Scenes for Survival | Listen to Me

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7 Sep 2020

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Lockdown left you looking and feeling like you just crawled out of a bog? Confidence shot to pieces? You need a life coach like Fahad. Five minutes with him and you'll be fitter, flasher, and ready to get yourself back on track. But confidence is only skin-deep, and Fahad may be struggling more than he lets on. Taqi Nazeer stars as a young man trying and failing to pull himself together in a touching short from writer Catherine Grosvenor, directed by Shilpa T-Hyland.

Produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival with support from Hopscotch Films.

"The great joy of creating this piece for me was working with the actor. The power of theatre lies in its ability to bring human beings together, to have strangers share the same space and time and air, whilst watching our fellow human beings create something out of nothing. We currently live in circumstances which have made that experience so risky that it’s been forbidden. But we still have our imaginations, and we have technology, and we have access to electricity, so we still have a lot of options. This whole series of work is about using imaginations and technologies to create other ways of establishing that magical connection between human beings. I’m delighted to be part of it."

Catherine Grosvenor, Writer

"It's oddly comforting to me that I have no doubt in the survival of storytelling: the world could be a burning rock seeing out its last days and we’d still have the impulse to share stories. The in between though is more complicated. As we find our feet navigating the different experiences within our industry and pondering what comes next, I’m glad to be involved in a theatre community effort keep the storytelling baton passing in our strange, strange present!"

Shilpa T-Hyland, Director

"I was interested in how different people responded to lockdown, how some people got really motivated and other people got quite scared. And how our lockdown trajectories changed as the months wore on. I was watching lots of motivational instructors on YoutTube and the character of Fahad began to emerge. Part self-help guru, part boot camp instructor, Fahad is the person many of us needed after five months alone. He’s savage sometimes. But, of course, he’s a fictitious character so he’s also got inner conflict and hidden depths."

Catherine Grosvenor, Writer


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