Theatre in Schools Scotland

an exciting initiative to champion theatre in Scotland’s schools returns to Aberdeenshire


Presented by National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate

in partnership with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Starcatchers and Visible Fictions.


Sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company and Culture & Business Fund Scotland

Supported by North East Arts Touring

Theatre in Schools Scotland is touring acclaimed productions to primary schools throughout Scotland as part of its 2017 Scottish schools tour and is brought three great shows to Aberdeenshire.  Jason and the Argonauts by Visible Fictions was performed at Kemnay Village Hall on 28 September an attended by Alehousewells Primary, Kemnay Primary School and Midmill Primary Schools. Up to Speed, created by Rosalind Sydney in association with Catherine Wheels was performed at Dunchet on 6 October and attended by Cluny Primary, Dunecht Primary and Tough Primary. Catherine Wheels’ production of The Story of the Little Gentleman was performed at Dunecht and kemnay and attend by the above schools. In total 579 children had the opportunity to experience high quality theatre in their community. Bringing smaller rural schools together is a cost efficient way of ensuring access to affordable theatre experiences for young audiences.

Theatre in Schools Scotland was launched with great success as a three year pilot project in 2016 to create a touring and producing model with the ambition to ultimately bring one piece of high quality theatre to every schoolchild in Scotland each year.

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 companies/organisations for children and young people; Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Visible Fictions and Starcatchers.

Emyr Bell, Executive Director, North East Arts Touring, said:

We were so impressed by the impact the project had last year that we have decided to double our commitment this year. Last year 205 children from Dales Park Primary and Meethill Primary enjoyed the performances, with many of them experiencing theatre for the first time. This year we have decided to work with smaller more rural schools, making this a more cost-effective way of making theatre accessible to young audiences. Cluny Primary, Dunecht Primary and Tough Primary will share performances and Kemnay Primary School, Alehousewells Primary and Midmill Primary sharing another. This will enable over 500 children to experience high quality theatre in their rural community.                                                

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of The Scottish Salmon Company, said:      

We are proud to support Theatre in Schools Scotland. This initiative closely mirrors our own values of pride and passion with its community focus and ensures art and theatre can reach many children across the country.                                          

David Watt, Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland, said:                                                         

Following the successful launch of the Culture & Business Fund Scotland in April, it is great to see one of the projects that received funding from its predecessor, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants Programme, benefit from the new Fund’s ability to support second and third year sponsorships. The partnership between The Scottish Salmon Company and National Theatre of Scotland is a shining example of enduring and mutually beneficial collaboration between business and the cultural sector, and highlights the positive impact these relationships have on society.                                                                                            

In 2016, Theatre in Schools Scotland saw productions of Catherine Wheels’ Martha and Visible Fictions’ Shopping for Shoes tour to 60 primary schools across 26 local authorities to fantastic response from children and teachers alike.  This year’s Theatre in Schools Scotland tour is expected to extend its capacity, performing to around 20,000 children and teachers at primary schools throughout Scotland from Shetland to the Scottish Borders.

Up to Speed is presented by Rosalind Sydney in association with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company. It is a funny, moving, captivating tale about a boy and a girl, Barnaby and Jade, and what it’s like to be the odd one out.  Have you ever met a person who is a little unusual? Someone whose mind seems to work a bit differently? Who surprises you? Who is funny and also fun to laugh at? That’s what Barnaby is like. Jade has marvelled and laughed at him but he has also made her feel small. And she knows exactly how to get him back…

Visible Fictions is presenting Jason and the Argonauts, a quirky, funny and exciting tale written by Robert Forrest which is in its 11th year of touring worldwide.  The show takes the audience on a fantastic journey. Jason’s uncle isn’t exactly lovable…he’s murdered his brother (the king) and stolen the crown and now no one dares stand up to him. Things are about to get a major shakeup though because Jason is BACK! After being banished as a baby, our wannabe hero returns to claim his rightful throne and make some big changes.

The Story of the Little Gentleman is presented by Catherine Wheels and is based on the book by Babro Lindgren. It is an energetic two-hander and a playful celebration of friendship and acceptance. The Little Gentleman thinks he will live a sad and lonely life forever…until one day he is woken up by a curious dog who just wants to play. The Story of the Little Gentleman was shortlisted for a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best Production for Children and Young People 2017.

For 2017/18, Theatre in Schools Scotland is building on the strong programme of work and touring infrastructure established in the first year of the pilot and is introducing a year-long rolling programme of touring shows for Scottish primary schools.

Scottish theatre productions for children and young people are generally accepted as being some of the best in the world, celebrated both in Scotland and globally. Theatre in Schools Scotland aims to ensure that children in Scotland have the opportunity to access this world class children’s theatre in their own school.

In addition to the performances, there will be resources available online for teachers. These will include show information; videos for teachers and children; post-show activities for teachers in the classroom and tools to help teachers and pupils evaluate the performances. These resources are available from

Theatre in Schools Scotland has developed a unique partnership model to bring these theatre productions into schools. The tour is cross funded by the Scottish Government funded National Theatre of Scotland, Creative Scotland funded theatre organisations, touring networks, local authorities and individual schools.  This year’s tour is supported financially by The Scottish Salmon Company and the Culture & Business Fund Scotland.

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