National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Society of Edinburgh present Thirteen Fragments

National Theatre of Scotland in partnership with the RSE’s Post Covid-19 Futures Commission present a new short digital artwork featuring spoken word and movement Thirteen Fragments, created by award-winning writer and performer Hannah Lavery collaborating with musician Beldina Odenyo, choreographer Natali McCleary and filmmaker Beth Chalmers. The project has been commissioned as part of the RSE Post Covid-19 Futures Commission and will be premiered online during the RSE’s summer events programme, Curious 2021.

Thirteen Fragments is an artistic response to the Commission’s work, which addresses how Scotland can emerge from the Covid pandemic as a more equitable society and explores how a nation’s resilience can be built up and developed. RSE Fellows have informed research on the piece including Talat Yaqoob (consultant and researcher), Zinnie Harris (playwright, screenwriter and director) and Mark Cousins (filmmaker, writer, historian and curator).

Hannah Lavery’s creative response to the Commission is rooted in the female experience of the last year as a woman of colour, a spoken word dance piece where bursts of poetry sit within an original soundscape alongside shards of song and of movement. The coming together of Beldina Odenyo’s music, Natali McCleary’s movement and Hannah’s words sees the poetry take shape and given physical life, reflecting individual responses of the artists. Intimately filmed by Beth Chalmers, the piece explores the meaning of female resilience in Scotland today and aspirations for the future.

Thirteen Fragments of anger, of love, of death, of exhaustion and of hope.

The premiere of the film will be accompanied by a live webinar discussion with Hannah, members of the creative team and Fellows of the RSE who have been involved in the film’s development. The discussion will focus on some of the themes the work highlights including the impact of Covid on women and wider society and the role that art and creativity play in the pandemic.

Hannah Lavery says:

“Inspired by the work of the RSE fellows, I wanted to make a film that would speak to the experience of women and especially women of colour, using poetry, dance, music and film. I have been so lucky to have been joined by a dream team of women collaborating with dance, music, and film to create a provocation and also a meditation on the time we are living through and what that means for us all as we look toward the future.”

Thirteen Fragments will be premiered as part of the RSE’s summer events programme, Curious in August 2021. Full programme details will be announced in July.

Read more on the RSE website.