Skip to main content

NTS 2011 Season

If the notion of five year plans sounds like an archaic concept, by
calling their 2011 programme Staging The Nation, the final season of
the National Theatre of Scotland’s first half decade can’t help but
appear similarly grandiose. If you read between the lines, however,
it’s clear that the NTS are pursuing a far more holistic and
progressive party line than the high-profile flagship works suggest.

So for every Dunsinane, there are more maverick initiatives such as
Five Minute Theatre and Favourite Scottish Plays, while the Bank of
Scotland enabled Graduate Director and Emerging Artists schemes keep an
eye on the future rather than looking backwards.

If there are too many buzzwords of the Diaspora, Extreme and Reveal
variety, the series of workshops, rehearsed readings and
works-in-progress contained within these strands offers a back to
basics approach that goes beyond the more obvious spotlights.

Of the big guns themselves, a home-grown revival of David Harrower’s
debut play, Knives in Hens, is welcome, as is a new production of Ena
Lamont Stewart’s Men Should Weep, recently revived on the London stage.
Possibly best of all is The Missing, a staging of Andrew O’Hagan’s
remarkable none-fiction book that reunites O’Hagan with John Tiffany,
who directed the NTS production of O’Hagan’s novel, Be Near Me.

While there has been much naysaying of late that that the NTS have yet
to match the phenomenal success of Blackwatch, we should bear in mind
that hits don’t grow on trees. After five years, to have even one
era-defining work is an achievement. While comparisons are futile, if
any of the above comes even vaguely close, audiences will reap the

The Herald, December 9th 2010



Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School


In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…