Magnetic North Blog

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Work with us! Artistic Administrator

Magnetic North’s work integrates producing and touring theatre with artist development and support. With new Regular Funding from Creative Scotland, we are looking to appoint an Artistic Administrator working on a 40% contract (average of 2 days a week, working flexibly according to programme requirements) for an initial 12 month contract. The Artistic Administrator post will particularly focus on the artist development and support element of our work, as well as assisting the Producer and Artistic Director across the whole of the company’s output.

Salary: £25,000 per annum pro-rata
Contract: Initial 12 month contract, with the potential for extension
Hours: 0.4 fte (2 days/week at 8 hours/day)

Please download this pdf document for more information and to apply.

 

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New Zealand Playwright Exchange – Year 2

Magnetic North, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland and Playmarket New Zealand are delighted to announce that playwright, theatre-maker, actor and musician Morna Young has been selected for the second year of an international exchange between the two countries.

Funded jointly by Creative Scotland and Creative New Zealand, the residency is the reciprocal stage of a playwright exchange between Scotland and New Zealand.

Morna will be hosted as a Playwright-in-Residence by BATS Theatre and Toi Põneke Arts Centre in Wellington, New Zealand. The companies will commission a full-length play from Morna and accommodate her for 12 weeks to write in their organisations. During the residency, Morna will also take part in Magnetic North’s first Rough Mix in New Zealand as well as a one-week writing residency at Strathean Retreat in Te Horo with Playmarket New Zealand.

Inspired by the traditions of Scottish and Mãori cultures, Morna’s play will be an exploration of our human connection to the elements, of landscape memory and emigrated culture. Following on from successful Scotland-wide tours of her plays Neverland and Netting, this opportunity will allow Morna to develop her writing through collaboration with international arts organisations and individuals. As Morna says, “In a time where borders and national identities are becoming trickier and more restrictive, the chance to embrace international exchange feels vital and poignant.”

The exchange builds on a hugely successful pilot in 2016, where New Zealand playwright Arthur Meek was Writer-in-Residence with Magnetic North. The resulting play, Erewhon, was subsequently co-produced by Magnetic North and Christchurch Festival in 2017.

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The children of ministers

One of the challenges of being the child of a minister, as we explore in Our Fathers, is the set of preconceptions that go with that. Looking at children of ministers in public life, past and present, we can see where some of these clichés are borne out.

There’s an idea that the 'sweet-talking' sons and daughters of ministers, influenced by watching their father standing up and talking for a living, are likely to end up in some kind of performance related career. In the course of making this show, we've certainly found a few other sons of ministers in the Scottish theatre community, as well as Rob and Nick. David Tennant’s father was a moderator of the Church of Scotland. Prominent musical children of ministers include Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and DJ Tim Westwood’s dad was the Bishop of Peterborough.

The next expectation around being the child of a minister is that you have two options - rebel against your upbringing or else channel it into a dutiful life of public service. 

Several of Edmund Gosse’s Victorian contemporaries shared his loss of faith and rebellion against their parents’ beliefs. Matthew Arnold, the son of Rev Dr Thomas Arnold, wrote about the “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” of his faith in Dover Beach. Friedrich Nietzsche moved about as far away from his Lutheran pastor father’s beliefs as it’s possible to get when he proclaimed ‘the death of God’. Joining him in the spectacularly rebellious sons of clergymen team, although in terms of behaviour more than philosophy, is Branwell Brontë. His and his sisters’ father, Patrick Brontë, was the curate of Haworth, where the family lived in the Parsonage. Branwell tried and failed to be a painter and a poet, became addicted to alcohol and laudanum and had a scandalous affair with a married woman. His sisters – perhaps inevitably in Victorian England – were less obviously rebellious, but Charlotte has Jane Eyre rejecting the promise of salvation through missionary work and choosing a fulfilling life on earth in 1847, two years before Edmund Gosse was born.

Although being stereotyped by her father’s job is probably not her biggest current concern, perhaps the most influential child of a clergyman in our public life at the moment is Theresa May – with the ‘vicar’s daughter’ tag often repeated in the media. Or ‘the vicar’s daughter in kitten heels’, defining her by her father’s job and by her clothing just to show how much sexism can be compressed into 6 words. Similarly, we were regularly reminded in Scotland that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was a ‘son of the manse’ - in some kind of shorthand for serious-minded dutifulness, with a side order of a dour, driven work ethic. It would be interesting to find out if there is a German version for Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor.

Of course, it’s probably the case that sons and daughters of ministers are as different and various as the children of everyone else.  But in Our Fathers we found some common ground between Edmund Gosse, son of a minister in the Plymouth Brethren; Nicholas Bone, son of a bishop in the Church of England and Rob Drummond, son of a minister in the Church of Scotland. You can find out what that is when we open at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh on Sat 21 October.

Our Fathers
On tour October-November 2017.
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Announcing 2018 New Zealand Playwright Residency

In partnership with Playwrights' Studio Scotland, Playmarket New Zealand abd Creative New Zealand, we are delighted to announce the opportunity for a playwright based in Scotland to spend three months as writer-in-residence with a theatre company in New Zealand.

The residency foolows Arthur Meek's successful residency with Magnetic North in 2016, which resulted in him writing Erewhon Revisited, which premiered in September this year at the Christchurch Arts Festival.

Experienced playwrights based in Scotland are eligible to apply - you can find out more here. The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday 19 February 2018.

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Successful Creative Scotland Application

Magnetic North has been successful in its application to Creative Scotland for Regular Funding for 2018-21.  This is the first time that the company has joined the RFO portfolio, after 18 years of operating on project funding.  The funding of £100,000 per annum will support Magnetic North’s artist development programme and will enable the company to offer more than 80 artists paid, facilitated, supported time to discuss, experiment, refresh their practice, share skills and create work through residencies, creative retreats, production support, mentoring, networking events, and bespoke attachments to the company.
 
Artistic Director Nicholas Bone said, “We are delighted that Magnetic North’s work has been recognised with this investment from Creative Scotland. We look forward to becoming part of Creative Scotland’s network of Regularly Funded Organisations and to collaborating with other organisations and artists within and outside the network over the next 3 years. The security and continuity of regular funding will enable Magnetic North to expand our work and to offer more project and creative development opportunities to more artists throughout Scotland.”
 
Magnetic North’s mission is to run a multi-art form programme of artist-centred development and production that creates significant paid opportunities for diverse individual artists at different career stages and produces a distinctive body of high quality work for audiences in Scotland, the UK and internationally. 
 
Based in Edinburgh and founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Nicholas Bone, Magnetic North has created 11 stage productions and a film, mounted 12 tours, commissioned 11 new plays, a screenplay and 2 music-theatre pieces, working in collaboration with playwrights, composers, choreographers and visual artists and with co-producing partners from around Scotland and further afield. Since 2006 the company has initiated and grown a programme of artist development and support, giving artists paid time to discuss, experiment, refresh their practice, share skills and create work.
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