Stellar Quines are recruiting for new Board Members

NEW 12 month fixed period board pioneer position
Deadline: 4th August 2017 at 17:00

Stellar Quines is seeking a pioneer to join their board of directors for a fixed 12 month term starting in September 2017. This position provides an opportunity to volunteer for a charity in a unique way, whilst gaining an insight into how theatre companies are governed! We are committed to representing a diversity of voices on our board. For this new role the company is welcoming applications from 18–30 year olds, who have little or no experience of sitting on a Board.

Interested? Download the YOUNG PIONEER DESCRIPTION then get in touch! e-mail with the title: “Board Pioneer – Expression of Interest” on or before 4th August 2017 with the following details:
• Full Name, Address, Phone Number and Occupation.
• A brief note on why you’re interested and what relevant skills you could bring
(500 words max).

No qualifications are needed, other than a commitment to the aims of the company.
If you would like to have an informal chat with us please contact Lisa Sangster (Vice
Chair) at

Deadline: 4th August 2017 at 17:00

Stellar Quines are looking for enthusiastic and committed Trustees to help shape our strategic direction and oversee the delivery of our business plan priorities.

We are seeking Board Members with:

  • An understanding of and interest in the aims and objectives of Stellar Quines
  • Understanding of and/or passion for theatre and the wider artistic and cultural landscape.
  • Calm and confident with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Interest in gender and gender inequality
  • Ability to make rational, realistic and sound decisions based on consideration of all the facts and information available
  • Willingness to contribute relevant professional experience to the work of the Board

We are particularly keen to recruit people who could bring knowledge and expertise to the Board in the following areas:

  • HR and/or Solicitor dealing in employment law
  • Fundraising and development
  • Education, Creative Learning and Arts Participation
  • Experience as Company Secretary


APPLICATION PROCESS To apply please send the following documents to by 4th August 2017 at 17:00.

  • A current CV (max 2 pages)
  • Accompanying statement describing why you are interested in the role and how you meet the criteria provided above. (max 750 words)
  • Monitoring form

Alternatively these documents can be posted to Lisa Sangster, Vice Chair of the Board, Stellar Quines Theatre Co, 30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AX.

If you would like to have an informal chat about joining Stellar Quines Board please contact Lisa Sangster (Vice Chair) via email at

Timeline for appointments:
Deadline for applications – 4th August
Panel Sift – week commencing 14th
August Informal meetings with shortlisted candidates – week commencing 28th August
Announcement – September 2017


The 2017 Made in Scotland showcase at the Fringe launches

Neil Hanna Photography 07702 246823

Stellar Quines joined over 20 other theatre, dance and music companies at the launch of the Made in Scotland 2017 showcase last week.

Neil Hanna Photography 07702 246823

Jaimini Jethwa and Rebecca Davis (Stellar Quines) meet Fiona Hislop at the Made in Scotland launch

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, announced the companies and artists selected for the 9th year of Made in Scotland – a curated showcase of music, theatre and dance performed during the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s greatest platform for creative freedom of expression.

This year’s showcase will support 24 shows at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe who have been chosen by a panel of experts from the Scottish and international performing arts community.

Stellar Quines will present The Last Queen of Scotland as part of the showcase, and writer Jaimini Jethwa joined several other performers in sharing extracts of their work with launch guests.

The wealth of talent working in Scotland’s performing arts sector is reflected in a strong line-up of companies, ensembles and artists including; National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Dance Theatre, Gary McNair, Capercaille’s Donald Shaw, Andy Canon, Stellar Quines [The Last Queen of Scotland], FK Alexander, WHYTE, Dogstar Theatre Company, Pauline Goldsmith, Capella Novella, Withered Hand, Iklan, Savage Mansion, Joan Clevillé Dance, Caroline Bowditch and Company, Sean Shibe, Modern Studies and Lomond Campbell, Utter, Tom Poulson, children’s favourites The Polar Bears, MJ McCarthy and Red Bridge Arts, Apphia Campbell, Robbie Thomson and Cryptic.

Since its inception in 2009, Made in Scotland has funded 125 companies, ensembles and artists to showcase over 180 shows. The onward touring fund has enabled 65 productions to tour across six continents, visiting over 35 countries.

Conscientious Objectors In Their Own Words

Before the First World War there had never been compulsory military service in Britain. The first Military Service Bill was passed into law in January 1916 following the failure of recruitment schemes to gain sufficient volunteers in 1914 and 1915.

