Category Archives: NEWS

NEWS: The magical worlds of music and cinema collide at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall in Spring 2019

Music from some of Hollywood’s most-loved films is to be performed at the Usher Hall by Scotland’s national orchestra, along with a live orchestral screening of family 80s classic, The Goonies.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has three concerts in Spring 2019 celebrating some of finest music for film ever made. On 25 January, conductor Anthony Weeden and presenter Tom Redmond captain the orchestra on a fantastic journey through the most thrilling film music inspired by science fiction. From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Avatar to Alien and of course Star Wars and Star Trek, it’s an adventure beyond time and space. So beam aboard, as we boldly go where no concert has gone before!

On Friday 15 March, Usher Hall becomes Platform 9¾, and the RSNO is the Hogwarts Express – so climb aboard, because with a wave of the wand from maestro Richard Kaufman, we’re off to the wondrous world of Harry Potter! Hear your favourite music from the films – from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone right through to The Deathly Hallows – brought thrillingly to life by the musical wizardry of the RSNO. Muggles are welcome too!

No one writes a movie theme like John Williams; no wonder he’s the world’s most popular film composer. And no cinema in the world comes close to how good this music sounds when it’s played live in concert by the full RSNO. Join Hollywood maestro Richard Kaufman and cellist Johannes Moser on 26 April for hit after hit after hit, from Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park and E.T. to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Memoirs of a Geisha – all in glorious 3D sound!

Immerse yourself in an atmospheric Indian soundscape as sarod star Soumik Datta and City of London Sinfonia perform a double bill of music for Indian film. Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray’s cult and offbeat film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne will be projected on a large screen with a reimagined live cinematic score ‘King of Ghosts’ that features the haunting sounds of Soumik’s sarod, Cormac Byrne’s Irish folk rhythms and City of London Sinfonia. The film, which follows the magical journey of Goopy and Bagha who are granted three wishes by the benevolent yet terrifying King of Ghosts, will take you on a breath-taking and magical journey across rural India – a vintage superhero film at its best.

The second film is Around India with a Movie Camera, which presents some of the earliest surviving film from India, as well as enchanting travelogues, intimate home movies and newsreels from British, French and Indian filmmakers, drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive’s early film collection.

One of the most celebrated family films ever, The Goonies, will be screened at the Usher Hall on 27 April with its classic score being performed live to picture by the Senbla orchestra. A fond part of childhood for several generations, The Goonies was released in 1985 to both critical and commercial success, ranking in the top 10 at the US Box Office that year and still remaining to this day a cult classic.

Directed by Richard Donner, the film focuses on a group of kids from ‘Goon Docks’, a neighbourhood in Oregon, who upon attempting to save their homes from demolition uncover a centuries old treasure map, leading them through a perilous chase with a criminal family who are also seeking the treasure. Composed by Dave Grusin, an Academy Award and ten-time GRAMMY Award winner, the score to The Goonies is as daring as its young protagonists, introducing electronic elements as well as orchestral, and heightens the drama right from the memorable opening scene’s wonderfully bouncy ‘Fratelli Chase’.

For fans of strings and screen, there really is nowhere else to be this Spring than Scotland’s only 5* concert venue – The Usher Hall.


Listings Information

RSNO at the Movies – Sci-Fi Spectacular!

7:30pm, Friday 25 January 2019

Tickets: £19.00 – £49.00


RSNO at the Movies – The Music of Harry Potter

7:30pm, Friday 15 March 2019

Tickets: £19.00 – £49.00


King of Ghosts and Around India with a Movie Camera

7:30pm, Saturday 30 March 2019

Tickets: £21.00


RSNO at the Movies – The Music of John Williams

7:30pm, Friday 26 April 2019

Tickets: £19.00 – £49.00


The Goonies – film with Live Orchestra

6:00pm, Saturday 27 April 2019

Tickets: £32.45 – £66.00

Tickets available at:

0131 228 1155

Please note a £1.50 transaction fee applies on the overall booking when purchasing online or over the phone (non-refundable)

Concessions and offers may vary between concerts. For more information please contact the box office or check the Usher Hall website.

Box office: Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2EA


The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) reveals its full programme, as this hugely popular event in the comedy calendar returns for its 17th year from Thursday 14 – Sunday 31 March 2019.

Top flight stand-up lined up for the 18-day festival includes: Limmy, Julian Clary, Reg D Hunter, Larry Dean, Jerry Sadowitz, Al Murray, Jasper Carrott, Elaine C Smith, Foil, Arms & Hog, Russell Kane, Des Clarke, Rich Hall and Scot Squad star Cameron Miekelson.

From the cerebral to the joyously daft, the programme has something for every taste and budget: An Evening With Eric & Ern evokes memories of Britain’s best loved double act; the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas offers a comedic exploration of topical issues from online privacy to toxic masculinity; Matt Winning takes on the most pressing (and depressing) issue of our times – climate change; and there will be two nights of comedy in the unusual surroundings of the Hunterian Museum.

