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New theatre show for youngsters coming to the north-east

By Kyle Ritchie

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A timely new production for younger audiences aged eight and over - Shō and the Demons of the Deep - is coming to the north-east in April.

Independent Arts Projects (IAP) in association with National Theatre of Scotland is presenting the production which will be touring across Scotland.

It will be performed at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Wednesday, April 17 with tickets available from the National Theatre of Scotland website.

New theatre show Shō and the Demons of the Deep is coming to Aberdeen.
New theatre show Shō and the Demons of the Deep is coming to Aberdeen.

Shō and the Demons of the Deep is a visual adventure story about overcoming fear, and how the actions of one generation can affect the next.

The production is inspired by the powerful picture book of the same name by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko.

Shō’s city has been plagued by nightmares for as long as she can remember, but hers are the worst of all. One day, Shō had enough.

She throws her nightmares away into the river, where they wash out to sea. Soon people start copying her; the city is rid of its nightmares, and everyone is delighted.

But 60 years later, when the river becomes poisoned, to save her home, Shō’s granddaughter Hana must face her greatest fears.

Sho’s story unfolds through a magical mix of movement, music and miniature worlds, taking the audience from big cities to the ocean floor on a very big adventure.

Shō and the Demons of the Deep is a perfect story for the times we are living through; about young people dealing with anxiety and how to be a small brave person in a big scary world.

Writer Zoe Bullock said: "Shō and the Demons of the Deep is a hopeful, joyous show about how we can work together to confront what scares us.

“It's based on a beautiful picture book, and we've worked hard to do that justice and make something magical.

“Creating it with a wonderful team and the support of the NTS has been an absolute pleasure, and I can't wait to share the story with people across Scotland."

The production was supported through a National Theatre of Scotland Develop Residency in 2022.

Zoë Bullock is an award-winning writer based in Glasgow. Her writing for theatre includes The Listening Tree (Imaginate/Eco Drama, Edinburgh International Children’s Festival), Puss in Boots: A Solar Punk Pantomime (Hopscotch Theatre), Island Chains (New Earth Theatre, New Stories Festival), Octopus (Alpine Fellowship Award finalist).

Her short films include The Air We Breathe (Short Circuit, Grand Prize winner of The Script Lab Free Screenplay Contest 2023), Granny Fenella (Imaginate), Little Spoon’s Big Adventures (Visible Fictions), and the VR/360 experience Chamber 404 (Vroom Theatre/Camden People’s Theatre).

Director Shilpa T-Hyland's credits include Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Mor (Paul Morrissey, Christopher Wheeler, Molly Morris), Kissing Linford Christie (Catherine Wheels, co-director), The Guns of Johnny Diablo, The Prognostications of Mikey Noyce and Oscar (A Play, A Pie and A Pint), Revolution Days (Bijli), We’ll Meet in Moscow (Traverse) and Miss Julie (Horsecross). She previously worked with NTS as an associate director on Burn and The 306: Dusk (NTS, Horsecross).

IAP works with some of Scotland’s most talented and innovative artists and theatre makers to develop, produce and tour a programme of productions, arts projects, events and opportunities for people across Scotland and beyond.

Shō and the Demons of the Deep is supported by Creative Scotland's Touring Fund and Federation of Scottish Theatre. Development has been supported by Imaginate and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland.

Touring in 2024 to Platform, Easterhouse, Glasgow (Fri 12 & Sat 13 April); Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (Wed 17 April); Mareel, Shetland (Wed 24 April ); Mull Theatre (Tue 30 April); Dunoon Burgh Hall (Fri 3 May); Birnam Arts Dunkeld (Wed 8 May); Melrose Corn Exchange (Sat 11 May); Lyth Arts Centre, Wick (Fri 17 May) The Bridge, Dumfries (Tue 21 & Wed 22 May); Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (Mon 27 May – Thurs 30 May); Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (Mon 3 June) and Byre Theatre, St Andrews (Wed 5 June).

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