Five Minute Theatre returns for referendum debate

Mar 17 2014 | By More

Deadline looms for NTS 5 minute theatre proposals

James Mackie A performance during National Theatre of Scotland's latest Five Minute Theatre performances.

James Mackie A performance during National Theatre of Scotland’s latest Five Minute Theatre performances.

By Thom Dibdin

Proposals for entries to this summer’s Five Minute Theatre event from the National Theatre of Scotland will close this Sunday, 23 March 2014.

The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know Five Minute Theatre Show, will take place over 24 hours from 5pm on Monday June 23 and takes its inspiration from the forthcoming referendum. The event will be co-curated by David Greig and David MacLennan.

The Edinburgh College, Performing Arts School (Granton Campus) will be one of five performance hubs around Scotland for the event, with performances live-streamed through the “virtual stage” of the website.

As in previous NTS Five Minute Theatre projects, it is open to entries from everyone – professional, amateur and first-time. The three basic criteria are that the performance is concerned with the theme of “independence”, is five minutes long and that it is performed in front of a live audience.

Lecturer of Performing Arts at Edinburgh College, John Naples-Campbell says: “Five Minute Theatre is an incredible opportunity for young artists to create, develop and showcase their work on an international platform. I’ve had my students involved in every past Five Minute Theatre and I am thoroughly excited to be participating again.”

The event brings together co-curators playwright David Greig, who is firmly in the Yes camp, and the actor, writer and producer David MacLennan, who is firmly in the No camp.

David Greig says: “The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show will be an extraordinary celebration of democratic and creative spirit in Scotland. Over one tremendous day in June we’ll bring together hundreds of plays, sketches, songs, polemics and poems made by groups around the country as well soliciting input from some of Scotland’s best writing and writing and performing talents.”

“lively debate, one-off performances and thoughtful reflection”

David MacLennan adds that: “The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show in 2014 has a similarly ambitious reach to touring the village halls of the Highlands and Islands as The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil did in 1973. I hope this show will provoke, entertain and bring Scots together at this momentous moment in our shared history and whatever your view at the end of it will help you to understand those who don’t share it.”

The Logo GraphicDavid Greig continues: “The show takes the Scottish Variety tradition and propels it into the internet age. The live hubs around the country and beyond will provide an exciting environment for lively debate, one-off performances and thoughtful reflection.

“At this key moment in the nation’s history it’s a way for the Scotland to speak to itself – not in formal political tones – but in a relaxed, rambunctious, celebratory and personal way; and crucially, it’s a chance for everyone to contribute, not just a political or artistic elite.

“It’s going to be a special event and whether you find yourself listening to a song from Skye at four in the morning, watching a show in a live hub, or enjoying a laugh in the comfort of your own home with a dram beside you, it’s bound to be full of memorable moments. Don’t just come along – take part!”

As well as using the five hubs to broadcast from, the National Theatre of Scotland will be sending roving crews out across Scotland over the 24 hour period to help facilitate theatre-makers with filming and streaming on location. In a change from previous years, participants will be able to self-broadcast their performances and watch from a hand-held phone or tablet, on any platform.

Further details of what the NTS needs in terms of commitment from participants is available here, on the “Take Part” page of the website. Anyone wanting to take part must sign-up by 5pm on Sunday 23 March, 2014, through the Sing Up page of the website

The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show is part of the NTS’s Dear Scotland 2014 season visit:

Sign up to Five Minute Theatre here:





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