Scottish Opera Young Company Presents World Premiere of Rubble 

The world premiere of Rubble, a new piece of work and a third collaboration between acclaimed composer Gareth Williams and director and pantomime legend Johnny McKnight, takes place this summer in Glasgow.

Written in the Scots dialect, and originally commissioned as part of the Scottish Opera Outreach and Education Programme’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2021, Rubblewill be staged across four performances at the Company’s Elmbank Crescent premises on 30th and 31st July.

Members of Scottish Opera Young Company, who are aged 17 to 23, are joined by professional soprano Shuna Scott Sendall  while Roxana Haines directs and Chris Gray, Scottish Opera Young Company Artistic Director, is the conductor for this new work.

Inspired by The Destructors, a short storyfrom English writer Graham Greene, Rubble is a tale of surviving trauma and the power of vulnerability set in both the 1980s and present day Glasgow.

Part horror, part black comedy, the story  follows a group of young people as they stand amongst the debris of Findenterran Farm, a place that had been until recently a children’s care home for those abandoned and forgotten in a broken system. As they pick through the shattered fragments of their childhood, they speak of what really went on in that largely ignored property on the outskirts of town. Rubblegives a voice to those who were ignored and overlooked by society while their youth was quietly stolen from them.

Composer Gareth Williams said “I initially found inspiration for Rubblein Graham Greene’s short story The Destructors. It’s got young people with agency, and they’re quite dark, scary creatures in a way. There is an ethically grey world that you don’t normally get when talking about teenagers. And, I know whatever I bring to the table, McKnight will do something completely different with it. It’s our job to make sure as many people as possible can access work like this, as both participants and as audience. Programmes like the Young Company are what will keep the doors open and the lights on for years to come.”

Librettist Johnny McKnight said “I’d never seen young people be allowed to speak up on stage on behalf of another generation of young people and their trauma. Now this generation is holding people accountable for things that have gone on too long – like #MeToo – there’s a resurgence of young folk claiming authority. We still try to keep a humorous lens – I think that’s how Irish and Scottish nationalities delve into this type of thing, where there’s real darkness there’s also real humour. And, the rehearsal room is joyful – the darker the material, the more joyful the room needs to be. It’s exciting to be working with young artists at the start of their professional careers to be able to tell this kind of story.”

Rubble is supported by Scottish Opera’s Education Angels, Scottish Opera’s New Commissions Circle and The Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship Grant.

Tickets are available to buy now from

Irene Brown

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