Borders actor Jack among star-studded cast for series of short films now at an end

Borders actor Jack Lowden is among a star-studded cast featured in a series of short films produced in response to the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown in March.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 9:37 am
Jack Lowden in Alone: Part II.
Jack Lowden in Alone: Part II.

The National Theatre of Scotland has now released its final batch of contributions to the Scenes for Survival series it launched in May.

Those releases by Liz Lochhead, Sanjeev Kohli and Isobel McArthur, Alan McKendrick and Finn Anderson are the last of 55 films by more than 200 artists and theatre freelancers over the last four months, garnering in excess of 15 million views.

Lowden, raised in Oxton, stars alongside Janey Godley in Alone: Part II, a sequel to an earlier piece filmed by the Glaswegian comedian.

It depicts lonely mum Betty, played by Godley, getting back in touch with estranged son Stephen, an artist living in London, alias Lowden, following the death of her controlling husband Jim.

Lasting not far short of nine minutes and filmed in Glasgow and Cork in Ireland, it’s written by Godley and directed by Caitlin Skinner.

Former Earlston High School pupil Lowden, 30, last seen alongside Tom Hardy in the movie Capone, released online in May, returns to the small screen in November in Little Axe, a drama series directed by Steve McQueen.

The Scenes for Survival project has been delivered in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films.

All films have been released online for audiences to enjoy for free for the next two years, and a selection of them can be seen via the BBC’s iPlayer.

The series was intended as an alternative form of entertainment following the enforced cancellation of productions and performances by the National Theatre of Scotland and other venues and theatre companies due to the lockdown.

The 55 short pieces of digital theatre broadcast were created by performers, writers, directors and other creative industry workers working remotely from their personal spaces of isolation across Scotland and the UK including Ayrshire, Brighton, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Hertfordshire, Liverpool, London, Midlothian, Motherwell, Paisley, Perthshire, Stirling and Stornoway, as well as international locations as far-flung as Dublin, New York and Seoul in South Korea.

The season of works has also acted as a platform to raise money for a new hardship fund for artists and those in the theatre industry hardest hit financially by the current crisis.

Launched by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with the Federation of Scottish Theatre, the McGlashan Trust, all donations will go to provide support for those industry employees left most out of pocket by the pandemic.

Performers, besides Lowden, involved in the project include Mark Bonnar, Morven Christie, Andy Clark, Jo Clifford, Amy Conachan, Nicole Cooper, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Kate Dickie, Martin Donaghy, Kirsty Findlay, Julie Graham, Douglas Henshall, James McArdle and Martin McCormick.

All films can be watched online at www.bbc.co.uk/scenesforsurvival