21Common’s unique approach to performance making means that most of our projects have a social action dimension.

Part of this is delivering projects that are specifically for schools or other organisations that want to engage with our radical pedagogical approach. This will include exploring all areas of the curriculum through our dynamic ‘on your feet’ approach to cross- curricula and transdisciplinary learning.

21Common works locally and internationally developing unique and creative learning journeys with people of all ages and abilities, leading towards the creation of original performance work with a distinctive visual and physical flavour.

Through these collaborative projects we seek to enhance learners’ personal and social development whilst exploring important ideas about the world in which we live and how we can work together as a society to make positive proactive change.  Some examples of our projects are below.

For all enquiries regarding any of the following projects, please contact 21Common Executive Producer Louise Irwin at louise@21common.org



Co-curator Lucy Gaizely @ 21Common and National Theatre of Scotland. In association with Event Scotland.

The National Theatre of Scotland is marking Scotland’s Year of Young People in 2018 by staging a major radical new festival of international performing arts, created by young people working alongside renowned Scottish, British and international theatre practitioners.

Ten companies and artists specialising in daring new work will embed themselves in ten communities around the country, working with local groups of young people to co-create, design, develop and stage a piece of performance. Ten productions will then take place in cities and locations across Scotland as part of the Futureproof festival in September and October 2018.

Echoing the HOME project, which launched the National Theatre of Scotland in 2006, Futureproof’s ten performance projects will be unique to their location, sharing the experience of their young people and celebrating the creative energy of youth.

Featuring Mammalian Diving Reflex, Rimini Protokol, Back to Back Theatre, Campo and many more.




…is an anarchic event exploring what happens to the family dynamic if parents are expected to watch over their children 24/7.



A Body of Movement and Other Stories of Passion, a choreographic meditation - created with students from RCS CPP YEAR 2- on power, personal resistance and pop music. A dance to an interactive video and sound artwork, featuring participants from all around the world. The work is a response to our micro-struggles, seeking to better understand the complexities of human agency and exorcise the paradigms of commercial power.

2014 GVTR Kunstfest Weimar Candy Welz16_preview.jpeg


21Common:Knowledge is a a year-long opportunity for us to learn and grow under the mentorship of some of the most successful, dynamic and challenging international companies.  Artistically, this will focus on interrogating our work through an ongoing connection with world-class artistic innovators. For the organisation, it is a framework to find new ways, means, producing routes and models for sustaining our future. 

We are thrilled that our 21Common:Knowledge partner for 2018-19 is Back to Back Theatre Company, Australia. We are so inspired by their story and look forward to learning from the work that they do, their uncompromising vision and their expertise. You can find out more about them here http://backtobacktheatre.com/


A man enters wearing a suit. He is a multi-millionaire. You might have seen him recently on The Secret Millionaire? He has come to work with you because he has heard that you are the best young people around with a natural entrepreneurial flair. He wants to make money out of your skills. He is a ruthless businessman and no body can stand in his way. But will you…?

This cross-curricula project explores global wealth, poverty, the unfair trade system and Fair Trade, through a process which acts as a catalyst to young peoples engagement with inequality – ie, the poverty of young people and families across the world. This inequality becomes a motivating factor, allowing pupils to take charge of ‘making a difference’. This strategy will be linked with an entrepreneurial approach – how can we make money in positive ways which give all countries and people a ‘fair share’ of their resources? How can these business activities be socially responsible? And how can they have a positive social affect which goes beyond making money?

This project will bring together key themes resulting in a cross-curriculum, creative approach to the exploration of culture, equality and economics.

It aims to develop young people’s practical learning skills, as well as social skills, knowledge and emotional intelligence. This process will be driven by culture and creativity.


A group of young people aged 8-12 take on the role of Town Planners and seek to document the cultural heritage of their local area and its people – their hobbies, history, future ambitions, land marks and explore the relationship between the place where you live and the people who live in it. Not forgetting the most important question – what do we want to change?

The project culminates in a piece of public art framed as a tour of the young people’s location – led by the young people.



Dear Santa,

With the risk of sounding ungrateful, I must politely ask that you pass-by your choices for my children’s presents this year. I have been deeply concerned over the last few years in the lack of variety in your gifts. Last year my 6 year old daughter received, amongst other things, a nurses outfit. After last year she distinctly stated she wanted to be a urologist, so what happened? She also received some “F**K me” heels in 3 different colours from Toys R Us. My son received a toy gun from ASDA – no surprise there you have stuffed one in his stocking for 8 years now and a series of books called ‘Horrid Henry’ who frankly is nothing but a little bastard without an ounce of empathy.

Although I’m sure your decision to stop producing your gifts in your own workshop is based on sound financial planning and business management, I do however feel that the quality of your service has suffered. I mean where is the Christmas Spirit?

I wait your response with excitement and anticipation…

Gary Gardiner



You are hereby invited to the House of Commons to celebrate the life and times of the right honourable Baroness Thatcher. What a woman, what a leader and what a role model for our young men!