There were approximately 16,000 British men on record as conscientious objectors (COs) to armed service during the First World War. This figure does not include men who may have had anti-war sentiments but were either unfit, in reserved occupations, or had joined the forces anyway. The number of COs may appear small compared with the six million men who served, but the impact of these men on public opinion and on future governments was to be profound.

Nellie’s husband in The 306:Day is one such Conscientious Objector, in prison for his beliefs.

In recognition of Conscientious Objectors Day, discover the stories of individuals who vehemently opposed the First World War in this fascinating article and interviews with COs by The Imperial War Museums, Lives of First World War project.

image: IWM Q 103094
‘On The Stool’ Postcard of a conscientious objector prison

An insight into a true family story at the heart of The 306:Day

GERTRUDE FARR was 99 when she died and for most of her years she kept a shocking secret from even her closest family.

Her husband, Harry, was executed for cowardice during the First World War.

Now Gertrude’s struggle in the aftermath is being played out on stage in The 306: Day.

And her granddaughter, Janet Booth, who successfully fought to have shell shock sufferer Harry pardoned 90 years later, had a front row seat to see her family’s history being dramatised.

Read the full Sunday Post Story.

Four star reviews in for The 306: Day

The Scotsman– Four Stars:

“although there have been many shows created in memory of the Great War over the past three years, I can’t recall one so possessed by the urgent sense that however much has changed, the world of these women is the same one we still inhabit today.”

The Herald– Four Stars:

“Jemima Levick’s production is a beautifully conceived construction.”

The Stage – Four stars:

“a production which finds modern resonances in century-old injustices.”

Jemima Levick and The 306: Day writer Oliver Emanuel discuss women & war with The Herald

“What struck me about the first part,” says Levick, “was that it was about these vulnerable men, and the second is about strong women. In the first play, the men were led to their death, and were effectively shot after being led astray by the government. In part two, we see how women begin the peace process, and how, rather than being just about the home front, it was women who begin acting to try and stop the war.”

“The play started off as a historical drama,” says Emanuel, “and we thought it might run the risk of ending up being about something arcane and old fashioned. Since then, the rise of Donald Trump has prompted this angry upsurge from women protesting, and who are singing out for equality and peace, and suddenly it felt like we were doing something that was about today.”

“The time the play is set in is when women’s emancipation began,” says Levick, “and that was hugely affected by everything else that was going on. Would women have got the vote without the war? We don’t know, but The 306: Day is a deeply personal story about how these women work out their survival techniques in extraordinary times.”

Read Neil Cooper’s full article in the Herald.

The importance of being dangerous: Lesley Orr pays tribute to the unsung Scotswomen who fought for peace and justice during WWI in The Herald

“A century ago, on a wet December evening in 1917, as the incessant slaughter and grinding hardships of the First World War were extracting an ever greater toll from the working-class families of Glasgow, groups of protesting women marched from Govan and Bridgeton, from Partick and Maryhill, carrying placards and singing songs through the city streets. They converged on George Square, distributing illegal leaflets and holding banners aloft bearing slogans including “Peace Is Victory” and “Stop The War” – not quite “Trump is a bawbag”, but their message was just as direct and extremely provocative at a time when the government’s policy was for total military victory and the unconditional surrender of Germany. The Women’s Peace Crusade (WPC) was on the march.

That story of Scottish women-led movements putting their bodies on the line to protest against carnage at the Front and the draconian policies of a militarised state has remained mostly untold for a century.

In recent years, Scottish historians and activists have contributed to a revival of interest in researching and highlighting the diverse ways that women responded to the experience of the war years. The Remember Mary Barbour Association has successfully campaigned for a lasting memorial to “a great Govan hero”.

Last year, Glasgow Women’s Library hosted learning groups, an exhibition and re-enacted a rally at Glasgow Green to commemorate the WPC centenary. And now, a new piece of theatre tells the story of three women who follow different paths of speaking and silence, of dissent and resistance, as they struggle in their own ways to survive the impacts of war in their lives.”

Read Lesley Orr’s full Herald article.

Finding out more about The 306: Day at Glasgow Women’s Library

Our Producer Rebecca visited Glasgow Women’s Library last weekend to hear more about the characters in The 306:Day, their stories and the context for the experiences of women in WW1 from a panel including by feminist, historian and writer Dr Lesley Orr, the play’s writer Oliver Emanuel and composer Gareth Williams.

