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Right Lines Productions to debut play Man Shed at Pleasance Theatre during Edinburgh Festival Fringe

By Garry McCartney

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Euan Martin (3rd from left) and members of Forres and District Men’s Shed. Picture: Beth Taylor
Euan Martin (3rd from left) and members of Forres and District Men’s Shed. Picture: Beth Taylor

AN Alves-based theatre company’s new play is to debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this autumn.

Written by Euan Martin, directed by Dave Smith and produced by Right Lines Productions, ‘Man Shed’ will feature as part of the Pleasance Theatre Trust’s Edinburgh National Partnerships programme.

Euan said: “It’s fantastic to be presenting live theatre once again. Man Shed was due to premiere in May 2020, but because of the national coronavirus lockdown, the tour had to be cancelled. We were fortunate to be selected for the Pleasance, one of the most prominent and prestigious venues at the Fringe.”

The Gazette last spoke to Right Lines in July 2020 ahead of their ‘Morrison’s Van’ online radio production.

Davie Bell (right) showing Euan Martin some grow boxes he has been working on. Picture: Beth Taylor
Davie Bell (right) showing Euan Martin some grow boxes he has been working on. Picture: Beth Taylor

Euan said: “The lockdown episode was a successful online response to the difficult times we were all experiencing. There was no chance of Right Lines touring any live theatre so we had to develop new ways of working. We also worked on a few new plays which await full production.”

Pleasance Theatre Trust’s programme is an opportunity for Right Lines to raise their profile.

Euan said: “It’s funny to think we’ve been producing and touring for 20 years, but suddenly we are the future! Showcasing our new show there will expose our work to a much wider audience, both local and international.”

Man Shed is a bitter-sweet one-man theatre piece exploring the joy of sheds, the pain of loss and the comfort of friendship. The play has been inspired by men’s sheds around the world, but specifically by the work of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA).

How does a man find his purpose when he grows old and major life events come thick and fast? Should he retire to the solitude of the shed as usual and escape from the world, or get out and try something new? When the familiar rules no longer apply, is it too late to change the habits of a lifetime?

Euan said: “Neither Dave nor myself actually attend a Men’s Shed, but this play has been inspired by the SMSA and in particular, Forres and Fochabers Men’s Sheds. I visited the Forres Shed when it was still sited within Moray Waste Busters and made connections with men who attended. As part of my research, I also visited Westhill, which was the very first Men’s Shed in Scotland, and met with the CEO of SMSA, Jason Schroeder. He was very supportive and they recently promoted the show in their online magazine, The Shedder”

Man Shed previews at The Pleasance on August 3 and 4 and continues until August 29, except for August 10, 15 and 22.

Senior producer at Eden Court Theatre, Susannah Armitage, confirmed Eden Court is supporting as part of their inaugural involvement in the Pleasance Edinburgh National Partnership project.

She said: “Man Shed is a very touching and pertinent tale about loneliness, friendship and where you find community. It is also warm and funny and will speak to lots of different audiences.”

Right Lines Productions ran a crowd funder in 2021 for another production, ‘Boob Cruise’.

Euan explained: “It’s a comedy inspired by women in the Isle of Eigg who have to make a boat journey to attend their breast cancer screening appointments. They call it The Boob Cruise!

“We are hopeful this can go into production in 2023.

“If the Fringe run is a success, we also plan to tour Man Shed in spring 2023.”

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