NEWS: Futureproof Festival Launched

The National Theatre of Scotland is marking Scotland’s Year of Young People in 2018 by staging a major radical new festival of international performing arts, created by young people working alongside renowned Scottish, British and international theatre practitioners.

Ten leading UK and international companies and artists, specialising in daring new work are embedding themselves in ten communities around the country, working with local young people and groups to co-create, design, develop and stage a piece of performance. The Festival programme has been designed for cross-generational audiences.

Ten productions and over 75 performances will take place in ten cities and locations across Scotland as part of the Futureproof festival in September and October 2018.   Tickets are now on sale.

Over one hundred young people will perform their own exciting new pieces of theatre, in diverse locations.  Young people have influenced where and how these performances will be staged. Locations include Aberdeen beach; on board a truck in Paisley; at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh; Haroldswick Hall (Unst); HMP & YOI Polmont; the Bonar Hall (Dundee) in arts spaces: Rothes Halls, the Ayr Gaiety, Eden Court Theatre, Mareel in Shetland and surprise locations to be announced in Moray.

Since February this year, young people have been participating in workshops across the country, learning theatrical engineering from Russians, (AKHE) and about their ancestors in Shetland from the Canadian experts in social-specific performance events (Mammalian Diving Reflex).  Young men in HMP & YOI Polmont are being asked questions about identity and inheritance by socially engaged Scottish practitioners (Glas(s) Performance) and teenagers are creating and performing in their own music video with Australian theatre investigators (Back to Back) in Dundee.

There will be call outs throughout the summer for young people to become involved in projects in The Highlands, Ayrshire, Fife, Paisley and Moray.

Young people’s stories, experiences and views on the world will be shared in radical theatrical ways through audio headsets, the flying of kites, radio transmissions, installations, truck rides, fashion and dance.

The nationwide festival is co-curated and creatively led by Lucy Gaizely of multi-disciplinary performance company 21Common. 21Common is a multi-disciplinary performance collective that actively embraces the notion of art as a deep process of exploration and dialogue between artists, participants and audiences. For the past five years its key collaborators have been artists Lucy Gaizely and Gary Gardiner, Scotland’s leading learning-disabled artist Ian Johnston, producer Louise Irwin and the late Adrian Howells.

Echoing the HOME project, which launched the National Theatre of Scotland in 2006, Futureproof’s ten performance projects will be unique to their location, sharing the experience of their young people and celebrating the sparking creative energy of youth.

Youth Project Team

In order to encourage the next generation of theatre innovators and instigators, the National Theatre of Scotland has also recruited a core group of seven young people who are the inaugural Youth Project Team. The team of 14-24 year olds are influencing and overseeing not just the Futureproof festival, but the company as a whole throughout the year by being embedded within departments and asking provocative questions of the Company’s work and practice.

The team are creating and managing the official launch event for the festival, to be held at Rockvilla, the Company’s rehearsal and technical facility on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The seven Youth Project Team members are Sanjay Lago (24 years, from Glasgow); Cameron Downing (17 years from Edinburgh); Seona McClintock, (24 years, from Renfrewshire); Roderick Gilkison (15 years, from Maryhill); Gonca Yalcin (20 years from Glasgow); Ryan Hay (21 years from West Dunbartonshire) and Rachel-Jane Morrison (24 years, from Fife). Other young people from across Scotland are being given opportunities throughout the year to work with the National Theatre of Scotland on Futureproof within their communities.

Rachel Jane Morrison says

Being a part of YOYP has made me feel really strong and confident as a young person in 2018 and has allowed me to champion other young people to get involved with the work I am doing as part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Futureproof. It’s incredibly exciting to watch how many events are unfolding across Scotland

Sanjay Lago says

To be a member of the YOYP Team at NTS has been an incredible learning curve and a chance to feel empowered as a young person in Scotland. Seeing such great work being created, all with young people across Scotland involved is an exciting adventure. And I’m so glad to be a part of this adventure! Here’s to the rest of the YOYP and I hope it continues after this year, because young people are the people in charge of tomorrow.”

The ten Futureproof productions:

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Empathy Museum (UK) present A Mile in My Shoes in Moray from 29 September to 7 October 2018 at surprise locations to be announced. Part of Findhorn Bay Festival.

