Speakin' Cajun

Speakin' Cajun

Brace yourself for an exciting night of richly layered contemporary and Louisiana music, and thought-provoking spoken word in this straight-from-the-bayou cabaret. Back after their sell-out show at the Traverse Bar in January, the Jennifer Ewan Band joins forces with The List Hot 100 spoken word theatre company, Poetry Circus, for a spectacular evening of distinctly Cajun moves and grooves. 

Nests

Nests

Within a cluttered clearing in some woods that's neither town nor countryside and so somehow feels like nowhere, an unnamed Man (David McKay) sleeps the sleep of the just-finished-a-bottle-of-gut-rot-cider… 

James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2018: The Award Ceremony

James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2018: The Award Ceremony

Join some of today’s most innovative playwrights for an afternoon of insightful interviews and performed readings. The James Tait Black Prize for Drama celebrates ground-breaking drama produced worldwide in the last year... 

Ulster American

Ulster American

Acclaimed writer David Ireland’s new play is a visceral, violent and incredibly explosive punch to the gut that passionately tears into the confused state of British identity, the politics of theatre, and society's violent undercurrent... 

Breakfast Plays: Youthquake

Breakfast Plays: Youthquake

Three young Scottish playwrights from the Traverse Young Writers’ group join forces with three leading British writers (Ella Hickson, Kieran Hurley and Sabrina Mahfouz) to explore a pressing question of our time: how can the younger generation be a catalyst for social and political change? Paired with pieces from their professional mentors, this brave new body of work from young voices is a defiant demand to be seen as more than avocado-fuelled millennials... 

TalkFest 2018: 02

TalkFest 2018: 02

Delve deeper into what stimulates the artists behind this year’s festival with these fun, engaging discussions. Each lively session is chaired by a leading playwright or theatre-maker... 

On the Exhale

On the Exhale

“You always thought it would be you”. This line repeats and echoes throughout the first half of the play, reminding the audience just how real these situations are. In the six years since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, the prevalence of school shootings has been unavoidable... 

Nigel Slater’s Toast

Nigel Slater’s Toast

One of the hardest calls for a reviewer to make is where to draw the line between production and play. Can a problematic text be completely redeemed if the production is good or, for new pieces where the audience may not know what to expect, do we have a duty to comment on the work, script and all, so everyone goes in with their eyes open?It’s a quandary I find myself in after stepping out of Nigel Slater’s Toast at the Traverse theatre... 

Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70

Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70

Mark Thomas regales us with a peppy portrayal of his health-check on the NHS, in commemoration of 70 years since its inception. The NHS is our biggest socialist element in UK society, and Thomas – a lefty politico-comedian – embarked on a month-long residency at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to find out what state the NHS will be in when he needs it most... 

What Girls Are Made Of

What Girls Are Made Of

The Traverse One stage looks more ready for a gig than a piece of theatre, but while music undoubtedly runs through the heart of Cora Bissett's latest, most autobiographical work, this is equally a heartfelt examination of parent-child relationships, presented with passion, tenderness and the fuck-you attitude of rock 'n' roll at its best... 

Meek

Meek

The Traverse Festival program has jumped into action, already selling out full days' worth of shows at a time. The venue has high reputation for its new writing and for good reason... 

TalkFest 2018: 01

TalkFest 2018: 01

Delve deeper into what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Edinburgh festival with these fun, engaging discussions. Each lively session is chaired by a leading playwright or theatre-maker... 

Pre-View

Pre-View

Four readings from brand-new plays by Erica Mack, Felix Maxwell, Madison Pollack and Derek Roland, who are graduating from the MSc in Playwriting at the University of Edinburgh. Performed by professional actors... 

Theatre Uncut: Women on Power

Theatre Uncut: Women on Power

The multi award-winning political agitators are back at the Traverse with a morning of outstanding new writing and fiery debate. Join the Theatre Uncut team as they present their brand-new collection of plays by some of the UK's most dynamic female playwrights exploring the theme of power... 

The Greatest Play in the History of the World...

The Greatest Play in the History of the World...

A love story, set on Preston Road, and also in space and in time. A man wakes in the middle of the night to discover that the world has stopped. Through the crack in his bedroom curtains, he can see no signs of life at all... 

Class

Class

\'Inspired look at society through the prism of a parent-teacher meeting\' ***** (Sunday Times). Brian and Donna’s son is nine years old and he’s struggling. That’s what his teacher says... 

Coriolanus Vanishes

Coriolanus Vanishes

A tense, suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller. Chris experienced three deaths, one after another. She's in prison awaiting trial. But she doesn’t exactly know why... 

Underground Railroad Game

Underground Railroad Game

Good morning, America! Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers are getting down and dirty with today’s lesson. The duo tackle race, sex and power politics in this R-rated, kaleidoscopic, and fearless comedy... 

The Darkness Or Else The Light

The Darkness Or Else The Light

An anonymous hack – an act of sabotage or revenge – kicks off a chain of events that changes the whole of society. Suddenly a group of young people must learn how to survive in a world where the private has become public, everyone's data is out there for all to see, and a person's every action can apparently be predicted... 

Mbuzeni

Mbuzeni

Part of the inherent challenge for Noel Jordan and the Imaginate team when putting together their annual Edinburgh International Children's Festival is their very diverse potential audience: after all, the theatrical needs of toddlers and pre-school children can hardly be more different than those for young adults... 

