The Makeshift Broadcast #2 – Callout

The Makeshift Broadcast #2:

Makeshift Broadcast is making another podcast and we need you to send us your work to make it possible. The theme of The Makeshift Broadcast #2 will be The Big Freeze and we would like your plays, short stories, comedy routines, poetry, songs and everything in between on that very subject to include in both our live and recorded shows. You can respond to this title in any way you like.

We are particularly keen to always include a play or radio drama as we are a theatre company and what we like to term an ‘audiobiography’ or factual field recording to give texture to the finished piece.

What we’re offering:
– A public performance of your writing by professional actors and directors/a public platform for you if you are a musician or comedian
– Both a live audience and an online broadcast (December 2014 and January 2015 respectively)
– A download of the final edit of your work for you to use in showreels etc (please note: You must credit Makeshift Broadcast for the recording)
– Digital copies of photographs from the event for you to use to promote your work provided (on the basis that you credit Makeshift Broadcast).

Please submit:
– Your work for no more than 30 minutes of performance for plays / 15 minutes for other forms. We will give preference to pieces with a small number of actors required for its performance for reasons of technical ease. We are keen to hear from artists anywhere in the world as well as those closer to home.
– A brief outline of the context of your piece if it is normally longer than what you are submitting
– A brief history of your work to date and some information about yourself (this is useful for us to get a sense of your work but also in writing links)

Please keep in mind that:
– This work will be performed in front of both a live audience and go out as a podcast to listeners. We are particularly interested in including work from artists who have considered the audio audience and how their work will translate without visuals.
– The work does not have to be new or previously unperformed
– There is currently no funding in place for this project, though applications are underway and if successful, terms will be agreed with artists involved.

Please send your submission to by 16th November 2014 at midnight. The live event will take place on 10th December.

Technical support for The Makeshift Broadcast is made possible by Arts Trust Scotland.

Auditions for When The Rain Stops Falling

Auditions will be held on 22nd and 23rd November from 2pm – 5pm for Makeshift Broadcast’s production of ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ by Andrew Bovell. The play will be performed from 4th-7th February 2014 in the Tron Theatre’s Changing House.

“The past is a mystery. And yet perhaps it will be easier to explain than the fish.”

Moving from 1950s London to the Australian desert in 2039, ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ charts a legacy of abandonment, mysterious disappearances and fish soup in an epic drama that spans four generations across two continents. The sins of the father are visited on the son as secrets and lies send one young man across the hemispheres in search of answers whilst a worldwide environmental disaster unfolds.

Directed by Katherine Nesbitt
Produced by Nina Doherty
Design by Emma Fitzgibbon

We are looking for 7 actors of varying playing age. For more details, please visit:
We are excited to work on such a great ensemble piece of theatre. Please share this event with anyone you think might be interested. Please be advised that there is some reference in the play to child abuse and this may be a trigger for some actors requesting audition pieces.

We are asking actors to contact us directly for an audition slot, please follow the information on the webpage above and email us at to arrange your audition. Funding is currently pending for this project and as such it will be based on a profit share. For more information please visit the link to our website.

Bright Sky Park – development begins



Last week we had the honour and pleasure of getting to work on our latest project, Bright Sky Park, kindly supported by the Old Vic New Voices StartUps fund for new companies. Bright Sky Park is an idea which has existed in some shape or form in our minds for a little over a year now and it was incredibly exciting to get together in a room with some frankly brilliant and open minds to turn those little flashes of ideas into something more concrete and clear than we had expected going in. This is due in large to Matt Collings (compser) and Rhys Paterson and Daniel Williams (astrophysicists and resident astronomy experts in this development week) from the University of Glasgow School of Physics and Astronomy and their willingness to share information and ideas. This is an entirely new venture for Makeshift Broadcast and we’re very exciting about the potential for where it can go next. The next step for us as a company is to develop a strategy for getting funding and support to turn what is currently a brilliant idea on paper into an entertaining and educational reality.

We have come out of this development period with a very clear idea of how an outdoor, night time audio experience of astronomy will work in urban Glasgow with the challenge of light pollution, and of how that piece will be structured. We look forward to telling you more about it as soon as we can.

American Encounters

Whilst recently on a trip around North America, Artistic Director Katherine Nesbitt spent some time in Chicago visiting our former collaborator, actor Molly Bunder. Molly is currently working with Filament Theatre Ensemble, based in the west of the city creating really exciting community and environmentally conscious work. Katherine met with Artistic Director Julie Ritchey and we hope to find a way for Makeshift Broadcast to collaborate across the Atlantic with a company who are miles away and yet so close in their ethos and strive to make quality work with an environmental conscience. We’ll keep you posted on how our plans for this grow over the coming months.

Touring with Magnetic North

This summer Katherine’s been touring as an assistant director with Magnetic North’s A Walk at the Edge of the World.

I’ve been working alongside director Nicholas Bone, actor Ian Cameron and technical manager Jonny Reed. As well as a three week run at the Edinburgh Fringe at the Gallery of Modern Art we’ve been to Mull, Islay, Skye, Glenuig, Cromarty, Crathes, Huntly, Coldingham, Carlops to name just a few of the beautiful rural Scottish dates and even a few shows in Cumbria. I’ve been some stunning venues that show you just what a creative hub exists in our rural communities. It has broadened my ambition for what Makeshift Broadcast  can achieve in the coming years as we continue to learn and grow, and given me an insight into how to make that a reality. 

Philippa scratches at Battersea Arts Centre

Our Artistic Associate Philippa Mannion had a chance to present a 10 minute work-in-progress of her new solo show Gag Reflex at Battersea Arts Centre, London in February 2014.

