2019 season announced for National Theatre of Scotland

2019 season announced for National Theatre of Scotland

The National Theatre of Scotland launches its 2019 season of work at Rockvilla, Glasgow.
Pictured from left to right are Claire Cunningham, Cora Bissett, Jackie Kay, NTS Artistic Director Jackie Wylie, Stewart Laing, Nic Green and Robert Softley-Gale.
Pic: Julie Howden

A thrilling and chilling trilogy of near-future plays staged in a Glasgow office block, the first stage adaptations of two bestselling works of Scottish literature, and a late-night theatrical event marking the country’s exit from the EU are all part of the upcoming season of work from the National Theatre of Scotland.

The Company’s 2019 season, announced today, will see it tour a range of new work and returning stage favourites to audiences across Scotland and beyond.  The twenty productions will include new work from revered theatre artists including Claire Cunningham, Stewart Laing, Tim Crouch, and Cora Bissett, as well as the first stage adaptations of acclaimed novels from Jenni Fagan and Scots Makar Jackie Kay.

Major Scottish tours will include a stage revival of John McGrath’s seminal political play The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil, a return for Edinburgh Festival smash hit My Left/Right Foot: The Musical, and Hannah Lavery’s fast and fearsome spoken-word play The Drift, which tours the country as part of Black History Month.

National Theatre of Scotland Artistic Director Jackie Wylie says “In 2019 the National Theatre of Scotland is focusing on major Scottish artists, creating major new works that explore the vital questions facing all of us both as Scots and as global citizens. What Scottish theatre can do like no other national culture is tackle the big questions of our times, with a unique sense of joy and a love of communal celebration.”

Productions in the 2019 season include:

  • Interference, a bold and chilling new trilogy of near-future plays by three provocative writers, Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea, and directed by National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate Director Cora Bissett, which will be staged in a transformed Glasgow office block.
  • Dear Europe a special late-night theatrical event marking Scotland’s proposed exit date from the EU. Six of the country’s most adventurous theatre- makers will create and present short performances that respond to this significant moment in Europe’s history at SWG3, Glasgow on 29 March.
  • Them! tackles the nebulous nature of identity in a changing world. Written by Pamela Carter with long-time collaborator Stewart Laing directing his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. Premiering at Tramway, Glasgow in June and July 2019.
  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham using the phenomenon of tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. Opens in Manchester in July 2019 before touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.

    Jackie Kay’s memoir Red Dust Road is brought to the stage for the first time in 2019


  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, the latest work from mischievous meta-theatrical specialist Tim Crouch. Exploring manipulation and the nature of truth in an age of arch-political misdirection, the play is a bold experiment in the collective creation of fiction.
  • Red Dust Road is the first stage adaptation of the bestselling memoir by Jackie Kay, tracing the challenges she faced on the journey to discover the truth about her birth parents. Adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton, it will premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival and HOME, Manchester, touring throughout autumn 2019.
  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery journeys through history, Scottishness, belonging, and grief, exploring her legacy of being “mixed” in Scotland. Directed by Eve Nicol, it will tour Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019 as part of Black History Month 2019.
  • The Panopticon will be adapted for the stage by Jenni Fagan from her celebrated novel of the same name. A gritty and gripping coming-of-age tale turned on its head, the production will be directed by Debbie Hannan, touring to the Traverse Theatre and Platform, Glasgow in November 2019.
  • Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil, in newly imagined version, based on his acclaimed recent production for Dundee Rep Theatre. The production will tour nationwide, in the spirit of the 1973 original tour.

    John McGrath’s trailblazing political play The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil returns for a new Scottish tour


  • Adam receives its US premiere in New York from 14 to 16 February 2019, as Cora Bissett’s remarkable hit production makes its international debut.
  • Première neige/First Snow follows its successful run at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with an international tour to Canada, with the Fringe First-winning show performing at Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March.
  • Anything That Gives Off Light returns following its premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016. Focusing on three characters in a pub as they wrestle with loneliness, grief and a festering sense of betrayal, the production will visit Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019.
  • LIKE FLYING is a new participatory project from the National Theatre of Scotland, working in partnership for the first time with SAMH, (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council. The project, tackling mental wellbeing through aerial performance, will be performed in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh in June 2019 and curated by National Theatre of Scotland Artist-in-Residence Nic Green.
  • The Coming Back Out Ball, a year-long engagement programme created for the LGBTI elder community comes to Scotland, having been successfully pioneered in Australia by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid of All The Queens Men. Led by Scottish theatre-maker Lewis Hetherington alongside the original creative team from All The Queens Men, the project will take place from May 2019.
  • Just Start Here, the National Theatre of Scotland’s pop-up festival celebrating new work and Scottish artists, arrives in Aberdeen on 08 and 09 March 2019 as part of the Company’s Engine Room programme. Produced in partnership with Citymoves, Aberdeen.

Full information on the 2019 season can be found in the press release- which is available to view right here.

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