Arts Preview: The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show

The National Theatre of Scotland and The Space present The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show from 5pm on Monday 23rd June until 5pm on the 24th June. The show is co-curated by David Greig and the fantastic late David MacLennan, who said of the programme “The submissions reflect every possible view in the referendum debate and put together they are going to make a thoughtful, passionate, provocative and highly entertaining variety show; Theatre of the people, by the people, for the people.”

For 24 hours, 5-minute theatre pieces from Scotland and beyond will be a constant – viewers can watch online at or pop along to hubs located in Glasgow (Oran Mor), Dumfries, Aberdeen, Inverness, and Edinburgh. These hubs will be host to some of the many acts being performed over the 24 hour period.

With 180 performances and over 840 performers, including theatre-makers from eight countries, one can only imagine the diversity that will be on offer, all on the topic of “independence.” From songs to rants; dances to skits, everything and anything is to be expected from the day-long show. Ages of those involved range from 3 months to 80 years old, and the performances will include broadcasts from a wide range of locations, from Thurso to Texas.

Examples of what to expect include an 8 month pregnant woman performing a letter to her unborn child about the future of Scottish generations and what it means to be Scottish, while the Deaf Youth Theatre will perform a story using visual language about a prince in a palace who wants to know what is on the other side of his walls.

With so much on offer over the 24 hours, The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show is a uniquely structured schedule of performing talent. Experienced stage performers and first timers are all given equal opportunity and time to express to you through whatever medium they choose what “independence” means to them.


This is part of NTS’s 2014 Dear Scotland season, which not only encourages audiences to get involved in exploring Scotland and what it means through theatre and debate, but is also asking for postcards with the opening line Dear Scotland… These cards can be found at NTS events and sent back to them free of charge to create a collective memory of this momentous year for Scotland.

Tickets for The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show are free, so pop along to your nearest hub, or watch online, and be inspired by the artistic passions and diversity of those getting involved this both local and global event.

[Caitlin MacColl & Scott Wilson]

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