It’s been over 5 years since we began working as a company under the name of Makeshift Broadcast. Still to this day, I remember us sitting in Nina’s old flat looking at words that we liked and coming up with our name together.
Katherine, Nina and I had worked on numerous theatre productions at Glasgow University, including The Company of Wolves and Doctor Faustus. We built on that foundation in June 2010 after presenting a work-in-progress of [Un]known Unknowns at the New Works New Worlds Festival in The Arches, Glasgow, inspiring us to build on the different skills we had as a collective: directing, writing, stage management and producing.
From the beginning, Katherine, Nina and I have been passionate about creating new work and tackling global issues, such as climate change, over-consumption and sustainability. It was prevalent in many of our conversations about the work we wanted to make and produce. We considered that not only the work we present should have new ideas and show new ways of living in uncertain times, but it also should consider the impact the presentation and production has on the environment.
As our first full-scale production we picked Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp as a promenade performance around the Halt Bar as part of Glasgow’s West End Festival in June 2011. This exploration of reaching out physically to audiences continued with Putting Words in my Mouth at Arches Live in September 2011.
Throughout 2012 and 2013, we developed Cat’s Cradle, BIKE and revisited an older work The Company of Wolves. We worked on our own individual projects and strengthened our networks with theatre-makers and companies, engaging with Anatomy, Buzzcut, National Theatre of Scotland, Pilot and Magnetic North.
In 2013, Putting Words in my Mouth was selected for and programmed in the Prague Fringe Festival. We spent several months redeveloping the script and design of the production and gave a rehearsed reading at the Tron Theatre, before presenting the play at the Festival in June 2013. We did a lot of fundraising and promotion for this project. We couldn’t have taken our work to somewhere quite different without you – thank you to all of you who supported us financially, creatively, emotionally and internationally!
In September 2014, we were pleased to record our first ever podcast: The Makeshift Broadcast. An arts podcast recorded in front of a live audience, which exists to be a showcase of new work from artists locally and across the internet. Working with over 30 artists, writers, actors, creatives and musicians has been a real highlight.
In February 2015, we staged our most ambitious production: a version of Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling at the Tron Theatre. Each of the four nights was sold out: a wonderful achievement.
The closure of The Arches in July 2015 was sad for us, as it was for many, as it was the place we began and developed as a company. We all have fond memories of our shows there.
The decision to no longer operate under our collective name was a hard one to make, but we all have new journeys to go on as we’re no longer all living in the same area of the UK. Katherine has recently moved to London, where I’ve been living for the last three years, while Nina will continue to reside in one of the best cities in the world: Glasgow. After five years together, we are still each other champions, but we are going to fly solo for a while.
We hope you can join us on the next part of our journeys.
This is indeed goodbye, but it is not the end.
Thank you so much for all your support.
Philippa, Nina and Katherine
The Shifty Broads