Theatre in Wales

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The Scottish Arts Council is delighted to welcome the Minister's announcement of significant and sustained funding for a National Theatre of Scotland,' said Scottish Arts Council Chairman James Boyle, responding to today's statement in the Scottish Parliament by the Minister of Finance and Public Service which outlined plans for the National Theatre of Scotland.
"We applaud not only the Minister's generosity but also his vision in securing the future for this flagship organisation, both at home and abroad, for all that is best and brightest in Scottish culture.

"The National Theatre will not be a costly building, nor will it be a permanent company of actors. Instead, a Creative Director will use the money to commission work from the best theatrical talents in Scotland, bringing resulting "National Theatre of Scotland' productions to existing venues around the country.

The Creative Director will draw on existing writing, acting, directing and technical talents within Scottish theatre and Scottish companies to provide a platform for Scottish drama, delivering high quality work, increasing audiences in Scotland and achieving international recognition for Scotland and its artists.

"This approach provides the flexibility and wide involvement of the theatre sector necessary to ensure that the National Theatre will quickly become embedded in the

affections of the people of Scotland. We are confident that it will be attractive to all communities in Scotland, and particularly welcome the special focus on young people.

"The creation of a National Theatre of Scotland is one of the commitments in the National Cultural Strategy and a major element of our Drama Strategy. The commissioning model proposed by the National Theatre Steering Group in consultation with Scottish theatre professionals, and agreed by the Scottish Arts Council, is a daring new venture.

"The Minister's faith in the theatre artists of Scotland is reflected in this vote of confidence, and the Scottish Arts Council will continue to play a full part in bringing the National Theatre of Scotland into being. We will recruit a Chair for the new company, and help him or her to form a Board which will then appoint a Creative Director to provide artistic leadership. We will do all we can to support the new company, and look forward to working with the Board in future for the benefit of audiences and artists across Scotland.

"We will soon be meeting with the theatre professionals and others to agree the way forward for the National Theatre of Scotland. As news of this wonderful project becomes known, Scotland is being applauded for this bold endeavour. We have already received messages from the following, and I'm sure there are more to come:

Bill Bryden CBE:
"This is an historic moment for theatre in Scotland and the commitment of the Scottish Executive is beyond praise. At last, Scottish drama can be compared with the rest of Europe. It has been a long road for many to arrive at this new beginning.

Liz Lochhead:
"I am absolutely delighted by the plans for the National Theatre of Scotland and I congratulate the politicians for their confidence in supporting it. These plans have been evolving over a long time and I am really pleased that everyone in the theatre world that has worked so hard to make this dream a reality will get a chance to be part of it. It's a very exciting time, and also quite scary"

Elaine C Smith:
"This is great news. Although there has been no official building or official theatre company until now, we must realise that in Scotland we have always had a 'National Theatre' thanks to companies like Borderline, 7:84, Theatre Babel, Wildcat, the Traverse, the Lyceum and many others across Scotland. I certainly hope that the diversity within theatre in Scotland would be reflected in a truly National Theatre Company and that means that the things we do well, particularly variety, comedy and thought-provoking political drama, would be included in any programme undertaken by a National Theatre. It is important that we see this award from the Scottish Executive as a starting point - as a way of winning public support for the wonderful work created in theatres across Scotland"
Scottish Arts Council  
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Thursday, September 11, 2003back



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