The work of participants who took part in Silence and Song workshops was also on display in the library, including over 200 embroidered handkerchieves with the names of women effected by the deaths of the 306. It was a fascinating and moving day.

Exciting new collaboration announced as part of The Lyceum season launch

The Lover Lyceum Launch

Today The Lyceum launch their 2017/18 season programme and we are delighted to be part of it with The Lover – a unique new collaboration between The Lyceum, Scottish Dance Theatre and Stellar Quines.

The production brings together two of Scotland’s leading female Artistic Directors Jemima Levick (Stellar Quines) and Fleur Darkin (Scottish Dance Theatre) for the first time to co-direct and adapt Marguerite Duras novels The Lover (translated by Barbara Bray) and The North China Lover (translated by Leigh Hafrey) for the stage.

The play will preview at The Lyceum on Sat 20 Jan and Mon 22 Jan 2018
before opening on Tuesday 23 Jan, with performances until 3rd February.

Speaking about the collaboration Jemima said:

“As a resident of The Lyceum we’re delighted to be collaborating together for the first time since my appointment with Stellar Quines.

To be able to bring Duras’ extraordinary story that explodes with beautiful imagery from the pages of a book, where it has lived for a long time to the Lyceum stage, will be the realisation of 10 year’s imagining for Fleur Darkin and myself.  It seems only yesterday we sat on her sofa and talked about what story would best bring our respective art forms together.  Duras’ beautiful novella was the one that really inspired and excited us both.

Although I’ve worked with a number of brilliant movement directors and choreographers over the years, this project will be a new venture for me as a director; combining dance and drama from the outset, devising our adaptation with both art forms at the core.  Our adaptation will echo the impressionistic, snap shot like style of writing in the novel, capturing the woman narrator’s intimate reflection on her life, alongside the passion and sexiness that only dance – the physical embodiment of her experience – can bring.

As the Artistic Director of a company that strives to inspire excellence in women & girls, I am excited to share this story of love, and a woman looking back at her younger self, as we rarely tell stories of women and their relationship to sex and desire. Duras’ story is extraordinarily told, spans generations and I believe, goes some way to address that.”

Jaimini Jethwa’s The Last Queen of Scotland research

Jaimini started writing about her family’s history as they were forced to leave Uganda by Idi Amin in 1972 and settled in Scotland.

Ironically Idi Amin coined the phrase ‘The Last King Of Scotland’ so she decided to re-address this history and take her home back.

Jaimini’s original research inspired her to write the poem ‘The Last Queen of Scotland’ which takes the form of a conversation with Idi Amin and discusses his decision to expel her family from their home.

The poem provided the title and the starting point for her play – The Last Queen of Scotland – which was developed into a co-commission with the help of mentoring from National Theatre Scotland and Dundee Rep.

Stellar Quines, supported by the National Theatre of Scotland and Dundee Rep, will create and preview The Last Queen of Scotland at Dundee Rep before the play’s World Premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Help shape the future direction of Stellar Quines

Over 23 years Stellar Quines has grown its reputation as one of Scotland’s longest serving and successful theatre companies with a unique position within the Scottish theatre community.

In a period of change and thinking about our future, Stellar Quines theatre company would like to know more about our audiences based on evidence rather than assumptions – and we need your help.

Please complete our short survey, whether or not you have attended any Stellar Quines plays or other events, or even heard of the company before.

Everyone who completes the survey by 28 Feb will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win £150 in vouchers of your choice. Full prize draw information is at the end of the survey. Your responses to the survey are confidential and your data will not be shared.

Please contact if you have any questions about the research.

Many thanks for your support,

The Stellar Quines Team

Stellar Quines & Glasgow Women’s Library launch Play Amnesty

Stellar Quines and Glasgow Women’s Library have launched a Play Amnesty to showcase female playwriting talent.

The Play Amnesty is a call out for plays written by women. As we both champion female voices we are asking people to donate copies of plays and scripts written by women that have been published, produced and/or performed for a new drama shelf.

To reflect the rich diversity of the Glasgow Women’s Library’s collection plays are sought from female writers of any nationality. The Library is particularly keen to receive plays that have a female focus, or strong roles for women, and writing from the Trans community and Women of Colour. Plays not written in the English language are also welcomed.

Plays can be posted to or dropped off at Glasgow Women’s Library or donated at one of our Amnesty Drop Off points.

Alongside the public Amnesty we will be working with Glasgow Women’s Library to ensure culturally diverse voices are represented in their collection of plays, identifying women playwrights and sourcing plays. The plays will be available to members and will be used by the Library’s Drama Queens Group for readings.