Expedition Peter Pan

Expedition Peter Pan

"Grow up, mature, and come back when you have something to contribute!" It's not the most sympathetic way to address a young audience; nevertheless, it succinctly shows us the 'eat or be eaten' attitude of Eric (Lennart Monaster), who is one of five business-suited adults suddenly dropped into a strange world of bedside furniture and night-lights in this production of Expedition Peter Pan... 

Ma, Pa and the Little Mouths

Ma, Pa and the Little Mouths

“A snake will always find a way in. And he has. We've been sleeping so long that he's had a feast… And this snake has been devouring them all whilst you and I are asleep in the next room... 

Gut

Gut

“In my day, we trusted people. We knew there were some bad apples but we thought most people were good.” So says Morven, grandmother of unseen three-year-old Joshua, in genuine frustration to his mother Maddy who, during the course of Frances Poet’s Gut, becomes increasingly neurotic about even the merest possibility that he was sexually molested by some unknown male stranger that Morven unthinkingly allowed to take Joshua into the supermarket cafe toilets... 

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

If theatre is home to lies that impart truths, then this Actors Touring Company’s production of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Winter Solstice (translated by David Tushingham) makes no attempt to suspend our disbelief; the cast of six are dressed casually and, for the most part, sit around a group of tables on an “undressed” stage, covered with the detritus of paper cups, bottles of water, nibbles and scrap paper typical of any theatrical or television read-through... 

Three Sisters

Three Sisters

“It’s sweat on your brow that gives life meaning,” says one of the supporting characters in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and it’s fair to say that, on occasions, there’s a distracting sense of effort being made by some cast members, which is not always comfortable for the audience... 

Showtime from the Frontline

Showtime from the Frontline

Most stand-up comedy these days is based on the lives of the people standing behind the microphone, albeit reshaped to varying degrees to ensure their material matches the “rule of three” defining all the best jokes in the world – essentially a beginning, a middle and the wrong ending... 

The Last Bordello

The Last Bordello

Perhaps it was tempting fate, but David Leddy’s decision to call his latest work The Last Bordello now comes with a certain irony, given that it could well prove to be his final production under the “Fire Exit” banner – thanks to the company controversially losing its modest, yet vital, funding from Creative Scotland... 

The Match Box

The Match Box

The central metaphor running through Frank McGuinness’s 2012 monologue The Match Box is almost breath-taking in its simplicity; it’s that all of us, all of our lives, are ultimately as brief, and unknowable in their duration, as a struck match... 

Shona Reppe’s Cinderella

Shona Reppe’s Cinderella

This revival of Shona Reppe’s acclaimed puppet retelling of the iconic fairytale is a fascinating jewel of a production, ideal for young children and families alike; subtle, succinct and aware of its narrative limits—unlike Cinderella, for example, we’re pointedly told that we’re NOT going to the Ball—while nevertheless confidently giving our imaginations enough room to play and become emotionally involved... 

How To Disappear

How To Disappear

As Scotland’s self-declared “new writing theatre”, Edinburgh’s Traverse does like to offer up an alternative to the pantomimes and decidedly family-focused fare on offer elsewhere around the city, while still utilising fake snow... 

Our Fathers

Our Fathers

It’s mildly amusing to see two grown men briefly falling into a childish bragging-match about their fathers—one a retired Church of Scotland minister, the other a former Bishop... 

One Mississippi

One Mississippi

There’s little obvious theatrical artifice on show; just four actors, in casual clothes, sitting or lying on the plain black floor of an empty stage as the audience comes in. Mariem Omari’s script, we read in the programme, is based on verbatim interviews with a diverse range of men across Scotland, which she believes confirms the increasingly held belief that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are among the leading causes of substance abuse, depression and suicide... 

Man to Man

Man to Man

There were a lot of expectation around this new Wales Millennium Centre production of Manfred Karge’s one-woman play, Man to Man. Back in 1987, Karge himself had directed a young Tilda Swinton in a career-establishing performance at the Traverse, in it’s former Grassmarket home... 

Without a Hitch

Without a Hitch

There’s no doubting the raw energy and physicality of this show, a work of dance theatre that definitely prefers choreography to speech, and uses it—along with some pretty stark staging and a thumping score—to great effect... 

Damned Rebel Bitches

Damned Rebel Bitches

Historically speaking, the original “Damned Rebel Bitches” were—according to the “butcher” Duke of Cumberland—the Jacobite women who marched behind their men in order to prevent them retreating... 

The Coolidge Effect

The Coolidge Effect

During the early years of the British Broadcasting Corporation, its first Director-General Lord Reith established the BBC’s mission as being to “inform, educate and entertain”... 

Eve

Eve

The perfect image of youth and boyhood is projected onto the mirror-like panels which hang from the ceiling as Jo Clifford gazes thoughtfully the photo of herself. Clifford speaks with deliberate resonance, commanding the stage with the presence of her lone-voice... 

Locker Room Talk

Locker Room Talk

Delve into an hour of real Locker Room Talk, a term made infamous by Donald Trump, and allow yourself to be immersed into the murky and dark world of everyday sexism that society doesn’t seem to want to admit to... 

