Friday 21 November 2014

Our YouTube Channel!

If you fancy a peek at some of the development we've been doing on SpectreTown, head over to our YouTube channel! We've started uploading videos and images from the past couple of months, and there'll be more to follow shortly :-)

As an example of the things we'll be featuring on there, here's a taste of the audience talk-back at the Tullynessle and Forbes Hall near Alford. This is actor Aberdeen-born Bridget McCann talking about working in her own dialect, followed by one of the lovely audience members sharing her experience and perceptions on protecting our indigenous languages and dialects.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Making noise in SpectreTown

Last week was a brilliant week for playing with and presenting the ideas we're working on for SpectreTown. It was a real privilege to be in a rehearsal room with such a talented and imaginative bunch of people. Emily Reutlinger, Susan Martin, Aiyana D'Arcangelo, Matt Regan, Lucy Goldie, Bridget McCann and Mark Wood - thanks everyone for launching yourself at this play! Head to our Projects page for more images and stories from last week....

On Friday night we were welcomed into the Traverse to share what we'd been working on. Here's the piece I wrote with Emily for the Traverse blog....
'As a writer it’s very daunting to be showing a work-in-progress - it’s something I expected to feel lucky getting out of alive! So I was really pleased when the Traverse offered to include my play, SpectreTown, in Hothouse – what better place to experiment with ideas in front of an audience hungry to see and take part in the development of new work than at Scotland’s home for new writing? Everyone on the Traverse team, from marketing to the technical staff, were brilliantly supportive.
For emerging companies in Scotland, sharing the process of making the work along the way has become a vital part of building both audience and industry support as well as crucial funding.  We found that being able to showcase this work at the Traverse elevated both the standard of expectation as well as our own ambitions for the piece.
Last year we played to a packed Traverse One during our tour of The Idiot at the Wall, and so beginning our second show with this Traverse platform was a great way to continue building a relationship with Edinburgh audiences. The focus of our week-long development workshop in Cumbernauld was on exploring the different worlds, styles, and voices set out in the first draft of SpectreTown and to try and push the boundaries of what each of those elements might be. There was something both terrifying and affirming for us as a company to jump up in front of an audience at the end of that week and present those explorations – but it felt like an incredibly important leap.'
Big thank you to all at the Traverse for having us. Photos to follow!
On Saturday we left home in the dark and made the trip up to the Tullynessle and Forbes Hall, near Alford. It was really important to us that we brought our work-in-progress to a local North East audience, though honestly we wondered if a) anyone would show up, and b) we would be run out of town for mixing bothy ballads with electronic music.....! In the end over 40 folk showed up, and we had such a lovely afternoon of new writing, songs, tea, scones, and tons of interesting chat!
Thanks very much to Blair Dingwall at the Press and Journal for the chat, and the lovely piece!

Great to talk with Doric speakers about the state of things for their own dialect. We were also honoured to have the wonderful Sheena Blackhall join us to sing some bothy ballads - one very sad, and one utterly filthy....and there's nothing like seeing a polite crowd sing along to a song like that.....brilliant! We'll be posting videos shortly so watch this space :-) In the meantime, Aiyana's getting the tea on!

Thanks to everyone at Cumbernauld Theatre for hosting our development week, and for all the ongoing support of our progression as a company. See you again soon!

Elspeth xo

Saturday 18 October 2014

Off to the Traverse, then up to Tullynessle!

Work continues on our new play, SPECTRETOWN. This week we'll be in development at Cumbernauld Theatre studio, and at the end of the week we'd love to share our work with YOU!

We're really excited to be sharing a work-in-progress this coming Friday, the 24th of October at the Traverse in Edinburgh. Click here to book!

On Saturday we're heading up to the Tullynessle and Forbes Hall, Alford. We're really looking forward to sharing some ideas, songs, and good chat with local audiences. Maybe we can practice our Doric too :-) This event if FREE! Click here for more details.

Big thanks to Creative Scotland, Cumbernauld Theatre, The Traverse, NEAT, and Tullynessle and Forbes Hall for supporting this development.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Development begins!

We were delighted recently to be getting our bearings around Cumbernauld Theatre as we moved in for a few days. Emily and I spent some time in the lovely studio there....

 We were working with three wonderful actors, and it was pretty special for me to hear my first draft of this new play, set in contemporary Aberdeen, read aloud for the first time. Thanks to the actors Bridget McCann, Keith Macpherson and Lucy Goldie for their sensitive and insightful reading of the characters, and to Emily for guiding us through this first script development.


We then spent a lot of time unpicking the play, the characters, themes, and everyone was very generous in the feedback about what did and didn't work. My mind was pretty much blown by all the discoveries we made, and I'm psyched to be cracking on with the next draft.

Thanks to all at Cumbernauld for the warm welcome - we're really looking forward to hanging out with you guys some more in October, when we return for development Part 2!

Last week we also had a brilliant production meeting. Great for us all to be in the same room together, planning the journey of this new show, and also making arrangements for January and another tour of 'The Idiot at the Wall'. Our much-loved Hebridean folk tale will be playing dates at Cumbernauld Theatre, Celtic Connections, and another festival we can't announce yet, but watch this space! #HappyIdiots. Also great to start working and planning with new Associate Artistic Director Tony Cownie, who is heading up lots of things at Cumbernauld whilst Ed's away.

Big Thank you to Ed Robson for all the invaluable guidance and support since we began our residency at Cumbernauld - all the best on your adventures Ed!

Hurrah for Autumn 2014!

