Author Archives: National Theatre of Scotland

About National Theatre of Scotland

In its short life, the National Theatre of Scotland has already earned a significant national and international reputation for its daring and originality. The National Theatre of Scotland was established in 2006 and has created over 200 productions. Being a theatre without walls and building-free, the Company presents a wide variety of work that ranges from large-scale productions to projects tailored to the smallest performing spaces. In addition to conventional theatres, the Company has performed in airports, schools, tower blocks, community halls, ferries and forests. The National Theatre of Scotland creates much of its work in partnership with theatre-makers, companies, venues and participants across the globe. From extraordinary projects with schools and communities, to the ground-breaking online 5 Minute Theatre to landmark pieces such as The James Plays by Rona Munro - the National Theatre of Scotland’s aspiration is to tell the stories that need to be told and to take work to wherever audiences are to be found.

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Let The Right One In – a fan’s fascination with an international cult hit

Vitaly Altoiz is a member of We, The Infected, an international Let The Right One In fan community. In May 2013, members of We, The Infected supported a class of Dundee school pupils to attend a performance and backstage tour of the National Theatre of Scotland stage adaptation.

This February, members of the forum, including will travel to New York to see our production of  Let The Right One In for the first time. Vitaly reflects on the influence of the story on him ahead of seeing the stage adaptation.

January 2015 marks four years since I discovered John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let The Right One In. For me, like a lot of other people, the movie came first.

I was a reluctant viewer, to be sure. I was never a fan of vampire genre.  Save for few remarkable cinematic gems that were simply good films – like F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) and George Romero’s Martin (1977) – I stayed away from fanged fiction.  The only vampiric character that made my heart beat with childlike glee was Sesame Street’s Count von Count. And that was it.

In 2011, I started seeing reviews of the 2008 Swedish film Let The Right One In. It had an unusual plot, interesting casting and atypical setting. Screening was required. What happened next was an absolute revelation.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, the film is a sublime exercise in economic direction and rich visuals. Tight dialogue revealed only what needs to be known by the viewer. Spot-on casting enhances the film’s magical impact. Most great films transform their audience in one way or another. The effect on me was undeniable. It was truly an uplifting and emotional response.

What I hadn’t known at the time was that the screenplay was by Lindqvist, the author of the source novel. Let The Right One In was first published in 2004. The story tells of the Oskar, a friendless, bullied boy from suburban Blackeberg, Sweden. Eli is a new neighbour with an incredible secret. She opens her heart and befriends the tortured boy. The book had such an accessible tone that I could not put it down as I read it.

Growing up in Blackeberg provided inspiration to Lindqvist for Let The Right One In. When you read about Oskar you imagine you are reading about Lindqvist’s childhood too.

The novel has been translated into many languages. The novel’s accessibility lies in an approachable plot where reality commingles with fantasy. Despite its supernatural trappings, Let The Right One In is still just a story about two lonely kids in love. They get thrown together by chance and discover a connection that could influence the rest of their lives. However long those may last…

Lindqvist’s writing lends itself to cinematic and stage interpretations. The 2008 film was followed by a US remake in 2010. Lindqvist adapted his book for the Swedish stage 2011 for Uppsala City Theater.

The first English language stage adaptation of Let The Right One In premiered in June 2013 at Dundee Rep Theatre.  The National Theatre of Scotland production had a new script by Jack Thorne.  The show’s success in Dundee helped to propel the production to a run at Royal Court Theatre, London. A South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best Theatre and a West End transfer were to follow.

The production is now making its North American stage premiere for a limited run at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. I will be attending along with other We, The Infected members . I’m sure that at one point I will pinch myself just to see if I’m not dreaming. But as they say,  “Life is but a dream…”.

Let The Right One In is at St Ann’s Warehouse, New York, until 15th February 2014. For more information and booking, please visit

Yer Granny cast announced

Gregor FisherWell known Scottish TV actor Gregor Fisher will be playing Yer Granny, in the National Theatre of Scotland’s gallus comedy of the same name which tours Scotland in 2015. Also announced as joining the cast are Brian Pettifer, (recently seen in BBC TV’s The Musketeers), Barbara Rafferty, (Rab C Nesbitt) and Louise McCarthy (London West End’s Mamma Mia!) They will join Jonathan Watson, Paul Riley and Maureen Beattie, also known to audiences for their popular stage, screen and comedy performances.