An Evening With an Immigrant

An Evening With an Immigrant

Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams, born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in what is now considered to be Boko Haram territory, left Nigeria for England in 1996 aged 12... 

James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2017: The Award Ceremony

James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2017: The Award Ceremony

Join some of today’s most innovative playwrights for an afternoon of insightful interviews and performed readings. The James Tait Black Prize for Drama celebrates ground breaking drama produced worldwide in the last year... 

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

A show about the evocative powers of art must be particularly effective in practicing what it preaches. Emma Rice’s final production with Kneehigh succeeds in being a delight for all the senses... 

Adam

Adam

Adam tells the story of Adam Kashmiry, a trans man born in Alexandria, Egypt. It follows Adam’s journey figuring out where he belongs, first in Egypt and then in Glasgow where he seeks asylum... 

Wild Bore

Wild Bore

For a theatre piece to be perfect for some people, it has to be horrible for others. There is no way to create art that some find beautiful without others finding it offensive and lacking in merit... 

Pre-View

Pre-View

Traverse Theatre is currently hosting rehearsed readings of pieces from graduates at the University of Edinburgh’s Playwriting Masters course. The work of the emerging writers is performed and directed by professional directors and actors bringing the scripts to life – excellently... 

Breakfast Plays: B!rth

Breakfast Plays: B!rth

The Traverse Theatre sadly need to offer more than a bacon roll to make Breakfast Plays: B!rth worth getting up for. Whilst the addition of breakfast and a hot drink is a nice touch, they aren't enough to compensate for a dull performance... 

TalkFest 2017: 02

TalkFest 2017: 02

Delve deeper into what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Edinburgh Festival with these fun, engaging discussions. Each lively session is chaired by a leading playwright or theatre maker... 

Jess and Joe Forever

Jess and Joe Forever

Jess and Joe want to tell us their story. They are friends but they weren’t at the beginning, but they’ll get to that point. Jess and Joe Forever is a touching story, about a boy and a girl and how difficult it can be to fit in... 

Nassim

Nassim

Nassim. No rehearsals. No preparation. A different actor every performance. A script in a sealed envelope. What could go wrong?This is a show that touches the heart. It’s theatre that uses many tools to tell us a story... 

Meet Me At Dawn

Meet Me At Dawn

Zinnie Harris has five plays on in Edinburgh this August, including two within the Edinburgh International Festival’s theatre programme. While she may not yet be a household name, in the last couple of years alone her work has been recognised by the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) as both much-in-demand writer and director... 

The Whip Hand

The Whip Hand

The Traverse Theatre is onto a winner with its programming this year. Douglas Maxwell’s The Whip Hand a family comedy drama, about power, privilege and escaping the past, is a firecracker of a piece... 

Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone

Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone

1960s America. A hot day; 38 degrees in the shade. We certainly feel the heat in this piercing, soulful production at the Traverse theatre.Josette Bushell-Mingo writes and performs in this one-woman show, using Nina Simone’s music and political acts to make parallels with today’s society and question how far we have really come... 

Letters to Morrissey

Letters to Morrissey

Confession time: I’ve never been a fan of The Smiths or Morrissey. Oh, I recognise their importance in British popular culture, the innovative high quality of their work—but that doesn’t mean I have to like it... 

Rainbow Soapbox

Rainbow Soapbox

Legendary cabaret artists and arch dissectors of gender norms, Dive Queer Party are celebrating 70 years of the Edinburgh festivals (and 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality) by hopping on their Rainbow Soapbox for a series of live Party Political Broadcasts celebrating queer identity, spaces and history... 

TalkFest 2017: 01

TalkFest 2017: 01

Delve into what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Festival with these fun, engaging discussions. Each session is chaired by a leading playwright or theatre maker. The Writer’s Director: How do directors work with playwrights to bring the world of the play to life? Directors, known for specialising in contemporary playwriting or revitalising classics, discuss their careers and their productions... 

Lilith: The Jungle Girl

Lilith: The Jungle Girl

This acclaimed show from award-winning Australian theatre company Sisters Grimm clearly aims to put the “lion” back in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, through a startlingly amusing, messy and self-aware tale of a wild girl—raised, from the age of four, within a leonine pride in the heart of Borneo—who is captured by explorers and brought to 19th century Holland where one of the leading neuroscientists of the day attempts to “civilise” her... 

Bounce!

Bounce!

It’s fair to say that Bounce!, created and performed by French company Arcosm, is a delightfully playful blend of music and dance, performed with real skill and alleged wild abandon... 

Falling Dreams

Falling Dreams

Recent years have seen a significant rise in the number of (usually) London theatre productions being transmitted live to cinemas and other venues across the UK. While clearly successful commercially, it’s a moot point whether an audience watching any stage performance on a big screen really are still enjoying “live theatre”, especially once those recording what’s happening on the stage begin to utilise the basic visual language—close ups, mid-shots, long-shots—of cinema... 

Little Red

Little Red

This beautiful dance theatre show takes an irreverent and contemporary twist on an old favourite. Part of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival. Level: 7 - 12 years. 

Nosferatu

Nosferatu

Dracula, but not quite as you know it. Bob Theatre have pushed the idea of light and shadow of this traditional tale to its most extreme limits; part of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival... 

