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Dig The New Breed - Bank of Scotland Emerge Programme 2012 -

Today’s announcement by the National Theatre of Scotland of their Bank 
of Scotland Emerge Programme for developing theatre artists and 
directors follows on from two similar initiatives last year. Then, 
artists such as novelist and playwright Alan Bissett, performer and 
writer Molly Taylor and director Amanda Gaughan came through what were 
then known as the New Directors Placement Programme and the Emerging 
Artists Attachment Programme.

While the component parts of both schemes remain in place, the new 
catch-all umbrella title gives things a sense of unity as well as 
acknowledging the sort of crossovers between disciplines which, in the 
current economic and artistic climate, are more prevalent than ever. 
While the three emerging directors will or have already worked as 
assistant directors on major NTS productions, the four emerging 
directors will focus on developing pieces that will be presented as 
rough works in progress at  Scratch night this coming July.

For NTS Artistic Development producer Caroline Newall, who has overseen 
the scheme, it is vital that the seven artists chosen for each strand 
are given time and space to develop their work in an open environment.
It’s about giving the space to on their own journey, really,” she 
says, “and, rather than giving any specific commissions, to give them 
the time to work on their craft. We’ve also tried to open things out to 
different disciplines, while as far as the young directors go, whereas 
before they mainly came through the Regional Young Directors Scheme, 
which was great, now we’re able to develop relationships with them over 
a longer period.”

While Deborah Hannan has already assisted on the site-specific verbatim 
piece, Enquirer and Rob Jones on Alan Cumming’s tour de force as 
Macbeth, Sarah Macdonald will work alongside director Cora Bissett on 
her forthcoming Glasgow-based contemporary musical, Glasgow Girls.
The emerging artists, meanwhile, finds writer/performer Martin O’Connor 
developing a piece called A Govan of the Mind that looks at both 
religion and the Scots language, while Adura Onashile, best known as an 
actress in Roadkill, is planning her own site-specific piece, Ghosts of 

Of the two Gaelic artists, Catriona Lexy Campbell has an already 
established relationship with the NTS via her year-long tenure as 
Gaelic associate artist. During that time, Campbell was instrumental in 
discovering her fellow recipient of the Bank of Scotland Emerge 
Programme, Eilidh Daniels, via a solo bi-lingual piece she performed, 
Zona Morriate.

I want to explore what I can do with contemporary Gaelic theatre,” 
Daniels explains. “Some people who don’t know about Gaelic theatre 
think it’s all about the old stories, and while I don’t want to forget 
that, I also want to try and bring things forward.”

Campbell is a useful creative ally in this respect, especially given 
her to approach Gaelic dialogue “as a creative thing rather than a 
purely political thing. This scheme is a chance to develop my writing 
for a piece I’ll be performing myself, so I’ll have writing time, and I 
also want to work with a magician.”

Language is important too for O‘Connor, who has been devising and 
performing his own work, which includes Inner Circle, a piece performed 
on a Glasgow Underground train, for some years now.

I’ve been looking at Scottish ballads,” he explains, “and want to give 
more consideration to the fact that our language is quite cool. By the 
same token, a lot of religious language doesn’t really mean anything 

A similar juxtaposition can be found in Onashile’s proposed piece, 
which aims to explore “architecture and the dynamism of street-life in 
various buildings in Glasgow.”

On the directors side of things, Jones’ experience running his Flatrate 
company as well as organising a cabaret club at Summerhall during this 
year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe looks set to be galvanised by his 
experience on Macbeth.

There are a lot of people who want to work in this industry who think 
it’s all a bit mystical,” he says, “but after working with John Tiffany 
on Macbeth for two months, you realise it’s all about craft and hard 

This was the case too for Hannan, whose first task on Enquirer was to 
listen to all forty-three interviews that fed into the play’s 
collage-like script.

I’m really interested in spectacle,” she says, “and working in 
different spaces in a visual and politically motivated way, so Enquirer 
was perfect for me.”

As for Macdonald, Glasgow Girls, which looks at the real-life 
experience of a group of teenage asylum seekers, her placement too has 
been carefully thought out.

I work with a lot of youth and community groups,” she explains, “and 
young people get such a bad press, so to work on something that 
presents a positive picture is really important.”

While the NTS provide the artistic skill-set to develop these talents 
on a practical level, the Bank of Scotland’s ongoing support for the 
NTS schemes remain crucial, as Newall notes.

Of the many things the Bank of Scotland give the NTS support for, I 
think supporting emerging talent in this way is the one that floats 
their boat the most,” she says. 

Susan Rice, Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group, confirms what Newall
"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 relationship with NTS.”

Newall expands on this.

The NTS should and does produce work by leading artists in their field,” 
she says, “but we also need to work out who the lead artists will be in five
or ten years’ time. So the Bank of Scotland Emerge scheme is an instructive 
thing about where the talent lies, then enabling that talent to develop their 
potential as well as developing an ongoing relationship with the NTS. We’ll always be here 
as mentors.”

A Bank of Scotland Emerge Programme Scratch Night will take place at 
the CCA, Glasgow on July 20th.

The Herald, June 26th 2012



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