On Friday, October the 28th, the Chairman of the Scottish Society of playwrights, Professor Ian Brown, led a conversation between cultural commentator Paul Henderson Scott and award-winning playwright David Greig about the nature of Scottish playwriting. The event was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
We asked both Paul and David what they hoped to discuss at the event, their responses are below.
Photos by Eoin Carey
Paul Henderson Scott: “It may seem strange that a man who spent a large part of his life abroad as a diplomat should presume to have views on the Scottish Theatre, but I have always had an enthusiastic interest in all aspects of Scottish literature. Wherever I went, I took a substantial library of books on Scottish history and literature with me. I came back to Edinburgh on leave whenever I could and I was able to go to all but two or three of the Edinburgh Festivals from the first. I saw all three productions of The Thrie Estaitis. Almost as soon as I retired I became the Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Arts in Scotland and it was this organisation which launched and conducted the final steps of the long campaign which achieved the establishment of our National Theatre.
At the Staging the Nation event in the Lyceum Theatre on the 28th of October I hope to discuss the languages used in the Scottish theatre. I also hope to explore the mysterious resistance of the now defunct Scottish Arts Council to the establishment of our National Theatre and even to the production of Scottish plays in our theatres.”
David Greig: “Is there such a thing as a typical ‘Scottish’ play? If so, what are its characteristics? During this discussion, I’ll look at the way questions of Scottish identity have shaped the work of generations of Scottish playwrights.
Some writers have explored Scots language, others have explored the variety tradition, some have used the Scottish novel as a source, still others have responded to location and politics. Some writers have tried to avoid the question of national identity entirely. But whatever their individual response, all Scottish writers have found their work and it’s reception shaped by powerful currents of identity moving through Scottish society.”
We will stream this event in its entirety on this site on Friday, November 4th at 3pm. For more information, click here.