A proposal for a major participatory theatre production drawn up by Shetland Arts and the National Theatre of Scotland has been shortlisted for one of the UK’s biggest performance awards.
If it sees off the other five contenders, the plan for Ignition, about our complex relationship with the car in modern life, will secure £175,000 from the Calouste Gubenkian Foundation.
Ignition, which was inspired by the death of Stuart Henderson, a promising member of Shetland Youth Theatre who died at the age of 18 in a road accident in 2007, is to be set outdoors and will take audience members on an “emotional and physical journey” across Shetland by car.
The award was set up to support the creation of a new and spectacular production which will genuinely engage with local people.
The six ideas were chosen from 62 bids submitted by producing companies across the UK.
The other five shortlisted proposals include an interactive virtual version of a Brecht/Weill opera (Birmingham Opera Company); a Bonfire night spectacle involving homeless and disenfranchised men (Duckie, London); a dynamic poetry-based theatre production led by young British Somalis in Butetown, Cardiff (National Theatre Wales); the creation of a surreal world in Cornwall and London where the relationship between humans and animals will be explored (Wildworks); and a London production inspired by the film Beijing Bicycle with indoor and outdoor performances on bikes (Young Vic, London).
The winner will be announced in late June and work will start immediately to develop the production with a £75,000 grant. The final production in 2013 will be awarded a further £100,000.