Young Shetlanders to Study Island Life for Stage Show

By Ferguson, Brian | The Scotsman, May 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

Young Shetlanders to Study Island Life for Stage Show


Ferguson, Brian, The Scotsman


A Canadian sociologist's renowned 70-year-old study of Britain's most northerly inhabited island - Unst in Shetland - is to inspire a new exploration of life there which will be brought to the stage.

A group of young Shetlanders are joining forces with the National Theatre of Scotland production and a Canadian theatre company to try to emulate the work of Erving Goffman. The then student, who became one of the leading sociologists of the 20th century, arrived on the treeless island as a mysterious stranger after the Second World War and spent a year living on Unst, where he was fascinated by the shyness of the islanders.

It will be one of 10 major projects staged across the country in Futureproof, which will culminate a month-long festival instigated for Scotland's Year of Young People. The group of 14-26 yearolds, drawn from around the Shetland Islands, will be part of an "investigation team," which will also include NTS and Canadian outfit Mammalian Diving Reflex, which will research, create and then perform The Presentation of Unst In Everyday Life in October.

The Shetland teenagers will apply some of Goffman's theories and insights at Unstfest, the UK's most northerly festival, this summer. …

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