Published: 21/01/2014 23:56 - Updated: 21/01/2014 18:19

Dear Scotland - National theatre company's year of celebration

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler is at the OneTouch Theatre, eden Court, Inverness, on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th April.
The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler is at the OneTouch Theatre, eden Court, Inverness, on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th April.

AS Scotland prepares to decide its future, the National Theatre of Scotland has announced a specal seaon season of theatre, debate and celebration. 

"As artists look backwards and imagine forwards, the company is staging a year long celebration of maverick poets, mercurial monarchs and a country with a lot on its mind,  creating a playful and often surprising backdrop to a momentous year," artistic director Laurie Sansom commented.

"Kicking off with Kieran Hurley's powerful portrait of a contemporary mongrel nation and its stories Rantin and ending with Joe Corrie's impassioned song to the common man in In Time o'Strife, both of which tour the entire country, Dear Scotland asks audiences and artists alike to share their hopes, fears, rants and ideas about Scotland past, present and future.

 "A unique collaboration with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Dear Scotland,  invites twenty of the country's most celebrated writers to send a living postcard from someone featured in the gallery, to be performed by actors in the gallery space and then invites people from around the work to send in their own postcard in response."

Vanishing Point with The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler,  takes us into the idiosyncratic world of poet and musician Ivor Cutler to celebrate one of Scotland's most curious eccentrics, and in The Tin Forest blossoms across Glasgow during the summer, telling a story of a re-imagined city and its place in the world with a bold theatricality. 

 Also this summer the NTS ill premier a new trilogy by Rona Munro called The James Plays, with a company of 20 actors irreverently telling the stories of a turbulent 15th century Scotland and the rule of three early Stewart kings, marking an unprecedented three way co-production with the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain. There is the opportunity for theatre-makers to create their own response to the question of independence with The Great, Yes, No,  Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show, curated by Davids Greig and MacLennan, and Blabbermouth, a one- off  event in Edinburgh on the eve of the referendum celebrates the written and spoken word from Scotland's past.

" I hope people will join us in throughout 2014 for our celebration of culture, country and irreverent comment throughout Scotland and beyond," Sansom commented.


New 2014 projects, previously unannounced:


April and May 2014

 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 twenty 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, directed by Joe Douglas and Catrin Evans. In partnership with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (24 April – 3 May 2014).


June 2014


  • Co-curated by David Greig and David MacLennan, The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show celebrates a momentous year and provides hundreds of answers to one very important question, as professional, amateur and first-time theatre makers are invited to make and perform a five minute theatre piece inspired by the theme of “Independence” for live streaming to a global audience. At various locations across Scotland and beyond (live streamed/performed over 24 hours in June 2014).

August - October 2014


  • The James Plays written by Rona Munro and directed by Laurie Sansom. A brand new set of history plays for Scotland and beyond about Kings James I, II and III of Scotland. Epic historical theatre for remarkable times, this is a co-production with the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain. (August 2014 in Edinburgh and September to October 2014 in London)  


            On the day before Scotland approaches the referendum on independence, Blabbermouth presents a 12 hour celebration of the country’s cumulative written word legacy; one country’s greatest letters, lyrics, polemics and poems, read and performed by its leading artists, politicians, broadcasters and sportspeople. Conceived and curated by Graham McLaren. Performed at The Assembly Hall on the Mound, Edinburgh (Midday - Midnight, 17 September 2014).


  • Marking the 30th anniversary of the 1984 miners’ strike, Graham McLaren’s adaptation of Joe Corrie’s 1926 classic In Time o’ Strife follows up its rapturously received 2013 opening run with a Scottish tour. Supported by the ScottishPower Foundation. At venues across Scotland (September – October 2014).

December 2014


  • Beloved of audiences and acclaimed by critics, the National Theatre of Scotland’s boutique production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted, directed and designed by Graham McLaren, makes its international debut in Michigan, USA (December 2014).

Throughout 2014


  • The National Theatre of Scotland is inviting audiences to share their thoughts about Scotland in 2014. Throughout the year, the Company will collect letters addressed to Dear Scotland… - people's rants and regrets, love letters or break-up cards, advice or demands, hopes and dreams - and will interlace them to create a living record of this momentous year. Audiences will be asked to do it their way; by writing a postcard, uploading a film, participating online, or in person, at events across the country.  Some responses will feature in a National Theatre of Scotland project during the year.
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