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Finding a voice

The impact of Ros Steen’s practice-based research on the voice in theatre can be seen in the National Theatre of Scotland’s productions Black Watch and Macbeth. Steen’s research at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland takes as its starting point the voice work of Alfred Wolfsohn, Roy Hart and Nadine George, placing the unique connection of the individual’s voice to the self at the centre of the creative process in production. Her research, which has been developed since 1997 and is unique in theatre, ensures a visceral and transformative experience for performers and audiences alike.

The impact of her work is felt within individual productions; in their critical reception; and in the development in Scotland of an integrated community of practice embracing writers, actors and directors – a positive creative ecology that has helped to radicalise views of what is possible in the theatre.

Cummings’s grasp of the poetry [of Macbeth] is so complete, and his raw emotional immersion in it is so total, that the audience remains absolutely gripped by the narrative; and unable to resist the sense of being pulled by the story towards the very brink of hell… (The Scotsman 16/6/13, Joyce McMillan)

If the whole thing was disbanded tomorrow, [Black Watch] would ensure the National Theatre of Scotland’s place not just in the history of Scottish theatre but theatre everywhere. (The Times, 2010).