Latest Press Release (January 2021):




Leading the way in digital upskilling – and adding a spark to lives in Scotland and Japan – is Tricky Hat Productions.

With its over-50s performance company, The Flames, Tricky Hat’s latest project is #DontStopTheFlames. #DontStopTheFlames is a series of eight films about the lives of The Flames and their hopes and dreams in a post-Covid world.

#DontStopTheFlames demonstrates Tricky Hat’s importance in the creative world with this dynamic performance company, shattering preconceptions of ageing, and embracing new digital skills.

Many of The Flames raged against the digital world pre-Covid, but some have now been given iPads and training to film themselves, and some are being filmed from a social distance. Each Flame is staying at home and is sharing with the world their stories about this new way of living.

The Flames are also using their new-found skills in other parts of their lives. All have said that they are learning from each other, 80% said it gave them more confidence with their communication skills, and two-thirds said it made them more confident about approaching new technologies:

“It is a whole new ball game, exciting”

“My previous experience with Zoom was not a good one, so I was pleasantly surprised to find The Flames experience enjoyable and stimulating”

“I was scared at first, now I feel quite chuffed”

Through offering one-to-one and group workshops on Zoom, Tricky Hat worked hard to give The Flames a focus, meanwhile helping them to feel supported during such challenging times. In addition to improving their digital skills and creative involvement, 95% said that being a part of The Flames has improved their health and wellbeing:

“This last few months would have very bleak indeed without them as I live entirely alone and the days have been long.”

“The Flames workshops have given a structure, future things to look forward to and something to talk about as well as engaging our thinking and creativity. Life would have been so much flatter without this.”

Director Fiona Miller says “Under normal circumstances, we do all of our devising in person. However, a lot of our work is now done digitally, or from a social distance if meeting in person is possible. Trying out different methods of working has allowed us to be creative in new ways.”

This project has created a worldwide viewing experience, with the four films that have been released so far already reaching 6 continents and 35 countries. All films are accessible from all corners of the globe – they are free to view and sharing is encouraged.

The fifth film, Eden, is launched on Friday 15th January at 10am. This film was shot entirely in different gardens, including the idyllic Gartnavel Secret Garden in Glasgow’s West End, and explores stories of escapism.

The fourth and most recent film in the series, Roses, is out now. Since lockdown, The Flames have discovered that they are walking more than usual. Roses features Scottish Flames Pene, Jay and Anne, as they share the walking rituals that spur them on.

Watch Roses here

The first film in our series, Ironing with Betty, has been viewed more than 600 times. A gentle exploration of living with dementia.

Watch Ironing with Betty here

The second film, (Umi) and the Sea, has been viewed more than 500 times. 海(Umi) and the Sea features Japanese and Scottish Flames, as they compare traditional nautical folklore.

Watch 海(Umi) and the Sea here (Click CC and select English for subtitles)

The third film, “Unprecedented”, features Japanese and Scottish Flames performing to empty auditoriums as stand-up performers, exploring how emotions are intensified during unprecedented times.

Watch “Unprecedented” here (Click CC and select English for subtitles)

 All films in this series will be posted on Tricky Hat Productions’ Vimeo page –  The link to all films will be accessible via Tricky Hat Productions’ Facebook (@trickyhatproductions), Twitter (@tricky_hat_) and Instagram (@wearetrickyhat).

#DontStopTheFlames is presented by Tricky Hat and The Flames. This project is supported by Creative Scotland and British Council, facilitated by Scottish Government. The project on the Japanese side is being implemented by PLAY ART! SENDAI for the Sendai Cultural Programme 2020, and is co-sponsored by Sendai Cultural Foundation and Sendai City.



Notes to editor:

Tricky Hat Productions: 

Tricky Hat is a Glasgow-based theatre company which takes a multimedia approach to participatory and professional work. It makes theatre with and about people who live on the margins of society, and works with them to find a creative and credible voice to create high quality, collaborative, cross-arts events, with established artists.

Web and social media links:


Twitter: @tricky_hat_

Facebook: @trickyhatproductions

Instagram: @wearetrickyhat



Bios for Creative Team:

Fiona Miller (Director)

Fiona Miller is the Artistic Director of Tricky Hat Productions and the Director of The Flames.

Having previously worked at theatres such as Cumbernauld Theatre, she now develops all of her work through Tricky Hat.

An advocate for collaboration across art forms, she works with arts organisations, councils and the third sector to create projects that connect with groups, who often feel disconnected within society.

Mick Slaven (Music/Composition)

Mick Slaven is a musician and composer, and will create original music for The Flames. As a musician, Mick has worked with many artists including  Deacon Blue and Del Amitri.

His theatre portfolio includes Passing Places by Stephen Greenhorn, and Gagarin Way by Gregory Burke. Alongside creating credits and writing and performing in shows, Mick immerses himself within community projects; using music to connect with elderly people, children and mental health groups.

Kim Beveridge (Audio Visual Design)

Kim Beveridge is a freelance digital artist, documentary film maker and Audio Visual Designer for The Flames.

Alongside Tricky Hat, Kim has worked with companies such as the National Theatre of Scotland, Tramway and the Arches. Her portfolio includes creating audio and visual work such as The Missing Audio Journey for the National Theatre of Scotland, and Roadkill by Stef Smith, directed by Cora Bissett. Kim is also a Film and Television Lecturer in the New College Lanarkshire in Scotland.

Aya Kobayashi (Dance Artist)

Aya is a Glasgow-based Japanese independent dance artist working in the field of performance and movement exploration. Aya began her training in Japan before enrolling at the Rambert School in London. She gained an MA in Dance Performance at the University of Chichester.

She now teaches, performs, and works as a choreographer with different companies and communities. Aya enjoys creative work within both community and professional settings, in collaboration with artists working with different mediums.

Images available to view and download here.

For more information, interviews, content or images please contact:

Candice Harvey, Marketing Officer


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Press Release – #DSTF January 2021