SHIFT finale to take place at Summerlee

The SHIFT finale will take place in March. Pic: MeganMcEachern
The SHIFT finale will take place in March. Pic: MeganMcEachern

SHIFT, the National Theatre of Scotland’s major new arts project for the people of North Lanarkshire, is set to culminate in a site-specific performance at Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in March.

The project, which is created in partnership with National Theatre of Scotland, CultureNL, and North Lanarkshire Council, will be brought to life by a cast including members of the local community.

The National Theatre of Scotland is looking for a community cast to perform and tell the work stories of the people of North Lanarkshire in SHIFT’s final event and are hosting community workshops in Bellshill today (Wednesday) and Airdrie on Friday for those that interested in becoming involved.

Situated in Coatbridge, once known as the ‘Iron Burgh’ and a significant contributor to Scotland’s ‘industrial heartland’, Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life is built on the site of the former Summerlee Ironworks, a Lanarkshire factory at the core of the Scottish smelting industry and of such national importance that its 19th century remains are listed by Historic Environment Scotland as a Scheduled Monument.

Summerlee Museum will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in March and this production will form part of its birthday programme.

Directed by National Theatre of Scotland Associate Director, Simon Sharkey, SHIFT will be a large-scale, multi-media theatrical event featuring original music and words from punters, poets, playwrights and pen-smiths from across North Lanarkshire.

SHIFT will tell the stories of the many ‘shifts’ put in by the workers who built the world and created our future.

SHIFT will be a visceral immersion into a world of work where senses will be stirred with the sights, sounds and smells of bygone eras, bright new futures and urgent new ideas hatching around us.

Told through song, poetry and prose it will introduce the ordinary people and the extraordinary leaders who shaped and tested our society through hard graft.

Mothers, farmers, soldiers, nurses, politicians, steel workers, teachers, thinkers, designers, scientists, shop assistants and factory workers will gather in one space to celebrate their past and step boldly in to an unknown future.

A National Theatre of Scotland team of artists continue to work with CultureNL arts, venues, museums and heritage, and libraries teams to reach into the heart of local communities to collect stories and insights about the world of work which will be transformed throughout the project into art works.

The Community Cast recruitment workshops wil take place in Bellshill Cultural Centre today (Wednesday) and Airdrie Town Hall on Friday, both from 7-9pm.

Rehearsals will be Monday and Wednesday evenings with a few extras added in the lead up to the final performances.

Open to everyone over the age of 18, no acting experience is necessary and all venues are wheelchair accessible, email shift@nationaltheatrescotland.com if you have any other access requirements or questions.

You can also join in the conversation on Facebook.

SHIFT will be performed from Thursday, March 29, to Sunday, April 1, with doors open at 7.45pm for an 8pm start each night.

Tickets costing £10 (£8/£5 Year of Young People) are available by calling the box office on 01698 403120 or online