Narrow

Narrow

A house that is too small. A man and a woman who are too big; an intimate and extremely funny love story about one couple's quest for domestic bliss. Part of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival... 

Music Is Torture

Music Is Torture

“Keep going,” actor Andy Clark says repeatedly to the musicians behind the glass screen in the unsubtly-named Limbo Studio created on stage, ensuring that we find our seats accompanied by a regular single drum-beat... 

Girl in the Machine

Girl in the Machine

The symbolism is hardly subtle; when we enter the Traverse Theatre’s principal performance space, we have to choose which side of a massive shipping container we sit next to. Impressively, this is then pulled to the side to reveal Neil Warmington’s minimalist set and the cast, Michael Dylan and Rosalind Sydney, frozen in an embrace as loving couple Owen and Polly... 

Girls Like That

Girls Like That

Evan Placey’s Girls Like That (first performed at London’s Unicorn Theatre three years ago) came to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre—courtesy of the neighbouring Lyceum Theatre’s Youth wing—with added meaning... 

Last Christmas

Last Christmas

“I can be pretty dim, sometimes,” says Sion Pritchard as Tom, an office-working film school graduate who doesn’t, initially, come across as particularly sympathetic. “I can really be a c*** sometimes,” he adds—just to emphasise the point—as he moans about work colleagues and the office Christmas Party... 

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

It’s a brave show which starts with the words: “I don’t like it.” It’s requires even more courage for a production, advertised as being “inspired” by the best-selling equine novel Black Beauty, to not even mention the title until well into the first half... 

Grain in the Blood

Grain in the Blood

For at least some of its audience, it’s enough that Grain in the Blood reunites actors Blythe Duff and John Michie—long-time compatriots on STV’s Taggart. For the rest of us, this generally taut 90 minute tale by playwright Rob Drummond—previously responsible for experimental audience-participation works such as Fidelity and Bullet Catch, as well as the currently touring stage adaptation of iconic D C Thomson’s The Broons—is an engrossing drama successfully combining the deadpan humour of film noir with a whiff of rural folk mythology... 

Him

Him

“It’s quite comfortable being old,” 80 year old actor Tim Barlow tells us at the start of his latest one-man show, a work co-devised with the writer Sheila Hill. Apparently, our “senior” years can be a more peaceful period in our lives, although there’s always a downside—not least that memory and mind are no longer as sharp as they once were... 

Walking on Walls

Walking on Walls

There’s no hanging about with Morna Pearson’s Walking On Walls; when the lights come up, we see a bespectacled woman observing a man who’s bound on an office chair, tape across his mouth and traces of blood on his forehead... 

A Gambler’s Guide to Dying

A Gambler’s Guide to Dying

This one-man show, written and performed by Gary McNair, won lots of praise during its initial run as part of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This latest tour round Scotland and beyond has enabled many more people to enjoy a beautifully-written, deceptively simple work which—part coming-of-age tale, part reminiscence of family—so expertly examines our need to have heroes and to be at the centre of our own lives... 

Mischief

Mischief

We’re somewhere among the Western Isles, and at least a thousand years back in time. Ronnat and her daughter Brigid live a simple life on a small island, looking after the cows owned by the monastery across the water... 

Breaking The Ice

Breaking The Ice

It’s fitting, in the weeks running up to the latest Arctic Circle Assembly (running from 7-9 October in Reykjavik, Iceland) that the team behind A Play, a Pie and a Pint opted for a new work focused on human exploitation of the Arctic... 

Blow Off

Blow Off

Blow Off is part concert, part theatre and deals with one woman’s journey to committing an act of terrorism. It’s certainly exciting, but Julia Taudevin’s story doesn’t delve deep enough into the psychology of extremism nor does it explore the circumstances that foster extremist views nearly enough, resulting in a show with plenty of anger but very little coherence... 

Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?)

Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?)

The Traverse’s Breakfast Plays series is an intriguing prospect: four plays on the same theme by their Associate Artists, presented as script-in-hand rehearsed readings at 9am each day, along with breakfast... 

James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2016: The Award Ceremony

James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2016: The Award Ceremony

Join us for this special event, presented by the University of Edinburgh in association with Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and the Traverse Theatre. The £10,000 prize celebrates plays that display an original theatrical voice, written in English, Scots or Gaelic... 

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

"Revolutionise the world". "Do not marry". "Galvanise". "Women for sale!" Aided by a fantastically droll projection across the back of the amply-sized Traverse auditorium, laughs abound in Alice Birch's subversive, sardonic dissection of modern patriarchy and autonomy in a world of constant societal pressures... 

Daffodils (A Play With Songs)

Daffodils (A Play With Songs)

Daffodils is an unusual show of two halves. Whimsical and rather irritating in the first half, it grows into something with more stature and nuance in the final half hour. Rochelle Bright’s jukebox show about her parents’ marriage and break-up (featuring two actors and a three-piece band) initially plays out like a by-the-numbers romantic comedy... 

In Fidelity

In Fidelity

Rob Drummond is known for being one of Scotland’s most experimental and accessible theatre makers and his new show In Fidelity is no exception. Taking his inspiration from diverse sources like Take Me Out and Charles Darwin’s theories about evolution and the survival of the fittest plus more than a little bit of real life experience Drummond attempts to answer some of the fundamental questions about love, relationships and fidelity but he needs some help from us... 