Results of PiPA research published – 8 out of 10 parents turn down work

The results of the research carried out by Parents in Performing Arts (PiPA) have been published and reveal the astonishing, but possibly not surprising fact that eight out of ten parents turn down theatre work owing to childcare possibilities.

Over 950 people responded to the survey and 81% of those who are self employed have had to turn down work and 57% of people who are employed had also declined work due to caring responsibilities.

The full results were published in The Stage today and make for interesting reading.

Stellar Quines is pleased to be part of the nationwide consortium.

Claire Dow

How would you describe your current work and what do you like best about it?

I’m a creative producer for theatre and events. I enjoy the variety of shapes that they can take, from coming up with my own creative projects and making them happen, to facilitating and supporting others to deliver their projects through coaching, consultation or management.

I’m currently standing in for Jemima Levick while she’s been away on maternity leave. It’s been an honour to work with the Stellar Quines’ team and support them through an exciting time of change. Next I’ll be leading on the Theatre and Dance Touring Research for Creative Scotland with Lisa Baxter founder and Director of The Experience Business, due to be published in February 2017.

What was your first ever job?

My first job was with a t-shirt printers, I loaded wet printed shirts into the conveyor dryer. Then I folded and packed them. At my best I could fold and pack 4.5 shirts per minute. It was a fantastic small company which took long lunches and played Jimi Hendrix too loudly. I worked there part time along with crewing shows and being a technician part time, they were fantasic at letting me come and go when it suited me.

What made you decide to work in the arts and what role have you enjoyed the most?

I remember vividly the moment I realized that theatre could be a paid job. I was on a youth theatre placement with Druid Theatre Company in Galway, and it was the opening night of Poor Beast in The Rain by Billy Roche. I had finished setting up on stage, I turned and saw all the seats and realized that people would be coming to see it in real life. It was so exciting, I was hooked. I managed to hang around long enough to get work with Druid and never looked back.

My favourite role to date has been producing the People’s Tower; Dundee’s Royal Arch. It was something I instigated and drove through and it was a wild success. The arch was made out of 1200 cardboard boxes and took all day to build! My favourite moment was toppling the 17m high arch and trampling the cardboard boxes with hundreds of overexcited kids who couldn’t believe their luck.

Has there been a particular person or an opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?

Early in my career, a production manager called Tony Kileen in Druid allowed me to go on tour for a week, if I swore I wouldn’t miss my uni lectures or classwork. I went on tour and never went back to uni! He later directed me to degrees in stage management in the UK which brought me over to Scotland. The opportunity to study here changed my life and I am grateful to have been welcomed in to study without tuition fees, and without a thought to emigration or free movement issues.

What do you like the best about working within the arts?

Without doubt the people. You get to meet and work with such articulate, clever and talented people. Its surprising and inspiring. I think that the theatre sector in Scotland is blessed with a generosity of support for each other and an ecology that shares information and encouragement. I love the moment when the lights go down and an audience are present, in the moment, sharing an experience together that exists nowhere else. Its magic.

What advice would you give women looking at a career in the arts today?

Take the time to think about what is important to you. What are the projects you’ve seen that have excited you most? Find people doing work that gives you energy and inspires you and work with them. If you can’t find that, then make it happen yourself and others will come to you.

Be truthful and generous with others, find ways to build your communities of support so you have a place to share your successes and challenges with peers. It’s the most valuable thing, to know that others are there and can help, and that you can help others.

 Who would be your Stellar Quine of the month and why?

Julie Ellen, she’s had a huge influence on me and my career in terms of development and moving into arts management. Working with her at Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland she taught me how to be a leader and a manager, by being an example of what a generous manager and leader can be. We learn from the people who are our bosses, and I hope to emulate her ability to challenge and support people to reach their potential.

Stellar Quines announce two World Premieres in NTS 2017 Season

We are excited to announce that Stellar Quines will be working with National Theatre of Scotland on two World Premiere productions in their 2017 Season. Jemima Levick will direct both The 306: Day by Oliver Emanuel and Gareth Williams and The Last Queen of Scotland by Jaimini Jethwa.


 National Theatre of Scotland and Horsecross Arts and Stellar Quines present

 The 306: Day

Written by Oliver Emanuel, composed by Gareth Williams, directed by Jemima Levick

Touring Scotland from 4 to 27 May 2017

The 306: Day is the second part of Oliver Emanuel and Gareth William’s powerful new First World War trilogy, charting the heart-breaking journey of the 306 men executed for cowardice and desertion during the conflict and the devastating consequences for those they left behind. This second part in the trilogy theatrically explores how the war affected women, families, and communities on the home front.

