11 September 2017back

Theatre in Schools Scotland nets second-year sponsorship from Scottish Salmon Company

 : Children from St Eunan's Primary School, West Dunbartonshire, who saw the performance at Our Holy Redeemer's Primary School with the cast of Jason and the Argonauts. Credit Colin Hattersley.

Children from St Eunan's Primary School, West Dunbartonshire, who saw the performance at Our Holy Redeemer's Primary School with the cast of Jason and the Argonauts. Credit Colin Hattersley.

Four theatre productions for children have begun touring primary schools across Scotland, thanks to an ongoing partnership between National Theatre of Scotland and independent salmon producer the Scottish Salmon Company.

The Theatre in Schools Scotland project is one of the first to benefit from second year sponsorship from the newly launched Culture & Business Fund Scotland, which matches business sponsorship of cultural activities pound for pound, is managed by independent charity Arts & Business Scotland and is funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland.

The new fund succeeds Arts & Business Scotland’s New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) Grants Programme which, between 2006 and 2017, successfully generated more than £7.5 million in public and private investment to help realise more than 500 individual cultural projects throughout Scotland. Building on the success of its predecessor, the Culture & Business Fund Scotland has been expanded to include a dedicated heritage strand as well as offering projects that have already received match funding in a previous year the opportunity to benefit from second and third year support.

The partnership between National Theatre of Scotland and the Scottish Salmon Company previously received match funding from the NAS Grants Programme, enabling a Scotland-wide tour of Theatre in Schools Scotland to take place during late 2016, visiting 61 primary schools, with 121 performances reaching an audience of nearly 11,000 children.

Theatre in Schools Scotland has been developed by Imaginate, the national organisation in Scotland which promotes, develops and celebrates theatre and dance for children and young people and the National Theatre of Scotland, in partnership with leading performing arts organisations for children and young people, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Visible Fictions and Starcatchers.

Now in its second year, the project will stage productions of Up to Speed, created by Rosalind Sydney, in association with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Visible Fictions’ Jason and the Argonauts and Catherine Wheels’ The Story of the Little Gentlemen,  in primary schools across Scotland – from Shetland to the Scottish Borders – between August and November 2017.

Aimed at classes from P1 to P4, The Story of the Gentlemen is an energetic two-hander that celebrates friendship and acceptance, based on the book by Swedish writer Babro Lindgren. For classes P3 to P5, Up to Speed is a funny, moving captivating tale created by Rosalind Sydney with Laurie Brown about a boy and a girl, Barnaby and Jade, and what it’s like to be the odd one out. Jason and the Argonauts is written by Robert Forrest and will be staged for P6 and P7 pupils. Now in its 11th year of touring, the production is a quirky, funny and exciting adaptation of the ancient Greek myth which takes the audience on a fantastic journey.

In early 2018, Theatre in Schools Scotland will tour a new play How to Fix a Broken Wing, created by Pete Collins. Aimed at P4 to P7 pupils and inspired by a Japanese folk tale, the play tells the story of a crane bird with an arrow through its wing, a lonely engineer with a fear of flying and a lost girl who gives an extraordinary gift when she becomes a guest in the engineer’s home.

Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive David Watt commented:

“A key objective for us in launching the new Culture & Business Fund Scotland has been to encourage longer term collaboration between businesses and the cultural sector by match funding ongoing partnerships in their second and third years. I’m delighted that Theatre in Schools Scotland is one of the first such partnerships to secure funding for a second year. Based on last year’s programme, the initiative has already proved itself a great success and National Theatre of Scotland and the Scottish Salmon Company are clearly looking to build on that experience to make the second year’s programme bigger and better than ever – with the potential to benefit many more primary school children right across Scotland.”

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive Officer at the Scottish Salmon Company said:

“We’re really proud to be supporting the Theatre in Schools Scotland initiative for a second year. It has already brought enormous benefit to school children living in many of the remote and rural communities where we operate. With an even more ambitious programme planned for this year, we’re really excited to see Theatre in Schools Scotland bringing a rewarding and enriching cultural experience to many more children in those same communities in the months ahead. The match funding provided by the Culture & Business Fund Scotland has been critical in maximising the positive impact of our sponsorship of Theatre in Schools Scotland.”

Imaginate Chief Executive Paul Fitzpatrick, spokesperson for the Theatre in Schools Scotland initiative, said:

“With the generous support of the Scottish Salmon Company and the New Arts Sponsorship Grants Programme, the first year of the Theatre in Schools Scotland initiative was an overwhelming success helping us to break down the geographic and economic barriers that prevent engagement with the arts. We learned a huge amount from that first year so it’s great to be able to continue that partnership for a second year. To sustain our successful partnership with the Scottish Salmon Company, having access to the match funding provided by the new Culture & Business Fund Scotland has been absolutely crucial.”

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