After a call out in July 2017 for new text-based work for a schools audience (age 5 - 8 years), Imaginate and the National Theatre of Scotland selected Victoria Beesley a playwright and Artistic Director of Terra Incognita. Victoria uses theatre and the arts to share extraordinary stories of ordinary people, and aims to work collaboratively with the people and communities whose stories she is telling. Previous work for young people includes Invisible Army, created in collaboration with young carers at Glasgow South West Carers Centre, and My Friend Selma. Most recently she has been working on community-based arts projects As I See It: Missing Statues (Terra Incognita) and Hidden Footprints (A Moment's Peace and the Women's Creative Company).
"The writer’s attachment will give me the opportunity to get my teeth stuck into a brand new project, developing a new show inspired by the cat man of Aleppo. In 2013, a man called Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel started saving stray cats abandoned by people fleeing conflict in the Syrian city; by 2015 he was caring for 170 cats! Whilst on attachment I’m planning on finding out more about this amazing story, learning about Syrian culture, traditions and stories, hanging out with some 5-8 year olds to find out what they think about the story, and finding out all there is to know about cats. Then I’ll be using my new found knowledge to begin work on the script. It will be a tale of adventure, survival and coping with bad things happening around you. I’m really looking forward to working with Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland to begin developing this new piece, and am excited to see where the attachment takes me." Victoria Beesley
Victoria had paid time during September 2017 to spend on The Cat Man of Aleppo with mentoring, writing space and Go & See funding to support its development.