Scenes for Survival

Scenes for Survival was a season of 55 digital artworks created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Creativity continues… from home, for now.

Scenes for Survival is a new season of digital short artworks, created in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films.

Each artwork has been exceptionally created by a quarantine creative team, connecting remotely, made up of a performer(s), writer and director and filmed by the performers, from their personal spaces of isolation. Over 200 leading artists and creatives have collaborated to create and release fifty-five unique films.

The season of works also acted as a platform to raise money for the new Scenes For Survival Hardship Fund: a fund for artists and theatre workers who have been hardest hit financially by the current crisis.

Scenes for Survival will be celebrated as part of the British Council's 2020 UK/Italy season 'Being Present'.


All Scenes for Survival content is free to audiences and is available on this page, taking you on a journey back through the last four months exploring lockdown life, love, loneliness, and survival. We celebrate the frontline workers, remember the time spent with family - particularly mothers, children and the new ways we all communicated with each other. We entertained ourselves with passionate plays, stories of mystery, remembered love lost, and are finally able look to the future, to a time when we can return to our beloved theatres again.

Scenes with lockdown loneliness

Scenes about surviving

Scenes with extraordinary conversations

Scenes from the frontline

Scenes of intrigue, mystery and suspense!

Scenes with lockdown love

Scenes from childhood

Scenes about mothers

Scenes about remembered love

Scenes about plays and passion

Scenes about the future

Scenes from theatre past and future

If you have any queries regarding this please contact

Artists involved to date include:

Performers: Moyo Akandé, Saskia Ashdown, Jasmin Ewing-Asname, Victoria Balnaves, Maureen Beattie, Oliver Bennett, Cora Bissett, Mark Bonnar, Tam Dean Burn, Ronan Burns, Neshla Caplan, Morven Christie, Andy Clark, Jo Clifford, Francesca Taylor Coleman, Amy Conachan, Nicole Cooper, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Kate Dickie, Martin Donaghy, Brian Duffy, Liz Ewing, Kirsty Findlay, Gilly Gilchrist, Julie Graham, Douglas Henshall, Dani Heron, Ava Hickey, Gordon Houston, Katherine Howden, Isabella Jarrett, Emma King, Sanjeev Kholi, Eilidh Loan, Laura Lovemore, Jack Lowden, Thierry Mabonga, Natalie MacDonald, Ross Mann, Patrick Martins, James McArdle, Martin McCormick, Kristi McDonald, Lorraine Mcintosh, Brooklyn Melvin, Afton Moran, Natalie Moore Williams, Ashleigh More, Gerry Mulgrew, Taqi Nazeer, Julie Wilson Nimmo, Jatinder Singh Randhawa, Richard Rankin, David Rankine, Annie Louise Ross, John Scougall, Elaine C Smith, Lawrence Smith, Molly Vevers, Daibhidh Walker, Jonathan Watson, Tracy Wiles, and Natalie Moore Williams.

Writers: Finn Anderson, Peter Arnott, Apphia Campbell, Rob Drummond, Philippe Ducros, Andy Edwards, Oliver Emanuel, Stewart Ennis, Jenni Fagan, Janice Galloway, Kevin Gilday, Catherine Grosvenor, Nelly Kelly, Aine King, Hannah Lavery, Ian Low, Iain Finlay Macleod, Iain Macrae, Douglas Maxwell, Isobel McArthur, Nicola McCartney, Liam McCormick, Val McDermid, Andy McGregor, Kathy McKean, Alan McKendrick, Johnny McKnight, Linda McLean, Denise Mina, Rona Munro, Noisemaker ( Scott Gilmour & Claire McKenzie), Michael John O’Neill, Morna Pearson, Frances Poet, Lynda Radley, Uma Nada-Rajah, Ian Rankin, Corinne Salisbury, Stef Smith, Tena Štivičić, May Sumbwanyambe, Luke Sutherland, Meghan Tyler, Bea Webster, and Irvine Welsh.

Writer-performers: Richard Conlon, Janey Godley, Liz Lochhead, and Gail Watson.