My Eyes Went Dark

My Eyes Went Dark

My Eyes Went Dark takes us down into the abyss of overwhelming grief and denies us any chink of light. There is a stifling sense of claustrophobia in the air from the outset of this powerful piece written and directed by Matthew Wilkinson with astonishing economy – two chairs form the entire set... 

TalkFest 2016: 02

TalkFest 2016: 02

Join Playwrights’ Studio Scotland to explore what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Made in Scotland showcase, the Traverse’s own programme and the wider Edinburgh Festival Fringe... 

Panti: High Heels in Low Places

Panti: High Heels in Low Places

Panti Bliss has had a whirlwind of a few years and, naturally, she has more than a few fabulous stories to share. After calling out homophobes on national television, becoming embroiled in multiple lawsuits and appearing on more talk shows and interviews than you can shake a stick at, she’s here in Edinburgh to expose the latent homophobia that’s still found in the UK and Ireland... 

Mark Thomas: The Red Shed

Mark Thomas: The Red Shed

Mark Thomas’ new one-man-play blends spoken word and storytelling to create a compelling, intimate and rousing performance that lifts the spirit in this pitch perfect personal and political drama... 

Expensive Shit

Expensive Shit

Theatre audiences are, for the most part, quite comfortable with their self-assigned role of secret voyeurs of the people on stage who go about their lives with no apparent knowledge that they’re being observed... 

Milk

Milk

Three of the ‘seven ages of man’ populate the Traverse stage: a pair of 14-year-olds, Steph and Ash, wrestling for the first time with the ideas of love and sexuality; a couple in their thirties, Nicole and Danny, awaiting the arrival of their first child; and Cyril and May who, at 93 years old, have no electricity, no food, no warmth — only each other... 

Greater Belfast

Greater Belfast

The gamut of performers at Fringe brings with it a spectrum of experience; from shiny new student companies, powering forward on naive enthusiasm and off-brand energy drinks, to veteran performers, showcasing an elegance and economy of style granted by years of experience... 

Diary of a Madman

Diary of a Madman

Little remains of Gogol’s original short story, Diary of a Madman, with Al Smith taking much artistic licence in updating it to post-Brexit Britain and turning it into a story of nationalism and traditional values in an increasingly modernised and globalised world... 

Pre-View

Pre-View

Readings from seven new plays. Get in at ground level with the most exciting playwrights of the future, from Canada, USA, England and Scotland. Extracts from the plays are performed as script-in-hand readings by professional actors... 

TalkFest 2016: 01

TalkFest 2016: 01

Join Playwrights’ Studio Scotland to explore what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Made in Scotland showcase, the Traverse’s own programme and the wider Edinburgh Festival Fringe... 

Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought

Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought

Currently 38 years old and still not entirely bald, Daniel Kitson returns to the Traverse Theatre with a massive whiteboard, an angle poise lamp, anything up to three ladders, and a relatively new show about friendship and loneliness, doubt and hope, a mouse, a phone call and the unfathomable repercussions of everything we ever do. 

What Now?

What Now?

There’s a definite shift in the second play in this double bill from Edinburgh-based theatre company Strange Town. This time round playwright Alan Gordon has worked with some of the company’s oldest, most experienced performers; surely this explains why the focus has moved on from the school days seen in What Next? to the heady delights of a pre-university/pre-adulthood gap year trip... 

What Next?

What Next?

Strange Town is an Edinburgh-based company which offers opportunities for young people between the ages of five and 25 to fulfil their creative potential though drama and performance... 

Fluff – A Story of Lost Toys

Fluff – A Story of Lost Toys

There’s a simple idea at the heart of Australian company cre8ion’s show Fluff; rescuing and giving a new home to lost and abandoned toys. It’s wrapped up in a brightly-coloured Play-School-esque world of animal-shaped lamps and toy boxes... 

The Great Illusionist

The Great Illusionist

Part of the attraction of seeing magic tricks performed well – beyond the sheer spectacle – is trying to work out how they’re done. So The Great Illusionist, from Dutch company Het Filial theatermakers, initially draws us in by allegedly showing us “behind the scenes” of a magic show, albeit it with the unexpected sight of a magician’s white rabbit sitting on a dressing room table, carefully completing its make-up... 

The Bookbinder

The Bookbinder

A handkerchief, a missing page, an old lady and a gap in the world are woven to create a delicious dark walk towards danger, told with a paper sculpted pop-up book, puppetry, shadow-play, exquisite music and cheeky humour... 

Constellations

Constellations

Sometimes words feel unworthy of the task when it comes to describing and reviewing a performance, especially a dance-piece as vibrant, colourful and joyous as this. Until direct mind-transfer is invented, however, we’re stuck with words… so here we go!Aracaladanza are a Spanish contemporary dance company which specialises in show for younger audiences and their families... 

Tales of a Grandson

Tales of a Grandson

There is much more to history than just learning dates and facts. Actually, that’s just learning dates and facts; history is about putting those dates and facts into some kind of story, albeit sprinkled with a good dose of “perhaps”, “maybe”, and “possibly” when trying to work out what may have happened thousands of years ago... 

Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone

Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone

During the 2008 Spring Season of “A Play, A Pie and A Pint” at Glasgow’s Òran Mór, writer and director Selma Dimitrijevic presented audiences with a delicate, poignant exploration of the complex emotional dance between a mother and a daughter, not least the “panic desolation” which affects most of us when we realise that our parents “do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgements are not always wise, their thinking true” – what John Steinbeck described as the “fall of gods” in East of Eden, a line from which also provided Dimitrijevic with her title... 

Right Now

Right Now

First lines are important; as attention grabbers, but also as indicators of what’s to come, tonally at least. In Chris Campbell’s translation of Catherine-Anne Toupin’s A Présent, we have the seemingly innocuous “Have you been up long?” asked of Ben (Sean Biggerstaff) by his wife Alice (Lyndsey Campbell)... 

Ring Road

Ring Road

Ring roads are not usually places you go to; they’re a means of avoiding congestion, of giving a wide berth to somewhere. Or something. All of which are apt metaphors for Anita Vettesse’s new play; a sharply written, energetically performed story of three relationships that collide in a nondescript hotel room, by the garage, just off the ring road... 

Neither God Nor Angel

Neither God Nor Angel

There’s are plenty of laughs in this imaginary conversation between King James VI of Scotland – preparing in March 1603 to make his stately progress south from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Westminster and the English throne – and a gawky servant boy called William... 

The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

It has become traditional for Lung Ha Theatre Company – Scotland’s principal theatre group for people with learning disabilities – to present at least one large show every year that gives a role of some importance to every member of the ensemble... 

The Air That Carries The Weight

The Air That Carries The Weight

It is a tad ironic that, initially, the most overpowering element in this new show from Stellar Quines Theatre Company – established in 1993 to “celebrates the energy, experience and perspective of women” – is the work of the lone male listed in the show’s creative team... 

International Waters

International Waters

David Leddy’s apocalyptic fable International Waters certainly starts as it means to go on; loud and bold, with the memorable image of four gas-masked figures performing a tabletop fight to the death between Barbie dolls... 

Iphigenia In Splott

Iphigenia In Splott

In Greek mythology, princess Iphigenia is the eldest daughter of King Agamemnon, sacrificed to the goddess Artemis in order to allow her father’s warships to sail off to Troy. Admittedly, some versions include a last-minute rescue by Artemis herself, but Iphigenia symbolises a young woman sacrificed for the supposed greater good of her community... 

The Destroyed Room

The Destroyed Room

With typical modesty (not), Glasgow-based Vanishing Point describe themselves as “Scotland’s foremost artist-led independent theatre company, internationally recognised and acclaimed for its distinctive, ground-breaking and visionary work”... 

Purposeless Movements

Purposeless Movements

There’s a beautiful symmetry to this new production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company; the start and end deliberately remind us that the four disabled men on stage are professional actors... 

My Name is Saoirse

My Name is Saoirse

Outside of the almost factory-like default setting of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s one hour time-slot (long-since exported around the world), it actually feels somewhat odd to leave an Edinburgh theatre space after slightly less than 60 minutes... 

Cock

Cock

In the run-up to Mike Bartlett’s play Cock opening at the Tron Theatre, a lot of people – myself included – clearly couldn’t help have some innocent adolescent fun with its potentially rude-sounding title... 

The Tailor of Inverness

The Tailor of Inverness

One-man show The Tailor of Inverness first hit Edinburgh stages eight years ago and has been touring ever since. In the packed theatre it was obvious that it is still in demand. It is a solid piece of work, but it has never been altered to address its criticisms... 

Tracks of the Winter Bear

Tracks of the Winter Bear

At a time of year when most theatres across the land are bursting with colour, raucous laughter and the panto spirit, it’s typical of Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, long-established as the Scottish capital’s home of new writing, to instead present a pair of one-act plays in which winter is a time to withdraw from the world and hibernate, a half-way-through-the-dark time best slept through... 

Tomorrow

Tomorrow

Vanishing Point’s latest devised show opens with three figures creating what look to be masks, perhaps of their future selves. The manner is mechanical and passionless – these people know what they are doing... 

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Swearing more than a band of sailors, the cast of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour present an entirely candid portrait of female teenage sexuality and lives. Based on Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, Lee Hall’s adaptation follows six girls from the titular school during a 24-hour stint in Edinburgh, ostensibly for a choir competition but in reality to 'go mental'... 

The Garden

The Garden

The Garden is an off-site performance that takes place a short walk away from the Traverse Theatre. The performance space is located in a small room that has been converted into a kitchen... 

Am I Dead Yet?

Am I Dead Yet?

Death is an important topic and it affects everyone, obviously. Am I Dead Yet? uses storytelling, song and comedy to ask questions on death and ponder what would happen if medicine and science could keep you alive forever... 

The Christians

The Christians

The team behind the Fringe First winning Grounded (2013) are back with a powerfully human tragedy – one that grapples with issues of belief clearly and concisely, without recourse to stereotype... 

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is definitely not an easy watch, though ‘listen’ might be a better description, as Aoife Duffin delivers a highly unsettling stream-of-consciousness monologue about the titular Girl’s life, suffering and eventual suicide... 

How to Keep an Alien

How to Keep an Alien

How to Keep an Alien is an autobiographical story written and performed by Irish actress Sonya Kelly. It is, as advertised, ‘a story about falling in love and proving it to the government’, but it is also an enchanting piece of theatre... 

