Attic Collective launched

Apr 26 2016 | By More

New new platform for emerging theatre talent

The Festival City Theatres Trust has launched a new young people’s theatre company, The Attic Collective, as a talent development initiative for 16 to 25 year-olds.

The company’s first production will be War in America by Edinburgh-based playwright Jo Clifford which was originally commissioned by the Lyceum in 1996 – but rejected by its then artistic director Kenny Ireland as being “too offensive”.

Susan Worsfold, who will direct the Attic Collective

Susan Worsfold, who will direct the Attic Collective

The Attic Collective will run as a rep with 20 members under the direction of Susan Worsfold and will offer them professional training, industry access and performance opportunities – with a contemporary, a classical and a musical performance each year on the main stages of the Festival and King’s Theatres.

The FCTT’s producer and learning and participation officer Catrin Sheridan told Æ that: “It’s a full year of training and development, which is provided free. And its primary function is to work alongside visiting companies, allowing the members of the Collective an unprecedented level of access to industry professionals.’

Describing the company as: “an important new platform for emerging talent in Scotland”, FCTT chief executive Duncan Hendrey said: “our first season will celebrate the diversity, vibrancy and talent of Scotland’s youth, with fearless new voices.

He added: “Much has been said about the current challenges young people from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds face trying to access the theatre industry. We hope the opportunities and training offered by the Attic Collective will begin to make an impact on this challenge within Scotland.”


Young people will join the company following two rounds of auditions. The first of these will take place at the King’s Theatre 15-17 September. The FCTT will be running free audition technique workshops over the summer, to help prepare those interested in getting involved.

Jo Clifford. Photo: Stuart Platt

Jo Clifford in The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven. Photo: Stuart Platt

A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Susan Worsfold has worked across the UK as a director, voice teacher and actress. She works closely with Jo Clifford and directed The Gospel According To Jesus, Queen of Heaven.

Commenting on her appointment to what she described as a “landmark venture”, Worsfold said: “To support young artists in the initial stages of their careers and to do so on such prestigious stages is hugely exciting.

“I cannot wait to collaborate with Scotland’s emerging theatre talent to create locally sourced, internationally relevant work and I look forward to welcoming artists and audiences alike to our new community.”

Welcoming the decision to stage War in America, Jo Clifford said she is “very proud” it has been chosen as the Attic Collective’s inaugural production.

She said: “I was deeply involved in training actors at Queen Margaret University, and it is something I still feel passionately about. So I am especially pleased that my play will be an important milestone in these young artists’ career.”

War in America was commissioned by a Scottish theatre company in the early nineties and then rejected by them as being “too offensive”. This had hurt me deeply, and in fact I hadn’t read it since that time. So it’s a source of great pleasure and satisfaction for me now to reread it and discover it still has so much to say in 2017.”

For more information about getting involved in The Attic Collective, contact Producer and Learning & Participation Officer, Catrin Sheridan,

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  1. Brian Neill says:

    War in America was not their inaugural production. That was Lysistrata in January reviewed on your own website, see