Empathy Museum are bringing their international touring hit A Mile in My Shoes to Scotland, as part of the 3rd Findhorn Bay Festival. Located at secret sites across Moray and housed in a giant shoebox, this exhibit holds a diverse collection of shoes and audio stories that explore our shared experience. Visitors will be invited to walk a mile in the shoes of a young local stranger whilst listening to their story.  The stories will be collected from local young people.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Project X & Thulani Rachia (UK) present Chronicles on 6 & 7 October at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. Supported by National Museums Scotland.

Scottish dance collective Project X and Thulani Rachia will be working with young people in Edinburgh to develop and present a new piece of dance theatre performance. An alternative audio guide and immersive performance using different dance styles, as the audience promenade through the Scottish Galleries of the National Museum of Scotland to uncover hidden and imagined histories.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Glas(s) Performance (UK) present MOTION on 9 to 11 October in HMP & YOI Polmont.   Supported by the Scottish Prison Service.

Scottish theatre company Glas(s) Performance (producers of award-winning young people’s company Junction 25) are working in residence in HMYOI Polmont. Working with young men in custody they are exploring questions of identity and inheritance in contemporary Scotland; what is the world we are living in today? What impact does it have on us? What impact can we have on it? What happens next? MOTION is about the things that affect young men in Scotland today.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Rimini Protokoll (Germany) present Do’s and Don’ts from 12 to 14 and 16 to 21 October in Paisley, in association with Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Documentary theatre specialists Rimini Protokoll will adapt their acclaimed Cargo projects for an unusual tour around in Paisley. The audience are taken on a journey in a remodelled truck, a mobile auditorium, looking out at the city through a large window. Next to the driver sits a child, who invites the audience to examine the city and the people in it: laws, rules, norms, rituals, explicit and implicit arrangements, visible and invisible codes – do’s and don’ts. A soundscape created by a local choir supports and comments on the journey.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Back to Back Theatre (Australia) present RADIAL on 17 October at the Bonar Hall, Dundee. Supported by the University of Dundee.

Playfully re-imagining video art, dance, music and fashion, RADIAL is a film made by young people and a music video portrait of a community and landscape in motion. Exploring themes of diversity and opportunity it will be filmed using a circular camera track. The young people are working closely with Scottish artist Robbie Synge and internationally renowned fashion designer and stylist Hayley Scanlan to create the final piece. The film will also be shown at screenings in arts venues and community centres across Dundee. Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere at the Bonar Hall. The evening’s entertainment will include a panel discussion, a short live performance, the screening of RADIAL and a party.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Greg Sinclair (UK) present Lots and Not Lots on 19 & 20 October at the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes. Supported by OnFife.

Musical artist Greg Sinclair will curate Lots and Not Lots: a concert of voice and movement performed by 12 local teenagers. The 12 young performers will act as a choral unit with occasional improvised vocal outbursts and flashes of absurdity that will dispel the illusion of perfection and give glimpses of the personalities within the ensemble.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Touretteshero (UK) present Hacks for the Future on 20 October at Eden Court, Inverness.  Supported by Eden Court Theatre.

Jess Thom is a theatre-maker, comedian, and disability rights activist, and co-founder of Touretteshero, who will bring their project to the Highlands. Entitled Hacks for the Future she will collaborate with a selected group of disabled young people across Scotland to produce an inclusive extravaganza of installations, performances, discussions and workshops for disabled young people looking at history and how to creatively shape the future.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and AKHE (Russia) present reWIND Perspective in Aberdeen on 20 & 21 October on Aberdeen Beach.

AKHE, the celebrated ‘Russian engineering theatre’ company from St Petersburg, are famed for their intricate, sinister, and wickedly stylish alternative worlds. They are working with young people in Aberdeen to weave together a humorous and energetic piece exploring life as a young person in Scotland’s north-east. They will work together to create a new piece of exciting, site-specific theatre inspired by the inventions of Alexander Bell. Set on Aberdeen Beach, expect to see pyramidal kites flying over the city, illusions made with light, sound and speed and an opportunity for you to ‘rewind perspective’.

●                    The National Theatre of Scotland and Mammalian Diving Reflex (Canada) present The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life in Shetland on 25 & 26 October at Mareel, Lerwick and on 28 October at Haroldswick Hall, Unst, Shetland. Supported by Shetland Arts.

In 1948, Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman came to Unst, told everyone he was there to study the economy but, instead, studied everyone there. His research ended up in his massive bestseller The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, changing the game for sociology. Seventy years later, a cast of Shetland youth have teamed up with performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex to apply Goffman’s insights to Unstfest, UK’s most northerly festival. The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life presents their findings, with a song or two.  The show will be performed in two locations in Shetland.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and CAMPO (Belgium) present Wild Life FM on 27 & 28 October at the Ayr Gaiety, in association with the Ayr Gaiety.

