biog: Gareth Nicholls is a theatre director who’s worked with companies including Tron Theatre, Royal Lyceum, Traverse, Company Of Angels, High Tide and macrobert amongst others. His shows include Educating Ronnie (Winner of Fringe First), The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot (macrobert) and Woman Of Troy (Alra). Gareth is co-artistic director of New Work company Utter and will take up position as director-in-residence at the Citizens Theatre later this year.


The Tin Forest opening event
Date: Tuesday 22nd July, 2014
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: The South Rotunda Courtyard, Finnieston St. by the Squinty Bridge G51
The Tin Forest International Performing Company
Dates and times: Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd July, 2014
Times: Various times
Venues: Various Clydeside locations
The Tin Forest
Dates: Thursday 24th July – Sunday 3rd August, 2014 (except Tue 29 July)
Times: 2.00pm – 6.00pm daily (start times every 10mins)
Venue: The South Rotunda, Finnieston St. by the Squinty Bridge G51
The Tin Forest International Theatre Festival
Dates: Thursday 24th – Monday 28th July, 2014
Times: 7.30pm + 9.15pm
Venue: The South Rotunda, Finnieston St. by the Squinty Bridge G51

Press contacts:

Adam McDougall, Press and Marketing Officer at National Theatre of Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9231 / +44 (0)7738 153157

Katie Mackenzie, Communications Officer (temp) at National Theatre of Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)141 221 0970 / +44 (0)7709 127711

Emma Schad, Press Manager at National Theatre of Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9016 / +44 (0) 7930 308018
Further information at: @NTSonline #TinForest

Notes to editors:

• 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 186 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 1,056,000 people across four continents.

• Scottish Youth Theatre – giving young people in Scotland the opportunity to explore and to reach their creative potential through a quality theatre arts experience. Using the youth theatre/drama process to develop not only creativity and performance skills but also transferable skills in participants, Scottish Youth Theatre puts particular emphasis on each individual’s personal and social development.

• The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors. Running until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time. There are two strands: a Scotland-wide programme called Culture 2014; and a Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action called Festival 2014. The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.

• The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is an international charitable foundation with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. Based in Lisbon with offices in London and Paris, the Foundation is in a privileged position to support national and transnational work tackling contemporary issues. The purpose of the UK Branch is to bring about long-term improvements in well-being, particularly for the most vulnerable, by creating connections across boundaries (national borders, communities, disciplines and sectors) which deliver social, cultural and environmental value. We support innovative projects and partnerships within time-limited and purposeful strands of activity. For more information about the work of the Foundation in the UK visit Partnerships and Initiatives at

• 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

• The Guardian reviews The Tin Forest by Helen Ward: “Some children’s picture books are real works of art and this is one of those. The very best books for both adults and children often take you deep into the unconscious or show you the world as if through a prism. This, again, is one of them. Austere and yet visually rich, needing few words and yet saying so much, this is a wonderful fable about making something from nothing, seeing the beauty lurking among the junk, and about reaping what you sow.” – 22nd July 2008

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Contact: Emma Schad
Phone: 01412279231