We are delighted to see Nalini Paul on the list of the 2017 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellows whose play Beyond the Mud Walls we recently supported through Rehearsal Rooms. Nalini will be working on her first full collection of poetry weaving in elements of her life in India, Canada and Scotland via Indian poetical works dating back to about 2,500 years.
Stellar Quines showcase works in progress at the Traverse from Molly Innes and Nalini Paul. Join our writers and directors to experience a 10 strong cast of Scottish female actresses in a Tremblay play translated into Scots, and a weaving of poetry and Indian Dance that challenges notions of race, giving a voice to India’s forgotten heroines.
27 September, 7:30pm
Thérèse and Pierrette at Holy Angels is a play about friendship and truth, set in a Quebec convent school in the 1940s. This will be the second development of Molly Innes’ translation into Scots of Serge Denoncourt’s theatrical adaptation of Michel Tremblay’s novel. Join Molly Innes, Director Lu Kemp and a cast of 11 – featuring 10 Scottish female actresses (and many familiar Quines) Deborah Arnott, Wendy Seager, Lesley Hart, Pauline Lockhart, Natalie Arle-Toyne, Joanna Tope, Nicola Jo Cully, Sally Reid, Victoria Liddelle, Kirstin McLean and Robbie Jack.
28 September, 7:30pm
Beyond the Mud Walls explores the life of Freda Bedi, an English political prisoner for India’s independence and the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism. This is the culmination of a years development supported by Creative Scotland, the Tom McGrath Trust and a Dance Base residency. Join Nalini Paul, Director Muriel Romanes and the cast including India Crawford, Paul Chaal and Shabana Bakhsh with dancers Sivaranjiha Sivaptham and Karen Watts from Dance Ihayami, weaving poetry and Indian classical dance into a rich, colourful backdrop.
We invite you to be part of the development of these plays through Rehearsal Rooms by joining in the discussions after the sharing.
How would you describe your current role and what do you like best about it?
Part-producer-part-creative-part-administrator-part-writer. Or at least that’s how I am feeling this morning. What makes me feel extraordinarily lucky to be able to make a living out of this is the breadth of people I get to meet and work with. My job is to explore with others the world we live in, and that’s a privilege.
What was your first ever job?
Plucking turkeys. Cold Christmas. Aged 12, having just become a vegetarian.
What made you want to work within theatre?
Sheer luck. I didn’t think the work being made at the university theatre was interesting. I met (the now playwright) Robert Evans while working on box office at the Traverse, and – when we weren’t selling tickets or answering phones – we sent bits of writing back and forth between us.
Has there been a particular person or an opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?
Randall Stevenson, my lecturer at university. He bothered to turn up to see the shows I made as a student. And, he was a brilliant lecturer who made me think that stories could really change the way we live.
What piece of theatre, performance or artist has had the most impact on you?
My sisters are a lot older than me, and the youngest of the two took me to see Robert Leplage’s Midsummer Night’s Dream when it came to London. I was blown away by it: the clarity of the visual metaphors he created on stage made me realize that stories don’t need to be told in words. I sat pouring over the programme and told my sister I was going to design programmes one day.
What advice would you give emerging female directors in theatre?
Only make work you think is necessary.
Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?
Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis Cypher, a young woman who performs as a drag king and has recently found her way into acting (she played Joan by Milk Productions at the Edinburgh Fringe this year). I’ve never seen anyone work so hard in a rehearsal room, so selflessly, and with such courage. And I admire her politics – she makes me think again.
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