Elspeth xo

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Our Board is growing :-)

As we embark on this really exciting residency at Cumbernauld Theatre, it's great to see our Board of Trustees growing in strength. There are many reasons for becoming a trustee of a company, but perhaps the most important one is the desire to use your skills and knowledge to support the progress and development of new enterprises, and I'm delighted to have the support and guidance of these two talented ladies:

Jayne Sledmore (Chair)

Jayne works for The Scottish Government as a Procurement specialist. A force of nature in project-planning, development and accountability, Jayne is massively passionate in her support of the arts and will be a huge asset to the Stoirm Òg family as she helps us to drive things forward. I've known Jayne since we were at High School in Dunfermline together and I'm so proud to be watching her storm ahead in her field. Thanks Jayne :-)

Severine Wyper - Producer and Manager, Vanishing Point Theatre Company

I met Sevi through the excellent Cultural Enterprise Office, who introduced me to her as someone in need of a wee bit guidance and mentoring! What I loved about Sevi from the off was her positive, direct, and aspirational approach to theatre-making - especially when it came to new artists getting started. When I told her that at less than a year old, we wanted to tour The Idiot at the Wall (i.e. 8 people on the road) around the Highlands and Islands, she championed our spirit and immediately set us on our path with incredibly good advice on how to actually do it. #positivityrules. As producer and manager of one of Scotland's most powerful forces in theatre, Vanishing Point, Severine has mountains of wisdom and vision to offer on making theatre happen. I'm so thrilled and honoured to have her join our Board and am excited to work together some more. Thanks Sevi!
If you are passionate about theatre and are interested in joining the Stoirm Òg Board of Trustees, feel free to get in touch with us at We are particularly interest in hearing from those with a background in Finance. If you are interested in joining us through the Arts and Business Scotland Board Bank programme, contact Catriona Reynolds at Many thanks to Catriona and Arts and Business for their support.
Tioraidh an-dràsda!

Elspeth xo

Cumbernauld Company in Residence announced!

Today we are so thrilled to announce that we have taken up the post of Company in Residence at Cumbernauld Theatre. Over the next year we will be working with Cumbernauld to develop new work, grow and move forward as a company, and explore new working practices. We are being mentored by the theatre's brilliant Artistic Director, Ed Robson, whose passion for theatre and tenacity of approach is massively inspiring. The culmination of the residency will be the premiere of my new play in co-production with Cumbernauld at the Fringe 2015. Stay tuned for more news, and if you haven't already, follow us on Twitter for all the latest!

Click here for more information about The Cumbernauld Theatre, including its exciting new building project!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Welcome Claire!

Stoirm Òg is growing again! I'd like to extend an official welcome to our new Producer, Claire Brogan. For the past few months, Claire has been doing brilliant work alongside Aiyana and myself, focusing on development and fundraising. I'm massively excited to have her join us as we move the company forwards in what is turning into a super-exciting year!

A wee bit more about Claire...

Claire is a freelance Producer and Development Manager from Fife. She studied English and Drama at Manchester Metropolitan University and then subsequently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She began her Arts career working for Live Nation, in a range of venues from the Edinburgh Playhouse, Sunderland Empire, Palace Theatre Manchester and the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, in a variety of management roles. Claire comes to Stoirm Og after five years working as Business Manager at Cumbernauld Theatre, bringing with her a wide range of skills and experience in Business Management and Planning, Finance and Fundraising, and Touring and Project Management. 

Hooray! Stay tuned for more news :-)


Thursday 27 March 2014

New Projects and Tours!


March is almost over! How'd that happen?! This lucky girl got to begin 2014 in Australia. Fascinating country! Definitely want to go back and explore more sometime....

I've been busy writing, learning Gaidhlig, and seeing some amazing, inspiring theatre. Managed to catch NTS's mind-blowing production of David Greig's 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart' last weekend. Loved it so much on Friday, I took my Dad back to see it on the Saturday. Just loved it. Came away thinking in verse and moved by thoughts of love and ballads and this great country :-) Pals Annie Grace and Aly Macrae were on their finest form!

I've also been lucky enough to see The Lyceum's production of UNION twice - and what an inspiring, ambitious, rowdy, colourful night of theatre it is! A beautifully poetic rendering of the events of 1707 which led to the Scottish parliament voting itself out of existence. Heartening and bolstering to see this enthralling, important, and under-taught period in our history brought to life by one of our most exciting new playwrights, Tim Barrow. Hooray for The Lyceum Theatre and Mark Thomson for this epic production. I'm gaun agin on Saturday with the whole family! Do check it oot :-)

2014 is starting to heat up for Stoirm Òg :-) We've just received news from Creative Scotland that we're being awarded funding to develop our next project - a new play set in Scotland's North East. Stay tuned for more news!

There's an addition to the Stoirm Òg team! Claire Brogan is joining us as our Producer and Development Officer. I'm really excited to work with her and Aiyana as we plough ahead with various projects in 2014. More details on Claire to follow. She's ace :-)

We're busy planning another tour of THE IDIOT AT THE WALL. This is scheduled for January - April 2015, and we'll be taking in venues across the UK and Ireland. If you're interested in booking the show, drop us a line at

Finally, it gives me great pleasure to present to you our beautiful new trailer for THE IDIOT AT THE WALL. Filmed and edited by exciting Edinburgh film-maker Robbie Jones. Click HERE !! Thanks Robbie xxx

I have one more piece of news which I can't tell you quuuuiiiiite yet....but soon!

Slàinte mhòr, agus a-maireach gun smal,

Ealasaid xo

Wednesday 15 January 2014


I'm off to Australia!! See you in February!!

Elspeth xo