A bold and riotous new comedy, adapted by popular Scottish playwright, Douglas Maxwell, set in a Scots-Italian family fish and chip shop, Yer Granny, is a new adaptation of Roberto La Cossa’s La Nona, Argentina’s favourite play. The production is touring to Scotland’s large theatre stages from 19 May to 4 July 2015.

Touring to: The Beacon, Greenock (19 and 21 May, 2015); The King’s Theatre, Glasgow (26 to 30 May, 2015); The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (2 to 6 June, 2015); Eden Court, Inverness (9 to 13 June, 2015); Lyric Theatre, Belfast (23 to 27 June, 2015); Dundee Rep , Dundee (30 June to 4 July, 2015).

Belong – January to June 2015 season in pictures

BELONG is a unique photographic essay created to accompany the announcement of the National Theatre of Scotland’s January to June 2015 Season. Working with the distinguished photographer Peter Dibdin, we met members of some of Scotland’s diverse communities. In seeking out the community members, we looked for synergies with the productions in our 2015 Season. While they were being photographed, we asked the subjects of the portraits to tell us a little about what it’s like to be part of a community.

“Tribes, families, clans and gangs have their joys and their challenges; we’ve taken that as our touchstone for our 2015 season of work,” says Artistic Director, Laurie Sansom. “In this diverse season we meet families ferociously fighting for survival, witness national loyalties challenged, confront cultural  customs and observe a woman with no ties, recreating herself before our eyes. These are stories of communities under pressure from within, friends and family rallying round, and people making incredible journeys to escape and invent new identities. This year we hope you will join us to explore what it means to feel part of gang, or out there on your own…”

Find out more about the January to June 2015 season.

2015 season announcement LTROILet The Right One In

Amy Lawn, Jennifer Mackenzie and Campbell Kinnaird are members of the Glasgow Vampire Live Action Role Play Group.

The group drew back from their characters to tell us about their community. “I’ll take the fangs out because I don’t really have a lisp,” laughs Jennifer. “I was brought into the LARPing community by a friend.” It’s a story shared by all three.

Campbell was introduced to Live Action Role Play by a university friend. He has been involved with Glasgow Vampire LARP for five years and is now running the game. “We meet every month and I enjoy it for meeting like-minded people. There’s a lot of fun to be had in being behind the curtain. It’s great to get feedback from people enjoying the story I’ve been writing.”

“I wanted to get involved in LARP for years but never found one for me”, says Amy. “I was interested in getting into different characters. You can come and be weird for a few hours every month.”

Campbell adds “If you’re new to LARPing as a whole, there’s a lot of fun in diving into something completely different from yourself. It’s escapism.”

“If you’re part of one game  you’ll hear about another going on in Britain,” they agree. “There are hundreds, if not thousands of LARPers.”


2015 season announcement DunsinaneDunsinane

Actors Siobhan Redmond and Darrell D’Silva take a break during a photo shoot to promote Dunsinane. All part of a day’s work for an actor.

Siobhan has appeared as Gruach in many Dunsinane photo-shoots for tours across Scotland, England, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Russia. Darrell joined the cast as Siward on the 2014 tour and both are looking forward to joining the rest of the cast for US performances. It’s an unusual job that sees you taking your tea break in full medieval dress. The actors grab a refreshment and check smartphones as Old Govan Parish Church stands in for Scotland’s seat of power.

2015 season announcement Whisky GaloreWhisky Galore

Mary and Alistair Johnston pictured in the Am Politician pub, Eriskay. They were born in Eriskay and moved to Clydebank. They return to Eriskay every summer.

Alistair says, “Mary and I were born in Eriskay. In 1944 we moved to Glasgow with my mother and father because of the lack of work. The fishing industry had died because of over fishing, so there was basically no work in Eriskay. Every summer we used to come back to my auntie’s house. At that time, in the early 50s we would come back here for work. We would look after the cows… cutting peat and carrying peat, cutting hay and carrying – very hard work.

Eriskay at that time didn’t have a pub. Occasionally, when we became teens, we used to go and beg the school master for the use of the school for a dance! And we used the old gramophone –it was probably one of those windup ones. That’s how I met my wife, Mary, during a holiday. Eventually we got married and built a house in Clydebank. We had six children.”

