Lack of direction

SCOTTISH theatre is suffering from a lack of training and career development opportunities for its directors.

Now Theatre Directors Scotland (TDS) are calling on the leaders of the cultural sector in Scotland to join them to “come together and fill this gap”.

TDS) has invited Artistic Directors to attend a meeting on October 14 at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall.

A spokesperson for TDS said; “The meeting will look to address the gap that assisting, studio shows and touring used to fill - and how the sector can better support emerging directors moving up from the fringes to in house productions.

“Many of today’s leading theatre directors’ careers were launched through channels such as Regional Theatres Young Directors Scheme, National Theatre of Scotland Trainee Directors, The Arches Award for Stage Directors, Channel 4 Theatre Directors Scheme and the Scottish Arts Council-funded trainee, assistant and associate director placements.

“These channels no longer exist.”

The likes of Gareth Nicholls (Traverse), Gill Robertson (Catherine Wheels), Fiona Ferguson (Imaginate), Fiona Sturgeon Shea (Playwrights’ Studio), Laura Mackenzie Stuart (Creative Scotland) and Muireann Kelly (Theatre Gu Leor) have confirmed their attendance for the meeting.

Chair of Theatre Directors Scotland, Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir said: “It’s clear the training and career development opportunities for directors in Scotland played a crucial role in so many of the careers of the respected and accomplished directors we see today.

“What’s also clear is that these training and career development opportunities have been lost and nothing has been put in place to replace them.”

Wax on

RUBY Wax is bringing her new hit show How To Be Human, based on her bestselling book How to Be Human: The Manual, to the Edinburgh Fringe.

The show is the follow-up to Ruby’s sell out tours Sane New World and Frazzled.

It incorporates what she discovered while writing her latest book, How to Be Human: The Manual.

The theatre show develops Wax’s determination to figure out how the human mind works, and she talks of learning from the likes of monk Gelong Thubten and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura.

“Everything that makes us ‘us’ can be found in the brain,” she says. “We can’t stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we’re on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, mechanical fingers crossed, we’ll still have our minds.

“Hopefully we’ll use them for things like compassion, instead of just chasing what’s ‘better’ like a hamster on a wheel.”

Wax adds; “If we can do that, we’re on the yellow brick road to happiness.”

How To Be Human, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 18-24.

Dead equal women

WOMEN remain the unsung heroes of the British Army. But now a new opera, Dead Equal, is “giving them their voice.”

This pioneering production weaves together gripping testimonies from contemporary servicewomen of the royal army medical corps with the largely untold story of Flora Sandes and Emily Simmonds; volunteer nurses who together saved thousands of lives on the Balkan Front in World War One.

When instructed to retreat with medical staff, Sandes instead joined the Serbian Allied Army, becoming the only British woman who officially served as a soldier in World War I – rising to the rank of captain and being decorated.

Dead Equal is written by Lila Palmer with music by Rose Miranda Hall. The Fringe, August 2 - 25.