Leader: New NTS head must keep the faith
ONE of the great success stories of Scottish culture this century so far has been the success – artistic, critical, popular and commercial – of the National Theatre of Scotland.
It has scored international success with productions such as Black Watch; it has brought theatre to village halls and community centres across Scotland; and it has had the bravery to take risks, as the couple of mercifully rare duds in its repertoire will attest. Much of its success has been down to the deft touch of its first artistic director Vicky Featherstone, who will shortly depart for the Royal Court Theatre in London.
Today the identity of the man who will have to fill Ms Featherstone’s shoes is announced. Laurie Sansom is like his predecessor, in that he does not come from a big national cultural institution, but instead has an excellent track record in innovative smaller-scale productions in English regional theatre. Ms Featherstone showed herself more than capable of making the leap to the National Theatre of Scotland and it is to be hoped that Mr Sansom will do likewise.
This is a difficult job. It requires an exceptional team leader, administrator and creative force. This is a critical appointment for our national theatre, how it proceeds now is crucial in establishing itself as a mature force for good and cementing its place in Scotland’s cultural identity. When the nation in question is about to do some serious soul-searching about whether it should be an independent country, the stakes rise even higher.
We wish Mr Sansom all the very best. The NTS is one of the jewels in our cultural establishment and we hope it continues to shine as brightly in the future.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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