Acclaimed theatre production comes to our screens

A multi-award winning production by the National Theatre of Scotland has been adapted for a special screening on television.

A new and specially crafted recording of Adam will be shown on the BBC Scotland channel in early March.

Inspired by the life of Adam Kashmiry, Adam tells his remarkable story. Born in Egypt, Adam was assigned female at birth but always knew he was a boy, then as he reached adulthood had to flee from his homeland, coming to Scotland hoping to transition.

Written by playwright and dramaturg Frances Poet, and reworked for the screen, the hour-long drama focuses on Adam’s isolating experiences in a Glasgow flat while awaiting a decision on his asylum claim. Trapped in a Catch 22 where he cannot prove his need for asylum as a trans man until he transitions but is unable to start transitioning until he is granted asylum, Adam is left alone to wrestle with his conflicting thoughts and feelings as every waking moment sees him haunted by figures from his past and present.

A one-hour adaption of the play, which garnered extensive critical acclaim and awards when it was staged at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, will be premiered on the BBC Scotland channel before a later screening on BBC Four.

Commissioned by BBC Scotland and BBC Arts, this new version has been produced by the National Theatre of Scotland in conjunction with Hopscotch Films.

As in the play, Adam Kashmiry will play himself and he will also be joined in this new TV version by actors Myriam Acharki, Yasmin Al-Khudhairi, Haqi Ali, Neshla Caplan, Stephen McCole, Rehanna MacDonald, and Hamish Wyllie.

This new version will combine some of the feel of a theatrical production with more intimate TV direction as the drama explores Adam’s mental, physical and confessional journey. Scenes from Adam’s past are recounted in an abstract setting representing the lead character’s memories creating a stylised viewer experience.

As she did with the theatre production, Cora Bissett directs but for this TV special she has been joined by award-winning film-maker Louise Lockwood. The drama also features a virtual online trans world choir, brought together for the original award-winning stage production.

Louise Thornton, head of commissioning at BBC Scotland said: ‘Adam is a fantastic play by National Theatre of Scotland that follows the remarkable story of a young trans man and his struggle across genders and borders to be himself. And it has been given a unique and beautiful reinterpretation in this new version of the play, which we hope will provide the audience with some aspects of a theatre performance alongside the closeness and intimacy that television can provide.

‘One of the main objectives of BBC Scotland and of the channel is to seek creative partnerships which allow us to give a platform to engaging content and bring it to a wider audience, this is a terrific example, which we hope the audience will see as a new kind of televisual experience.’

Jackie Wylie – artistic director of National Theatre of Scotland said: ‘Adam Kashmiry’s real life journey from Egypt to Glasgow and his journey of transition are at the heart of one of the most remarkable stories we have had the privilege of telling at the National Theatre of Scotland.

‘In the sharing of his story, live on stage in 2017, Adam displayed the same courage and resolve, profoundly moving all those who saw it. I am thrilled that Adam is now being told on screen in a beautifully crafted, made for TV, theatrical drama which will see his story reach new audiences. It has also afforded us the wonderful opportunity to work again with BBC Scotland, BBC Arts and Hopscotch Films who continue to demonstrate their enlightened support of Scottish theatrical talent whilst theatres remain closed.’

After its BBC Scotland TV premiere, Adam will be shown in the spring as part of the BBC Arts ‘Lights Up’ for New Culture in Quarantine Season.