Robbie Gordon

549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War


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1936. In villages, towns and cities across Scotland, 549 lives are gradually intertwining.

People of contrasting backgrounds, ideologies and religions. Spurred on by their burning passion for equality and freedom, they will form the Scottish ranks of the Spanish Civil War’s legendary International Brigade.

2017. The country is divided.

In a small pub in Prestonpans, East Lothian, four millennials are told a story.

The true story of four local miners who, 80 years ago, travelled from the streets of Prestonpans to the valleys of Spain. They gave up everything that was familiar: for a land that was not; for a people they had never met; and for a cause they believed was right.

549, a play with songs and storytelling, is a timely insight into one of Scotland’s almost forgotten conflicts.

549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War is currently available for touring in summer 2019, for more information get in touch:

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creative Team

Jack Nurse &
Robbie Gordon

Jack Nurse 

Cat McLauchlan

Lighting Designer
Benny Goodman

Steph Connell (Current)
Ailie Crerar 
Hector Macpherson Brown (Originating)

Director of "McNeill of Tranent: Fastest Man In The World"


George McNeill was born in Tranent, a small Scottish mining town. He began his career as a part-time professional footballer, signing for Hibernian at sixteen.

Giving up football to concentrate on athletics, he was banned from running as an amateur due to his professional football career, meaning he could never compete in the Commonwealth or Olympic Games. Despite this, he went on to break the professional world record and win a professional world sprint title in 1972. However, with all of these successes, George’s story is still mostly unknown to the wider world...until now. 

Told by McNeill himself, this one-man show in collaboration with Wonder Fools, depicts his remarkable true story with hilarious anecdotes, archival film footage and music. 

"He was never McNeill of Great Britain, he was not even McNeill of Scotland, he remained McNeill of Tranent -“The Fastest Man in the World”.

Photo credit: Jassy Earl

previous performances

19 May 2015
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

18 February 2015
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

12 November 2014
Le Monde, Edinburgh

20 August 2014
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

30 July 2014
Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow
(Part of Festival 2014)

21-22 July 2014
Old Hairdressers, Glasgow

creative Team


Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse


George McNeill

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Assistant director of "Dream on!"

graham mclaren

Graham McLaren’s “Dream On!” was a cross institutional collaboration between BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The Glasgow School of Art, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow.

Along with dramaturg Amanda Larsson and composer Rory Comerford, I worked closely with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's BA Performance in British Sign Language and English programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The project culminated in an ambitious, multi-arts experience involving hundreds of emerging performers, artists, designers, and academics. Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death “Dream On!”, inspired by the themes of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", was a celebration of the Bard's place at the heart of our culture.

The performance event took place at Bute Hall, Glasgow, on April 23rd and was streamed live on the BBC. The performance can be viewed online here.

Photo credit: Ken Dundas

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Research assistant for Gary Mcnair's "locker room talk"

Traverse Theatre

‘Grab them by the pussy.’

During his controversial presidential election campaign, Donald Trump regularly made statements considered by many to be misogynistic and offensive. Though he made little apology for either his language or alleged actions, the electorate elevated him to the highest office in the land – bringing his views along with him.

Can such sexually abusive rhetoric really be accepted as mere locker room talk? Is this simply an individual or one who speaks to a silent majority? Might it be that our world isn’t as progressive as we’d like to think?

Gary McNair wants to think we’re better than this, and is having honest conversations with men about women to see if he is right or wrong. The words of these men are performed by a cast of women in this verbatim piece.

Each performance will be followed by a discussion giving the opportunity for the audience to participate, ask questions and examine the issues raised.

@traversetheatre / @TheGaryMcNair / #LockerRoomTalkPlay

Photo credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

creative Team


Gary McNair


Orla O'Loughlin 


Rosie Kellagher


Assistant director of "Howl[ing]"

drew taylor-wilson

I assistant directed on Drew Taylor-Wilson's "HOWL[ing]", an epic poem for post referendum Scotland using beat poet Allen Ginsberg's seminal piece "HOWL" as a basis. "HOWL[ing]" presented a concert of words and live music interrogating our national, financial, mental and social health.

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the streets at dawn looking for an angry fix" – 

Allen Ginsberg, HOWL, 1955

HOWL[ing] was originally performed in October 2014 supported by by Glasgay! and the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. 

Photo credit: James Taylor-Wilson



Drew Taylor-Wilson

Assitant Director

Robbie Gordon

creative Team

Text and Performance

Drew Taylor-Wison

David Rankine

Leyla Josephine

Music Composition and Performance

Julia Doogan

Jennifer Hamilton


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workshop assistant and PERFORMER in "We are here because we are here"

National Theatre of scotland

Thousands of volunteers took part in a UK-wide event on Friday 1 July 2016, as a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. 

We’re Here Because We’re Here saw some 1400 voluntary participants dressed in First World War uniform appear unexpectedly in locations across the UK. The young men were a reminder of the 19,240 men who were killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Each participant represented an individual soldier who was killed on that day. The work is partly inspired by tales of sightings during and after the First World War by people who believed they had seen a dead loved one. 

The participants wore historically accurate uniforms, representing 15 of the regiments that suffered losses in the first day of the Battle. The soldiers did not speak, but at points throughout the day would sing the song ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’, which was sung in the trenches during the First World War. They handed out cards to members of the public with the name and regiment of the soldier they represented, and, where known, the age of the soldier when he died on 1 July 1916. 

Photo credit: Eoin Carey

The daylong work ran from 7am to 7pm and covered the width and breadth of the UK, from Shetland to Plymouth. Sites they visited included shopping centres, train stations, beaches, car parks and high streets – taking the memorial to contemporary Britain and bringing an intervention into people’s daily lives where it was least expected.

Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the work was conceived and created by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris.

27 organisations collaborated on the event, which was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the National Theatre, working in close collaboration with partners including: Lyric Theatre Belfast, Manchester Royal Exchange, National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre Wales, Northern Stage, Playhouse Derry-Londonderry, Salisbury Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres and Theatre Royal Plymouth.


Director Simon Sharkey

Movement Direction Brigid McCarthy and Vince Virr

Workshop Assistant Robbie Gordon

Producer Dawn Taylor

Assistant Producer  Stephanie Katie Hunter

Company Manager Alison Brodie




Concept by Jeremy Deller

Direction by Rufus Norris



Director of "Love the one you hurt"

andy gunn

‘Love The One You Hurt’ centres around two actors, Tom and Jen. Tom is shy and the type of actor who highlights every line and writes his stage directions in. Jen on the other hand is a bit more creative and prefers a much more open approach to the text.

 With performance methods already contrasting, how will the two actors approach trying to rehearse their big sex scene? And what happens when the lines and emotions become blurred?
'Love the One You Hurt' was performed as part of 'Wee Theaters Glasgow' with Mark Barrett as Tom and Brigid Shine as Jen. To find out more visit 


Director of "The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Remix)"


Wonder Fools' adaptation of 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart' by David Greig displaces the rural folk culture explored in the original play with the nightlife of Glasgow.

Greig’s original text was reinterpreted to explore lad culture, the objectification of women and subculture in Scotland. With four guys flashing back and forth between the morning after and the night before, trying to make sense of what's been and what's coming; accompanied by projection and a live DJ.

Wonder Fools were commissioned to explore this text by Playwright Studio Scotland's Crossing the Line Programme


Kenny Boyle
Connie Hartley
Jamie Buchanan
Mark Barrett
Robbie Gordon



creative Team


Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse

Sound Design (DJ)

Joshua Payne