The Tin Forest

A celebration of Glasgow’s industrial past and creative future.
Taking place at the South Rotunda, across Glasgow and across the Commonwealth.
Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Inspired by the book by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson

There was once a wide, windswept place, near nowhere and close to forgotten,
that was filled with all the things that no one wanted…


Produced in association with Scottish Youth Theatre and supported by Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland, Homecoming 2014, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Arts and Business Scotland


The Tin Forest Show: A Puppet Theatre Experience

The Tin Forest is the story of a crabbit wee man who dreams of a better world and decides he’ll just have to build it himself. Graham McLaren’s adaptation entices audience members (in gaggles of ten at a time) behind the walls of a magically transformed South Rotunda, on a walk through the old man’s weird and wonky world. An oddball cast of lovable bampots and eccentric puppets guide brave punters through manky wee howffs and wide windswept places alike…

The Tin Forest East End

Glasgow’s East End was a major industrial centre. The area was home to companies such as James Templeton textile production, Sir William Arrol & Co bridge builders and, of course, William Beardmore and Company, whose mighty Parkhead Forge made the high grade steel upon which so many other industries depended.

The Tin Forest Govan

Govan was once the centre of the world-renowned Clydeside shipbuilding industry. It was also home to some of Scotland’s most famous speakers, Mary Barbour and Jimmy Reid. Govan has a history of speaking up and speaking out about how the people of Govan want their world to be. We created a Govan-wide event in June, bringing voices from Govan together, both speaking and singing. Alongside this, the National Theatre of Scotland ran six months of free weekly acting workshops for young people in Govan.

The Tin Forest South West Glasgow

The factories of Southwest Glasgow were a crucial part of the Second World War effort, producing armaments and, at their peak, 100 Merlin Spitfire engines per day. Hillington, Penilee and Cardonald grew massively in population during WWII, as workers moved to the area to meet the demand. What’s the story in this part of Glasgow today? What are we building for the future?

The Tin Forest Springburn

At one time, Springburn built a quarter of the world’s locomotives. Huge manufacturing sites like St Rollox, Cowlairs, Hyde Park and Atlas sent engines and rolling stock all over the world, changing the face of global transportation. St Rollox is still in operation but times have changed and so has Springburn. What does it look like now and what does the future hold?

International Performing Company

1 company – 90 young people – 5 groups – 6 locations – 1 city

Inspired by The Tin Forest story and by a string of iconic Clydeside landmarks, The Tin Forest International Performing Company brought Glasgow’s riverside to life over three special days in July 2014.

90 young theatre makers from across the Commonwealth formed 5 groups, representing the people – past and present – who have lived in and passed through Glasgow:
the Forgotten, the Workers, the Dreamers, the Players and the Travellers.

Each group created a piece of pop-up theatre inspired by a riverside landmark.


The Tin Forest International Theatre Festival

As The Tin Forest grew in Glasgow, ten groups of young artists from across the Commonwealth were creating their own special theatre pieces, similarly inspired by the story and by the phrase “From nowhere… somewhere.”

During Games time, the groups performed at the transformed South Rotunda as part of the Tin Forest International Theatre Festival. The groups hailed from Jamaica, Bangladesh, India, England, New Zealand, Malta and, of course, from Scotland – Aberdeen, Buckhaven, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


Dear Glasgow

A fast-paced evening of discussion, debate, plan-hatching and song, as we asked you to reimagine the place where you live.

Your hosts for the evening were The Tin Forest director Graham McLaren and writer- director-performer Kieran Hurley (Rantin’, Beats, Chalk Farm). They asked you to tell us about the burning issues – what are your hopes, dreams, frustrations in the place where you live?

Tin Forest TV

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