Scenes for Survival

Lockdown is hitting hard, and Scotland’s National Theatre is desperate for submissions for its inspiring new project. Could the stage be set for the Kirktoon Players, the country’s “leading” amateur dramatics group, to step into the spotlight? Time to get their heads together and show these uppity professionals how it’s done.

Richard Conlon and Gail Watson co-write and star alongside Natalie MacDonald in a lively follow-up to the smash hit satire My Left Right Foot: The Musical from writer/director Robert Softley Gale.

Produced by National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Birds of Paradise Theatre Company, with support from Hopscotch Films.

Online theatre can’t ever be the ‘same’ as ‘in real life’ theatre, but we thought it’d be great to see how our characters are coping and adapting to the video calls that’ve become part of our daily lives. Over the past four months we’ve all been craving connection – because we’re not allowed to be together, we want it all the more. Ian and Sheena from ‘My Left / Right Foot’ are two characters who’ve been craving connection their whole lives – so we thought who better to check in on and see how they’re doing.

Robert Softley Gale – Writer & Director

Creative Team:

Robert Softley Gale: Writer & Director

A photo of Robert Softley Gale. He appears to be white and in his late 30s. He has brown hair that is spiked up at the front. He is wearing a blue top and is smiling widely.

Robert is the Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise (BOP), Scotland’s touring theatre company that promotes the work of disabled artists in partnership with non-disabled artists and mainstream theatre venues and companies. Robert sits on the board of the National Theatre of Scotland and his previous work with the company includes My Left/Right Foot the Musical (Birds of Paradise), Girl X (Traverse Theatre, Citizens Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, Eden Court Theatre). Other theatre works include If These Spasms Could Speak (Arches, toured to Brazil, Estonia, Ireland, India and USA), Wendy Hoose (Birds of Paradise), Purposeless Movements (nominated for CATS Best Director award).

Richard Conlon: Writer & Performer

A photo of Richard Conlon. He has short dark brown hair, blue eyes and a greying beard.

Richard trained at Queen Margaret University College.

Richard was involved in a number of award-winning productions including: TheBelle’s Stratagem which won Best Ensemble at The Critics’ Awards for Theatre inScotland 2018; and My Left Right Foot which won both a Fringe First Award and a Herald Angel Award in the Edinburgh Festival 2018.

Recent theatre credits include: Spuds (Glasgow Oran Mor); My Left Right Foot (National Theatre of Scotland/Birds of Paradise TC); Rachel’s Cousins (Edinburgh Traverse/Glasgow Oran Mor); The Whip Hand (Edinburgh Traverse/Birmingham Rep); God of Carnage,Harold & Maude (Glasgow Tron); The Belle’s Stratagem, Jumpy,The Iliad,The Crucible, A View From The Bridge,The Merchant of Venice,A Christmas Carol,As You Like It (all Edinburgh Lyceum); Fat Alice (Glasgow Oran Mor/Aberdeen Lemon Tree/Edinburgh Traverse); Propaganda Swing (Nottingham Playhouse/Coventry Belgrade); Aladdin,Jack & The Beanstalk (Edinburgh Brunton); Woman in Mind (Dundee Rep/Birmingham Rep); And Then There Were None (Dundee Rep); Macbeth (Perth Theatre); Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis (ABandC Theatre); Spuds, Right Now, Private Lives,St. Catherine’s Day, The Importance of Being Alfred,The Matinee Idle (Glasgow Oran Mor); Smalltown (Random Accomplice); Zorro,Peter Pan (Visible Fictions); Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (Paines Plough/Glasgow Oran Mor); First You’re Born (Plutot la Vie); Great Expectations (Prime Productions); Brightwater (Mull Theatre); Macbeth (National Theatre of Scotland’s Elgin Project); Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie,Woman in Black (St. Andrew’s Byre).

Richard was also an original member of the Dundee Rep Ensemble, with productions including All My Sons; A Family Affair; The Plague; Cabaret; and Flora The Red Menace, amongst others. He also returned to play Pirelli in Sweeney Todd.

Richard’s television and film credits include: Garrow’s Law (Shed Media/BBC); PC Elliott in Low Winter Sun (Tiger Aspect for Channel 4); Age of Genius (BBC); The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle (BBC); High Road (ITV); Taggart (ITV) and Bad Boys (BBC).

Aside from his many roles on stage and screen, he has also performed on several BBC radio broadcasts including comedies: The Ellis & Clark Show and The Knox Factor and dramas: Brothers; 44 Scotland Street; Rebus: The Black Book; Rough Magic; The Dead Hour; A Second Life; The Lady Detectives; and Benedict’s Rule.

Gail Watson: Writer & Performer

A photo of Gail Watson. She has long blonde hair which is tied back and blue eyes

Gail was born and raised in Bonnyrigg near Edinburgh where she lives with her husband and 2 sons. She has worked for 24 years as an actor.

Gail has had the pleasure of working with companies such as Grid Iron, Communicado, National Theatre of Scotland, and appeared in many productions at Traverse, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh Kings and Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Eden Court, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Perth Rep, the Byre Theatre, Oran Mor, Nottingham Playhouse and Exeter Northcott Theatre.

Gail was a part of Dundee Rep ensemble, and toured many shows over the years. She was in Morag Fullarton’s hit show Doris and Dolly and The Dressing Room Divas at the Oran Mor and Edinburgh Festival, which returned to the Rose Theatre for Gilded Balloon in winter 2018. She also played Patsy Cline in her production Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline for Oran Mor/Gilded Balloon.

She was nominated for best actress at the Edinburgh festival for her performance in Barflies and recently appeared as Sheena in National Theatre of Scotland/Birds of Paradise award winning hit musical My Left Right Foot – The Musical.

Her television work includes Shetland, In Plain Sight, Mrs McColl in BBC Katie Morag, Taggart, Still Game, Scottish Killers, Tesco advert ‘Helens Leg of Lamb’, River City, Gary Tank Commander, Crowdie and Cream, Wedding Belles, The Near Room Blue Haven (comedy pilot) and Bob Servant Independent.

Gail Watson on IMDb

Natalie MacDonal: Performer

A photo of Natalie MacDonald. She has curly ginger hair, blue eyes and a big smile.

Natalie MacDonald studied theatre at Langside College and RSMAD (RCS), then Interpreting Studies in British Sign Language to English, at Herriot Watt University.

Natalie registered with Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI) in 2003 and she has worked all over Scotland as a freelance interpreter, performer, director and theatre maker.

She specialises in making theatre creatively accessible for Deaf Audiences with interpreting and integrated BSL performances. Natalie believes that ALL theatre can be enhanced by BSL.

Natalie is a married mother of three children and loves introducing her children to the world of accessible theatre.

Some of Natalie’s previous work includes, Birds of Paradise, Solar Bear, NTS, Independance, Poorboy, Graeae, Communicado, RCS, Random Accomplice and Ramesh Meyyappan to name but a few.