Scenes for Survival | Skeleton Wumman


1 Jun 2020

News Story

A newly conceived extract from the play Skeleton Wumman, written and directed by Gerda Stevenson and performed by Amy Conachan.

In this eerie Scots-language fable (based on an Inuit tale), a disabled teenager, swept away by climate-change catastrophe, finds herself transformed into a skeleton on the sea floor.

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

"My play Skeleton Wumman, written for three performers, is a magic-realist work, based on an Inuit creation myth, which I’ve transposed to a futuristic Scotland. This future seems not so far off now that climate change is clearly a looming disaster for our planet if we don’t act urgently. So, to quote T.S. Eliot, what I’m asking in this play is: ‘Were we led all that way for birth or death?' Theatre is one of the most powerful ways of asking questions through connecting people gathered together in a single space, sharing one live moment - its beauty, like the human imagination, is ephemeral. But that’s not possible in these unprecedented times, when Covid-19 imposes isolation. Skeleton Wumman herself is a profoundly isolated character, so its strangely apt that through this excellent initiative from NTS, here is another way of sharing a small part of my play, and, as writer/director, I’m delighted to be reunited with the terrific Amy Conachan, the original Skeleton Wumman."

Gerda Stevenson