National Theatre of Scotland launches two-day pop-up festival of theatre and music at new space in Glasgow | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
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National Theatre of Scotland launches two-day pop-up festival of theatre and music at new space in Glasgow

At Civic House, Glasgow on 26 & 27 January 2018

Just Start Here is a new two-day festival of performance and live music from National Theatre of Scotland. The event, which forms a part of the Company’s wider Engine Room strand of artistic development opportunities, will see artists, audiences and communities to come together to encounter something unique in Civic House, a new event and learning space for progressive forms of city development run by Agile City. Civic House was also previously the office space for National Theatre of Scotland, before the Company’s move to its purpose-built headquarters at Rockvilla in 2017.

The festival will include new work-in-progress pieces of theatre, discussions, forums, provocations, music, dance, visual art and cross art form experimentation. Over the two days, the festival will explore race, ritual, food, family, tea, queer identities, grief, activism and cross-art form making featuring new work by Debbie Hannan, Laurie Brown and Hannah Lavery and live music from Bossy Love, Heir of the Cursed, and DJs from Grassroots Glasgow.

There will be the opportunity for artists from across art-forms to share practice and seed new cross-art-form work, curated by Ashanti Harris (Project X) and Camara Taylor (Transmission), while National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate Artist Adura Onashile will lead a series of one to one performances about intimacy, identity and the perfect cuppa. A curated series of discussions and provocations around the role of artists in the future will feature contributions from Richard Gregory (Quarantine), Robin McAlpine (Common Weal), Zandra Yeaman (Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights), and Mark Stevenson.

Just Start Here is a new playground for Scottish artists: a space to share and generate ideas, art and provocations, and to spark new collaborations across art-forms  as well as offering a curated and supported platform for bold, vital work to find its feet in front of an audience.

Later in 2018, the National Theatre of Scotland will partner with Aberdeen Performing Arts to present a pop-up Just Start Here event in Aberdeen, in November. This will feature a day of climate change creative action, as part of Season for Change 2018 led by Julie’s Bicycle, Artsadmin and Battersea Arts Centre. Season for Change runs from June to December 2018 and will see the UK's creative community hosting a season of diverse, multidisciplinary responses across the arts, culture and creative industries. It is the first coordinated national response from artists and arts organisations speaking out together on the future of the planet. The Season will coincide with the landmark UN Climate of Parties 'COP24' talks taking place in November, critical in meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement. 

Event Information

The Drift by Hannah Lavery (Performance): The Drift is a journey through history, through Scottishness, through belonging, and through grief. It is an autobiographical spoken word show by Hannah Lavery, where she explores her legacy of being “mixed” in Scotland, left to her by her father and his mother, and their journeys.

Dinner by Laurie Brown (Performance): Dinner is a series of performative, participatory meals looking at ritual, intimacy and the role of food in our lives. Over the course of a couple of hours participants will eat a pre-prepared meal together, observing certain rituals.

National Theatre of Scotland’s One Day to Play (Performance): The outcomes of a paid opportunity for four artists to experiment across art-forms and to generate a brand new idea, curated by Ashanti Harris (Project X) and Camara Taylor (Transmission).

Girl Meets Boy by Debbie Hannan (Performance): “She was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen.” A bright-eyed and form-bending adaptation of Ali Smith’s love story, Girl Meets Boy. A story about what it means to be in-between.

Ignorance is a Sweet Cup of Tea by Adura Onashile (Provocation & Performance): A one-to-one performance about intimacy, about identity and about the perfect cuppa. Select a ten minute slot with Adura to discuss the intricacies and implications of tea drinking and have your provocation used in a further performance in the evening portion of Just Start Here.

If I had a Hammer (Discussion): Halfway through the last century Bertolt Brecht proclaimed that: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” How are we doing with that? If I Had a Hammer is a series of discussions and provocations, led by Richard Gregory, Artistic Director of Quarantine, exploring the idea that artists might have a role in shaping the future. The event will take the form of a series of talks, provocations and discussions exploring the topics raised in “If I had a hammer…” With an opening provocation from Mark Stevenson, National Theatre of Scotland Futurist in Residence, and a panel discussion with contributions from Robin McAlpine (Common Weal), Zandra Yeaman (Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights) and Laura Waddell (Writer and Publisher).

Heir of the Cursed (Music): Kenyan born Beldina Odenyo Onassis’s performs under the guise of Heir of the Cursed. Her soulful music has the ability to make a room stand still and is influenced by the strange nuances of life, rooted in grief, Scottish weather, the constant and the inconstant

Bossy Love (Music): Lauded as “One of the most exciting bands on the planet right now” by BBC, Glasgow based enigmatic duo, singer-come-mechanical scientist Amandah Wilkinson (formally Operator Please) and ex Dananananaykroyd drummer/ BBQ restaurateur John Baillie Jnr, Bossy Love aren’t your typical RnB/Pop pair. They’ve secured plays across BBC Radio 1Xtra, Beats 1 and Kiss FM and live Bossy Love are a force to be reckoned with.

Glasgow Grassroots DJs (Music): Performance from DJs from the training programme which aims to improve representation in electronic music by providing support to women, people of colour and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Listings information 

Friday 26 January


2 – 5pm: If I had a Hammer… discussion

3pm – 5pm: Dinner by Laurie Brown


7pm – 11pm

One Day to Play Outcomes

The Drift by Hannah Lavery

Music from Heir of the Cursed

Saturday 27th January


2pm – 5pm If I had a Hammer… workshop

3pm – 5pm: Dinner by Laurie Brown 


7pm – 11pm

Ignorance is a Sweet Cup of Tea sharing by Adura Onashile

Girl Meets Boy by Debbie Hannan

Music from Bossy Love 


Day tickets | Free | 2 – 5pm

Dinner by Laurie Brown | £6 | 3 – 5pm

Evening tickets | £6 | 7 – 11pm 


Civic House

26 Civic Street


G4 9RH 

Venue is fully wheelchair accessible. 

Ticket booking and information available at

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