Thatcher’s Children is a high energy physical performance exploring the notion of society and questioning the ability of someone to lead one, if it indeed does not exist. What is Thatcher’s legacy? And what, as her children, have we inherited?

21Common's Gary Gardiner was the winner of the Platform 18 Award 2012, for which two of Scotland’s most exciting theatre makers were selected and supported in staging their production at the Arches and Traverse theatres. 

Supported by the Garrick Charitable Trust.
Part of Behaviour 2012.



More than one in three people admit to “feeling less positive” about Gypsy Romany Travellers (MORI 2001). This is second only to refugees and asylum seekers. Prejudice against Travellers are commonly described as an “acceptable racism”, where a politically correct attitude often silences negative responses to homosexuality, race and disability.

The prejudices faced by Romany Gypsy Travellers are compounded and perpetuated by negative media attention.

Project: Re-Mediate works across the UK and beyond providing Travellers of all ages with video, editing, content-development skills and the time needed to re-mediate the image of their community as a tool for combating prejudice and stigma.



We received a message from the United Nations:

“The world is not working. War is rife.
Famine increases. Our people are still unhappy.
You are the last hope. Create a new country, build it on the ocean, name it, name your people, make a list of the most important things – your rules, your principles, your ideas, your country, your Utopia. Now own it!”

Project: UTOPIA is a citizenship and cross-curricula approach to the exploration of culture and prejudice.


Adverts are a powerful medium for persuasion. Companies make billions of pounds everyday by persuading you to buy things you don’t need. How do they do it? And how can you use those skills to tell people about things you believe in, or are passionate about?

This project will show you how!


I’ve never understood happiness! It’s so difficult to define. If I aim to make a million pounds, then I know what I am aiming for. I can track my progression and confirm whether I have been successful or not. But how do I know if I’m happier or not? I could always be more happy, surely?

What we need is a simple happiness formula! Then we will know what we need and how to achieve it. We need a “Centre for Happiness Research” and a laboratory to explore the formula and get it right once and for all. Problem solved.

We are a team of professionals: researchers, scientists, analysts, interviewers, questioners, wonderers and ponderers; and we are looking for a school with an interest in happiness in order to turn into a Centre for Happiness Research. We aim to finally find the Formula for Happiness.

Classes will work together responding to learning challenges. The project will culminate in a festival event comprising a final performance and exhibition of learning under the fiction of a “Centre for Happiness Research”.


A radical approach to peer and self education.

Step one: choose something you don’t know shit about
Step two: chose a venue that doesn’t mind getting a little messy
Step three: Invite short contributions from all – lecture demonstrations, songs, stories, dances, performances, happenings…
Step four: ensure you contribute something yourself
Step five: watch, listen, take part and…learn.


You are invited to attend a forum, and bring in your struggles with bureaucracy – debt collection letters, bank charges, personal stories, parking fines, inflated energy bills and we will do our best to assist you whilst also entertaining you along the way!

‘Neighbourhood Forum’ is essentially about how everyday bureaucracy cripples those in society who do not run their own lives like businesses. The project is a performative public meeting and will take place in a residential neighbourhood. The local community are invited along to vent their spleens regarding local/personal issues relating to bureaucracy.

You may also want to take part in our post-show workshop: Remaining Human Whilst Fighting Bureaucrats


I have nothing good to say about Theresa May or politicians in general, but I know that I could do more to make my world and the world of those around me a little bit better.

This project is like a practical, re-imagined chain letter. What happens? We don’t really know but its starts on the 1st of every New Year and the mission is in the title.

Get involved by contacting us.


Your first Inaugural Spelling Bee competition.

The difference being that the children will adjudicate, facilitate and mentor the participating adults.

21Common will work with Children and Adults to re-imagine the popular spelling Bee competitions originally founded in North America. Children will be positioned as experts in literacy and competition rules and will coach and mentor their adult counterparts over a period of 6 weeks culminating in a 3 day public Spelling Bee competition.


When we sing, we sing to celebrate our identity, our heritage and our community.

SHOUT is a choir with a difference: no sheet music; no four-part harmony; no choir gowns; no standing tall, still and rigid; and, under no circumstances, should there be any neoclassical singing. This is not the Military Wives!

SHOUT is a performance-based choir. We use a hybrid of music genres and draw upon the cultural influences of the area and work towards the development of a series of musical mash-ups which will be performed by and for the community.


Megaphones in hand, a film crew enter the school – usually spending a little time first in the playground distracting the pupils from morning assembly.

The Film Crew are looking for the right building, the right school and the right community to make their next documentary – they want to find out more about the school’s principles: What makes it different from other schools? What do people do here and how do they learn?


“Suddenly everything stopped. Darkness swallowed the world. We were lost… 21Common, in collaboration with second year Contemporary Performance Practice students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and staff and Primary 7 pupils at Oakwood Primary School, devised an apocalyptic world that technology has completely consumed. What happened to our real human interaction with nature and the environment?