National Theatre of Scotland announces 2020 season
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National Theatre of Scotland announces 2020 season

National Theatre of Scotland creatives Nic Green, May Sumbwanyambe, Liz Lochhead, Stewart Laing, and Kieran Hurley join Acting Chief Executive Brenna Hobson and Acting Artistic Director Caroline Newall to launch 2020 season.

The press release, with full details of the season, can be found here.

An intriguing digital tour through Glasgow’s historic streets, a mysterious true-crime investigation, a fabulous gala ball packed with special guests, and pop-up musical delights on Scotland’s major ferry routes will all form part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2020 season, announced today.

The upcoming year will see the Company touring a range of new work and returning classics to fifty locations across Scotland and beyond. These will include Liz Lochhead’s fierce and powerful Medea at the Edinburgh International Festival, director Stewart Laing’s take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Enough of Him, a new collaboration with Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Major Scottish tours will include The Enemy, a contemporary take on Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People from the team of Kieran Hurley and Finn den Hertog, and the return of John McGrath’s legendary The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black Black Oil for an extensive new tour, which will include a first-time visit to Glasgow’s famous Pavilion Theatre.

The year will also see the Company continue to bring its work to unique and unusual locations. Ferry Tales will bring charming musical performances and community stories to three of Scotland’s major ferry routes, while Adura Onashile’s Ghosts will take audiences on an innovative digital tour through the history of Glasgow’s Merchant City. The spectacular Coming Back Out Ball will see the Old Fruitmarket transformed for an evening celebrating the country’s LGBTI+ community, hosted by Scottish star Karen Dunbar.

Caroline Newall, the Company’s Acting Artistic Director, said ““We believe that theatre matters now more than ever. We take great pride and reassurance in looking to a nation of artists who can reflect the times in which we are living back at us, and help us imagine new possibilities for society. We remain committed to the people, places and passions that are unique to Scotland and enable us as a nation to celebrate the diversity and strength of our culture, despite the wider uncertainties we face.”

Productions will include

  • The Enemy, a provocative and timely new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic stage play An Enemy of the People from writer Kieran Hurley and director Finn den Hertog. Transporting the setting to a once-proud industrial town, the production will tour town halls and civic spaces across west and central Scotland.
  • Medea, Liz Lochhead’s thrilling Scots-language adaptation of the timeless Greek tragedy, returns to the stage at the 2020 Edinburgh International Festival, directed by Michael Boyd and with Adura Onashile taking on the eponymous role.
  • Enough of Him, a new co-production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre, focussing on the remarkable true story of Joseph Knight, an African man brought to Scotland as a slave by plantation owner John Wedderburn, who later challenged his status as a slave in court.
  • Ferry Tales, a charming celebration of the waters surrounding Scotland’s western isles and the voyages over them made by thousands of locals, workers and visitors each year. The production, written by Isobel McArthur, directed by Lu Kemp, and featuring music from folk singer Josie Duncan, will pop-up on three of Scotland’s ferry routes in April 2020.
  • Ghosts, a brand-new multimedia project from Adura Onashile, taking the form of an emotional guided tour through a free augmented reality app. Audience phones will become a window into Glasgow’s often unspoken history with the slave trade, allowing them to meet the ghosts of the city’s painful past and its effects on the present.
  • Hamlet, an innovative new take on the Shakespeare classic from Stewart Laing which brings the play’s youthful voices to the fore, exploring the language of Shakespeare and who really has ownership over it.
  • Who Killed Katie? Multi-talented theatre-maker Rob Drummond returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a new one-man show about a mysterious murder in a Scottish town. A murder that remains unsolved… Directed by Orla O’Loughlin, the production will take aim at our enduring fascination with true crime stories
  • Absolutely, Awesome, Affirmative sees National Theatre of Scotland’s Artist-in-Residence Nic Green unveil an intriguing meditation on truth that is part TED talk, part shopping channel special, and part showbiz hypnotism. Full of opulent theatricality and visual flair, the production opens as part of Take Me Somewhere festival in May 2020.
  • The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil returns for a new Scottish tour in 2020. Beginning with a visit to Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre, a first for the National Theatre of Scotland. Director Joe Douglas’s production of John McGrath’s legendary play will then embark on a rousing and rollicking rural tour across the highlands and islands.
  • Thank You Very Much, Claire Cunningham’s witty and glitzy dance production, a co-production with Manchester International Festival, travels to London for performances as part of the Dance Umbrella Festival, where Claire and her ensemble of leading disabled performers invite audiences to join them as they pull back the curtain on the glittering and mysterious world of the tribute artist.
  • The Korean-language adaptation of Let The Right One In, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne’s hit stage adaptation, first seen in 2016 returns for new performances in Seoul, South Korea, from April 2020.
  • The monthly LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club events continue throughout the first half of 2020 in Glasgow and Inverness, with pop-up social dance clubs also appearing in Perth, Edinburgh, Stornoway, Ayr, Lyth and Rothesay.
  • The Coming Back Out Conversation sees the National Theatre of Scotland, All The Queen’s Men, Eden Court and Luminate and LGBT Health and Wellbeing working alongside agencies and organisations in Scotland to hold the country’s first national forum about LGBTI+ people and ageing, hosted at the National Theatre of Scotland’s Rockvilla HQ.
  • The Coming Back Out Ball project culminates in a spectacular evening event at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket in an event filled with extravagance, powerful performances, drag queens, live music, and special guests, all hosted by the fabulous Karen Dunbar. Featuring performances from Horse Mcdonald, Jo Clifford and Dean Atta. A National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men co-production, presented in partnership with Eden Court and Luminate, in association with Glasgow City Council.
  • Award-winning participatory youth project The Agency, from Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Theatre, arrives in Scotland for the first time, with engagement beginning in the National Theatre of Scotland’s north-Glasgow neighbourhood from Summer 2020.
  • Paisley People’s Theatre Project is a new participatory project for 2021, and will see the story of Paisley’s momentous past at the heart of a new collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland, Slung Low, Renfrewshire Leisure and the people of the historic town. Produced as part of Renfrewshire City Council’s Future Paisley Programme, which follows the legacy of Paisley’s bid to become the UK City of Culture for 2021, engagement for the production will begin in Summer 2020.
  • Just Start Here, the National Theatre of Scotland’s pop-up festival of Scottish artists and collaborative performance, returns for its third year in 2020. Taking place in Dumfries on 28 and 29 February, the festival will be presented in collaboration with high street venue and pioneering artistic community organisation The Stove Network.

For full details on what’s on in 2020, click here.

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