Perth Theatre and St Johnstone FC’s community show Oh When the Saints has been shortlisted in the Community Project of the Year category at The Stage Awards 2023.
The show which was the culmination of a two-year project captures the experiences, stories and memories of generations of St Johnstone fans, and is the only piece of work from a Scottish theatre shortlisted across all award categories.
In its list of shortlisted organisations The Stage said: “Perth Theatre succeeded in bringing the fever of the football pitch and the magic of theatre together in a unique project in which one great Perth institution – its theatre – spoke to another: local Scottish Premiership club St Johnstone FC.
“The production, which was described by The Stage’s reviewer as a “an exemplary piece of community engagement”, involved its professional and community cast working together, with the show growing organically from two years of activities, workshops and discussions, which all fed into the final offering. Transforming the way the theatre engaged with its community and attracting a large number of people who had previously had no contact with Perth Theatre, it won the venue many new fans.”
Nick Williams, Chief Executive of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Oh When the Saints has been shortlisted for the Community Project of the Tear at The Stage Awards.
“It’s a huge accolade for Perth Theatre to be recognised in these prestigious UK awards, particularly as we’re the only Scottish theatre nominated in any of the categories. Everyone involved in the project, from those who shared a story, our friends at St Johnstone Football Club, to all of the community participants, the cast, the creative team, our staff and everyone who came and saw the show should take huge pride in being a part of it. It was a team effort from start to finish.”
He went on to say: “Because community is at the heart of what we do a Perth Theatre, to be recognised in the Community Project of the Year category for the second year in a row is a thrill.
“In last year’s awards, we were nominated for our mobile gig in a truck stage, entertaining care home residents and other community groups over 63 shows. This year, hearing The Stage describe Oh When the Saint, as an exemplary piece of community engagement is a fantastic endorsement of our commitment to using the positive power of the performing arts to improve lives.
“The project transformed the way the theatre interacted with the local footballing community, engaged three and a half thousand participants across many walks of life, and culminated in a joyful sharing of personal stories and key historic moments at the club in front of an emotional and engaged audience.”
With Charlie Fraser, Vice-Chairman of St Johnstone FC adding: “I was delighted to hear that the Perth Theatre production of Oh When The Saints has been nominated for a very prestigious Theatre Award.
“The production was an excellent example of how two Perth Institutions can collaborate to provide entertainment to fans and theatre patrons alike. The show captured the true spirit of what it is like to support Saints, and it would be only fitting, if the production went on to lift the Cup”
The award ceremony will take place at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London on Monday 30th of January.