Scotland has a rich and prestigious history in the performing arts, both in terms of producing famous Scottish playwrights but also acclaimed Scottish actors.
Although the most of Scottish theatre plays out its Western influence and tradition, there are a growing number of performances exploring exotic cultural aspects. Of the former influences, they are primarily those of North America, England and Ireland as well as influences from Continental Europe. In terms of literary influence theatre in Scotland, for the most part, is influenced by Scottish, general English language as well as literature from Ireland, and even some influence from American theatre and literature. These varying and wide degrees of influence are attributed to the migration of people into and out of Scotland and globalisation. Thus theatre in Scotland is a multicultural expression.
The origin of Scottish Theatre stretches back to the Middle Ages. Due to the divide of the Scottish Gaelic and Lowland Scots and other factors such as the Scottish reformation, Scottish theatre, as a result, has been a relatively late development.
Some prominent Scottish theatre organisations include the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Scottish Theatre also has several festivals, notably at the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburg Festival Fringe held annually in the month of August. Another festival is the old Imaginate Festival of Theatre for Children and Young People held annually in May and formerly known as the Scottish Children’s Theatre Festival.
If you are an avid theatregoer in Scotland or a visiting Scotland, there is plenty of theatre to indulge in – no matter where you may be. In all of Scotland’s main cities there are theatres, and additionally, there are theatres in the regional centres also. Even in rural areas one will find performances carried out regularly in church halls, art spaces and outdoors.