Photography by Michal Wachucik / Abermedia, 2016
Hello :-) Trying to update this page from time to time....for much more up to date news, check out my Twitter feed @BettyWrote
July 2017: It was a delight to work with Magnetic North once again this year on Rough Mix - a creative lab for experienced and early career artists, and this year we were in Peebles at the lovely Eastgate Arts theatre. I was amongst a lovely group of actors there to help explore and develop early ideas by the lead artists, and it was a total privilege. Inspired!
The Strange Undoing
of Prudencia Hart
June 2017: Recently back from an epic tour of the South East of England with this RIOT of a show :-) Cracking production, loads of laughs, brilliant cast and audiences shaken and stirred :-)
Here, check out the trailer! IT WIZ A MAD NIGHT!
Starter for Ten, National Theatre of Scotland
October 2016: I am so thrilled to have been selected as one of NTS's Starter for Ten programme. This is a brand new development opportunity for Scottish artists, and a way to celebrate the 10th Birthday of the company! From more than 170 applications, 10 commissions were chosen to represent a diverse cross-section of Scotland's vibrant theatre-making community. The programme offers these emerging artists a funded residency to help them develop their skills, networks, or explore a new idea for a piece of theatre.
During my residency, I will be continuing work and development on Buaireas anns an Uisge / Trouble the Water, a Gaelic performance project exploring the contemporary legacy of Gaels who owned slaves in colonial North America.
Huge Thank you to NTS for this superb opportunity. Truly humbled to be a part of this group.
Image by Kirsty Anderson. Pictured l-r David MacFarlane, Alison MacFarlane, Elspeth Turner
October 2016: I recently finished a brilliant run of a wonderful new play called 'Mischief', (click for details) written by Ellie Stewart and directed by Gerda Stevenson. This was presented by Oran Mòr as part of their 'Play, Pie and a Pint' Season, and in association with the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. It was a delight to work alongside fellow actors Alison MacFarlane and David MacFarlane, to have the very gifted Ellie Stewart in the room with us as her play was rehearsed, and to be guided and directed by the mighty Gerda Stevenson! Learned an awful lot and audiences loved it :-)
Here's what the press said...
'The contrast between Ronnat's free-spirited, wise nature, and Brigid's wide-eyed wanderlust is beautifully observed'
Lorna Irvine, The List. ****
'Elspeth Turner and Alison MacFarlane turn in a rich and beautiful pair of performances as Ronnat and Brigid, with strong support from David MacFarlane as Fari; and with Stevenson's strong hand on the tiller, blending music, movement and two languages in a near-perfect balance, this theatrical ship comes come in fine style - grey hempen clothes, Celtic standing stones and all'
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman. ****
Once Upon a Time in the West End (Edinburgh Fringe)
August 2016 - I've just finished a run of Once Upon a Time in the West End, a spoof-comedy Western with songs, set in Edinburgh, and performed as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. I also wrote the show, and it was part of a double bill for High Noon Saloon, presented by Hi-Spirits to promote their bourbon, 'Buffalo Trace'. Creating / appearing in sketch comedy was something I wasn't sure I knew how to do, but it was a blast :-) Great audiences, good whisky, gender-bending cowboys...what's not to like?! Click here for some images - I'm poorly disguised as a dude....yeeehaaa!
Rough Mix, Aberdeen, with Magnetic North
July 2016 - Had a mind-altering fortnight up in Aberdeen as part of Rough Mix - check out this video to see us chatting about it. The idea of the residency is to give 5 lead artists of different disciplines the time, space, and support to explore and develop their ideas from seedling stage. I was there as one of the 6 performers there to help them try things, and at the end of the fortnight at the Lemon Tree - love that theatre - we presented the ideas in progress to the public, and it was really exciting to be a part of - to see ideas form and become clearer for the lead artists. There are also two emerging artists present, and the whole thing is led and facilitated by Magnetic North Artistic Director Nicholas Bone. Such a privilege to work with this group.
This image was taken by emerging artist and awesome photographerJeni Reid, and here I was working with composer and soundMatthew Whiteside on his experimenation with projection mapping...
April 2016 - I'm just back from Aberdeen where it was a gigantic privilege to work on this amazing show with the National Theatre of Scotland. I was so excited to be working once more in the part of the world my mum is from, and it was great to spend some time wandering the streets where she went to University back in the day! There is such a burgeoning of theatre activity in Aberdeen just now - definitely something in the air, a different sort of hope and aspiration around the potential for home-grown theatre - brilliant to witness and be a part of.
Here's what the critics said...
'There’s the spine of a great historical story – beautifully evoked by Elspeth Turner and Mark Wood in the leading roles' Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman
'Led by a six-strong professional cast that features Joyce Falconer as the city's flinty conscience, and Elspeth Turner and Mark Wood as its resilient heart' Neil Cooper, The Herald
'Mark Wood and Elspeth Turner give them a vibrant telling, their sense of justice spurned by the Tsar's secret police' Thom Dibdin, The Stage
A bit about the show, from NTS...
'Granite is a sweeping, epic and unprecedented outdoor theatrical event, telling the story of Aberdeen, from 1863 to 2016, in just over an hour.
Performed across a huge stage and featuring a large ensemble cast, live orchestra and choir,aerial performance, dance, digital soundscape and video projection, the production takes place in the majestic quadrangle of the iconic Marischal College.
Prepare to be transported from the bowels of the earth, over the North Sea and into the heavens, across continents and centuries and back again.
Through snowstorms, squalls and towering waves.
From Kemnay to Calabar, Torry to Gothenburg, the North Sea oil fields to Tsarist Odessa.
From a night on the tiles in Union Street to a month at sea on an Atlantic schooner.
Meet the men and women who built this city:
The cutters and gutters and oil workers, the scientists, revellers and football fanatics.
Those who left Aberdeen to find their fortunes,
and those arriving here today, to chase theirs.'
Buaireas anns an Uisge / Trouble The Water
December 2015 - At the moment I'm doing some research and preparation for a new Gaelic performance project I'm super psyched to be working on at Tramway in January 2016. This project has been commissioned by Glasgow Life, and over two weeks I'll be collaborating with Director and Video/Sound designer Rob Jones, and a group of performers to develop the idea; this will culminate in a public sharing and panel discussion at Tramway - more details of which to follow. My hope is to respond creatively to the proposed possibility of African American music having been influenced in the early stages by the Gaelic psalm singing of the Western Isles. This call-and-response style of worship was crossing the Atlantic as the slave trade reached its heights, throwing African and Gaelic cultures together in often strained and cruel settings. FOR MORE INFO & UPDATES CLICK HERE
December 2015 - This December I'll be playng a lovely supporting role in Nicola Johnston's exciting new short film, The Box. I'll be working with Chris L Cook and Steven Abercrombie Cook from the extremely awesome Little City Pictures. It's the sort of script that is hard to put down because of all its twists, but also eloquenty written with richly conceived characters. Really looking forward to working with a truly stellar cast and team :-)