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The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show - Sucessful Highlands submissions

21st May 2014

Photograph of The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show - Sucessful Highlands submissions

National Theatre of Scotland is delighted to announce that 180 The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show pieces have been selected to take part in the exciting 24 hour online broadcast of live theatre, taking place on Monday 23rd June, from 5pm until 5pm the following day, with over 10 performances coming from the Highlands.

A cross-section of selected The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know Five Minute Theatre Show pieces from the Highlands features the following:

The Dance of Don’t Know; In a piece from the senior pupils at Culloden Academy, Inverness, pupils are participating in ceilidh dance lessons and discussing the fact that this might seem strange lessons to students from other parts of the world. The pupils explore what it means to be Scottish and how Scotland might look after the referendum; the first time the 16 and 17 year olds have been eligible to vote.

An Drochaid – The Bridge; Gaelic singer from Dingwall, Fiona J Mackenzie, wants to commemorate Scotland’s best known bardess, Mairi Mhor nan Oran’s most memorable oration at The Fairy Bridge, Isle of Skye by revisiting the scene where the powerful bardess sang to the masses about their rights to live and work there. Big Mary of the Songs was arguably Scotland’s first female freedom fighter and is probably still Scotland’s most powerful yet largely untold story outside of Gaeldom.

Independence, can you dig it?; After participating in Five Minute Theatre in 2011, Terry Langdale from Strathpeffer, has been selected to perform his partly improvised show which will centre around a lively Yes, No debate involving digging a hole in his backgarden…

National Theatre of Scotland’s The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show will feature over 840 performers and theatre makers from eight countries, presenting a series of live scenes, songs, skits, rants and dramas, as a democratic dramatic response to the theme of "Independence". The show will celebrate a momentous year and provide hundreds of answers to one very important question; allowing individuals to discuss what independence means to them and not purely in a political sense.

Five Minute Theatre makers include poets, primary school pupils, film-makers, families, community groups, teenagers, visual artists, professional theatre-makers and expectant mothers, with ages ranging from three months to 80 years old. Their five minute dramas will be broadcast from across the globe from towns, cities, states and countries including Rutherglen, Govan, East Timor, Los Angeles, Lancaster, Texas, Thurso, Leeds, Istanbul, New Jersey, New York, South Australia, Edinburgh, Mumbai, Inverness and Paris. Locations include a garden, a field, a car park, schools, bedrooms, a toilet, a pub, a library, a hospital, a beach, and the Falkirk Wheel, all streamed on the virtual stage for a global audience.

The final line-up, with additional contributions from Scottish performers, writers and theatre-makers will be announced at a later date.

There will also be a BBC Radio Scotland documentary presented by Edi Stark, following The Great Yes Don’t Know Five Minute Theatre Show from early preparations right up to production day. Edi speaks with David Greig and David MacLennan about their vision for the project and she also speaks with participants and explores their creative response to ‘independence’. Yes, No, Don’t Know: The Great Referendum Show will broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on July 9th at 1.30pm.


Co-curated by David Greig (The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, Dunsinane, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and David MacLennan (A Play, A Pie and A Pint series at Òran Mór), The Great Yes, No, Don't Know, Five Minute Theatre Show will be a 24 hour event on 23rd to 24th June filled with micro theatre shows, all performed in front of live audiences.

As well as watching online via, audiences will also be able to watch local performances at five live performance hubs in Scotland with additional hubs in the UK to be confirmed.

Scottish partnerships and hubs include Òran Mór, Glasgow; Electric Theatre Workshop, Dumfries and Aberdeen Performing Arts and Arts Centre and Theatre, Aberdeen. Box Office and ticket information will be made available in June 2014.

This year audiences will be able to watch The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show from hand- held devices as well as desk top computers. Theatre makers will also be able to self-broadcast from a hand-held phone or tablet, on any platform.

David Greig - co-curator of The Great Yes, No, Don't Know, Five Minute Theatre Show says:

"'I have been blown away by the sheer range and quality of the ideas from The Great Yes, No, Don't Know, Five Minute Theatre Show. Even in their rawest state, the submissions explode with thought, energy and humour. They capture the spirit of the moment at this crucial point in Scotland’s history. The audiences are in for a real treat."

David MacLennan, co-curator of The Great Yes, No, Don't Know, Five Minute Theatre Show says:

"We are delighted that the invitation to take part in this imaginative and exciting show has provoked such a huge and enthusiastic response. The submissions reflect every possible view in the referendum debate and put together they are going to make a thoughtful, passionate, provocative and highly entertaining variety show; Theatre of the people, by the people, for the people."

The Great Yes, No, Don't Know, Five Minute Theatre Show is part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Dear Scotland 2014 season of theatre, debate and celebration. The Company is inviting audiences to take part in Dear Scotland, not only by coming to events but also through sharing their thoughts about Scotland in 2014. Audiences in Glasgow will be given a postcard with the greeting line, Dear Scotland on which they are encouraged to share their rants and regrets, love letters or break-up sentiments, advice or demands, hopes and dreams, and then to send the postcard back for free to the National Theatre of Scotland. The responses will be interlaced to create a living record of this momentous year.

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