 The first part of the trilogy, The 306: Dawn, premiered in the summer of 2016 and was set around the events of the Battle of the Somme, marking the centenary of the Somme Offensive. Audaciously staged within a transformed barn in the Perthshire countryside, and co-produced with Horsecross Arts and 14-18 NOW, the play charted the real-life stories of three soldiers fighting on the front line who were to be executed for their actions.

Inspired by real events and first-hand accounts, The 306: Day follows the lives of three ordinary women fighting to be heard above the clamour of World War 1. The date is 1917, and the war across the channel rages on. In Russia, a revolution is turning the social order on its head while at home in Britain, there are women fighting their own battles. Rents are rising. Food is scarce. And war work can be deadly.

Nellie Murray works at a Glasgow munitions factory but is also a member of the Women’s Peace Crusade.

Struggling to cope after the execution of her husband for cowardice, Gertrude Farr has a young daughter and doesn’t know where to turn.

Mrs Byers waits for news of her son. He ran off to join the army at the beginning of the war and she prays for word of his safe return.

The 306: Day is a new piece of music theatre about staying silent and speaking out, fighting for peace and giving into violence. It tells the forgotten story of three women in wartime and their struggle to survive in a world that won’t listen.

The National Theatre of Scotland reunites with Horsecross Arts and collaborates with Stellar Quines for the first time, under the new Artistic Directorship of Jemima Levick. The National Theatre of Scotland is also delighted to partner with Glasgow Women’s Library for the first time on an accompanying project researching the role of women on the home front during the First World War.

“(The) most brilliantly moving of elegies”- ***** The Herald on The 306: Dawn

“An indelibly powerful work of music theatre that will have an impact for many years to come”- **** The Scotsman on The 306: Dawn

The 306: Day continues the collaboration between playwright Oliver Emanuel and composer Gareth Williams and their interest in combining theatrical and operatic disciplines. This new show will be directed by Stellar Quines’ Artistic Director Jemima Levick and will be performed in civic halls and centres around Scotland.

Oliver Emanuel’s work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Dragon (winner, Best Production for Families, UK Theatre Awards 2014) and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name. Gareth Williams’ compositions have featured in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, St. Magnus Festival, Sound Festival, 5:15, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Sonorities, Opera to Go, and the York Late Music Festival.

Touring across Scotland   from 16 to 27 May 2017, with opening performances in Perth.

 Join the conversation: #The306

 Full tour details and casting to be announced.


A Stellar Quines production, commissioned and supported by the National Theatre of Scotland and Dundee Rep.

The Last Queen of Scotland

By Jaimini Jethwa, directed by Jemima Levick

Touring to Dundee Rep Theatre (preview) and Edinburgh Festival Fringe in summer 2017

‘My Mum and Dad had £7 when they got here. They got 90 days to leave and seven shitty pounds. 90 days, two pints, one pack of fags, gone.’

August 1972 – Idi Amin had a dream and ordered the expulsion of all Asians from Uganda under a 90-day deadline. From Uganda to Dundee, Jaimini Jethwa grew up in Scotland knowing nothing about her homeland until she found herself being haunted by Idi Amin. She started to run but he was everywhere.

Fae Uganda to Dundee and all the way back again – how do you confront Idi Amin when he still messes with your head?

The Last Queen of Scotland sheds light on a unique period in Scotland’s social history and the particular story of a community in exile that has rarely been told. Just as Idi Amin coined the phrase ‘The Last King of Scotland’ Jaimini Jethwa has decided to reclaim her heritage. Performed by one woman to a live urban soundtrack, through the street sounds of Dundonian dialect, The Last Queen of Scotland is Jaimini Jethwa’s homage to her city – her ‘love letter to the D”.

Jaimini is a playwright and independent film-maker. In March 2014 Jaimini travelled to Uganda to explore presenting The Last Queen of Scotland at National Theatre Kampala as part of ‘Banta in Uganda’ – in a research and development project supported through Creative Scotland’s International fund.

Leading Scottish director, and new Artistic Director of Stellar Quines, Jemima Levick directs. Jemima is also directing The 306: Day for the National Theatre of Scotland in 2017.

Touring to Dundee Rep and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Summer 2017

Join the conversation: #LastQueenOfScotland