Theatre on wheels: New truck show takes audiences on unusual tour of Paisley

Audiences are driven around Paisley looking out of a huge truck window as part of the show. (Andr Wunstorf).

THE National Theatre of Scotland is as likely to be found in a traditional Scottish theatre venue as it is to be found performing at the National Theatre of Korea, a forest in Argyll, HMYOI Polmont,  New York City Library or London’s West End. 

So why not throw a glass fronted truck in Paisley into the mix?

Continuing the Company’s theatre without walls ethos, it’s newest production, Do’s and Don’ts sees audiences taking part in a very unusual ride around the town.

Audience members are taken on a journey in a remodelled truck, a mobile auditorium, looking out at the town through a large window.

They are then guided by the truck driver and a young person who invite the audience to examine Paisley and the people in it: its laws, rules, norms, rituals, explicit and implicit arrangements, visible and invisible codes – the do’s and don’ts.

A soundscape created by a local choir also supports and comments on the journey.

The truck is a one way window system – no one can see the audience as they look out at the streets of Paisley. (Andr Wunstorf).

The National Theatre of Scotland is known as having no venue, no permanent stage, breaking all preconceptions of what a theatre production should look like or where it should be performed.

This shunning of the rules, and breaking the norm is also fully explored in Do’s and Don’ts, says the show’s director, Jorg Karrenbauer: “The project is about the rules and habits that we follow living in a city.

“There have to be rules in order to make a city function properly. But the more rules we create – around health and security for instance – the more we limit our freedom.

“The project explores the question on which rules are truly crucial, and whether we could also live and organise our lives with less of them.”

Co-produced with German documentary theatre specialists, Rimini Protokol, the production is part of Paisley’s Spree Festival and National Theatre of Scotland’s Futureproof Festival created for and by young people.

Do’s and Don’ts takes place in The Wee Spree programme over the October school holiday – with a list of (mostly free) shows for kids offering everything from comedy to ceilidhs, plus video game design, circus skills workshops and a dance along to The Greatest Showman.

Louisa Mahon, head of communications, marketing and events at Renfrewshire council said:

“This year’s Spree will be the biggest and best yet as our events continue to grow and attract more visitors to the area.

“We are also delighted to be building partnerships with organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland and bringing some of the country’s finest performers to the town is helping cement Paisley’s place as one of Scotland’s go-to cultural destinations.”

Do’s and Don’ts, Paisley, 12 – 21 October 2018.

Find out more here.