The Glasgow Women’s Library will present the Women of Colour Comedy Collective, while Phil Differ and Janey Godley will be in conversation in two evenings at the City of Glasgow College. Some of the scene’s most innovative and creative comedians can be found at the Vacant Space – Josie Long, John Luke-Roberts, Helen Duff and Ben Target will all stage solo shows at the Finnieston gallery.

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival always features the very best of Scotland’s home grown talent: Phil Kay, Iain Connell, Rob Florence, Ashley Storrie, Mark Nelson, Chris Forbes and Gary Meikle are all set to appear. The festival also provides a platform for rising local stars, this year including Christopher MacArthur Boyd, Susie McCabe, Stephen Buchanan and Marc Jennings.

 2019’s roster of international humour brings together hugely popular audience favourites and hotly-tipped must-see performers: Tony Law, Sofie Hagen, Bobby Mair, Desiree Burch, Dave Fulton, Evelyn Mok, Sara Barron, Olga Koch, and Catherine Bohart will all be making the trip to Glasgow in March.

As well as stand up shows in some of the city’s biggest venues and intimate gigs in pubs, the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival features plays, sketches, improv, film and comedy for kids. Short Attention Span Theatre at the CCA features four new twenty-minute plays from Chris McQueer, Karen Barclay, Tom Brogan, and Catriona Duggan. Keith Farnan, James Campbell and Comedy with Baby! At Dram! provide laughs for all the family. Cinephiles can catch silent comedy and classic animation at the Britannia Panopticon, and special showings of Trainspotting and Gregory’s Girl at Sloans.

Comedy (and hip hop) fans on the look out for something a little bit different can catch the reliably anarchic CHUNKS collective’s ‘An Indeterminate Amount of Comedians Attempt to Perform 1993’s Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) in Full Live’ at The State Bar. For the more historically-minded, Scot Squad’s Karen Bartke will embody Mary Queen of Scots in a one woman show about life, love and hating your cousin. Avoiding the (very strong) temptation to declare GICF a Brexit-free zone, Ambush present The Salon Brexit Special at The Old Hairdressers – an idiosyncratic comedy cabaret which aims to distract us from stockpiling and blue passports in (at time of going to press) our final days of EU membership.

Events take place every day throughout the festival and tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performances already selling out.

Sarah Watson, Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “Whether you’re a dedicated comedy fan seeking out the next big thing, or you’re thinking of catching some live stand up for the very first time we’ve got some great shows for you this year. It’s brilliant to see venues like The Old Hairdressers, The Bungo, Vacant Space and Yes Bar really get behind the festival with comprehensive programmes and a huge variety of shows across our run. Let’s face it, good news might be in short supply come late March, so GICF is hoping to provide a valuable public service by giving everyone something to laugh about for a few weeks at least!”

Ruairi Perry, Head of Blended Whisky Brands at Whyte & Mackay, said: “In 2019, we proudly celebrate 175 years of Whyte & Mackay. It’s our birthday year, we’re 175 years young and still surprisingly smooth. We’re delighted to start our birthday year celebrations by partnering with the biggest comedy festival in Europe- the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2019. Let’s raise a dram to toast the biggest and best year yet! Slàinte mhòr.”

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Councillor David McDonald, Chairman of Glasgow Life, said: “Looking at the line-up for the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, you get a strong sense of the range of exceptional talent that will be appearing in the city in March 2019. Having so many local comedians among the headliners makes this festival so special and I am looking forward to some great nights out and some unforgettable performances. Whether you are enjoying the latest tour from one of your favourite acts or setting out to discover the stars of the future, we are all in for a great 18 days of comedy.”

 Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival promises to be another great event this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the strength of the 2019 GICF programme is testament to that fact, with a variety of shows and venues, as well as big comedy acts and local talent there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the festival.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

NEWS: Eastwood Park Theatre Announces Line Up For First Half of 2019

Eastwood Park Theatre has lined up a series of top shows for the first half of 2019, bringing a wide variety of performances, including music and comedy, dance and drama and plenty for the kids.

Highlights include a new ‘romcom’, starring River City’s James Mackenzie to mark the Burns’ weekend, comedy shows including Glasgow International Comedy Festival’s family-friendly comedian James Campbell as well as Des McLean, Gary Little and Raymond Mearns.

No theatre season would be complete without a touch of drama – the world premiere of Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four will come for two nights in April, while The Electrifying Mr Johnston from Mull Theatre Company presents the story of one of Scotland’s unsung heroes and features an informal script-in-hand reading of a new play, giving the audience the chance to be part of the creative process along the way.

There are top tribute nights on the bill featuring some of the biggest names in music including Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and Status Quo, as well as The Travelling Wilburys.

Kids will also be able to catch the fantastic There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly during the February weekend, The MacDougalls’ Safari Adventure and Little Top, allowing the little ones to experience the magic of circus up close in May.