Director/performers: Peter Mullan

Writer/director/performer: Greg McHugh

Directors: Davey Anderson, Andy Arnold (Artistic Director of the Tron Theatre), Justin Audibert, ​Cora Bissett, Jordan Blackwood, Nick Bone, Liz Carruthers, Christine Devaney and Tam Dean Burn, Graham Eatough, Julie Ellen (Artistic Director of Macrobert Arts Centre), Morag Fullarton, Heather Fulton, Leonie Rae Gasson, Nic Green, Debbie Hannan, Ben Harrison, Finn den Hertog, Dominic Hill (Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre), Shilpa T-Hyland, Natalie Ibu, Emily Ingram, Niloo-Far Khan, Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, Muireann Kelly (Artistic Director of Theatre Gu Leòr), Lu Kemp (Artistis Director of Perth Theatre), Maggie Kinloch, Jemima Levick (Artistic Director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company), Laura Cameron Lewis, Amy Liptrott (Associate Director at Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Fiona MacKinnon, Morag McKinnon, Sarah McCardie, Peter McMaster, Beth Morton, Cameron Mowat, ​Katherine Nesbitt, Eve Nicol, Jack Nurse, Orla O’Loughlin, Andrew Panton (Artistic Director of Dundee Rep Theatre), Sally Reid, Stasi Schaeffer, Louise Shephard, Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir and Caitlin Skinner.

Writer/directors: Robert Softley Gale (Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise), ​David Greig, Zinnie Harris, Greg Hemphill, and Gerda Stevenson.

Additional creatives: Susan Bear, Matt Elliott, Lewis den Hertog, Dougal Gudim, Zoe Irvine, Fi Johnston, Danny Krass, Andrew Eaton Lewis, Simon Lidell, Rob MacNeacail, Michael John McCarthy, Kim Moore, Pippa Murphy, Shereen Nanjiani, Elizabeth Newman (Artistic Director of Pitlochry Theatre), Rab Noakes, Matt Padden, Patricia Panther, Tom Penny, Nick Powell, Travis Reeves, Carrie Skinner, Scott Twynholm, Tom Urie

Scenes for Survival is being developed and delivered by the National Theatre of Scotland working in association with an unprecedented number of partner organisations, including Aberdeen Performing Arts, An Lanntair, The Gaiety, Birds of Paradise, the Beacon Arts Centre, the Byre Theatre, Citizens Theatre, Cumbernauld Theatre, Curious Seed, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Dundee Rep Theatre, Eden Court Highlands, Imaginate, Lyth Arts Centre, Macrobert Arts Centre, Magnetic North, Perth Theatre, Pier Arts Centre, Playwrights Studio, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Queen Jesus Productions, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Shetland Arts, Solar Bear, Studio Fir Chlis, Summerhall, Stellar Quines, Theatre Gu Leor, the Tron Theatre and the Traverse Theatre.

The British Council UK/Italy 2020 Season

As part of The British Council UK/Italy 2020 Season and in partnership with the Triennale Milano Teatro, selected highlights of Scenes for Survival will be available for an Italian audience.

From 10 – 15 November as part of FOG Festival,

Triennale Milano Teatro will share nine Scenes for Survival films on their channels. The first online screening on 10 November will be accompanied by a Cultural Salon - an introduction and online Q&A session with Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of National Theatre of Scotland and Valeria Cantoni, member of the Scientific Committee of Triennale Milano Teatro.

Watch the films here.

For more info:

Presented as part of the British Council’s UK/Italy 2020 Season

The British Council UK/Italy 2020 Season is a digital led programme of activity co-created with partners in the UK and Italy. Taking the theme  Being Present, this crisis responsive programme explores emerging opportunities for the culture sectors in Italy and the UK at a time when we are reassessing what  Being Present means both in the physical and virtual spaces.

#UK/IT2020 #BeingPresent


We are fully committed to ensuring that all individuals have access to our Scenes of Survival programme of work.

Subtitled Videos

All Scenes for Survival videos are subtitled and accessible on Youtube via our website or on our youtube channel.

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Audio Described Videos

All Scenes for Survival videos will have an audio described version. Please note that the audio description videos are available 7 to 10 days after the original video is published.

You can watch the audio described videos via our website or on our youtube channel.

BSL Scenes of Survival Videos