Allotment by Jules Horne
“I carry my eyes around I point them at things. And everything’s so far away… but that’s not how the world is. Not for anyone else… Maybe grass is like skin. Maybe taste is like touch.”
Closely bound sisters Maddy and Dora do battle over flying teddies, stubborn weeds and the eternal question – do flowers matter more than vegetables? Join them for a cuppa, a homemade scone and a feast for the senses, all played out in the earth of an allotment. The sanctuary of Kate Nelson’s own allotment inspired her to stage a show there, so she worked with writer Jules Horne to devise the story of Maddy and Dora. With the support of Assembly, ALLOTMENT marked Nutshell’s return to the Fringe after a five-year break and went on to win an award from the Centre For Sustainable Practice in the Arts and a Scotsman Fringe First in 2011.
Thread by Jules Horne
Come roll your dice at the church hall beetle drive and share Joan, William and Izzy’s tangled lives. Friends since primary school and closer-than-close ever since, identities stitched together as intricately as their homemade party clothes. Living in the secure but suffocating embrace of a 1950s Scottish seaside community, who gets to become the person they want to be?Thread explores the choices we make and who we become when our memories start to fade.
Director Kate Nelson came across an ancient but intact sewing box crammed with threads, buttons and vintage haberdashery in a junk shop on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk. This carefully assembled treasure chest inspired the bittersweet tale of Izzy, William and Joan and their love of sewing, dancing and each other.
The Play O’ The Wather by John Heywood Translated by Edwin Stiven
The great God Jupiter is fed up with everyone moaning about the weather, so he hires Merry Courant, a ‘Master of the Revels’, to find out what the people want. On comes a cross-section of the public to have their say, each prepared to use bribery, seduction and even fancy biscuits to get their own way. A mix of fast funny Scots dialogue, original music and songs, the play has a bawdy energetic charm which went down a storm with audiences of all ages.
Meat by Sarah Colvin
This blackly funny tale of a twisted Faustian pact between two unlikely collaborators was accompanied by an irresistible soundtrack and some truly nifty magic. Set during the Falklands War, the play served up an unusual perspective on war and rising consumerism in early 80s Britain.
Things aren’t going well for Mr Grotius the butcher. Business is slow, his son is fighting in a far-off war, his daughter is constantly tired and his wife always seems to think a cuppa will make everything better. Then the magical and mysterious Jack Black enters his shop and conjures up an offer the butcher can’t refuse. Setting in motion a chain of events that change the world permanently, not just for Mr Grotius, but also his nearest and dearest.
Stars by Anja Hilling. Adapted by Sarah Colvin
They can’t wait till Tony reaches the apple tree. But when he does, things will never be the same again. Stars is a touching reflection on the loss of innocence. The play follows four close-knit young people through an unforgettable night with complex consequences that bind them together forever.
Crestfall by Mark O’Rowe
Enter a world so familiar yet strangely unreal. A world that exists on the margins of normal. In this dark and frightening place three women live through six nightmarish hours, through a day to end all days.
Crestfall premiered at The Gate in Dublin in 2003 to great critical acclaim. Nutshell’s production was its UK premiere and played to sell out audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Olive, Alison and Tilly’s stories are set in a place of darkness that seems to subvert all notions of reality. O’Rowe insists however that the play offers us a gleam of light at the end of a dark night of the soul.