Anthony McReavy from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure said: “There really is something for everyone in our forthcoming season at Eastwood Park Theatre.

“Make a date for a comedy night out – we have top Scottish comedians including Gary Little and Des McLean getting together for one great comedy night out and we have The Odyssey comedy coming to Clarkston Hall in May from the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons.

“Music fans are in for a treat too as we host the UK’s no.1 swing and jive band, The Jive Aces as well as some great tribute nights. You can also catch music by Scottish musician Mairi Campbell as she presents Auld Lang Syne, with live music, animation and movement.

“As always, we have plenty lined up for children including Little Gift, which is told with exquisite puppetry, original music and lots of heart from multi-award winning M6 theatre.

“Last but not least, we’re bringing back some big films to the big screen with a Grease Sing-A-Long, The Sound of Music and Paddington 2 all part of our line up.”

Find out more and book online now at: or call the box office on 0141 577 4956

WHAT’S ON MARCH: Scottish Opera presents Janáček’s intense drama Kátya Kabanová in Glasgow

In March, Scottish Opera presents Leos Janáček’s intense drama Kátya Kabanová in a new co-production with Theater Magdeburg, directed by the renowned British director Stephen Lawless and conducted by Stuart Stratford.

Following the recent success of Czech operas on the Scottish Opera stage with Janáček’s Jenůfa (2015) and Dvořák’s Rusalka (2016), Kátya Kabanová opens in Glasgow on March 12 and transfers to Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

Set in a small, industrial community in Russia, Kátya Kabanová is torn between her duties as a wife, and her dreams of a man who truly loves her. Trapped within an oppressive community, neglected by her husband and tormented by her mother-in-law, she is drawn towards escape, to nature and to the ever-present Volga river.

Soprano Laura Wilde makes her Scottish Opera debut in the title role, following her critically acclaimed European debut as Jenůfa in 2016 with English National Opera. Ric Furman also makes his Company debut as Boris Grigoyevich alongside Samuel Sakker as Tikhon Kabanov. Patricia Bardon returns to Scottish Opera for the first time in almost 20 years to sing Kabanicha. Scottish bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott sings Dikoy. Former Jette Parker Young Artist Hanna Hipp (The Marriage of Figaro 2016) joins the cast as Varvara and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths (Cosi fan tutte 2015) sings the role of Kudrjash. Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Alexey Gusev (Rigoletto 2018) and Bethan Langford (Rigoletto 2018) join the cast as Kuligin and Glasha.

Joining Stuart Stratford and Stephen Lawless on the creative team are award-winning Set and Costume Designer Leslie Travers and Tony award-winning Lighting Designer Christopher Akerlind.

Stephen Lawless said: ‘Kátya Kabanová is one of the greatest twentieth century operas. Janáček writes consummate parts for women and the role of Kátya is arguably his best. Our compassion for her predicament draws from music of soaring intensity and heart-stopping lyricism. Scottish Opera has assembled a world class cast that will bring all their expertise to this tale of love, guilt, retribution and transcendence.’

Stuart Stratford said: ‘Janáček is one of the most concentrated of composers. Not a phrase or line is ever unnecessary. He has immense lyricism, which is always fighting for breath with a rigid and often brutal rhythmic underlay. This gives the music a real sense of dynamic tension which suits the subject matter perfectly.’

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend Kátya Kabanová Unwrapped, one-hour tasters delving further into the show, as well as Pre-show Talks. Audience members with visual impairments can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have a live commentary describing the action on stage without compromising the music.


Cast List


Kátya Kabanová                                             Laura Wilde

Kabanicha                                                     Patricia Bardon

Boris Grigoyevich                                           Ric Furman

Tikhon Kabanov                                             Samuel Sakker

Dikoy                                                            Brian Bannatyne-Scott

Varvara                                                          Hanna Hipp

Vanya Kudrjash                                              Tristan Llŷr Griffiths

Kuligin                                                           Alexey Gusev*

Feklusha                                                       Karen Murray

Glasha                                                          Bethan Langford*

Zena                                                             Christine Sjolander

A Man                                                           Declan McCusker


*Scottish Opera Emerging Artist


Creative Team


Conductor                                                       Stuart Stratford

Director                                                           Stephen Lawless

Set and Costume Designer                                Leslie Travers

Lighting Designer                                             Christopher Akerlind

Movement Director                                            Lynne Hockney


Performance Diary


Theatre Royal Glasgow, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3QA

Tue 12 Mar, 7.15pm

Thu 14 Mar, 7.15pm

Sat 16 Mar, 7.15pm


Kátya Kabanová Unwrapped
Wed 13 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Pre-show talk

Sat 16 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Touch Tour

Sat 16 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Audio-described performance

Sat 16 Mar, 7.15pm


Festival Theatre, 13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT

Thur 21 Mar, 7.15pm

Sat 23 Mar, 7.15pm


Kátya Kabanová Unwrapped

Fri 22 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Pre-show talk

Sat 23 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Touch Tour

Sat 23 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Audio-described performance

Sat 23 Mar, 7.15pm


The team behind a brand-new show celebrating the music of Tina Turner have released a video to showcase the exciting new production.

