There’s no rest for the wicked here at SDTN HQ and planning is already underway for the 2019 Network Ensemble, and we are very excited about what’s in store for the third iteration of this exciting project.
The Ensemble’s first production was in 2017 with Snowflake written and directed by Mark Thomson. This year the Network Ensemble graduate production returned with director Caitlin Skinner at the helm of Propeller. Both productions ran for 25 performances during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Praise for the 2017 and 2018 productions:
“Strong and self-aware…a beautifully pitched piece of theatre”
The Scotsman on Propeller in 2018
“Hilarious comedy, brilliant physical theatre segments, and a fantastic re-imagining of a George Michael classic…a brilliant piece of theatre”
★★★★★ OnStage Blog on Propeller in 2018
“A portrait of a generation”
★★★★ The Scotsman on Snowflake in 2017
“A stark, fast-paced dramatization of what it’s like to be thrown into the modern world”
★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine in 2017
This year the Scottish Drama Training Network have elevated the project once again with an entirely new producing model. Unique to the project for 2019, the Network Ensemble will be presented as a co-production with critically acclaimed Scottish theatre company Grid Iron. It will be the first time that graduates will be given the opportunity to work on a site-specific production with an established company. The work will be written and directed by Grid Iron co-Artistic Director Ben Harrison and co-produced with Grid Iron producer / co-Artistic Director Judith Doherty.
About Grid Iron
“Grid Iron, one of Scotland’s boldest and most influential groups of the last two decades” – The Telegraph
Grid Iron is an Edinburgh based new writing theatre company which specialises in creating site-specific and location theatre although they also produce work for the stage. In their 23 years, they have received 30 awards and a further 26 nominations covering all aspects of their work from acting, writing and use of music to stage management, design and technical expertise.
Their adventures have taken them to extraordinary places; from the slopes of Edinburgh Zoo to a massive oil-rig manufacturing shed in Dundee, a boat-builders island in a Norwegian fjord, to the former General Security building in Beirut, a working cancer hospital in Jordan, the old City Morgue in Cork, the largest climbing arena in Europe and parks, housing estates, playing fields and bars (for performances as well as recreation!) around Scotland and Britain.
They have made co-productions with many partners including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, The Almeida Theatre London, Stellar Quines and Lung Has Theatre Company and they have delivered two European Capital of Culture Commissions (Cork 2005 and Stavanger 2008). They have performed thirteen times at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, twice at both Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh International Science Festival and once at Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. In 2014, they became the first theatre company to work in co-production with Edinburgh International Book Festival on Letters Home, which was supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and was also part of Culture 2014, Glasgow’s cultural celebration of the Commonwealth Games.
“theatre that is not just accomplished, but important.” – The Edinburgh Reporter
“one of the companies that has shaped British theatre over the last 20 years”. – The Guardian
The first phase of the project sees Grid Iron and SDTN travel to the four corners of Scotland to offer workshops for actors that focus on the development of new writing theatre. These are being delivered by Grid Iron Co-Artistic Director, Ben Harrison. The workshop dates and locations are…
- 15th November – Dundee and Angus College
- 17th November – Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
- 21st November – University of the West of Scotland, Ayrshire
- 4th December – Scottish Youth Theatre, Glasgow
In tandem with these performance based workshops, our Technical Theatre Skills Officer Abigail MacMillan is offering complementary information sessions about all the opportunities available for technical theatre and production students. These will include a particular focus on lighting design, costume design and set design.
Testimonials from participants of the 2018 / 19 Network Ensemble Development Workshops
NEW FOR 2019…
Creative Residency at the University of the West of Scotland
In an initiative that is new to 2019 and born from the collaboration with Grid Iron, the Graduate Ensemble production will have a longer life by touring to the University of the West of Scotland in Ayrshire, for a creative residency in the second week of September 2019. The goal is to show new and current students just exactly what they can achieve through training. As well as performances during the creative residency we will offer acting and technical workshops, masterclasses and post-show discussions.
“The proposal to co-produce with Grid Iron in 2019 represents an important development of the Graduate Pathways programme and will provide not only an outstanding opportunity for the participants in The Network to develop skills in making site specific work with the leading theatre organisation in this genre, but also, following the Festival, to take this work on tour to a location elsewhere in Scotland, to a college in the SDTN network, where we can also provide a creative learning residency, linked to the performances. This will enable the participants in The Network to take work back to their communities and potentially to the college where they trained.” Lucy Vaughan – Director of SDTN
Further updates will be announced here. Also, the Network Ensemble has its own dedicated Twitter feed, so to keep up to date on all the project developments follow @NetworkSDTN