SDTN Online: A Week Of Wonder Fools

This three part Zoom series is for anyone wanting an insight in to making theatre collaboratively and engaging with communities. Includes access to live online screening of 549: Scots of The Spanish Civil War on Tuesday 30th June.

Join Wonder Fools’ co-founders, Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon, with Producer Steph Connell, Lighting Designer Benny Goodman and Music Producers, VanIves’, Stuart Ramage and Roan Ballantine for this series of talks about creative collaborations. Hear about each of their journeys in to the industry and how they work together to create contemporary theatre to tell unknown and forgotten stories. Each of the hour long zoom sessions will give you an insight in to theatre making across the various roles in the hope it will inspire your own creative practice. You will be able to ask questions throughout the sessions. There will be a Communication Facilitator (BSL English)in attendance. Please let us know if there are any access requirements, Email Karen Townsend

These sessions will be followed by free SDTN Network access to watch the live premier screening of the Wonder Fools show 549: Scots of The Spanish Civil War on Tuesday 30th June 2020.

Making Theatre & Engaging Communities with Wonder Fools

Tuesday 23rd June 14:00-15:00

A talk with Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon about their career pathways, how they started Wonder Fools and an insight in to their theatre making process and community engagement work.

Rural Touring with Wonder Fools

Wednesday 24th June 14:00-15:00

A talk with Jack Nurse, Benny Goodman and Steph Connell about their career pathways and how they work together through the creative challenges of rural touring.

Music Producing for Theatre with VanIves and Wonder Fools

Thursday 25th June 14:00-15:00

A talk with VanIves’ Stuart Ramage and Roan Ballantine and Wonder Fool’s Jack Nurse about their career pathways, working together to create sound design for theatre and experimenting with new formats including the team’s upcoming podcast.

Digital Archive Screening 549: Scots of The Spanish Civil War

Tuesday 30th June – Booked separately

Upon booking for any of the above sessions you will be sent the link to book a virtual ticket for the premier screening of 549: Scots of The Spanish Civil War

This opportunity is open to SDTN Network students, graduates and education staff.


ABOUT Wonder Fools

Wonder Fools are a registered charity and arts organisation. We create contemporary theatre based on a diverse range of current and historical real life stories. During our short history, we have sought unknown and forgotten stories lost in the evolving social landscape of Britain that we are able to reshape and make theatre from. From these stories we have taken theatre productions, performance installations and workshops to over 7000 people across Scotland, with over 8000 more engaging with our work online. We strive to create evocative and exhilarating contemporary theatre and performance, in both conventional and out of the ordinary settings.

We seek to make accessible, energetic and engaging work which appeals to both traditional as well as non-traditional audiences. We aim to push the fold of who contemporary theatre and performance can attract and appeal to.

We are fascinated by how theatre and performance can be socially and historically rooted in the landscape and community in which it’s made; however big or small.  Whether socially, politically or intellectually motivated we strive to carry that principle with us in all of our work.


Composers / Musicians / Sound Designers

Childhood friends Stuart Ramage (Singer, Songwriter, guitarist) and Roan Ballantine (Producer, pianist, DJ and songwriter) make up the multi-genre-bending duo of VanIves. Hailing from south-west Scotland their sound originates from the dancefloor, layering catchy hooks and immersive imagery which is quietly making this duo Scotland’s most exciting export.

The duo have supported notable artists such as SG Lewis, Tokio Myers and Be Charlotte whilst also celebrating their debut single by opening Glasgow;s TEDxTalk at the Armadillo and garnering airtime from outlets including BBC Scotland and Amazing radio. They were also the opening act for Underbelly’s Hogmanay Celebrations 2019.

Roan is a self taught producer and Suzuki pianist. He is also a DJ who cut his teeth playing sets in the woods in Dumfries and Galloway, releasing dance music under various alias’ currently a design student at world famous Glasgow School of Art.

Stuart is a multi instrumentalist, virtuoso guitarist specialising in songwriting with open tunings. He recently graduated from University of West of Scotland with an honours degree in Commercial Music. He has toured the world as a session musician as well as writing and producing music for other artists. Made a name for himself at songwriting camps in Nashville.

