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Lyth Arts Centre are pleased to share our new cohort of commissioned artists.
Following the global coronavirus pandemic, LAC has had to find new ways of working as our usual methods quickly came to a halt. As an organisation, we have been able to quickly reformat our activity to play an important role in our community response. This has enabled us to engage with artists in new and exciting ways. Whilst this has had its challenges, it has offered us an opportunity to step-change as an organisation, which has led the development of our new commissioning programme for theatre and performance artists.
The rural location of LAC and our existing residency programme has a long track record of shaping the work of artists working across all mediums. We want to support artists, projects and ideas that might not be able to find support elsewhere. We want to support the development of ideas that are interesting when viewed through our unique context and with our rural, coastal community.
All of the artists we are collaborating with have received small seed funding for their projects and will spend time at LAC and in Caithness developing their ideas. There are no set outputs for the artists – this is a chance to explore, experiment and play. They will be supported throughout by the LAC team.
Find out more about the artists and their projects…
Sharon and Neal are both from Thurso and have both recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Neal is Sound Designer who has worked across many different platforms, including most recently Edinburgh Lyceum’s podcast series Cultural Coven. Sharon is an actor and theatre-maker. She was Assistant Director of Stef Smith’s hit play ‘Enough’, at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. She also works extensively with accessibility and widening access within the arts.
Sharon & Neal will use their development time with LAC to research the history of iconic buildings in Thurso’s town centre, speaking to locals and hearing the stories of those who helped shape the town today. Exploring the themes of identity, rejuvenation and culture within a theatrical context, they will use Verbatim techniques to capture these stories and this material will help shape the future life of their project.
Rosa is a theatre director based in Glasgow making work for a wide range of audiences. As a director, Rosa has worked with Imaginate, Oran Mor, Horsecross Arts and Stellar Quines. As an Associate and Assistant Director, Rosa has worked across Scotland with companies such as Horsecross Arts, Stellar Quines, the Tron Theatre and the Dundee Rep Theatre. Rosa is a Young Arts Consultant with Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and was a Launchpad Artist with Imaginate across 2018/19.
Working with Garance Warburton (Sculptor) Ross McKay (Magic Consultant) and Ross Mann (performer), Rosa and her team will research and develop the next stage of Trivial Drinking, a new performance for early years audiences.
Trivial Drinking uses a black, sticky, delicious, shiny liquid to explore the permanent impact of consumption, and the creation of infrastructure to enable it. They will be researching the decommissioning of oil rigs in the North East and developing our design in relation to the Scottish sea skylines. As a team, they will also be playing with illusion, nodding donkeys a whole lot of mess!
Morna Young is a multi-award winning playwright from Moray. She was named Scots Writer of the Year at the inaugural Scots Language Awards in 2019. ‘Lost at Sea’, Morna’s debut full-length play, premiered at Perth Theatre in 2019 before touring across Scotland. Subsequently, the play won two Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) and a Broadway World Award.
Catriona Lexy Campbell is a successful and award winning Gaelic writer of novels, stories and television. With several television projects in development and over 10 years’ writing experience she has been a scriptwriter on Young Films’ successful long-running series Bannan as well as The Comedy Unit’s Comadaidh Òir.
Gaelic-speaking writer Catriona and Doric-speaking writer Morna will explore the Highland herring girls who were a crucial part of the fishing industry in the year that WWI was declared. Conceived as an opportunity to challenge to the traditional depiction of Highland women on stage, the story will follow these women as they experience their first taste of independence in a challenging and often dangerous environment. Irreverent, poignant and uplifting, friendship and personal development are at the heart of the story though the broader social issues of the day will also be addressed.
Craig Manson is a performer and performance maker based in Glasgow, originally from Wick. He creates new, experimental performances which aren’t rooted in traditional theatre practices. He has performed in studio theatres, cabarets, nightclubs and theatre festivals around the UK since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2016. Craig’s shows are uniquely fun and cheeky, with his signature deadpan style often blurring the line between seriousness and silliness.
Craig will work at LAC to begin development on new show When It’s Over.
When It’s Over explores what the future could look like; the ideal world we might want to live in – the utopia – and the worst-case scenario, the dystopia. He’s specifically interested in what this might look like from a queer perspective. What kind of world might LGBTQIA+ people want to live in? What world might we be headed towards? If we could imagine a global queer utopia, who would that be a dystopia to? Can an ‘ideal world’ ever truly be ideal for everyone? The pandemic has been the first taste of a dystopian world for many people. Where might we be headed for afterwards, when it’s all over?
Craig will be exploring these ideas through experiments with movement, text, sound design and film. He will be collaborating with sound designer Greg Sinclair, filmmaker Thomas Abercromby and performance artist Anya Bowcott during his time at LAC.
Rebecca Martin is a neurodiverse, Highland playwright based in Inverness. She graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a Masters in Creative Writing. Her recent work, Rabbit Catcher has been recorded for audible as part of Traverse Theatre Trave 3 Festival: Breakfast Plays. 2020. She is interested in exploring Highland stories and experiences.
Phoebe Elliott is an emerging queer director who is a recent graduate from the University of Glasgow. She is passionate about female-led new work that tells stories about human connection and is delighted to be working with Rebecca Martin.
Rebecca and Phoebe will be developing A Pink Barbie Space Suit and Other Thing’s my Mother Wouldn’t Buy Me, which explores a dynamic, dysfunctional mother daughter relationship set in a rural environment.
The LAC commissions were made possible by the Scottish Government Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund.