National Theatre of Scotland will be part of Pages of the Sea, Danny Boyle’s commission for 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. On 11 November 2018, the public is invited to gather on beaches across the UK for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.
Millions of people served in the First World War and many left by sea. National Theatre of Scotland will be leading events at five beaches across Scotland including St Andrews West Sands, Ayr and in Orkney on Sunday 11 November. Each event centres around the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.
Poet Carol Ann Duffy has been invited by Boyle to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on 11 November. Copies of the poem will be available at the beaches around the UK for those who wish to come together or to offer their own personal contribution.
Danny Boyle said:
“Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide. They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War. I’m inviting people to watch as the faces of the fallen are etched in the sand, and for communities to come together to remember the sacrifices that were made.”
The public is also invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on 11 November. The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.
Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of National Theatre of Scotland, said:
“The First World War had a devastating impact on Scotland, with tens of thousands of young lives lost and many more forever altered. Our nation has an enduring and emotive connection to the sea and our beautiful coastline has seen many come and go throughout history. Pages of the Sea will create an artistic tribute, both personal and communal, through art, words, pictures and stories, acknowledging all those who left our shores during WW1. As a theatre without walls, the National Theatre of Scotland welcomes this poignant opportunity to help bring communities together in this fitting act of remembrance”
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
“Danny Boyle has created a beautiful, poetic artwork that invites people across the UK to participate in a new nationwide gesture of remembrance on the centenary of Armistice Day. It is a fitting farewell to all of those who served and were affected by the First World War. I would like to thank Danny Boyle, Carol Ann Duffy and all our partners and funders for their help in realising this ambitious project.”
The work is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and delivered with partner organisations across the UK: National Trust; Activate Performing Arts; Creative Foundation; Eden Project; National Theatre Scotland; Nerve Centre; Swansea City Council and Sunderland Culture.
Supported by The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.With additional support from Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and National Rail.
The project is the latest collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland and 14-18 NOW. It follows the success of previous nationwide participatory projects We’re here because we’re here, with artist Jeremy Deller in 2016 marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, and PROCESSIONS earlier this year, which in Scotland saw thousands of women take to the streets of Edinburgh in a colourful march to celebrate the centenary of votes for women. 14-18 NOW also collaborated on the powerful The 306 trilogy, the final part of which, The 306: Dusk, premieres in Perth later this month.
The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting www.pagesofthesea.org.uk
For further press information please contact:
Event PR on behalf of National Theatre of Scotland
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Hashtag – #PagesOfTheSea
National Theatre of Scotland
Danny Boyle is a stage and film director, screenwriter and producer from Radcliffe, Manchester. Danny’s Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games wowed critics and audiences across the world. In 2009 Danny won eight Academy® Awards including Best Director and Best Picture for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
Additionally, Danny has directed the feature films SHALLOW GRAVE and TRAINSPOTTING, A LIFE LESS ORDINARY, THE BEACH, 28 DAYS LATER, MILLIONS, SUNSHINE, 127 HOURS, STEVE JOBS, TRANCE and TRAINSPOTTING T2. He has also directed highly acclaimed work in theatre and television, including 2011’s FRANKENSTEIN at the Royal National Theatre and, most recently, the FX series TRUST in 2018.
Danny is currently editing his most recent film, UNTITLED JACK AND ELLIE PROJECT, featuring the music of the Beatles, written by Richard Curtis and starting Himesh Patel and Lily James.
The National Theatre of Scotland
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. www.nationaltheatrescotland.com
14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7 million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s, ‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper has been seen by over 4 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award, 2017. 2018 is the final season, marking 100 years since the end of the First World War. 14-18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the DCMS with additional funding from The Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clore Duffield Foundation, NatWest and support from individuals.