Directed by Stewart Laing, written by Pamela Carter, associate director Eve Nicol,designed by Stewart Laing and Nick Miller, lighting design by Zerlina Hughes, sound design by Fiona Johnston. video production by Anna Chaney, choreography by Natali McCleary.
Cast includes Kiruna Stamell, Rosina Bonsu, Ross Mann, and Zachary Hing, and 150,000 leafcutter ants, with songs and music by Carla J Easton.
At Tramway, Glasgow from 27 June to 06 July 2019 with an opening performance on Saturday 29 June at 7.30pm
Power and people and pop music!
Them! is a visionary new multi-media performance event from Stewart Laing and long-term collaborator Pamela Carter tackling the nebulous nature of identity in a changing world. In a performance propelled by music, television, film, and dynamic theatre-making, expectations will be subverted from beginning to end.
Them! brings the audience onto the set of a live TV chat show. The lights are up, cameras are rolling, the host meets their guest, and the house band perform. A celebrated Scottish theatre-maker appears on the couch promoting his new Glasgow-set remake of Them!, the seminal 1950s creature-feature.
But everything begins to change, and as the scene shifts from the TV studio to a crowded club night at the end of the world, the audience see race, class, and cultural identity come to the fore.
A diverse cast of performers will take to the chat show stage in the roles of host and interviewees. Each of the performer’s unique characteristics contribute to a compelling narrative about the nature of identity and what makes us who we are.
Kiruna Stamell plays the show’s Host. Kiruna is a celebrated Australian actress, known for her work in Moulin Rouge, EastEnders, Life’s Too Short and roles with the National Theatre and in London’s West End. She is joined on the sofa by Rosina Bonsu, Ross Mann, and Zachary Hing.
The production will also feature live music composed and performed by Glaswegian synth-pop heroine Carla J Easton and her band. A founding member of all-girl pop/rock outfit Teen Canteen, Carla’s second solo album Impossible Stuff was released to critical acclaim in October 2018.A filmed extract from the Them! remake, which features Eugene Kelly of Scottish alt-rock trendsetters The Vaselines, is also central to the production.
Taking inspiration from the original ‘50s B-movie Them! which sees a nest of giant irradiated ants attacking Los Angeles, the production will feature a colony of 150,000 leafcutter ants, which will be installed at Tramway for the duration of the run. The ant colony has been supplied by Andrew Stephenson, one of the world’s leading experts in Leafcutter Ant husbandry.
Stewart Laing and Pamela Carter specialise in creating complex narrative projects, blending multiple art forms, collaborating with diverse talents from cinematographers, model-makers, TV directors, visual artists, designers, performers and musicians.
This will be Stewart’s first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. He has previously worked with the Company on the ambitious meta-theatrical event show Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner, which was a success on its premiere at Tramway in 2013 and presented as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in 2015. He is also Artistic Director of Untitled Projects.
Join the conversation #Them
Dates: 27 June to 06 July 2019
Venue: Tramway, 25 Albert Dr, Glasgow G41 2PE
Ticket price: £12/15 (£5 for Futureproof Passport holders)
Kiruna is an actress with an international career in film, television and theatre. Originally from Australia, she’s now a UK citizen and lives in Birmingham. Them! is Kiruna’s debut for the National Theatre of Scotland. Kiruna has been performing across the UK in theatre in both classic and contemporary plays for over 10 years. She has starred as Anna, in the Olivier-Award-nominated production ‘The Government Inspector’, and performed at the National Theatre in London, three times, including: ‘Everyman’ directed by Rufus Norris, written by Carol Ann Duffy, movement by Javier De Frutos and with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role, Tim Crouch’s ‘An Oak Tree’ and Richard Bean’s ‘Great Britain’, which marked her West End debut. Kiruna’s film and television credits include: Play School, Mirrah Foulkes’ ‘Judy and Punch’, Giuseppe Tornatore’s ‘Deception‘ (aka ‘The Best Offer’), Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge’, Ricky Gervais’s, ‘Life’s Too Short’, the BBC’s, ‘Father Brown’, ‘Holby City’, ‘All The Small Things/Heart and Soul’ and ‘EastEnders’, and Channel 4’s, ‘Cast-offs’.