The debut tour of What’s Love Got To Do With It? launches in February 2019 promising to be the ultimate tribute show – with more than 50 dates already secured.

Finishing touches are now being put to the show, which stars Elesha Paul Moses (Whitney – Queen Of The Night, The Voice, The X Factor) as Tina Turner and showcases 50 years of hits.

Tickets are on sale now from

What’s Love Got To Do With It? is presented by live music and theatre promoters Cuffe and Taylor. Director of Theatre Touring, Ben Hatton said: “We can’t wait for What’s Love Got To Do With It? to hit the stage across the UK in 2019 and 2020.

“This new clip of the show is a great teaser showing just how fantastic Elesha and the cast will be. We think she’s Simply The Best, and you will too.”

In this brand-new touring theatre show, audiences can expect a night of high energy, feel-good rock-and-roll featuring Tina’s greatest hits performed by the amazing vocal talent of Elesha Paul Moses (Whitney – Queen Of The Night, The Voice, X Factor) supported by a full 10-piece live band.

Speaking about playing Tina Turner, Elesha said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be touring the UK with What’s Love Got To Do With It? This is going to be a magnificent show and one that truly celebrates the incredible music and career of Tina Turner.

“Tina is a great persona to emulate on stage. I have performed as her many times over the years so to now be the lead in a show that will travel all over the UK and celebrate everything about her is an amazing opportunity and one I’m really looking forward to.”

In a breath-taking career spanning more than 50 years, audiences can look forward to hearing stunning musical arrangements of Tina’s most-loved classic hits including Private Dancer, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Proud Mary, River Deep, Nutbush City Limits, Simply The Best and many more. This not-to-be missed musical experience is a stunning celebration of one of the greatest female singers of our time.










Hitting the road on the 5 February, Scottish Opera’s much-loved Opera Highlights sets off once more around Scotland with a brand-new show. Four singers and a pianist journey to 18 venues across Scotland from Ayrshire to the Western Isles.

Opening in East Kilbride, the Opera Highlights performers will go on to visit Strathmiglo, Cumbernauld, Ardfern, Barra, Benbecula, Tarbert Isle of Harris, Gairloch, Ardross, Duns, Blairgowrie, Maybole, Durness, Boat of Garten, Aboyne, Whiting Bay and Dunblane, before bringing the tour to a close in Paisley on 16 March.

Sara Brodie directs a programme of works by composers from across the centuries, from Handel and Gluck, to Mozart, Verdi, Britten and Bernstein, carefully curated by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark. Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2018/19 soprano Lucy Anderson, who sang the role of Countess Ceprano in the Company’s 2018 revival of Rigoletto; mezzo-soprano Heather Ireson; tenor Tom Smith and baritone Harry Thatcher join Music Director/Pianist Elizabeth Rowe to bring to life some of opera’s best-known arias alongside hidden gems and forgotten favourites.

Director Sara Brodie said: ‘Opera Highlights 2019 offers a dazzling array of operatic hits from Wagner to Gilbert and Sullivan. We promise an evening of frivolities, folly and flirtation as our singers take you to the depths of the underworld, Paris at dawn, a Viennese masked ball and a tryst by the Thames. Four erstwhile travellers journey the seas of love and back again, in scenes of picaresque torment and delight, to warm your hearts on a chilly night.’

Scottish Opera General Director, Alex Reedijk, said: ‘Following the tremendous success of our 17-date Autumn Opera Highlights tour, we are greatly looking forward to visiting 18 smaller and rural venues in the Spring. This new, pint-sized production is a celebration of opera and the accomplished creative team will no doubt bring out the best in this talented cast, as they journey around Scotland from Barra to Boat of Garten.’

This tour is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera, the JTH Charitable Trust and the Scottish Opera Endowment Trust.

