Theatre Without Walls: The National Theatre of Scotland

Reid, Trish (2017) Theatre Without Walls: The National Theatre of Scotland. Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, 5(1), pp. 86-97. ISSN (online) 2195-0164


The National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), which began producing work early in 2006, is a building-less theatre company which produces work in collaboration with a range of national and international partners. This article explores the ways in which mobility has been central to the conception and operation of the NTS throughout its first decade. In addition to an extensive commitment to touring, the company has made a feature of producing work in collaboration with local artists and communities across Scotland from Shetland in the far north to Dumfries in the south. The article focuses on the company’s inaugural Home project and on Ignition, a more recent large scale collaborative project devised and performed on Shetland under the direction of Wils Wilson. My aim is to show not only that the NTS offers an imaginative and flexible model that productively challenges the orthodoxy of existing national theatres, but that in so doing, it evidences a culturally distinctive and heterogeneous Scotland that privileges inclusivity and participation in arts practice and is de-centred and democratic in impulse.

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