Ross trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Theatre includes: Jack & the Beanstalk II – Return of the Farmer (Eastwood Park Theatre), We Interrupt This Programme (Òran Mór), Selkie (Òran Mór), Lifesaving (Òran Mór), Emancipation Acts (Glasgow Life), Cain’s Book (Untitled Projects), The Maids (Citizens Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Bard In The Botanics), The Changeling (Òran Mór), The Train to Xi’an (The Arches).Television includes: Outlander, As It Occurs To Me (web series). Film includes: Beats (UK Release 17th May 2019),Reverb, I Am The Architect and Not A Word.
Theatre includes : Pah-La (Royal Court); Forgotten 遗忘 (Arcola/ Theatre Royal, Plymouth); Why is the Sky Blue? (Southwark); Jubilee(Royal Exchange, Manchester/Lyric, Hammersmith). Workshops include: Pericles (National); Timeless & Twelfth Night (National Youth Theatre); Spider Girls (Head For Heights)
Rosina Bonsu came to Glasgow in 1984 as the Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet Steps Out. She subsequently worked as the founder director of Dance House, Glasgow. Rosina currently teaches at West College and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and continues to work freelance in educational and professional settings. Rosina’s work has spanned solo performance work, movement direction and choreography for dance and theatre companies, festivals and schools.
Stewart has directed for the Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Dundee Rep, Traverse Theatre, Garsington Opera, Scottish Opera, Grange Park Opera, Norrlandsoperan, Malmö Opera and the Bavarian State Opera’s Opera Studio.
He originally trained as a theatre designer at Central School of Art and Design in London. He has worked extensively as a theatre designer throughout the UK and internationally. He has designed for the West End and Broadway, winning a Tony Award for his work on the musicalTitanic. His most recent designs include the epic production of The Hairy Ape at The Park Avenue Armory in New York.
Stewart is also Artistic Director of Untitled Projects, which he formed in 1998. Recent Untitled Projects include: The End of Eddy (2018): The first English language stage adaptation of Edouard Louis’ best-selling French novel. Directed by Stewart Laing and adapted by Pamela Carter, the show was made with the Unicorn Theatre for young people. Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner (2013): A co-production with National Theatre of Scotland, Tramway and Summerhall, the production was part of the Dublin Theatre Festival 2014, Ystad Theatre Festival 2014 and the Edinburgh International Festival 2015. The Salon Project (2011 + 2013) was originally presented in a co-production with the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. A 2nd edition of The Salon Project was presented in 2013 at the Citizens Theatre and at the Barbican in London as part of SPILL Festival of Performance. Other productions for Untitled Projects include: J G Ballard Trilogy (2000);blind_sight (2004); Slope (2006); An Argument About Sex (2008); and Slope Redux (2014).
Pamela is a playwright and dramaturg. Her plays include: Lines (Yard Theatre); Fast Ganz Nah/Almost Near (Theater Dresden); Skåne (Hampstead Theatre; winner of the New Writing Commission at the Berliner Festspiele Stückemarkt in 2012); What We Know (Traverse Theatre); Wildlife (Magnetic North Theatre Co). Her work with Stewart Laing includes: The End of Eddy, Slope, Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and An Argument About Sex (After Marivaux).
Since 2010 she has written for the internationally renowned Swedish artists Goldin+Senneby. She also writes for dance and opera, and has recently adapted a Don Delillo short story for composer Lliam Paterson and Scottish Opera, and is currently writing a music theatre piece based on the true story of a group of London schoolboys lost in the Black Forest in 1936, for Theater Freiburg in Germany. As dramaturg and writer with Vanishing Point Theatre, she has made the award-winning Interiors, Saturday Night, and Tomorrow.
She has also made work for the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Dance Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Tramway, LIFT, the Young Vic, Hampstead Theatre, and Malmö Opera House amongst others.
The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. As well as creating ground-breaking productions and working with the most talented theatre-makers, the National Theatre of Scotland produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works constantly to develop new talent. Central to this is finding pioneering ways to reach current and new audiences and to encourage people’s full participation in the Company’s work.
With no performance building of its own, the Company works with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. Founded in 2006, the Company, in its short life, has become a globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.