“They came with us here every summer,” says Mary, “and now they come as here as young adults and they love the place.”

Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr

Màiri agus Alasdair anns an taigh-seinnse ‘Am Politician’ann an Èirisgeigh.  Rugadh iad ann an Èirisgeigh agus ghluais iad a Bhruach Chluaidh.  Bidh iad a’ tilleadh a dh’Èirisgeigh a h-uile samhradh.

Tha Alasdair ag ràdh, “Rugadh mi fhìn agus Màiri ann an Èirisgeigh. Ann an 1944 ghluais sinn a Ghlaschu còmhla ri m’ athair ’s mo mhàthair air sgàth dìth obrach. Bha gnìomhachas an èisg air crìonadh mar thoradh air tuilleadh ’s a chòir iasgach, agus mar sin cha robh obair idir idir ann an Èirisgeigh. Bhiomaid a’ tilleadh air ais gach samhradh gu taigh m’ antaidh. Aig an àm sin tràth sna 50an, thigeadh sinn air ais an seo a dh’obair. Bhiomaid a’ coimhead às dèidh a’ chruidh … bhiomaid a’ buain mhònadh ’s a’ tarraing mhònadh, a’ buain ’s a’ tarraing an fheòir – obair glè chruaidh.

Cha robh taigh-seinnse ann an Èirisgeigh aig an àm sin. An-dràsta ’s a-rithist, nuair a dh’fhàs sinn nar deugairean, bhiomaid a’ falbh agus a’ guidhe don mhaighstir-sgoile leigeil leinn an sgoil a chleachdadh airson dannsa! Agus bhiomaid a’ cleachdadh an t-seann ghramafòn – tha mi a’ creidsinn gur h-e fear dhen fheadhainn sin a bhiodh tu a’ rothaigeadh a bh’ ann. Sin mar a choinnich mi ri mo bhean Màiri, aig àm saor-làithean. Aig deireadh gnothaich, phòs sinn agus thog sinn taigh ann am Bruach Chluaidh. Bha sianar chloinne againn.”

“Bhiodh iadsan a’ tighinn còmhla rinn a h-uile samhradh,” arsa Màiri, “agus a-nis tha iad a’ tighinn an seo nan inbheach òga agus tha gràdh mòr aca air an àite!”

2015 season announcement Last DreamLast Dream (On Earth)

Amy Anderson and Alasdair Gow. Amy is an Electronics Engineer and Alasdair is a Spacecraft Sales Engineer. They work at Clyde Space in Glasgow which makes small satellites called CubeSats.

“Some days can be spent testing finished products which have been assembled and designed here, just before they go to the customers,” says Amy. “Other days you could be pulling together schematics of a new design that could be developed.”

Alasdair’s day focuses on the customer-facing side of the company. “I talk to customers, I try to understand their technical requirements, and so if they need a satellite that has a pointing capability of 1 degree and needs to point at the Earth with that level of accuracy, I can discuss that with them. I’m in the front line, buffer, between the customers and the engineer team.”

“Clyde Space is quite a small company and we are quite tight knit,” adds Amy. “Recently the kind of community that has developed in my life is on Sunday mornings, when me and a few of the engineers here at work go for a Sunday brunch. Yes, so we have a little brunch community going.”

2015 season announcement Yer GrannyYer Granny

Olga Marchetti and Riccardo Cardosi. Olga was born in Glasgow to Italian parents and worked in the family’s fish and chip shop as a teenager. She prepared the fish, scrubbed the floors and served behind the counter. Olga then got a job with a make-up company aged 18. The family’s shop was closed during the war and the windows were smashed as part of the anti-Italian war feeling. After the war an Italian club was opened for the community to socialise.

Olga says “You could go there to have a wee dance and your father came with you! The men would play cards, have a wee glass of something and something to eat. It was lovely. I enjoyed it, loved it.”

Riccardo works in the family-owned Allan’s Snack Bar in Paisley, where they both are photographed.

2015 season announcement RitesRites

Nina Murray, Fatou Baldeh, Sanaa Alsabag and Ako Zada. Nina works for the Scottish Refugee Council. She has been working on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) projects to gather information about FGM in Scotland. Fatou works for Dignity Alert Research Forum (DARF) where she creates awareness of FGM in Scotland. Sanaa works with Waverley Care African Help Project as an Employability Coordinator. Ako works with Community InfoSource where he is a director. Currently they are running a project working with men to raise awareness of FGM.