Village Theatre, East Kilbride

Tue 5 Feb, 7.30pm


Strathmiglo Village Hall, Strathmiglo

Thu 7 Feb, 7.30pm


Cumbernauld Theatre, Cumbernauld

Sat 9 Feb, 7.30pm


Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern

Tue 12 Feb, 7.30pm


Northbay Hall, Barra

Thu 14 Feb, 7.30pm


Liniclate School, Benbecula

Sat 16 Feb, 7.30pm


Tarbert Village Hall, Harris

Tue 19 Feb, 7.30pm


Gairloch Community Hall, Gairloch

Thu 21 Feb, 7.30pm


Ardross Community Hall, Ardross

Sat 23 Feb, 7.30pm


Volunteer Hall, Duns

Tue 26 Feb, 7.30pm


Blairgowrie Town Hall, Blairgowrie

Thu 28 Feb, 7.30pm


Maybole Town Hall, Maybole

Sat 2 Mar, 7.30pm


Durness Village Hall, Durness

Tue 5 Mar, 7.30pm


Boat of Garten Community Hall, Boat of Garten

Thu 7 Mar, 7.30pm


Deeside Theatre, Aboyne

Sat 9 Mar, 7.30pm


Whiting Bay Village Hall, Isle of Arran

Tue 12 Mar, 7.30pm


Victoria Hall, Dunblane

Thu 14 Mar, 7.30pm


The Wynd Auditorium at The Spires, Paisley
Sat 16 Mar, 7.30pm



In the Spring and Summer of 2019, thousands of primary five, six and seven school pupils will rehearse and perform an opera about one of the most dramatic periods in Scottish history: the Jacobite risings.

Entitled 1719!, the opera has been composed by David Munro, revised and re-orchestrated by Alan Penman with words by Allan Dunn. Pupils learn the words and songs in their classrooms with teaching materials prepared by Scottish Opera’s Education and Outreach department and then work with a team from the Company to prepare for a performance in front of classmates, friends and family.

Scottish Opera’s Primary Schools Tour hits the road on 14 January in Mosshead Primary, Bearsden and will visit 50 schools around Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross and the Highlands, until March. It continues on 16 April, touring to schools in areas including Aberdeen, the Borders, the Western Isles, Shetland and Dumfries and Galloway.

1719! travels back to a key moment in Scottish history to tell the story of the Jacobite Scots locked in a desperate struggle to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of Great Britain, while the Hanoverian King George argued with other European rulers over the lands and riches of the New World. King Philip of Spain sent troops and money to help the Jacobites in an attempt to distract the British government from this dispute. Pupils will go back in time 300 years when the Jacobites and their Spanish allies gathered in Glen Shiel for battle with King George’s forces, in what was the last close engagement of British and European troops on British soil.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: ‘An amazing way to learn about one of the most dramatic and exciting periods in Scottish history, 1719! features more battles than Braveheart and is a thrilling adventure that pits the Jacobite troops and their Spanish allies against the forces of King George’s government in the mountains surrounding Glen Shiel. Although not the most famous of engagement in the Jacobite Wars, it had far reaching significance for Britain’s role in Europe and 300 years later, is still recalled in the name Sgurr nan Spainteach (The Peak of the Spaniards) in recognition of the Spanish troops who fought there.’

1719! is supported by The Cruden Foundation, New Park Educational Trust, The Forteviot Charitable Trust, Scottish Opera’s Education Angels and a number of other generous funders.

More details about 1719! are available from


Scottish Opera is celebrating 100 years of the Royal Air Force with a unique project called From the Mud to the Stars.

The project launched in October 2017 and since then a team from Scottish Opera, including former Emerging Artist Andrew McTaggart, has been working with school pupils, students, and former and serving RAF personnel to gather thoughts and impressions of the past, present and future of the Royal Air Force.

Over 250 people in communities all over Scotland, ranging in age from five to 103 who have special connections to the RAF, have participated in a range of From the Mud to the Stars workshops involving singing, song writing, visual arts and creative writing.

From the Mud to the Stars learning resources are now available on Scottish Opera’s website and are free to anyone wishing to learn more about the RAF. These include short films, music, art and design and literacy activities specially created by Scottish Opera and designed to meet specific Curriculum for Excellence outcomes. These songs, poetry, prose and visual images reflect the memories and experiences of those connected to the RAF, from the mud of the trenches to the advanced technology of 21st century flight.

The eight short films entitled ‘RAF Lives’ feature people from different generations, all of whom have or have had, a connection to the Royal Air Force, covering topics including bringing up a family, career paths and the experience of fighting during World War II.

Matthew Brown has composed the project’s theme tune entitled From the Mud to the Stars (loosely based on the RAF motto ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’, meaning ‘Through adversity to the stars’) with lyrics by Ross Stenhouse. Another original piece of music entitled Silver Wings inspires participants to write their own short dramas. Other activities in the project include designing RAF recruitment posters, writing a play with an aeronautical theme and creating a wall frieze that celebrates the rich variety of aeroplanes flown by the RAF. There is also a book, film and television bibliography for those wishing to explore the RAF’s history further.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education Jane Davidson said: ‘This project is Scottish Opera’s response to a call from the Scottish Government for creative interpretations of the commemoration of World War I as part of the 14-18 NOW campaign. As our project was scheduled to complete in 2018, we decided to focus on the Royal Air Force, which was also commemorating its centenary in the same year.

‘Given that we wanted to pay homage to the fact that the earliest use of air power in World War I was for the purposes of reconnaissance, when pilots flew high over trenches filled with poor infantry soldiers mired deep in the mud, we felt that incorporating both mud and stars in the name aptly reflected aspects of both the old and new types of warfare.

