Scenes for Survival, the innovative digital project created by the National Theatre of Scotland in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, will draw to a close this week with the final four short films in the series set to be released online from today.
The project has been delivered by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project, and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films, and sees a host of Scottish performers, writers, and directors creating short pieces of digital theatre remotely from their personal spaces of isolation, with films released online for audiences to enjoy for free.
The final Scenes for Survival releases for the week of 14 September are:
- The Quiz (Monday 16 September) – Sukhdeep is excited. After all, it’s not every day you get chosen to host your high school’s 30th Anniversary Reunion Quiz. A virtual catch-up with all his old classmates, and he gets to be the centre of attention- what could be better? But between the disruptive laughter, low-brow humour, and settling of old scores, he’s beginning to remember why he didn’t bother keeping in touch. Sanjeev Kohli stars in a hilarious new short co-written and directed with Isobel McArthur.
- The Mass Launching of Jawline Sabbatical (Tuesday 15 September) – Jawline Sabbatical is a suburb. 12,000 citizens strong, walled in on all sides by infected zones, entering its 52nd month of strict quarantine lockdown. It’s one of the last places left untouched by the virus. And tomorrow night, thanks to the world’s first flat pack self-assembly interplanetary spacecraft, its population will be nil. A poetic, uniquely inventive sci-fi fable from the mind of writer and director Alan McKendrick, featuring narration from Ross Mann and editing and graphics by Carrie Skinner.
- Credo (Wednesday 14 September)– Credo sees former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead perform a reading of her witty, uplifting manifesto on the art of theatre-making. The poem was first published in 2016 as The Theatre-Makers Credo, as part of her collection Fugitive Colours, which was released at the end of her term as Scotland’s national poet. Written by Liz Lochhead, performed by Liz Lochhead and Andy Clark and directed by Morag Fullarton.
- Call to Adventure (Thursday 17 September)– Stuffy, dependable, unsurprising Mark is exactly the kind of guy who’ll go far in his mundane office job. But secretly he yearns to escape his boring life and become someone new. Maybe handsome co-worker Austin feels the same way… Will today be the day he finally has the guts to say how he really feels? Lawrence Smith, Ronan Burns, and Laura Lovemore star in an uplifting musical short from writer Finn Anderson, directed by Sally Reid. Produced in association with Perth Theatre.
Scenes for Survival has served as an inventive alternative online season of short works, following the enforced cancellation of productions and performances from the National Theatre of Scotland, as well as by venues and theatre companies across Scotland.
Since launching with six films on the 27 May 2020, the programme has seen new short artworks released online each week throughout the following months. To date, the programme has garnered over 15 million views across all platforms.
Following the final Scenes for Survival releases, all of the short dramatic works from the project will remain online, and free for audiences to view, for the next two years. A selection of Scenes for Survival films have also been released on BBC iPlayer, as well as being broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel in August.