VENUES on the Edinburgh Fringe come and go, but the reported collapse of Remarkable Arts is of particular concern to Scottish theatre. This is the organisation that ran Hill Street Theatre where Ed Robson staged Viewless for Cumbernauld Theatre this year and where, last year, David Leddy re-staged Sub Rosa. For the first time in 2011, it also ran St George's West. More than any other, this was the venue to which the Made in Scotland companies gravitated and it became an unofficial showcase for Scottish work.
We should be concerned, of course, about the immediate financial impact on these companies, which include Fish and Game (Alma Mater pictured), David Leddy's Fire Exit, Barrowland Ballet, Junction 25, Lung Ha's, Ailie Cohen, Ros Philips and Poorboy. Although not a Made in Scotland participant, Cryptic also played there. Judging by the reported figures, they are unlikely to see their box-office revenue: "Remarkable Arts owes in excess of £75,000" according to the Stage.
Of longer-term concern is the limited number of suitable spaces for Made in Scotland companies to perform on the Fringe. This year's batch were attracted to St George's West on the promise of good technical facilities and decent turn-around times. As ever, some companies went to other venues – Paddy Cunneen's double-bill of Fleeto and Wee Andy went to the Pleasance, for example – so all is not lost. But if the point of Made in Scotland is to present the country's best work to the world, it would help if the conditions existed to show that work to its best advantage. The exact reasons for the collapse of Remarkable Arts have not been made public, but if any other management wants to set a similarly high artistic bar, the news does not bode well.
Write this way
THE Traverse's incoming artistic director is an unknown quantity in Scotland, so all eyes will be on For Once when it tours to the Edinburgh theatre in April. Directed by Orla O’Loughlin last year at Hampstead Theatre for her own Pentabus in association with Sherman Cymru, Tim Price’s debut play is, according to the Guardian, a "small quiet cracker of a family drama". The new director will also curate Write Here, a two-week mini-festival of readings, workshops and writing events (dates to be announced). "I am really excited to be joining the Traverse at the beginning of such a great new season," says O'Loughlin who arrives at the theatre in January. "I’m very much looking forward to meeting audiences, artists and writers over the coming months, and to opening up the Traverse to give everyone a look into the incredible work that is done here with Write Here, which will be an exciting introduction to the future of new writing at the Traverse."
The recently announced spring season also includes a second chance to see Grid Iron's Barflies, Catherine Wheels' White and Magnetic North's Pass the Spoon.
AFTER 35 years at the helm of Ayrshire's Borderline Theatre Company, producer Eddie Jackson is retiring this month – congratulations! (pictured is My Romantic History, the most recent Borderline show) . . . After being left behind by Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh's Gateway Theatre looks to be on the way out for good after city planners granted listed building consent for its demolition . . . Dundee Rep has been collecting money this week towards a refit of its foyer, seating and carpets in 2012, the 30th anniversary of the company's move to Tay Square . . . Kieran Hurley and Gary Gardiner as the two winners of the Arches' Platform 18 Award and their shows, Thatcher’s Children and BEATS, will be on in April . . . and we note David Greig has been in Oslo researching a play about Anders Behring Breivik's terror attack on the island of Utøya . . .
Jack and The Beanstalk, Perth Theatre, Dec 9–Jan 7
Little Ulla, Citizens, Glasgow, Dec 10–Jan 7
Hansel and Gretel, Platform, Glasgow, Dec 10–24
Lost Sock Princess, Puppet Lab, Traverse, Edinburgh Dec 14–23
Cinderella, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, Dec 14–Jan 14
Aladdin, Alhambra, Dunfermline, Dec 14–24
Sleeping Beauty, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Dec 15–Jan 7
7 December 2011 The Guardian
Adapted by Graham McLaren. A National Theatre of Scotland review.
5 December 2011 The Guardian
By Phil Porter. A Dundee Rep theatre review.
29 November 2011 The Guardian
By Johnny McKnight. A MacRobert Arts Centre review.