WHEN the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) launched itself upon an unsuspecting populace in February 2006, it was with simultaneous events in cities, rural locations and on the islands, all different and all called Home. Founding artistic director Vicky Featherstone was not only giving a large number of those working in Scottish theatre the opportunity to be involved in the opening event by the NTS, she was also dramatically illustrating what it meant to be a “Theatre Without Walls” which made it its business to serve the widest possible audience in the sometimes geographically-challenging country that had called it into being.

I am not for a moment suggesting that the current NTS artistic director Jackie Wylie has ripped off her predecessor with the company’s contribution to the Year of Young People (YOYP), but Futureproof, which is currently underway across the nation, does do much the same job, particularly in its spread of locations and the way in which it has involved representatives of the local community wherever it is happening.

Back in 2006, as a hastily-recruited and greatly expanded team of Herald critics was dispatched to review all the different Homes, and I went to Home Dundee to witness Kenny Miller’s recreation of a 1950s dancehall in the MacManus Galleries, incorporating the reminiscences of folk from local care homes. The two Futureproof shows I have attended so far, in Forres and in Paisley, have made superb use of the witness of local residents at the other end of the age spectrum, as you would expect in a YOYP project. I am fairly sure, however, that when Event Scotland approached the NTS to make a contribution to the celebratory year, what they vaguely had in mind was a sort of one-off single location showcase for the talents of Scotland’s young folks.

Instead, what Wylie and her posse of producers have done is team theatre makers from across the UK and further afield (including Russia, Canada and Australia) who have ready-developed templates of practice, with groups of youngsters across Scotland to create fresh, new and dynamic site-specific work. The most widely covered event saw Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore of Glas(s) Performance work with young offenders in Polmont prison. In Moray, A Mile in My Shoes was a one-to-one experience created by Empathy Museum that allowed me to listen on headphones to the challenging reality of one teenager’s life as I took a stroll around her hometown in her footwear.

This week I joined about 30 other people buckled up in rows of seats in the back of a truck belonging to Germany’s Rimini Protokoll and was taken on a guided tour of Paisley by Jamie Ireland and Eve Grant (and driver Fergus McAllister). Do’s and Don’ts was a show about rules and regulations as they affect all of us, young and old, but delivered from the perspective of growing up in Paisley. The technical expertise of the professional structure, mixing live action with video feed from the cab and specially shot film screened between opportunities to look at real life in real time through one-way windows, was teamed with the talent from PACE Youth Theatre, which has been creating clever shows with Paisley talent for 30 years. Funny and moving, as well as informative and slightly scary, it is a thought-provoking riposte to the ubiquitous open-topped city tour. There’s no hop-on hop-off with this one, but take the chance to catch the bus for its final performances today or tomorrow if you can.

Possibly nearer at hand for some readers will be the Futureproof shows this weekend at Eden Court in Inverness (Hacks for the Future), the Rothes Halls, Glenrothes (Lots & Not Lots), or Aberdeen Beach (ReWIND Perspective), while productions at Mareel in Lerwick (The World Is A Wedding) and Ayr Gaiety (Wild Life FM) come onstream next week.