CAMPO are enlisting the help of local young people from South Ayrshire to set up Wild Life FM: a staged live radio show on how to discover yourself through music, a raw exposition of what it’s like being young in Scotland today, and a chance for the voices of the young people of South Ayrshire to be heard. This show asks the young people to define landmark moments in their life through music. Led by musician and composer Scott Twynholm, renowned director Pol Heyvaert, performance artist Kim Noble and co-curated by the young people themselves. The young Ayrshire cast will be joined by members of the previous Wild Life FM cast from the Unicorn Theatre, London.

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said

Futureproof will unleash young Scottish creative energy across the nation.  This international festival places radical participatory theatre practice at the forefront of theatre-making in Scotland whilst celebrating young people’s place in our society and at the heart of cultural life. We want to open up the possibility of what the future of theatre could look like whilst offering audiences a nationwide festival of unbridled exuberance and talent. We are delighted to be part of Year of Young People 2018 and this commitment to Scotland’s youth is carried through our 2018 programme of work.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:               

We are delighted to be supporting the National Theatre of Scotland in 2018 as part of Scotland’                                                                

Year of Young People celebrations.  Futureproof is really taking the ethos of the year to heart by ensuring young people are front and central to the development of what’s set to be an innovative and thought-provoking festival of theatre.”

 “Events such as Futureproof further reinforce Scotland’s capability in staging inventive, multi-art form programmes of this calibre across a variety of locations, and I’m certain the spotlight will shine on young people’s talents and contributions throughout this wide-ranging activity.”

Ann McKechin, Trustee and Executive Officer of the ScottishPower Foundation said:

Futureproof is an exciting festival for Scotland, celebrating the talent, creativity and innovation of our young people. It is fantastic to see the range of performances developing from this collaborative, international initiative. The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to funding projects like this which challenge, develop, and inspire future generations to fulfil their potential.

Futureproof Passport

As part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s commitment to engaging with young audiences, the Company is piloting a new membership scheme for 14-24 year olds in 2018. The Futureproof Passport gives young people access to £5 tickets to selected performances across National Theatre of Scotland’s 2018 season.  Nationaltheatrescotland/futureproof-passport

Listings Information

A Mile in My Shoes

29 September to 7 October 11am-4pm at secret locations in Moray to be announced.

Ticket prices: £1 on the door

Chronicles –  6 & 7 October at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh at 12pm, 2pm & 3.30pm

Ticket price: £5

Motion – 9 to 11 October at HMP & YOI Polmont at 2pm

Ticket price: £1 – due to the nature of this event the audience will be by invitation only

Do’s & Don’ts – 12 to 14 & 16 to 21 Oct in Paisley (meet at Paisley Town Hall) at 12.30pm & 5pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Radial on 17 October at the Bonar Hall, Dundee at 7pm and then at various screening across Dundee

Ticket prices: Pay What You can (£1 minimum)

Lots & Not Lots

19 October at 7.30pm & 20 October at 2.30pm & 7.30pm at Rothes Hall, Glenrothes

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Hacks for the Future –  20 October at Eden Court, Inverness from 1-4pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

reWIND Perspective 20 & 21 October, on Aberdeen Beach at 7pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Meet at Transition Extreme Sports Ltd, Links Road, Aberdeen, to collect tickets & audio headsets

The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life

25 & 26 October Mareel, Lerwick and 28 October, Haroldswick Hall, Unst, Shetland at 7.30pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Wildlife FM on 27 & 28 October at the Ayr Gaiety, Ayr at 7.30pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

ACCESS

A number of performances across the Futureproof festival will be made fully accessible through BSL interpretation and audio description. Touch tours will also be on offer. Other performances will be autism friendly through the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2018 partnership with the National Autistic Society Scotland. Nine of the productions are wheelchair accessible, in Paisley, an alternative experience will be available to wheelchair users.

Full details of accessibility of all Futureproof shows will be released at a later date.

BOX OFFICE

Tickets for all production will be sold via the National Theatre of Scotland’s new online box office facility.  Bookings can be made via nationaltheatrescotland.com/futureproof

Join the conversation:  #NTSFutureproof            #YOYP2018

Images: Colin Hattersley