Their second EP ‘The Waves and I Would Wonder’ is now available on Vinyl, released via Berlin label Vielen Dank Records.

Jack Nurse

Co Founder / Co- Writer / Director

Jack co-founded Glasgow-based theatre company Wonder Fools in 2014.

Training: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Theatre Studio Directors’ Course

As Director: 549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War, McNeill of Tranent, The Coolidge Effect (Wonder Fools); The Lost Elves (Citizens Theatre/Royal Conservatoire of Scotland); Lampedusa (Citizens Theatre); The Mack (Play, Pie, Pint/Traverse Theatre).

As Associate/Resident Director: Red Dust Road (National Theatre of Scotland/HOME); The Broons (Sell A Door); Dr Dolittle (Music & Lyrics).

As Assistant Director: Oresteia: This Restless House (Citizens Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland), Blackbird (Citizens Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum); Hay Fever (Royal Lyceum/Citizens Theatre).

Robbie Gordon

Co Founder / Writer / Performer

Robbie Gordon is a theatre-maker. He is the co-founder of Wonder Fools, the Ayr Gaiety’s Creative Learning Coordinator, a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and represented by Infinity Artist Management.

Selected credits: Writer and performer of The Coolidge Effect (Wonder Fools); writer and director of McNeill of Tranent: Fastest Man in the World (Wonder Fools); actor in Charlie Sonata (Royal Lyceum Theatre); workshop leader and sand facilitator on Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea (National Theatre of Scotland); research assistant on Locker Room Talk (Traverse Theatre); assistant director on Graham McLaren’s Dream On (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland/BBC Symphony Orchestra); workshop assistant on Jeremy Deller and Rufus Norris’ we’re here because we’re here (National Theatre of Scotland).

He has also worked with organisations and artists such as: Matthew Lenton, Douglas Maxwell, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, LOOP, Lung Ha, Ipdip Theatre, Playwright Studio Scotland, Stockholm Fringe Festival, Bluemouth inc. and The Arches.

Steph Connell


Steph is Producer of Wonder Fools for which she has produced 549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War (National tour) and Lampedusa (Citizens Theatre). She is also Producer of ThickSkin which credits include How Not To Drown, AWOL, Chalk Farm and as Assistant Producer for The Static. Steph was Stage One Producer at the Citizens Theatre in 2017.

Other producing credits include No Way Back (Frantic Assembly), Surreal Carnival Experience (Frantic Assembly/ Underworld), Leaper – A Fish Tale and Finding Victoria (Tucked In), Full Stop (Light The Fuse/ Scribbled Thought), Playground Victories (Light The Fuse/ Scribbled Thought) and Superhero Snail Boy (Scribbled Thought). Steph has also worked for Artichoke, National Theatre of Scotland, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, National Centre for Circus Arts and is currently Project Coordinator at the Tron Theatre.

Benny Goodman

Lighting Designer

Benny Goodman is a freelance lighting designer and creative collaborator, based in Glasgow. 

He has worked in theatres across the UK in a variety of projects and productions, and is a creative collaborator with theatre company, Wonder Fools.

Selected credits include: I Can Go Anywhere (Traverse Theatre); The Drift (National Theatre of Scotland); The Afflicted (Summerhall); Act of Repair (Scottish Youth Theatre National Tour); Country Music (Omnibus Theatre); 549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War (UK Tour); The Mistress Contract (Tron Theatre); Daddy Drag (Assembly Roxy); Where We Are: The Mosque (Arcola Theatre, London); Sorella Mia (The Place, London); Disarming Reverberations (St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh); Heroines (Theatre Gu Leor, Stornoway); Humbug (Tramway, Glasgow); Snow Queen (Associate – Dundee Rep Theatre); Like Animals (Tron Theatre); Ayanfe Opera (Bridewell Theatre, London) Lampedusa (Citizens Theatre); Circle of Fifths (Tron Theatre/Cockpit Theatre London).

Photo Credits: Mihaela Bodlovic, Beth Chalmers, Heather Roberts

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