A trio of world premieres mark out the National Theatre of Scotland’s Summer and Autumn season of its tenth anniversary year, are being launched in Edinburgh.
The NTS will return to the Edinburgh Festival with two productions in August. One in the fringe (details of which will be announced later) and a new co-production with the TEAM in the EIF. The company is producing a double bill about trans lives, Eve/Adam in October. Edinburgh playwright Jo Clifford (pictured) is writing Eve with Chris Goode, while Adam is conceived and directed by NTS associate artist Cora Bissett.
Also in October, the company is curating and staging Home Away, an international festival of participatory arts to take place at the Glasgow Tramway. Five international organisations will come together with five companies from Scotland, including Edinburgh arts and disability organisation: Artlink.
The NTS is also developing a major new initiative for schoolchildren which will be announced in the Spring.
The programme is to be launched at an event at the Lyceum later today, when NTS artistic director Laurie Sansom will introduce some of the creatives and artists involved in the whole season. Sansom said: “With the remainder of our tenth birthday programme, we are celebrating Scotland’s relationship with the world and extraordinary journeys made by individuals of both a deeply personal and a mythological nature.”
The NTS co-production with the Brooklyn-based ensemble, the TEAM and the EIF will be Anything That Gives Off Light. Which uses the Scottish Enlightenment as a lens through which to examine the contrasting and overlapping national myths of Scotland and America.
Written collaboratively, Anything That Gives Off Light, is led by Rachel Chavkin, the TEAM Artistic Director, and NTS associate director Davey Anderson. It’s the NTS’s eighth collaboration with the EIF and its second with the TEAM after collaboration on Architecting in 2008.
The produciton will follow the TEAM’s obsession with the gap between inherited mythology and lived experience, according to Chavkin.
She said: “The Enlightenment ideals of personal liberty and self-determination are responsible for both the most utopian and most divisive American values today, embodied in our first and second amendments: freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.
“As our Scottish friends and their country were wrestling with the possibility of independence and the question of what kind of democracy they wanted to be, it seemed like the perfect time to begin a collaboration about parallel national and personal narratives.”
The double-bill touring to Glasgow and Edinburgh in October is Eve/Adam. A “timely and theatrical exploration of the complexities and challenges facing trans people”, according to the NTS, it will use an innovative intertwining of personal testimony, storytelling, composition and mass digital media.
Eve, written by Jo Clifford and Chris Good, will be performed by Clifford and follows her four and five-star garnering production The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven – reviewed on Æ here.
Clifford became the first trans woman on record to give the Reply Of The Lassies at an official Burns supper on Friday night. And did so in company which included Makar Liz Lochhead and first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Commenting on Eve, she said: “Being trans has informed all my work in the theatre but this opportunity to share my own story as a writer and performer is unique.
“It matters so much to me that my story should be told the same evening as Adam’s, and that this amazing project is being produced by the National Theatre of Scotland. As a nation, Scotland is also on a journey of discovery and grappling with the issues of how to create a welcoming country that is committed to ending all forms of discrimination.”
Adam has been conceived for the stage and will be directed by Cora Bissett the co-creator of Glasgow Girls, Rites and Roadkill. It will have a score composed by Jocelyn Pook and is written by playwright and dramaturg Frances Poet.
The production delves into the true story of a young trans man and his journey to reconciliation, with himself, those closest to him, and the world as he knows it.
Featuring a score sung by a virtual choir of trans and non-binary individuals from across the world, Adam will be both a bold exploration of the experience of a young transgender person and an ambitious experiment with theatrical form, blending storytelling, classical composition and mass digital elements from participants from around the globe.
participatory performing arts
The National Theatre of Scotland’s first international programme of participatory performing arts, culminating in a festival of public performance and a symposium for the international participatory arts community takes place at Tramway, Glasgow, Saturday 8 to Thursday 13 October 2016.
As part of the programme, ten original theatre pieces, commissioned by the NTS, will be created by professional artists working with community participants. Each production will premiere within the community where it has been created and will subsequently be showcased at the Home Away Festival in Glasgow in October 2016.
The Company is also supporting Theatre Gu Leòr, who are presenting Shrapnel, a new Gaelic drama production, in co-production with the Tron Theatre and An Lanntair which tours from 10 March to 2 April 201 and will play Edinburgh.