National Theatre of Scotland presents Ménage a Trois

Ménage à Trois has been commissioned by the Unlimited Cultural Olympiad programme and is part of the London 2012 Festival. Unlimited encourages collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers and mainstream organisations to celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to create original and exciting works.

The production will premiere at Tramway, Glasgow on 24 / 25 August and then tours to Bounce Festival, Belfast; Southbank Centre, London; Eden Court Theatre, Inverness and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.

At Southbank Centre, the production will be presented alongside the other 28 Unlimited commissions at Unlimited: the Revelation starts here, an unprecedented 11 day celebration (30 August – 9 September) of the talent and imagination of Deaf and disabled artists.

In a dark, private chamber, a lonely woman begins to craft the perfect man out of the only thing she knows…her crutches. A hauntingly beautiful study of love, obsession, loneliness and manipulation, Ménage a Trois is a visually stunning new piece of dance theatre from award-winning performer Claire Cunningham.

Exploring Claire’s twenty-year relationship with her crutches, this darkly humorous and deeply personal portrait asks if it’s possible to find love when there are already three of you in the relationship.

Gail Sneddon, choreographer and installation artist has collaborated with Claire to create the video design for the production. Visually poetic and witty, the design creates an immersive and animated environment which brings a magical dimension to the production, enveloping Claire in the world of her imagination.

Originally a classically trained singer, Claire Cunningham worked initially in musical theatre, before developing an interest in aerial work and dance in 2005. The granting of a Creative Scotland Award in 2006 enabled Cunningham to investigate and develop a new movement vocabulary, specific and unique to her own physicality and virtuosity. She has worked and trained extensively with US choreographer Jess Curtis, and studied with artists including Bill Shannon, Candoco Dance Company, Wendy Houston and Sara Shelton-Mann.

After graduating at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in 1997, Gail Sneddon, has worked as a performer for companies such as Nigel Charnock and Athina Vahla. In 2000 she set up her own company Modusforum, creating performance/installation based works which concentrated on combining movement with sound and spatial design. After completing her MA in Scenography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Gail’s work has been firmly concentrated in both Dance and Film. She is currently working on a PhD at the University of West of Scotland where she is also a guest lecturer in Creative Media Practice.

Christopher Owen completed his studies in dance performance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and received a scholarship award to continue his training at London Contemporary Dance School. He has worked extensively with many dance and theatre companies including the National Dance Company of Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Ireland and also Candoco Dance Company. Christopher also choreographs and directs his own work under the name Percussive Customer.

Claire’s critically acclaimed solo show ME (Mobile/Evolution) gained her a prestigious Herald Angel Award at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and subsequently toured to dance and inter-disciplinary festivals throughout Europe. Alongside Menage a Trois, Claire has created ‘12’, a large-scale group work for Candoco Dance Company with Gail Sneddon (Mentor). This is also one of the 29 Unlimited commissions for London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.

To see the National Theatre of Scotland trailer of Ménage a Trois visit here:


Tramway, Glasgow on Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August, 7.30pm 2012
Accessible Performances: Audio Described on 25 August
Box Office:  0845 330 3501/
                                                                                                                                                         Bounce Festival, MAC, Belfast on Friday 31 August, 7.30pm 2012
Box Office: 028 9023 5053/

Southbank Centre, London on Saturday 8 September, 8pm 2012
Part of Unlimited: the Revelation starts here
Accessible Performance: Audio Described
Box Office:  0844 875 0073/

Eden Court Theatre (One Touch Studio), Inverness on Tuesday 11 September, 7.30pm 2012
Box Office: 01463 234 234/

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on Wednesday 19 September, 7.30pm 2012
Box Office: 0131 228 1404/