2015 season announcement Play Pie PintA Play, A Pie and A Pint: International Plays from Ukraine and Russia

Katya Ermolaeva and Daria Freier. Katya is an American PHD student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland whose parents are Russian. Daria is an exchange student at Glasgow Caledonian University who grew up in Ukraine. They are photographed at a dinner party organised by Katya to bring together members of the Slavic community living in Glasgow to share food, language and culture in an informal environment.

Katya says “Here in Glasgow I feel part of the Conservatoire community, the music professional community, the Russian and Greek Orthodox community. And I’m also part of the salsa community.”

Daria says “It’s difficult to me to identify with only one community. I feel part of the community of our Russian friends here, but also the communities which unite me with my religion and with my studies.”

2015 season announcement Drivers SeatThe Driver’s Seat

Passengers at Edinburgh Airport. Photographed in the foreground is Narkisha Gallagher, a Trading Company Manager for a theatre company.

Narkisha worked in many of Edinburgh’s restaurants before arriving at theatre. “The catering industry is like a really dysfunctional family. I think that people who are willing to work until three o’clock in the morning definitely have some rather eccentric traits.”

Watching the people pass through Edinburgh Airport though, she feels there’s more of a loss of community. “All these departures and arrivals,” she says. “I sense there is a different feeling… There’s so much people-watching”

2015 season announcement LearnLearn activity

Gerard Durkin is a storyteller. He mainly performs traditional oral stories. He travels across the U.K and Europe and has performed in nurseries and care homes to people of all ages. He is photographed performing stories to children at Bridgeton Library in Glasgow as part of Scottish Book Week.

Listen to The Common Man EP

signsThis year, to coincide with the In Time o’ Strife UK tour, groups of young people aged 16 – 20 took part in a project to create short pieces of contemporary theatre with a strong political message.

Alongside these pieces they recorded eight exciting new tracks to form The Common Man EP which you can listen for free on our Soundcloud Cloud channel.

The EP was compiled by young people from Dundee Rep Youth Theatre, Collision, North East Scotland College, Dundee and Angus College, Toon Speak and New Rhythms for Glasgow, Edinburgh Common Man and Urban Fairytale.

Be our new Gaelic trainees

Gaelic Trainee Director
Gaelic Trainee Producer
Gaelic Trainee Stage Manager
Salary: £350 per week

We are seeking to appoint three Trainees to work on a Gaelic language production touring in Spring 2015. These post-holders will work closely alongside key individuals on the production.
These varied and exciting roles will suit individuals keen to develop their knowledge and experience of theatre. The roles require a good understanding of Gaelic.

To find out more about the roles and how to apply visit our recruitment page or call Fiona Hanrahan on 0141 221 0970 or email

The closing date for applications is 10am on Monday 24 November 2014
Interviews will be held in Glasgow, date to be confirmed

Foghlamach Stiùiridh Gàidhlig
Foghlamach Riochdachaidh Gàidhlig
Foghlamach Manaidsearachd Stèidse Gàidhlig
Tuarastal: £350 san t-seachdain

Tha sinn a’ sùileachadh ri triùir Fhoghlamaich fhastadh airson obair air riochdachadh Gàidhlig a bhios a’ dol air chuairt as t-Earrach 2015. Bidh an luchd-dreuchd sin ag obair gu dlùth air an riochdachadh ri taobh prìomh luchd-obrach fa leth. Bidh na dreuchdan inntinneach is bhrosnachail seo freagarrach do dhaoine fa leth a tha dìoghrasach a thaobh an cuid fiosrachaidh is eòlais air theatar a leasachadh.  Tha na dreuchdan ag iarraidh tuigse mhath don Ghàidhlig.

Feuch gun tadhail sibh air an làraich-lìn againn airson fiosrachadh mun dòigh tagraidh. Faodaidh sibh cuideachd labhairt ri Fiona Hanrahan aig Theatar Nàiseanta na h-Alba air 0141 221 0970. No cuiribh post-d gu

Feumaidh tagraidhean a bhith a-staigh ro 10m air Diluain 24 Samhain 2014.
Bidh na h-agallamhan air an cumail ann an Glaschu, ceann-latha ri dhaingneachadh.

