Scenes for Survival | Sore Afraid

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17 Jun 2020

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Nuala hasn’t got a lot on now Marie is gone. Never one to dwell, instead she’s taken to watching her neighbours across the road do that thing they insist on doing at their window. And as the days and weeks roll on, she becomes sure that joy is on its way for everyone. Maureen Beattie features in this heartbreaking new short from writer Michael John O’Neill, directed by Dominic Hill.

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

"Storytelling is survival. As much as I am the son of my mother and father, I am the son of stories of love and hunger and pain and wonder and revolution and endless labour. What I feel distinctly at this moment is that survival returns us to ourselves. It returns us to childhood, and our powerlessness in an incomprehensible world. Theatre’s most overlooked gift is the kindness with which it echoes the vulnerability of the observer. It is a true and welcome levelling, rare and to be protected as good for all. It is the first crack in the lead actor’s voice that signals the strain to follow. It is the wobble that cascades the set when a door is flung with too much force. It is the intrusion of the outside world in the rumble of a train or a siren pealing by. It is the regret and faint whiff of paprika rising from the row below where an old fella has slow snapped a crisp in a sudden and unfortunate moment of quiet. Theatre is at its best when it recognises we are all alone with each other in the dark, and responds to that by pouring out its own fear and fatigue. And the joy that sits within all that. These stories cannot give shape to the strangeness of the now, or tell us with any certainty what future will emerge. They cannot restore liveness in a time of distance. These stories are rawer than that, simpler and more vulnerable. They are absolutely all we can give you. They are survival."

Michael John O'Neill, Writer

Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund

The Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund is a fundraising campaign launched by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with the Federation of Scottish Theatre, the McGlashan Charitable Trust and leading Scottish Theatre organisations, to raise money for those in the sector who have been hardest hit financially and are experiencing drastic economic and emotional hardship.

All donations to this fund will go directly to provide support for those most impacted within Scotland, be they actors, writers, creatives, musicians, technicians or any others within our industry.

A sector-wide call out with information and details of how to apply for support from the SFS Hardship Fund will be launched in August 2020. The Federation of Scottish Theatre and the McGlashan Charitable Trust will ensure equitable distribution of the money raised.

We would be grateful if you would consider making a small donation to the Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund. Thank you for your support.

Donate Here

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