Traverse Breakfast Plays: (in search of) Tomorrow

Traverse Breakfast Plays: (in search of) Tomorrow

What does Tomorrow mean to playwrights across the globe? This year the Traverse has commissioned six leading playwrights from China, Egypt, Ukraine, Canada, Turkey and Scotland to write a script which explores their vision of the future... 

TalkFest 2015: 02

TalkFest 2015: 02

Join Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland to explore what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Made in Scotland showcase, the Traverse Theatre’s own programme and the wider Edinburgh Festival and Fringe... 

A Gambler's Guide to Dying

A Gambler's Guide to Dying

Performed and written by Gary McNair, A Gambler’s Guide to Dying is a story told by a young boy, charting his grandfather’s extraordinary life of gambling. Having won a fortune betting on the 1966 World Cup, he then stakes it all on living longer than predicted after a prognosis of terminal cancer... 

Crash

Crash

Though this is a story about a trader, the crash of the title refers not only to the financial crash but also to a car crash that turns the trader’s life upside down. At the heart of this piece is the question of control: to what extent can we have control over our lives and destinies?As the trader’s life starts to spin out of control, so do the markets... 

Fake It 'til You Make It

Fake It 'til You Make It

Bryony Kimmings is a theatre maker, performer and actor. Her boyfriend Tim Grayburn works in advertising. This may not seem like an obvious set-up for a theatrical collaboration, but when the subject matter is clinical depression, men's mental health and love, this unlikely pairing manages to work wonders onstage... 

Pardon / In Cuffs

Pardon / In Cuffs

The ever-prevalent story of the individual being caught up in, or fighting against, the machine of society – not always nobly – is told with skill and beauty by the three actors in Valentijn Dhaenen’s conceived play... 

An Oak Tree

An Oak Tree

In 2015, using actors who haven’t seen the script for a piece of theatre isn’t too much of a selling point: there are always multiple shows at the Fringe which do so. However, this was much more ground-breaking in 2005, and this fact is being recognised in this tenth-anniversary production of Tim Crouch’s An Oak Tree... 

Swallow

Swallow

Shef Smith’s new play presents three damaged, complex, engaging characters, each trying to continue their lives in spite of a new sense of chaos surrounding them. One is reeling from a split with her husband, another hasn’t left the house since “two Christmases ago”, and the final character explores a newly acknowledged masculine identity within... 

Pre-View

Pre-View

Four readings, four brand new plays, four emerging writers, from Scotland, England and the USA. Extracts from the plays are performed as script in hand readings by a professional ensemble of Scottish actors... 

TalkFest 2015: 01

TalkFest 2015: 01

Join Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland to explore what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Made in Scotland showcase, the Traverse Theatre's own programme and the wider Edinburgh Festival and Fringe... 

Fat Alice

Fat Alice

Acclaimed playwright Alison Carr's latest offering, Fat Alice, opens on a familiar scene. Peter (Richard Conlon) admits to Moira (Meg Fraser), his girlfriend of ten years, that he still hasn’t told his wife about her... 

Take the Rubbish Out, Sasha

Take the Rubbish Out, Sasha

Take the Rubbish Out, Sasha is the first of three plays in this season of A Play, A Pie and A Pint from Russia and Ukraine, curated by playwright Nicola McCartney who also directs this production... 

The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

No less a figure than Inspector Rebus creator Ian Rankin once insisted that the only author to ever “nail” Edinburgh was Robert Louis Stevenson in his classic 1886 novella, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde... 

The Day The Pope Emptied Croy

The Day The Pope Emptied Croy

After a very strong debut with Squash in last season’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint, playwright Martin McCormick returns with his second play, The Day the Pope Emptied Croy. Set in the early 1980s, it follows the fortunes of two teenage boys as they prepare to run away to Newcastle... 

Beating McEnroe

Beating McEnroe

Life was so much simpler, back in 1980. It was USA versus the USSR, BBC versus ITV, Odeon cinemas versus ABC. While, in the white-short world of professional tennis, there were just two ways of being a man... 

Flying With Swans

Flying With Swans

Flying with Swans focuses on three women, all now well into retirement, who reignite their old tradition of taking the ferry to watch the arrival of the whooper swans as they migrate... 

Men in the Cities

Men in the Cities

We begin early in the morning, when several men are getting out of bed. Floating around the media all around them - through the televisions they walk past, from the radio playing in the background - is the news of private Drummer Lee Rigby, who was murdered outside the Royal Artillery Barracks by two British-Muslim men... 

Pre-View:

Pre-View:

Though not a play in the strictest sense, this showcase of extracts from the Playwriting MA at Edinburgh University offers a compelling insight into the program, via the portfolio of selected students... 

Unfaithful

Unfaithful

Unfaithful is the latest work by Fringe First award-winning writer Owen McCafferty. It is a play about domestic love, relationships and how they fare when infidelity and unconventional attitudes towards sex are introduced... 

Horizontal Collaboration

Horizontal Collaboration

We are at a tribunal for war crimes. We are told that the regular lawyers - those who have prepared today’s statements - have been called away at the last minute and that standby lawyers will be reading instead... 

