GRANITE trailblazer events to bring Aberdeen streets to theatrical life

A major new Aberdeen arts project celebrating the city and its people will bring Aberdeen's streets to theatrical life.

Four theatrical trailblazers, offering free family friendly entertainment, across four winter weekends in Aberdeen City Centre will launch Granite across the city from Saturday 07 November 2015.

Granite Sound, Granite Theatre, Granite Video and Granite Dance will offer audiences the opportunity to experience the city in entirely new ways, with four cultural urban happenings, created and performed by leading local artists alongside a host of community performers.

Aberdeen's Deputy Provost John Reynolds said: "Working in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland on the Granite project will provide a fabulous opportunity to tell Aberdeen's unique story from a range of perspectives. The National Theatre of Scotland will use their special skills to work with a significant number of individuals and groups in the city, creative and not so creative, so that their stories can be turned into unique theatre experiences. Granite will showcase and celebrate the talent already in the city and encourage others to get involved and I am sure that this project will confirm Aberdeen's place on the cultural map and inspire even greater artistic ambition in the city. It's a huge opportunity."

Professor Pete Stollery, Head of Music at the University of Aberdeen, is lead artist for Granite Sound, a unique guided audio walk through some of the city's iconic streets and spaces. Taking place on 7th and 8th November, audience members will be able to choose from two routes, starting at either Belmont Street or Union Street. Voices, soundscapes with specially composed music will be experienced through headphones at specially designated points along the way.

Professor Pete Stollery said: "This has been an amazing experience. SERG (Sound Emporium Research Group), the sonic art research group at the University of Aberdeen has been recording sounds in and around Aberdeen and presenting sound installations and other sound art works throughout the city for a number of years, but this project allows us to work with National Theatre of Scotland, as well as being part of the sound festival and work with some really exciting composers, writers and members of the public."

Granite Sound takes place on Saturday 07 November and Sunday 8 November and is free but ticketed and requires prior booking. Details on booking for Granite Sound and times and some locations for all projects below.

Granite Theatre takes place at locations around the city centre on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November. Simon Sharkey and Phil McCormack (National Theatre of Scotland), working alongside Aberdeen Performing Arts and ACT Aberdeen, have created a pop -up theatrical pageant of legendary figures from Aberdeen's past, present and future to be unleashed on audiences and shoppers in the city centre on 14th and 15th November.

Granite Video has been created by leading Scottish artist and filmmaker Graeme Roger (Culloden Battlefield Artist in Residence). He has spent the last few months capturing on film local Aberdeen residents and workers and their reactions to three key questions. These films will be shown across 50 shop window fronts throughout the weekend of 18th and 19th December. The three questions asked of participants for Granite Video are at the heart of the story of this project and the answers given by Aberdonians will inspire the script for the final show, Granite.

What is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you?

What brings you here?

What do you need to get through the day?

Graeme Roger said: "Spending time and meeting a diverse range of people from across the city is fascinating for me, and I always feel privileged when stories are shared and, for a moment, you get to see what people are 'really' like."

Granite Dance also takes to the streets on 18th and 19th December, featuring members of Citymoves, the leading dance agency for North East Scotland. Young dancers from Fusion dance group and older dancers from Quicksilver will entertain pedestrians and last minute Christmas shoppers in the city's precincts, led by choreographer Brigid McCarthy (Dundee Rep Dance Company, The X-Factor and Group n.)

Graniteaberdeen.com is now launched, offering everyone with a connection to Aberdeen, past and present and future, the opportunity to connect with the project. Led and broadcast by SHMU and shared online via graniteaberdeen.com, music, stories, testimony, interviews, discussion and debate all about the Granite City will be served up digitally for audiences everywhere.

These four trailblazers are building up to the spectacular finale, GRANITE, a large-scale theatrical experience taking place in Marischal College in Spring 2016. More information about the project and booking details will be announced in the New Year.

The Granite creative team includes: Director Simon Sharkey (The Tin Forest, Extreme); Associate Director Phil McCormack (Jump, Extreme); Costume and Set Designer Becky Minto (Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Ceremonies); Lighting Designer Colin Grenfell (Black Watch); Dramaturg Peter Arnott (Janis Joplin: Full Tilt and The Cone Gatherers for HMT Aberdeen); and Video Artist Graeme Roger (Culloden Battlefield Artist in Residence).

Acclaimed Scottish writer and playwright Peter Arnott is currently working with a writers group in Aberdeen, creating the script for the final performances.

Granite Director Simon Sharkey said: "We are up and running now in Aberdeen, working with some of the city's best creative talent to create a series of unforgettable events across the city centre. As the nights start to draw in, we'll be lighting up Aberdeen with free performances and installations that engage, entertain and explore the city's past, present and future."

Deloitte is the headline sponsor. Derek Henderson, Deloitte's Senior Partner in Aberdeen, said: "It's an absolute privilege to be part of a cultural initiative of such significance to Aberdeen. Deloitte has a long history in the city and our support for this project underlines our continued commitment and investment in the North-east. We look forward to working with the National Theatre of Scotland, and all of the partner organisations, in the weeks and months ahead to help tell the story of the people of Aberdeen and demonstrate why its strengths lie not only in business and energy, but also in its history and culture."

Granite Sound: Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th November 2015

Granite Theatre: Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November 2015

Granite Video: Friday 18th and Saturday 19th December 2015

Granite Dance: Friday 18th and Saturday 19th December 2015

Please check www.graniteaberdeen.com for locations and timings.

All performances are free and fully accessible.


Join the conversation:@NTSonline#GraniteAberdeen

Supported by Aberdeen Inspired, Arts & Business Scotland, Balmoral Group, Mackie's of Scotland and Creative Scotland.

Produced in association with Aberdeen Performing Arts, ACT Aberdeen, Citymoves Dance Agency, Sound Festival, Station House Media Unit and University of Aberdeen Music.