The Month in Scottish Theatre: March 2018

After a quiet few months in the Scottish theatre scene, March is set to be an explosion of premieres, collaborations and storytelling

Preview by Amy Taylor | 02 Mar 2018

Kicking off the month is a double bill from Scottish Dance Theatre, RITUALIA and TuTuMucky, which have been touring Scotland since February. Finishing with a performance at the Traverse Theatre on 3 March, RITUALIA choreographed by Colette Sadler explores Bronislava Nijinska's feminist piece Les Noces and reimagines it in a post-gender world, while TuTuMucky by Boris Seva blurs the lines between different dance forms.

It’s fitting that the first show that picks up after the ending of the Scottish Dance Theatre tours represents a series of firsts. Bingo! – the first collaboration between site-specific titans Grid Iron, and female-focussed company Stellar Quines – is the first show to be performed at the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh outside of the Fringe. Running from the 6-17 March, this new musical comedy follows a group of women as they spend a whole night in a bingo hall, uncovering secrets and deception and work out what to do to get the money that they all need.

Not a world premiere, but a first for 2018, Edinburgh University Shakespeare Company (EUSC) present their version of Romeo and Juliet from 6-10 March at the Pleasance Theatre. If you don’t know this classic love story, or if you’ve never seen a Shakespeare play, then this production is a good place to start.

Over at the Lyceum Theatre, a weekend of theatre runs from 8-10 March. Dubbed Mind Your Head, it features a double bill of newly devised plays by Lyceum Youth Theatre, Brainstorm and Mr Blue Sky, which both concern mental health. The event coincides with National Conversations Week and the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People.

Next door at the Traverse Theatre, a classic play gets a new twist with Lung Ha and the world-renowned Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts in Helsinki’s production of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. This new version, written by Adrian Osmond and directed by Maria Oller, concerns family, dreams and loss and runs from 15-17 March, before touring to Perth Theatre (23-24 March) and the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow (28 March).

The Scottish premiere of Steven Adly Guirgis' The Motherfucker With the Hat takes over the Tron Theatre from 1-17 March. This dark comedy tells the tale of love and fidelity, winning praise for its high-octane delivery, and its New York premiere starred Chris Rock in his Broadway debut.

Staying at The Tron, the National Theatre of Scotland’s (NTS) revival of their acclaimed show, How to Act, which won a Fringe First, among numerous other awards at the 2017 Fringe, opens on 6 March. This two-hander takes the form of an acting masterclass, in which abuses of power emerge between a well-respected white theatre practitioner, played by Robert Goodale and a young black actress played by Jade Ogugua. The run finishes on 10 March, then the production tours to the Traverse (13-17 March), Eden Court, Inverness (20-21 March) and the Byre Theatre, St Andrews (23 March).

Finishing the month, the NTS's Shift, a co-production with Culture NL and North Lanarkshire Council, opens at the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in Coatbridge on 29 March and runs until 1 April. This large scale, site-specific piece takes place outdoors and features a cast of over 100 people, who use prose, song and poetry to tell stories of the world of work and the lives of the people that built our world and, by extension, our future.