SmallWar

SmallWar

SmallWar, a piece adapted from actual accounts of events and experiences from conflicts spanning from WWI to Afghanistan, is an interestingly understated exploration of the emotional and physical side effects of battle... 

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone

Blending performance, comedy and film, Kim Noble tries to get close to other people on this planet. Keith for instance. You maybe. You’re Not Alone is a provocative, moving and comic production that chronicles one man’s attempts at connection, friendship and employment at B&Q... 

BigMouth

BigMouth

He who picks his words well can turn the weakest argument into the strongest. Having enjoyed recent critically acclaimed sell-out seasons in New York and the Adelaide Festival, Valentjin Dhaenen’s thrilling companion piece to SmallWar at the Traverse returns to the Fringe for three performances only... 

TalkFest 2014: 02

TalkFest 2014: 02

Come the Revolution: In the year Scotland votes for or against independence from the UK, theatre about (and perhaps as) political protest is a significant part of the Festival. How much can theatre mobilise political opinion and action? Not in Front of the Adults!: Is theatre for children and young people more exciting than grown-up theatre? Is there more space for experimentation and innovation? And is there something unique about Scotland, where a wealth of independent artists and theatre companies are making world-class work? Visit www... 

RIVERRUN

RIVERRUN

Riverrun is an adaptation of the final chapter of James Joyce’s controversial novel Finnegans Wake, a book that’s been cited as one of the most difficult novels of the twentieth century... 

Lippy

Lippy

“If one understands a story, it has been told badly.” This is the Brechtian maxim with which writer Bush Moukarzel prefaces his work and to which he adheres in order to create a piece of theatre which, in his words, “mediates on the inexplicable fact of death: an event without explanation, which nonetheless prompts us to search for explanation... 

Traverse Breakfast Plays

Traverse Breakfast Plays

Enjoy the finest breakfast theatre in town as the award-winning Traverse Breakfast Plays return to the festival menu. Join us as six new writers embark on their creative journeys and bring six brand new plays to the stage... 

Bloody Trams

Bloody Trams

I’ve often wondered how Edinburgh locals truly feel about the Fringe - is it a huge party or just a massive disruption? Given the wealth of subjects from around the world being dealt with, just how much do they feel their festival truly belongs to them? This is why it’s nice to see a show like Bloody Trams which has Edinburgh people talking about Edinburgh issues... 

TalkFest 2014: 01

TalkFest 2014: 01

Join Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland to explore what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Edinburgh Festivals. Sharing the Experience: The audience is increasingly an integral part of the theatrical experience – as participants or even as protagonists in the story... 

Cuckooed

Cuckooed

Mark Thomas is a comedian and activist best known for political shows that seek to both satirise the status quo and, importantly, share ideas on how to challenge it. He became the nemesis of the British establishment during the making of Channel 4's Mark Thomas Comedy Product in the late nineties, which successfully married political activism and comedy... 

The Carousel

The Carousel

Death always makes us think about life. In Québécoise dramatist Jennifer Tremblay’s new play, an unnamed Canadian woman tending to her dying mother is moved to ask questions about three generations of her female relatives and try to make sense of how her family history affects her place in the world... 

Spoiling

Spoiling

As was always to be expected, the buzzword of this year’s Fringe is independence. Forming part of the conversation is John McCann’s Spoiling, taking the premise of a newly independent Scotland and questioning how willing the rest of Britain will be to give up Scotland, offering interdependence rather than independence... 

Theatre Uncut 2014

Theatre Uncut 2014

The double Fringe First winners return with new short plays to get people thinking, talking and taking action. This year we exclusively preview our brand new plays for 2014 ahead of the annual international Theatre Uncut festival, debut a Turkish-British collaboration investigating threats to democracy in Turkey, and return with our award-winning shorts exploring Scottish Independence... 

HUFF

HUFF

Experience The Three Little Pigs like never before. Enter the world of HUFF, a walk-through experience for audiences of just three people at a time. Explore a series of curious chambers but beware of the figure lurking in the shadows... 

Donald Robertson Is Not a Stand-Up Comedian

Donald Robertson Is Not a Stand-Up Comedian

What would you do if everyone in the world hated you? Would you run? Would you fight? Or would you try to make them laugh? Donald Robertson has got no mates and he isn't funny. But with guidance from his new mentor Gary, he hopes that this is all about to change... 

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Robert Spano conducts the Atlanta players in Britten’s impassioned “War Requiem” alongside the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The soloists are the soprano Evelina Dobracheva, the tenor Anthony Dean Griffey and the baritone Stephen Powell. 

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

When the Glasgow-born poet, playwright, song-writer, musician, cartoonist, humorist and story-writer Ivor Cutler died in March 2006, the nation’s obituarists remembered an “unassuming master of offbeat humour”, and “one of the great British eccentrics”, the “unlikeliest of cult heroes” whose child-like “wonder at the world” attracted generations of admirers from Bertrand Russell and Paul McCartney to the DJ John Peel and discoverer of Oasis, Alan McGee... 

The Best of Village Pub Theatre

The Best of Village Pub Theatre

Edinburgh’s revered Traverse Theatre has, for many years, defined itself as “Scotland’s new writing theatre”, regularly giving over its stages to a variety of new voices and performers –including the theatrical equivalent of a comedy club’s “open mic spot”...