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NEWS: New Tartan 'Homegrown' woven as part of new National Theatre of Scotland production Thrown

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Thrown, a new play written by Nat McCleary and directed by Johnny McKnight, explores the world of Scottish Backhold Wrestling and is set to tour the Highland Games circuit this summer before dates at Edinburgh International Festival.

Artists Nat McCleary and Sabrina Henry, and Glasgow weavers, Vevar have created a new tartan, Homegrown, which will be launched as part of the costume design for the show.


Created for new production THROWN

Designed by Sabrina Henry

Conceived by Nat McCleary

Created and woven by Vevar

Artists Nat McCleary and Sabrina Henry, and Glasgow weavers, Vevar have created a new tartan, Homegrown, which will be launched as part of the costume design for new production Thrown, written by Nat McCleary and directed by Johnny McKnight. Thrown embarks on a tour of venues on the Highland Games circuit in July, before a run at the Traverse, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2023.

Thrown is a punchy and playful new production inspired by Scottish Backhold Wrestling, featuring a diverse inter-generational all-female cast which tells the story of Glasgow’s most unlikely backhold wrestling team.

Five wildly different women gather in the muddy fields of the Highland Games circuit to compete in the obscure art of Backhold wrestling. Can there be unity with diversity? Thrown gets to grips with identity and belonging in Scotland, challenging contemporary notions of Scottishness.

The new tartan features in the show, as an important part of the characters’ journey to the Championships.

The full cast is Efè Agwele, Maureen Carr, Lesley Hart, Chloe-Ann Tylor and Adiza Shardow.

The tartan has been designed and created by Sabrina Henry who works as a costume designer and curator at Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow. Beginning as a fashion stylist, Sabrina transitioned to costume design for theatre, live art and performance in 2016 to find ways to articulate character, place and identity within performance through costume and is always working to connect pre-colonial traditions with the contemporary Black diasporic experience. Sabrina has worked with Roundhouse, Southbank Centre, Untitled Projects, Channel 4, East London Dance, Art Night and Project X.

Nat McCleary, writer said

“Homegrown is a new tartan telling a visual story of discordant unity; of belonging in tension.”

It had always been my intention to create a tartan as a legacy of the play. My family name comes from an Irish slave trader and I didn’t want to adopt a tartan that I didn’t feel connected to. I knew I wouldn’t be the only person who, for many reasons, may feel that tartan was off-limits or couldn’t be authentically engaged with so I resolved to create one for those of us home-grown. Tartan doesn’t have to be significant to everyone, but for those to whom it is, this tartan is a visual story of discordant unity; of belonging in tension, the mess of the past inescapably woven into the mess of the present.

This is a tartan for all of us home-grown, without long ties to the land and her traditions who yet are tied, rooted in our Scottishness, ready to unapologetically rep the sh*t out of it with aplomb”

Sabrina Henry, costume designer said

“Reading Nat’s script for Thrown, I immediately felt that the characters represented the many personalities, joys and complexities that we hold and that make a person. And learning about the process of tartan creation from Vevar Studios I could see this reflected in the process of making the pattern, selecting the colours, textures and their meanings. 'Homegrown' represents an understanding that there is no singular identity that is unimpacted by the presence and legacies of others and therefore no singular Scottishness.”

Homegrown has been created by Glaswegian weavers, Vevar.

Vevar was founded in 2020 by weavers Christopher McEvoy and Chantal Allen. Based in the East End of Glasgow, the city's historical weaving heart, they undertake various projects across art, design, and architecture as well as producing a line of lifestyle products that are uniquely Glaswegian. Whilst proud of their roots, they strive to innovate and challenge what is thought of as Scottish textiles. 

Thrown is touring Dunblane; Dunoon; Helensburgh; Ballater; Aberdeen; Tobermory, Isle of Mull; Oban; Dunkeld; Portree, Isle of Skye and Edinburgh International Festival from 02 July to 27 August 2023.

With an Opening performance at Queens Hall, Dunoon on Thursday 06 July at 6.30pm

Edinburgh International Festival opening performance on Saturday 05 August at 6.30pm

Full tour information can be found here.

Creative team - Set Design, Karen Tennent; Lighting Design, Lizzie Powell; Costume Design, Sabrina Henry; Composer, Luke Sutherland; Sound Design, Tom Penny; Movement Director, Lucy Glassbrook; Associate Director, Niloo- Far Khan; Casting Director, Carolyn McLeod, CGD, CSA.


About The National Theatre of Scotland

The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. As well as creating ground-breaking productions and working with the most talented theatre-makers, the National Theatre of Scotland produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally, and works constantly to develop new talent. Central to this is finding pioneering ways to reach current and new audiences and to encourage people’s full participation in the Company’s work. With no performance building of its own, the Company works with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. Founded in 2006, the Company, in its short life, has become a globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.


🌟 New Tartan 'Homegrown' woven as part of new National Theatre of Scotland production Thrown 🌟

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