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Profile on: Xana Maclean and Jo Timmins

Cat In A Cup's Such is Nature; Photo: Marius Alexander

Though a young company, Cat In A Cup have already enjoyed success and critical acclaim.  Catering for children as well as young people and adults, their first production was a children’s piece entitled 'Such Is Nature…and it is nature that’s all'.  It is set to continue in its success as it tours Scotland.  Xana Maclean and Jo Timmins, Co-Artistic Directors of Cat In A Cup discuss their theatrical paths:


Xana studied for three years on the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Contemporary Theatre Practice course before transferring to Queen Margaret University College (QMUC) for her final year and gaining an honors degree in Acting. 

Jo trained as a director at QMUC.  Both graduated in 2003 and worked on the fringe show Passion by Laura Curino.  Through this they discovered a shared interest in physical and visual theatre, live music and productions that take audiences as a central starting point.  Cat In A Cup was born of these shared interests. It's aims include allowing both audiences and artists the space to be creative and to feel safe in experimenting and making mistakes.

Xana and Jo have gained experience working in the industry with companies such as:

  • The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company
  • Suspect Culture
  • Toonspeak
  • Edinburgh Young Carers project
  • The Traverse Theatre 
  • Scottish Youth Theatre
  • TAG Theatre Company
  • Cat In A Cup's Such is Nature; Photo: Marius Alexander

    Why children's theatre?

    'Inspired by the Children’s International Theatre Festival and our own experiences of working with children and young people, we felt that children's theatre offered a natural calling to our abilities and desire to create high quality work.  Through the kind support of a number of people - most notably Tony Reekie of Imaginate - we were able to take the steps to form Cat In A Cup for children, young people and adults'. 

    Cat In A Cup's Such is Nature; Photo: Marius Alexander Cat In A Cup then created their first production Such Is Nature... and it is nature that's all by Michael J Blyth.  This toured to schools in East Lothian and Midlothian and was performed for delegates at Imaginate's showcase, WYSIWYG, last autumn.

    This production is now being developed and will premiere at The Byre Theatre in May before touring Scotland and being performed at the Children’s International Theatre Festival.

    What's next?

    Cat In A Cup's Such is Nature; Photo: Marius Alexander Following their tour of Such Is Nature... and it is nature that's all, they will spend two weeks in residency at Dance Base where Xana and Jo will work together with a number of performers.  'We plan to use this time to experiment with our ideas as collaborators and to explore our working processes'.

    In the Autumn they will present their devised production I Love You Numb which looks at issues of labelling in mental ill-health, working with a company of professional actors and young people from local communities.  This production will also have a live soundtrack from the band 7VWWVW and is aimed at the 14+ age group.

    Ideally Cat In A Cup would like to develop an ensemble and to promote the training and learning of its members by working with other companies and practitioners.

    Children's theatre
    * Theme - Children's theatre
    * Focus on - Imaginate
    Related links
    * The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company
    * Toonspeak
    * Edinburgh Young Carers project
    * The Traverse Theatre
    * Scottish Youth Theatre
    * TAG Theatre Company
    * Children’s International Theatre Festival
    * Imaginate
    * The Byre Theatre
    * Dance Base
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