Peter Mullan musical adaptation heads bill as National Theatre of Scotland announce new season

The National Theatre of Scotland has signalled its return to the nation’s largest stages with a stellar new programme of events – the standout being a world premiere musical adaptation of Peter Mullan’s 1997 movie Orphans.

Directed by Cora Bissett and adapted by Douglas Maxwell, Orphans is a darkly comic musical about family, grief and forgiveness, with heartfelt rousing music from Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly.

Set in the streets of Glasgow, it will open at Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo before touring to Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre and Eden Court in Inverness, with preview performances at Greenock’s Beacon Arts Centre in April 2022.

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Director Bissett said: “This musical is about raw grief, and the madness that lies within that. The emotions are epic and messy and the songs raucous, and heart aching.”

Elsewhere on the programme are two powerful pieces from award-winning poet, playwright and director Hannah Lavery, live on stage and on digital platforms during August.

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Lament for Sheku Bayoh – an artistic response to the tragic death of Sheku Bayoh – is on at the Royal Lyceum Theatre during this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, while Thirteen Fragments is a new digital artwork featuring spoken word and movement.

Live shows cancelled by Covid 19 during 2020 and being brought back to tour include The Enemy by Kieran Hurley and Enough of Him by May Sumbwanyambe.

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Director Cora Bisset and artistic director Jackie Wylie photographed at the SEC, Glasgow, for National Theatre of Scotland's season launch.

Directed by Finn den Hertog, The Enemy is a provocative and timely adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic An Enemy of the People, with music by Kathryn Joseph.

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Jackie Wylie, the NTS artistic director said: “This programme not only marks the company’s journey out of lockdown back into theatres, but the theme of journeying can be found throughout the programme – each production weaving a compelling narrative in the way that is unique to theatre.”

She added: “It is vital that the National Theatre of Scotland continues collaborating with as many partners and venues as possible and creating employment opportunities for artists and freelancers so we can give much needed support to the sector at this critical stage.

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“We welcome them all to join us in our hopeful journey back to being with audiences once more and sharing the unique experience of live performance we have missed for so long.”

The full programme can be found on National Theatre of Scotland’s website.

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