Scenes for Survival | Dreaming of Edinburgh, an extract from The Breathing House

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24 Jun 2020

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Gazing from a window upon the polished propriety of genteel Victorian Edinburgh society, a young woman takes delight in imagining the pent-up carnal desire bubbling beneath the surface of the city’s straitlaced exterior. Molly Vevers stars in this playful musing on locked down lust in ‘the most erotic city in the world.’

Directed by Stasi Schaeffer and produced in association with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Dreaming of Edinburgh is an extract from Peter Arnott’s play The Breathing House.

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

“For me, I have to say that “theatre on screen” is a contradiction in terms that I can’t reconcile. What we see can either be an archived record of a theatrical performance, or, far more interesting to me, a piece of short filmmaking specifically with two minutes on screen in mind… filmmaking where the camera is there as a character, not just as a recorder. What I hope we’ve done with is itself of value, and not just as a reminder of what we’re missing.

My contribution to the Scenes for Survival is a speech from a project dear to my heart, The Breathing House, set in a 19th Century Edinburgh of the mind, which I like to think of as the adaptation of a Victorian “Novel of Sensation” that no one actually ever wrote. Dreaming of Edinburgh is a gender re-assigned adaptation of a scene in this adaptation, if that makes any sense. I wanted something about confinement that made no actual reference to lockdown but would somehow speak to it. Hence setting it somewhere between the past and the present.”

Peter Arnott


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 was launched in August 2020. Applications to the fund closed on Friday 4th September. The McGlashan Charitable Trust are dispersing the money raised and will communicate funding decisions no later than Friday 9th October.

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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