Skip to main content

Five Minute Theatre - The NTS Go Online

If you break up a twenty-four hour period into five-minute segments,
you will have two hundred and eighty-eight small but perfectly formed
compartments of time to fill. From 5pm on June 21st to the same time
the next day, round about two hundred and thirty of those segments will
be filled with brand new pieces of theatre from all corners of the
world, which will be performed by their creators and streamed live
online. Logistically speaking, this five year anniversary initiative by
the National Theatre of Scotland sounds part headache, part adrenalin
rush, but if all runs smoothly on the day, Five Minute Theatre should
provide a breathless snapshot barometer of dramatic activity at a
grassroots level that sounds infinitely more fun than the recent
national census.

“Everything's changed in the last five years,” explains NTS Audience
Development Manager Marianne Maxwell, whose baby Five Minute Theatre
is, “not just in how we reach audiences, but in how they reach us. It's
completely different. There's been a total revolution in how we
communicate in terms of social networking and everything, so as the
National Theatre of Scotland we have to ask ourselves how we can use
that. Other companies like the National Theatre in London have started
showing live screenings of plays in cinemas, but we're a different
model to that. When we started with Home five years ago, it was a case
of going out to all of these places to do the work. Now it's a case of
seeing who's out there and finding out what they've got to offer.”

When the call was first put out for the project, no-one, least of all
Maxwell, was quite sure what the response would be. Such is the
democratic power of Facebook, Twitter, et al, compared to half a decade
ago, however, that more than three hundred entries were received within
a matter of weeks. While such a surprisingly high level of entries has
made a selection process necessary, it has also ensured there won't be
any middle of the night longeurs of dead air time to put off anyone
already logged on.

“We're aiming to do about eight an hour,” says Maxwell. “Just so we can
let things breathe a little bit. People who have entered have three
options. You can either perform it and pre-record it, we can go to you
and stream it live, or you can go to one of three hubs which we're
setting up, in Glasgow at the CCA, at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen or one
in Edinburgh and which we've yet to confirm. Eden Court in Inverness
were down as well, but what we've found is that everything from that
area that's come in is pre-recorded, so we've set up a hub in Ayr
instead, where there's been loads of demand. Who knew?”

Beyond Ayr, entries have come in from every local authority area in
Scotland, trickling up from London and the rest of England, as well as
Belgium, Germany, eight from China, one from India, as well as
Paraguay, Mexico and North America.

“It's really nice that the one from Belgium is by someone from Elgin,
and that one from Germany is an exchange student from Aberdeen,”
Maxwell enthuses, keeping things both local and global at the same time.

With a mix of theatre professionals such as novelist and playwright
Duncan McLean in Orkney, maverick actor Tam Dean Burn, playwrights
Douglas Maxwell, Rob Drummond and Gary McNair, actresses Joyce Falconer
and Anita Vettesse, the latter in Glasgow's old Panopticon Theatre, and
actress/director Alison Peebles with Anne Lacey on the back of mobility
scooters on the Clyde walkway, things probably won't be dull. Throw in
a mix of participants who include a woman in Edinburgh who's thirty-two
weeks pregnant talking with her partner and her bump, two women from
Paisley relating the experience of having autistic children across a
trampoline, a man on a farm having a conversation with a cow, a
performance while on a London to Brighton commuter train, and a
professional dancer in China performing for her mum for the first time,
and the sheer human appeal isn't hard to recognise.

“At times it's been quite emotional,” Maxwell admits. “There's lots of
lovely uses of peoples homes, because everyone has that memory of
making up plays when you were wee.”

One thing Five Minute Theatre most definitely looks set to b e is
inclusive in that much overused word's best possible sense. Of
twenty-odd schools taking part, Knox Academy in Haddington have been
inspired to host an entire day of theatre.

“You can tell it's not just folk we know, because we need to ask a lot
of people how they found out about the project. Of course, we reached
out to all our networks, but beyond that it's been through
none-traditional marketing that people have got involved, and I
honestly think it's the most uplifting thing I've ever been involved
with.”

Five Minute Theatre is streamed live from 5pm on June 21st until 5pm on
June 22nd
www.fiveminutetheatre.com

The Herald, April 19th 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1
1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …