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Since October 2012, National Theatre of Scotland and Shetland Arts, with support from Creative Scotland, have led ‘Ignition’, a project exploring with Shetland residents the bittersweet relationships with the automobile – how it shapes us, defines us, supports us, frees us, challenges our attitudes towards our dwindling resources and, sometimes, kills us. Read the press release of the project launch here.

Exploring our many complex interactions with the automobile, Ignition has engaged Shetland’s residents, to explore both the personal and global impact of their use in our lives, in a group of islands that are home to Europe’s largest oil terminal and a centre of renewable energy research and development.

Between October 2012 and March 2013, Ignition has used a range of workshops/residencies, pop-up events and public events to help gather information from as many of Shetland’s residents as possible. This has included Dance and Parkour Workshops exploring travel. The White Wife, an actor travelling round Shetland’s long and winding roads, has used a number of methods to gather ‘car stories’ including hitch-hiking, Sunday Teas on Wheels, and travelling ‘On Da Buses’ exploring the use of public transport. Music has also been used to extract some stories and thoughts about the car – Ignition’s resident composer Hugh Nankivell has been working with schools and music groups to write and arrange music inspired by travel and transport. On 12th January, an open day was held at Mareel, inviting the public to stop and think about how cars are involved in their lives, and share more stories.

The National Theatre of Scotland, since 2006 has brought groundbreaking theatre to Scotland and beyond. With no central venue as their home, NTS is defined as ‘a Theatre Without Walls’ and thrives on bringing speculator theatre experiences to audiences in a variety of venues, some more usual than others. Ignition will culminate with a final series of performances that will deliver one of the most ambitious, exciting and unique site theatre experiences, and use the car itself as part of the theatre space. NTS and Shetland Arts invite you to join them for this unique experience,which will take place at 3 locations across Shetland between Wed 20th and Sat 30th March 2013.

These events promise to give you a theatre experience unlike any before. Even buying your ticket is a slightly unusual experience. Tickets are available for sale either in person at Mareel or by phone to 01595 745500 (nb tickets not available online), priced at £10, £7 concession. When you phone or pop in to book your ticket, you will be given the choice to be a driver (and bring your own car, offering at least one passenger space) or a passenger who travels with another driver. For whichever of the 7 performances (4 in Brae, 2 in Bigton, 1 in Yell) you choose to attend, you will meet your fellow audience in the local hall and together (in a max 24 cars) will travel to two outdoor locations, ending up back where you started at the hall. The entire 2 hour experience is part of the show, with the drive to each of the outdoor locations becoming a theatre space in itself, with an actor travelling in each of the cars, and performances also taking place at each of the outdoor locations. See below for details on each of the performances - please note that you must buy tickets in advance and meet at the starting point for each show at 7pm. All performances will end back at original location at 9pm.

BRAE Wed 20th March – Ticket holders meet at Brae Hall, 7pm. Thu 21st March – Ticket holders meet at Brae Hall, 7pm Fri 22nd March – Ticket holders meet at Brae Hall, 7pm Sat 23rd March – Ticket holders meet at Brae Hall, 7pm

BIGTON Tue 26th March – Ticket holders meet at Bigton Hall, 7pm Wed 27th March – Ticket holders meet at Bigton Hall, 7pm

CULLIVOE Fri 29th March – Ticket holders meet at Cullivoe Hall, 7pm

THE FINAL GATHERING

Sat 30th March 2013

Everyone is invited to join NTS and Shetland Arts for a final celebration to say thank you and good bye to the project, at an outdoor site (near Brae) to gather round the bonfire to share songs and stories, before unveiling the fire sculpture. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance via Shetland Box Office. Ticket holders can park at either Sullom Hall or Brae High School Car Park, and will be transported by bus to the outdoor site, and taken back to their cars after the performance.

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