Bus route to filling up Firebrand’s shows

Firebrand's co-artistic director Janet Coulson gets set for the Rural Theatre Bus initiative
Firebrand's co-artistic director Janet Coulson gets set for the Rural Theatre Bus initiative

BORDERS theatre company Firebrand have announced plans for a new rural theatre bus initiative to enable as many people as possible to attend the revival of their hit show Oleanna at the Heart of Hawick on March 16 and 17.

Firebrand’s joint artistic director, Janet Coulson, said: “We are passionate about attracting new audiences to our work and we had such a tremendously positive reaction to our production of David Mamet’s play last year, in Melrose and Berwick, that not only did we want to take it to Hawick, but also to think of a way to help those in the surrounding Borders towns and villages, who want to see the show but do not have access to a car.”

The theatre company, whose production of Being Norwegian launched a successful lunchtime Play, Pie and a Pint venture in collaboration with Heart of Hawick, therefore approached the Scottish Borders Council for sponsorship of their free theatre bus idea.

“We were delighted when Olivia Roper and Kirsty Taylor from arts development at the council agreed to fund us,” said co-artistic director Ellie Zeegen. “It has enabled us to team up with local taxi and coach hire firm Peter Hogg of Jedburgh to provide two special Oleanna theatre bus routes.”

The route, on Friday, March 16 will start in Galashiels and travel via Selkirk to Hawick, and on Saturday, March 17 the bus will start in St Boswells and take in Ancrum, Jedburgh, Denholm and Burnfoot on its way to the theatre.

Bus journeys will commence at 6pm and take under an hour to reach their destination at Heart of Hawick.

They will return via the same routes after the show at approximately 9.30pm. The bus is free and details can be obtained from the Visit Scotland Box Office at Heart of Hawick.

Considered one of the most controversial and talked about American plays of the last 20 years, Oleanna is an account of the power struggle between a male university professor and one of his female students.

Ellie added: “Directed by the award-winning Richard Baron, the script delves into the world of education, sexual politics and the power and limits of language, with Mamet’s famously distinctive dialogue crackling with a raw intensity that is both thrilling and unsettling to witness.”

Oleanna plays at Heart of Hawick at 7.30pm and tickets (£10) can be booked at www.thebooth.co.uk or by calling the VisitScotland Box Office at Tower Mill, Heart of Hawick on 01450 360688 or in person at the venue.

For enquiries or to reserve your place on the Rural Theatre Bus, contact Visit Scotland on 01450 360688.

The initiative is supported by the Performing Arts Partnership of Arts Development at SBC.