Glasgow-based writer, actor and movement specialist Nat McCleary joins forces with director and performer Johnny McKnight to create this uniquely Scottish play.
Sweat. Opposition. Negotiation. Hold on tight.
Five wildly different women gather in the muddy fields of the Highland Games circuit to compete in the obscure art of backhold wrestling. The pearls are off, influencer videos posted, imitation Gucci bag from the Barras market set aside as the bold beginners attempt to become a team and win the championship. But nothing will prepare them for the competition that could stop them taking home the trophy – each other. Will their differences throw Imogen, Chantelle, Jo, Pamela and Helen’s chances of success in the mud?
Poignant and dynamic, Thrown gets to grips with belonging and identity in Scotland. It will be funny, it will be loud, it will be brutal.
An iconic 21st-century institution, born of the times we live in
The Scotsman on National Theatre of Scotland
Nat McCleary Writer
Johnny McKnight Director
Karen Tennent Set Designer
Lizzie Powell Lighting Designer
Sabrina Henry Costume Designer
Luke Sutherland Composer
Tom Penny Sound Designer
Lucy Glassbrook Movement Director
Niloo Far Khan Associate Director
Carolyn McLeod, CGD, CSA Casting Director
I grew up storytelling – mostly to get out of trouble – but it was obvious from a young age that I loved creating imagined realities. Now, I’m buzzed to find that I can actually be paid to do that. And so here is my first story. I hope to tell stories that interrogate the messy human struggle, that allow me to wrestle out my understanding of myself and approach the perspective and experiences of others with a sense of awe. I find telling the stories of fictional people fosters in me empathy rather than disdain, curiosity rather than condemnation and a realisation that people are beautifully and painfully complex. My hope is this will be true for more than just me. I’m so humbled that you are here, willing to listen to a story that doesn’t give neat answers (a fiction in itself) nor guarantees to reinforce your perspective. Thank you. As a person in process, my stories will be too. Let the process begin.
– Nat McCleary
It’s an honour to present to you Thrown, written by Nat McCleary in their playwriting debut. This has been an absolute labour of love to work on. To watch Nat mould, shape and perfect the text with a forensic intensity to create a piece of work as layered as the country it’s made in. Thrown asks many questions but the ones I find myself continually coming back to are – what is ‘team’ and why does it matter?
In the case of Thrown, the team is the fantastic cast, creatives and production team who’ve come together to present the work with a wit and humour that makes it a pleasure to step into the ring every day; it’s the audiences who've given us their precious time to engage with the work.
Team is the belief that making live theatre is important. That what we do will keep the sport of theatre fit and robust, so long as we keep reimagining, growing, expanding our voices and viewpoints. I think collective experience is something we not only crave, but need. Hopefully tonight you find moments in the show that remind you why it’s important, that remind you of the unmissable experience of sitting with strangers in the dark and sharing a story. But most of all, I hope you enjoy.
– Johnny McKnight
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