In thirty odd years we’ve created award-winning classics such as Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Cyrano de Bergerac, Tales from the Arabian Nights, The Cone Gatherers, and Blood Wedding (on tour in Ullapool, above). We have played all over Scotland from Shetland to the Borders, in theatres, village halls, school halls, in a travelling marquee, on the ferry and in someone’s front garden in South Uist.
In recent years we have produced Fergus Lamont, The Government Inspector, Calum’s Road and Tall Tales (the latter two being co-productions with the National Theatre of Scotland). We took Gerda Stevenson’s play Federer Versus Murray to New York, where we were part of the Scottish Government’s Scotland Week celebrations, and also brought Gerry’s production of Tam O’ Shanter to the Assembly Hall on the Edinburgh Fringe, as part of the Made in Scotland showcase) where it was nominated for a clutch of awards – Best Musical, Best Ensemble, and Best Score.
A Couple of Comments:
Mark Brown, theatre critic
“Like, I suspect, a great many theatre lovers in Scotland, the work of the original Communicado Theatre Company was a genuine inspiration to me. A brilliant, surprising, imaginative hybrid of theatrical forms from around the world (and Europe in particular), its aesthetic was wonderfully robust and muscular, yet subtle and sophisticated. Impressively visual, physical and musical, shows such as Athol Fugard’s A Place With the Pigs and Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide were, simultaneously, continental, yet unambiguously of modern Scotland.”
Tam O’Shanter – Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Assembly Hall 5-26 Aug
Reviewer – Michael Coveney (former critic for The Observer)
“Gerry Mulgrew’s Communicado Theatre Company – at least the equal of the better known (down south) Kneehigh – has long been a stalwart of the festival, and his dramatisation, with diabolical liberties, of Robert Burns’ longest 18th century poem is a rare fringe treat. It raises the bar for fringe production standards – it really should be in the International Festival – and justly delivers a vivid paean to the national poet. The poem is set in a vigorously unsentimental and irreverent staging by Mulgrew.
So the poet is celebrated – and the show ends with a moving testimony to his muse and talent. There’s cunning use of film and lighting, and a clever design by Gordon Davidson that features a wonderfully carpentered contraption that serves as cart, pub and pulpit. Sandy Nelson embodies the very spirit of Tam, an elfin drunk with a reedy small voice, and there are knockout performances, too, from Joyce Falconer, Gerda Stevenson and Malcolm Shields as a dancing, piratical amputee. Musical direction – accordions, drums and bagpipes – is by John Beales, costumes by Kenny Miller. I loved it from start to finish.”