‘As the RAF100 strapline says, the campaign has been designed to ‘commemorate, celebrate and inspire’ and we hope that From the Mud to the Stars will do the same.’

In October, Andrew McTaggart, members of the Scottish Opera Young Company and pupils from Dunblane’s Queen Victoria School and Glasgow’s Jordanhill School performed at the RAF in Concert performance at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It formed part of a series of events staged around the UK to commemorate and celebrate the Royal Air Force, and the performers sang a medley which included ‘From the Mud to the Stars’ and ‘Good Old RAF’.

For more details about From the Mud to the Stars, visit

NEWS: National Theatre of Scotland announces its 2019 season

This week, Jackie Wylie Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland launched next year’s programme of work:

In 2019 the National Theatre of Scotland is focussing on major Scottish artists, creating major new works that explore the vital questions facing all of us both as Scots and as global citizens. 

What Scottish theatre can do like no other national culture is tackle the big questions of our times, with a unique sense of joy and a love of communal celebration.

Touring remains at the heart of our commitment to audiences across Scotland and beyond. In 2019, twenty productions will be touring to theatre venues, schools, community centres, and pop up performance spaces. We will also take the work of Scottish artists throughout the UK and internationally to New York, Montreal, Virginia, Kentucky and Lisbon.

We are proud to be without walls – we have partnerships in our DNA, and we aim for our collaborations to be as diverse as Scotland’s ever changing populace. I would like to thank the partners, funders, artists and collaborators who are joining us to ensure that theatre in Scotland, in 2019, matters more than ever”


  • Interference will be performed in a transformed Glasgow office block from 16 to 30 March 2019.  A bold and chilling new trilogy of near-future plays by three provocative writers, Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea, and directed by National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate Director Cora Bissett. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Dear Europe is a special event produced by National Theatre of Scotland to mark Scotland’s scheduled exit from the European Union. Six of the country’s most adventurous theatre- makers will create and present short performances that respond to this significant moment in Europe’s history at SWG3, Glasgow on the night of 29 March 2019. Co-curated by Stewart Laing and Jackie Wylie. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with SWG3.
  • Them! tackles the nebulous nature of identity in a changing world. Written by Pamela Carter with long-time collaborator Stewart Laing directing his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. Premiering at Tramway, Glasgow in June and July 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham using the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. A Manchester International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland co-production, opening in Manchester in July 2019 and touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.
  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, written by Tim Crouch and directed by Karl James & Andy Smith will premiere at the Edinburgh Festivals in August 2019 before touring to Brighton and Lisbon later in the autumn. Exploring manipulation and the nature of truth in an age of arch-political misdirection, the play is a bold experiment in the collective creation of fiction. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and Teatro do Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
  • Red Dust Road is the first stage adaptation of the bestselling memoir by Jackie Kay, tracing the challenges she faced on the journey to discover the truth about her birth parents. Adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton, it will premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival and HOME, Manchester, touring throughout autumn 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland and HOME, Manchester co-production, developed with support from Macrobert Arts Centre.
  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery journeys through history, Scottishness, belonging, and grief, exploring her legacy of being “mixed” in Scotland. Directed by Eve Nicol, it will tour Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019 as part of Black History Month 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production, tour supported by Flint & Pitch and The Workers Theatre with the Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights, as part of Black History Month 2019.
  • The Panopticon will be adapted for the stage by Jenni Fagan from her celebrated novel of the same name. A gritty and gripping coming-of-age tale turned on its head, the production will be directed by Debbie Hannan, touring to the Traverse Theatre and Platform, Glasgow in November 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.


  • Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil, in newly imagined version, based on his acclaimed recent production for Dundee Rep Theatre. The production will tour nationwide, in the spirit of the 1973 original tour. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre, Newcastle.


  • Adam is the remarkable true story of a young trans man and his journey to reconciliation; with himself, those closest to him, and the world as he knows it. Conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett, written by Frances Poet and performed by Adam Kashmiry, upon whom the story is based, and Rehanna MacDonald. The show receives its US premiere in New York from 14 to 16 February 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Première neige/First Snow follows its successful run at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with an international tour to Canada. Directed by Patrice Dubois and written by Davey Anderson, Philippe Ducros and Linda McLean, the Fringe First-winning show will be performed at Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March. An international co-production between National Theatre of Scotland, Théâtre PÀP and Hôtel-Motel.
  • Anything That Gives Off Light returns following its premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016. Focusing on three characters in a pub as they wrestle with loneliness, grief and a festering sense of betrayal, the production will visit Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019. A co-production from The TEAM, the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.


