Scenes for Survival | Out of the Woods | Episode One

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30 Jul 2020

News Story

In the late afternoon light, a father sends video messages as he struggles to find his way through the woods on the way to pick up his daughter. But remember, she’s not to tell her other dad he’s coming.... it’s to be their little secret. Equal parts hilarious and sinister, Alan Cumming stars in the first of a bewitching new three-part short from writer Johnny McKnight, directed by Andrew Panton.

Produced by National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Dundee Rep, with support from Hopscotch Films.

"I think at this time we find ourselves responding in so many different ways - bingeing box sets, absorbed in those books we never got round to reading, following every detail of the next development of this crisis, listening to our podcasts, going on that walk and really seeing the surroundings, putting on our favourite albums - and we do it to try and find some sort of familiarity or comfort in our stories. We go to stories in times of crisis. This is an opportunity to tell stories that either reflect, distract or shine a light on these unprecedented times. Keep safe."

Johnny McKnight, Writer

"I couldn’t resist the opportunity to collaborate with Alan and Andrew. As I like to call it ‘Covid-brain’ was really helpful in writing this piece. It was started towards the start of lockdown and I found myself grappling with different methods of communication - Zoom, marco polo, Teams - and that in itself became an inspiration. A new form of communication means a new way to present and write. I was interested in an audience having to fill in the ‘blanks’ - the sides we don’t get to see now we’re relying only on what we’re being told rather than experience; what faces do we put on for our families and friends during this time; and what might that loneliness drive us to. I also had Barbra Streisand’s version of ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf’ playing in my head and that, ultimately, spilled out onto the page…."

Johnny McKnight, Writer

"We’ve always used storytelling to help understand our environment. At a time when nothing seems to make sense and every day we are grappling with new ideas, it’s vital that we use art and creativity to help us navigate the new. Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre are very proud to be collaborating on this project enabling storytellers from all over Scotland and beyond to unite in these strange times."

Andrew Panton, Director


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