Listen to the Five Minute Theatre Documentary

FMT sqaureYou can now listen again to the BBC Radio 4 documentary on The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know Five Minute Theatre Show. It features behind the scenes coverage and interviews with writers, performers and producers.

Visit the link below:

Theatre practitioners open sessions

The Waiting Room from The Tin ForestWEDNESDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2015

National Theatre of Scotland Rehearsal Room, Civic House, 26 Civic Street, Glasgow G4 9RH

Session 1:  10.00am – 1.00pm
Session 2:  2.00pm – 5.00pm

The National Theatre of Scotland’s Learn department is looking to expand the pool of freelance theatre practitioners with whom we work. So we’re holding two open sessions for practitioners we’ve never met before.

We’d like to meet artists with a minimum of one year’s experience in delivering workshops and creating theatre experiences in both school and community settings across a variety of artforms.

Drama practitioner?  Visual artist?  Filmmaker?  Choreographer?  Lion tamer?
Costume/Set/Lighting designer?  Burlesque artist?  Puppeteer?
We want to meet you, find out more about you, and tell you a bit more about us.

The session will last three hours and will involve practical tasks and team-working, including a one minute pitch to the room, in as creative a way as possible, showcasing your artform and skills. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about past and future National Theatre of Scotland projects.  Further details on the sessions will be sent to those allocated a place.


Places are limited to 15 per session and will be issued on a first-to-book basis, with evidence of relevant experience in the field.

Interested?  Contact National Theatre of Scotland Learning and Outreach Manager, Gillian Gourlay at:

> by 1.00pm on Friday 14th November 2015
> with a copy of your CV
> stating your first choice session to attend

All practitioners who have been allocated a place will be contacted by Wednesday 19th November.

For further information, contact Gillian Gourlay at the email address above, or on 0141 227 9011.

We look forward to meeting you soon…!


Let The Right One In heads to New York

shoesSt. Ann’s Warehouse, New York, to present the American premiere of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Let The Right One In, directed by Tony and Olivier Award-winner John Tiffany, 20 January – 15 February 2015.

We are delighted to announce that St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn will present the American premiere of our critically acclaimed South Bank Sky Arts award-winning production Let the Right One In, 20 January – 15 February, 2015.

The production, which had its world premiere at Dundee Rep Theatre in 2013, will reunite Tony and Olivier award-winning Director, John Tiffany, with the National Theatre of Scotland for whom he was Associate Director until 2012.

The American Premiere is presented by St. Ann’s with the National Theatre of Scotland, by arrangement with Bill Kenwright and Marla Rubin Productions Ltd, in association with piece by piece productions.

Let The Right One In, adapted for the stage by writer Jack Thorne from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Swedish novel and screenplay of the film of the same name, has garnered great critical acclaim with successful runs at Dundee Rep Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End. In 2014 it won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best Theatre.

Let the Right One In is the National Theatre of Scotland’s sixth presentation of work in New York. Previous productions include Black Watch and Beautiful Burnout at St. Ann’s Warehouse, as well as The Bacchae (Lincoln Center Festival), Macbeth (Lincoln Center Festival and Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre) and The Wolves in the Walls (New Victory Theater).

Let the Right One In is a tender, funny and brutal love story following the burgeoning relationship between Oskar, a lonely, bullied teenage boy and Eli, a centuries-old, young vampire who befriends him.

The world-class creative team behind the production includes director, John Tiffany, a Tony and Olivier award-winning director, with associate direction from Tony Award-nominee, Steven Hoggett. Both bring their trademark physicality and lyricism to this new adaptation by the two-time BAFTA Award-winning writer Jack Thorne. The production features original music by BAFTA Award-winning Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, set design by Tony Award-winner Christine Jones, lighting design by Chahine Yavroyan, sound design by Olivier Award-winner Gareth Fry and special effects design by Jeremy Chernick.

This production has received additional funds from The New York Theater Program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NYSCA and the NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs.

Full casting to be announced.

Watch The Tin Forest International Performing Company online

International Performing Company performing outside the south rotundaIf you’re missing the balmy summer days of Glasgow 2014 or if you couldn’t make it to the city you can now watch The Tin Forest International Performing Company performances online.

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.

Ninety 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. All the performances and more information can be viewed here.