  • LIKE FLYING is a new participatory project from the National Theatre of Scotland, working in partnership for the first time with SAMH, (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council. The project, tackling mental wellbeing through aerial performance, will be performed in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh in June  2019 and curated by National Theatre of Scotland Artist-in-Residence Nic Green.
  • The Coming Back Out Ball, a year-long engagement programme created for the LGBTI elder community comes to Scotland, having been successfully pioneered in Australia by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid of All The Queens Men. Led by Scottish theatre-maker Lewis Hetherington alongside the original creative team from All The Queens Men, the project will take place from May 2019.
  • Just Start Here, the National Theatre of Scotland’s pop-up festival celebrating new work and Scottish artists, arrives in Aberdeen on 08 and 09 March 2019 as part of the Company’s Engine Room programme. Produced in partnership with Citymoves, Aberdeen.



  • Adam, conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett, written by Frances Poet and performed by Adam Kashmiry and Rehanna MacDonald, tours to New York for performances at the Skirball Centre in Manhattan from 14 to 16 February 2019, the show’s first international dates.


  • Anything that Gives Off Light, directed by Rachel Chavkin, with Associate Direction from Davey Anderson, visits Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019. Written by Jessica Almasy, Davey Anderson, Fraser Ayres, Rachel Chavkin, Brian Ferguson, and Alexander Grierson. A co-production from The TEAM, the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.
  • Première neige/First Snow, directed by Patrice Dubois and written by Davey Anderson, Philippe Ducros and Linda McLean, follows its successful premiere at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with a tour to Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March 2019. An international co-production between National Theatre of Scotland Théâtre PÀP and Hôtel-Motel.
  • Engine Room’s Just Start Here pop-up festival returns, bringing two days of music, climate change activism and cross-art form making to Aberdeen from 08 to 09 March 2019.  Presented in partnership with Aberdeen’s Citymoves.
  • Interference, a chilling new trilogy of near-future plays, will be performed in a transformed Glasgow office block from 16 to 30 March 2019. Written by Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea and directed by Cora Bissett. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Dear Europe will mark Scotland’s scheduled exit from the European Union with an evening of live music and live performance at SWG3, Glasgow on Friday 29 March 2019. Co-curated by Stewart Laing and Jackie Wylie and featuring work from artists Adura Onashile, Nima Séne, Alan McKendrick, Angus Farquar, Nic Green, and Leonie Rae Gasson. A National Theatre of Scotland production, in association with SWG3


  • The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil begins its new Scotland-wide tour with performances in Dundee, Inverness, Shetland and the Highlands. Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre, Newcastle. Based on the original Dundee Rep Theatre production.
  • My Left Right Foot – The Musical returns to the stage with new performances at Dundee Rep from 21 to 25 May 2019. Written and directed by Robert Softley Gale, with music and lyrics by Scott Gilmour & Claire McKenzie, Richard Thomas & Robert Softley Gale. A Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland co-production.


  • Them! is written by Pamela Carter and directed by Stewart Laing, his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. It will premiere at Tramway, Glasgow in June/July. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • LIKE FLYING, is led by National Theatre Scotland Artist in Residence Nic Green in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh from June. In partnership with (SAMH) Scottish Association for Mental Health, in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council.
  • The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil visits the final stops on its Scotland-wide tour, including Skye, Aberdeen and Stirling, before beginning a two-week run at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.


  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham, using the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. It is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland and premieres in Manchester in July 2019 before touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.
  • Them!, Stewart Laing and Pamela Carter’s subversive and immersive new production, concludes its debut performances at Tramway, Glasgow.


  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, written by Tim Crouch and directed by Karl James & Andy Smith, is the first of two shows from the National Theatre of Scotland at the 2019 Edinburgh Festivals, running through August.
  • Red Dust Road has its opening performances, the first stage production of Jackie Kay’s heart-warming memoir, in an adaptation by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton. The show premieres at the Edinburgh International Festival, before visiting Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling and Eden Court, Inverness later in the autumn


  • Red Dust Road follows its opening performances at the Edinburgh International Festival with a tour to the home of co-producing partners HOME, in Manchester.


  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery, directed by Eve Nicol, tours Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019, with visits to Aberdeen, Tobermory, Hawick, Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of Black History Month.


  • Jenni Fagan adapts her hit novel The Panopticon for the stage. Directed by Debbie Hannan, the show will be presented at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Platform, Glasgow.
  • Thank You Very Much receives its Scottish premiere in Glasgow from 31 Oct to 03 November 2019, following its opening performances at Manchester International Festival in the summer.

Throughout 2019

Theatre in Schools Scotland
National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate. Touring a programme of acclaimed shows to nurseries and schools across Scotland.

Engine Room

Established in 2018, our Engine Room programme will continue to provide artistic development opportunities for artists throughout Scotland.

The Coming Back Out Ball

A year-long engagement programme from May 2019 created for the LGBTI elder community in Scotland, led by Lewis Hetherington, Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid. Presented by National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men in partnership with Luminate.