The play explores female sexuality, social anxiety and nausea. It was a rewarding yet scary experience presenting the work to an audience and receiving immediate feedback on what I had created. 

There are works which celebrate the relief of being out, and less optimistic stories of gay relationships ripped apart by doubt, denial or hate. They all go to encourage us to love ourselves for who we are.  I admire this greatly, but Gag Reflex explores the idea of being in limbo, of questioning and attempting to accept oneself. 

I was lucky enough to have friends and family come and support me with these first steps of making a show. 

I’m hoping that Gag Reflex will be ready for full production in early 2015. 


How we work together

Photo on 17-01-2014 at 14.28 #3We recently completed another round of applications and the process has made us think about how all our collective experiences and educations work together. How to collaborate and make theatre is probably a central concern to all theatre companies and it’s a process that is continuous and ongoing. It’s not something that we’ve dwelled on at length, but is always flagged up whenever we start a project together and is reassessed at significant points of the development period. It’s a balance of how to use our time and resources efficiently so that we can make the best work we can. We all have a vested interest in arts and culture, but through collaboration, conversations and presenting work to audiences our different skills and experience emerge and influence how we engage with each other and the work that we are making.

For a recent application, we wrote about our different key interests and we thought it might be worthwhile to share it for the world to see. This is what we wrote:

Makeshift Broadcast is inspired by all things sustainability. We use our passions and frustrations of the present to consider the future through theatre and performance, imagining new ways of living our lives in uncertain times. We use our collective educations and experiences to attempt to find common languages that will be accessible to different audiences. We endeavour to create unique, entertaining theatre which enters into a dialogue with our audience that does not stop when the performance ends. We are inspired by how much individuals benefit from sustainability and how it impacts in our health, our communities, our culture and in nature. We believe that arts and culture can immeasurably add depth to people’s lives and allow them to express something inherently human and we believe in the importance of sustaining the theatre for this very aim.

It’s a bit wordy and you really need to read between the lines to see what we actually mean. It’s our ambitions and provocations for the theatre we want to make. We might not always succeed but if we can get close to this and feel like we’ve used our strengths265095_668227212381_1835397728_n to the best of our ability, surely we’ll express something of interest to our audiences.

We have struggles within our creative partnership especially because now we are based in different cities. Luckily, it doesn’t take long before one of us will call a meeting so that we can check in with what everyone’s doing. We  meet frequently and facilitate conversations and sharings via Skype, FaceTime, Facebook and other e-conferencing platforms. It focuses our time and attention on what needs to be done and we keep the channels of communication flowing so that we don’t drop the ball on our work.

How we work together is important, but it’s something that will evolve and constantly adapt dependent on the requirements of the project or the work. To be honest, we bend ourselves around our ideas to make them work so that they can be enjoyed by audiences and the people who engage with us as a company. It’s always the work that comes first. We always endeavour to keep our egos to one side and always be serving our audiences and theatre itself.

We’re planning a project in Glasgow’s park spaces towards the end of 2016 called Bright Sky Park and we are also working towards presenting Andrew Bovell’s When The Rain Stops Falling in February 2015.

Too soon to talk about 2014?

We’ve been pretty busy at the offices of Makeshift Broadcast. We’ve sent several very large funding applications to Creative Scotland and other small trusts and foundations – fingers and toes crossed for us, please! These are all looking forward to 2014. In difficult financial times, it is even more crucial to be onto of top of the budgets of the company. Soon Nina will be implementing a wall chart so that we can keep on top of all our busy schedules and commitments.

Katherine and Nina been having a dive into the world of plays – reading for our next theatrical venture! Keep your eyes peeled for auditions and more news about a new production coming to Glasgow pretty soon. Katherine’s also managed to find the time to continue her work with Magnetic North as an Assistant Director and help out with the most recent Theatre Uncut season in The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow.

Philippa has been working hard in London. She’s on placement with Actors Touring Company who produced ‘The Events’ at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, before touring the UK, Vienna, Norway, USA. Thank goodness for Skype so that she doesn’t miss our regular company meeting.

It does appear all quiet on the Makeshift front as the nights draw in, but 2014 appears to be a year that we will do bigger and better things as a small company. Thank you for all your support so far.

An inspiring weekend at EAFS

Last weekend, I spent an amazing weekend seeing work at the first Environmental Art Festival Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway, where commissions, events and discussions asked us to question our relationship to the landscape and natural world. It was a really beautiful setting in which it engage in this kind of discussion and I was exposed to a lot of really stunning visual art.  It was also great to have this whole weekend away from phone reception and internet to soak up all the ideas being explored in each piece. It really made me assess what we’re trying to achieve as a company, and has hopefully inspired the idea for our next project (details to follow very shortly we hope!)

My favourite piece of the weekend has to be Things That Befell Us In Those Strange Years by Ingrid Shearer and Gavin MacGregor of Northlight Heritage which took you on an intriguing walk around the Stroan Loch viaduct through the history of local places when a rail line used to run by the loch. The only disappointment was the clouds over the Dark Sky Park on the Saturday night after a talk by Astronomer Royal John Brown. I was ready to have my mind blown but sadly I’ll have to wait until next time!

You can see more about our ‘highlights’ from the weekend here:

Things That Befell Us in Those Strange Years

The Rise and Fall of Grey Mare’s Tail

Gimme Shelter

I hope the festival continues to grow in size, scope and audience but it was a brilliant start. The next festival will be in 2015 so I hope to see some of you reading this blog down there.

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