10th Anniversary at the Scottish Parliament

Theatre Nemo’s 10th Anniversary celebrations were held at the Scottish Parliament in 2010 thanks to the active and ongoing support of Linda Fabiani, Member of Scottish Parliament for East Kilbride. Linda has given Theatre Nemo outstanding support since the charity was formed, and so it was only right that she host what was a very successful evening.

This particular event highlighted the arts educational work undertaken by Theatre Nemo’s specialist facilitators in our prisons, and highlighted the true benefits of the arts in providing people in the community with the skills and opportunities to take charge of their lives to determine new pathways and move on from previous life experiences to recognise personal worth and development of self esteem.

John McCaig, Director of Theatre Nemo, and formerly Deputy Inspector of Prisons in Scotland, gave a memorable speech on why we need to do more for prisoners, specifically with regards to mental health. The alarming figures on mental health in prisons that he quoted gave us some idea of the direction in which Theatre Nemo will go in the years ahead.

Below is the speech given by John McCaig:

The star of the evening was undoubtedly Andy, an ex-prisoner who said he had been ‘fated’ (in his own words) to meet Theatre Nemo whilst in prison. He commented on how much it had enabled him to turn away from his previous life of crime.

The changes that he has made since beginning participation in Theatre Nemo’s programmes are truly remarkable. Not only has he stopped offending, he has managed to stop his drug addiction and now has a good relationship with his family. Before, his family had come second to his drug use.

All in attendance at the event were impressed by Andy’s courage in standing up in a room full of strangers, his forthrightness and how expressive he was on behalf of many of those whose lives have been touched by Theatre Nemo’s work.

We are incredibly glad to announce that in recognition of his inspiring progress and amazing hard work Andy has since been appointed to the Theatre Nemo Board of Directors.

Below is Andy’s speech from the evening:

Also joining us in our celebrations was Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Kenny gave us a characteristically direct speech on the importance of mentally ill individuals building confidence and self esteem through having the skills to move forward.

Below is Kenny’s MacAskill’s speech:

To end the evening our spirits were lifted by the Theatre Nemo community choir singing some of their best Scottish songs:

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