How The Earth Must See Itself

A short film produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Sculpture Workshop, created by Lucy Cash and Simone Kenyon, and based on the book – The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd



Tron Theatre’s Spring-Summer 2019 season is packed full of work that will challenge conventions and subvert some of drama’s most classic of texts. Andy Arnold’s programme for the new year sees him welcome early career influencers like Pete Brook of Impact Theatre and Linda Marlowe alongside some of the finest emergent artists and companies making work. Highlights will include:

* Jo Clifford’s razor-sharp new version of The Taming of the Shrew, presented by Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and Tron Theatre Company.
* imitating the dog’s bold re-telling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness fusing live performance with digital technology.
* The Zinnie Harris re-working of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie presented by Perth Theatre.
* Marius von Mayenburg’s fast-moving farce about external beauty, identity and the brutality of capitalism, The Ugly One in Tron Theatre Company’s summer comedy directed by Debbie Hannan.

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and Tron Theatre Company will present Jo Clifford’s new version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (20-30 March, Press Night: Thu 21 March, 7.45pm). A bawdy and riotous take on a contentious classic, directed by Michael Fentiman, you are invited to step into a world where women hold all the power, the patriarchy is being challenged and new possibilities abound.  The summer comedy this year will be the Marius von Mayenburg farce translated by Maja Zade, The Ugly One (4 -20 July, Press Night: Friday 5 July, 7.45pm). Debbie Hannan will direct this hilarious and fast-moving piece that exposes some very ugly truths about our self-obsessed culture.

The main auditorium programme opens with Celtic Connections (18 Jan – 2 Feb), after which the theatre programme gets underway with Fuel’s production The Dark (15 & 16 Feb) about a four-year-old boy and his mother escaping a country divided by dictatorship and consumed by conflict. Shilpa T-Hyland will direct Perth Theatre’s production of Miss Julie (27 Feb – 2 Mar), in a version re-worked by Zinnie Harris and set in 1920s Scotland. The Tron are particularly pleased to be able to welcome back Tamasha for the Scottish premiere of Approaching Empty (5 Mar), an incisive new drama set in Northern England in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s death, by award-winning playwright Ishy Din.  imitating the dog present a bold re-telling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (7-9 Mar), a visually rich, multi-layered work fusing live performance with digital technology. Choreography, live sewing, comedy and original music come together in ThisEgg’s dressed. (14-16 Mar), celebrating the power clothes have to define us, liberate us, hide us and embellish us.

Mark Thomas is back, this time with Check Up Our NHS@70 (9-11 Apr), using his own demise to explore the state of the NHS. Let Me Look At You (12 & 13 Apr) is a hilarious and deeply moving celebration of LGBTQ history performed by Mark Pinkosh and written by Godfrey Hamilton, otherwise known as Starving Artists.  For young audiences, Tortoise in a Nutshell present The Lost Things (16 & 17 Apr), Oliver Emanuel’s dark fairy-tale where nothing is quite as it seems, performed in a unique dome structure.  Hilarious and heart-lifting, Tangram Theatre (who presented Team Viking in 2017) present A Hundred Different Words for Love (19 & 20 Apr), a story of romance, despair and friendship. Following overwhelming responses from previous runs at the Traverse Theatre and Abbey Theatre, Gary McNair’s Locker Room Talk (25-27 Apr) continues the conversation about misogyny and masculinity which has become even more urgent since its premiere.

The Changing House programme opens with performance artist Katy Dye’s Baby Face (7-9 Feb) a brave and outlandish show about the infantilisation of women.  Testroom 2019 (12 Feb) returns to showcase puppetry-making and performance skills ahead of performances at manipulate. Sonnet Youth, Scotland’s literary ravers, take up residence for a spoken word Weekender with Gigantic Lying Mouth (15 Feb) about the human desire to lie and Confessionals (16 Feb) a coming-of-age character piece set in an East End boozer. The tour de force that is Linda Marlowe gives voice to Steven Berkoff’s outrageous female characters in Berkoff’s Women (21-23 Feb) and there’s the Scottish premiere of In Other Words (5-7 Mar), a deeply moving love story exploring the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir examines the immigrant experience of the EU referendum in (Can This Be) Home (14-16 Mar) and Holly Gallagher presents her new show Tensile Strength (Or How To Survive At Your Wit’s End) (20-22 Mar) about stress and how so many of us feel it to an unhealthy degree. DUPed (4-6 Apr) explores the legacy and continuing impact the Reverend Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley and his Democratic Unionist Party on those who oppose extreme religious and social conservatism. Harry Josephine Giles brings bleak humour and tender fury in Drone (11-13 Apr), a live jam of sound, visuals and poetic storytelling about the life of a military drone.  Father (17-20 Apr) is the European premiere of an intimate work with mythical scope – an abusive parent/child relationship reflected in their wider relationship with Mother Nature and the evolution of our climate. Perth Theatre have the last Changing House show of the season with their fast-paced and irreverent Marie (25-27 Apr), a darkly comic new play inspired by the life of Mary Queen of Scots but given a distinctly modern twist.


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