Traverse Listings

Upcoming shows at Edinburgh’s New Writing Theatre

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404

The Traverse. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

The Traverse. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

Click on the name of the show to go to its ticketing site.

September 2019

The Play of Light Upon The Earth
Thursday 5 September 2019
8pm [T2]
REHEARSED READING of Sally Hobson’s script directed by Muriel Romanes. One summer’s day many bombs explode unexpectedly changing the lives of many people forever. With lyricism and dark humour, this intimate portrayal of life on a beautiful and turbulent planet shows how sincerity and innocence can be reclaimed even in the most difficult and troubled of times. Book here.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: From Paisley to Paolo
Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 September 2019
Daily 1pm; Fri 7pm [T2]
It’s 2006, Jack is 19 and was born on the same day, in the same hour, in the same hospital as Paolo Nutini. He goes to T in the Park in a stolen hearse with his two best friends Jack and Mavis, and promises that his best pal Paolo will be there to meet them. Nothing will be the same again. Book here.

Friday 13/Saturday 14 Sep 2019
Fri: 6:30pm: Sat: 11am, 2.30pm [T1]
A madcap musical adventure for everyone aged 6 and over. WhirlyGig is 4 brave musicians, 30 instruments, and countless musical puzzles to solve. Join us for an extraordinary theatrical experience where music will happen in ways you’ve never seen before. Musical maverick Daniel Padden comes together with award-winning Red Bridge Arts and Catherine Wheels to celebrate the thrills and spills of making music. Book here.

Oliver Emanuel Workshop:
Saturday 14 Sep 2019
3pm [T2]
What is the secret of keeping an audience enthralled? What techniques do playwrights use to build tension in their scripts? Playwright Oliver Emanuel (The Monstrous Heart) leads a workshop on text and subtext, dramatic tension and exploring how to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Book here.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Number One Fan
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 Sep 2019
Daily 1pm; Fri 7pm [T2]
Jan McArthur is raging. Her husband just left her for a woman 20 years her junior. She’s lost her job. Her cat just died. And to cap it all, the menopause is on the rampage, leaving her a hot flashing mess. When Jan reads Jack Bonham’s women-hating column, he becomes the embodiment of everything that is wrong in her life. Jan sets out for revenge. Book here.

Black Men Walking
Wednesday 18 – Saturday 21 Sep 2019
Daily: 7.30pm; Sat mat 2.30pm. [T1]
We walk. Though we are written into the landscape you don’t see us. We walked England before the English. Thomas, Matthew and Richard walk. They walk the first Saturday of every month. Walking and talking. But this walk… Maybe they should have cancelled, but they needed the walk today. Out in the Peaks, they find themselves forced to walk backwards through two thousand years before they can move forwards. Book here.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Mack the Knife
Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 Sep 2019
Daily 1pm; Fri 7pm [T2]
Berlin, the late 1920’s… a time of decadence, despair and joie de vivre. A young Jewish composer, Kurt Weill, meets his muse, singer Lotte Lenya, and falls in love. He collaborates with playwright Bertolt Brecht on what they both consider a ‘bit of a potboiler’. As The Threepenny Opera delights audiences across Europe, a new barbarism is erupting which will change everyone’s lives forever. Book here.

October 2019

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: The Signalman
Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 Oct 2019
Daily 1pm; Fri 7pm [T2]
Winter 1919. Thomas Barclay is transported back in time, to the night when he was the Signalman who sent the Edinburgh/Burntisland train onto the Tay Rail Bridge, 40 years before. Who is responsible when accidents occur? Why is there a difference between what we feel and what we know? Why do we need somebody to blame… even if it’s ourselves? Book here.

Clybourne Park
Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 Oct 2019
7.30pm [T1]
How many white men does it take to change a lightbulb? It’s 1959 and President Eisenhower is in the White House. Bev and Russ are moving after the tragic death of their son, and they have inadvertently sold their house to the neighbourhood’s first black family. Fifty years later, in 2009, with the first Black President just having taken office, a young white couple buy the same house in what is now a predominantly black neighbourhood. A razor-sharp satire about the politics of race. Book here.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Fly Me to the Moon
Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 Oct 2019
Daily 1pm; Fri 7pm [T2]
Francis and Loretta are broke community care workers. Davy, one of their charges, has had a big win on the horses, and now the women grapple with their conscience. Marie Jones’ black comedy investigates whether we are valued more in life or in death. Book here.

The Panopticon
Friday 11 – Saturday 19 Oct 2019
Daily: 7.30pm; Sat mat 2.30pm. [T1]
A snarling counterculture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts. Fifteen-year-old Anais Hendricks is smart, funny and fierce. She has also been let down by about every adult she has never met. Sitting in the back of a police car she is taken to the Panopticon, a young offender institution. A visceral, bloody and brutal testament to life and friendship. We have a new kind of heroine for the 21st century. Book here.

The Drift
Thursday 10 Oct 2019
8pm [T2]
So f*** you, my sweet forgetful Caledonia. The Drift is a journey through history, through Scottishness, through belonging, and through grief. An autobiographical, poetic spoken word show, Hannah Lavery explores her legacy of being “mixed” in Scotland, left to her by her father and mother and their respective journeys. Challenges us to see Scottish history and our public memory in a different light. Book here.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: The Sweetest Growl
Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 Oct 2019
Daily 1pm; Fri 7pm [T2]
In the 1950’s, Gorbals-born Mary McGowan was the sensational singer with cult Scottish jazz band The Clyde Valley Stompers. She was reckoned by Louis Armstrong to have one of the best voices in the business. However, at the height of her fame, she gave it all up to become a Glasgow housewife. But did she have any regrets? Book here.

Build A Rocket
Wednesday 16 – Thursday 17 Oct 2019
8pm [T2]
Yasmin is a bright 16-year-old from a small seaside town. In an instant, her life is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant with her son, Jack. Suddenly her Scarborough isn’t sandcastles, arcades, and donkey rides. Abandoned by both the father of her child and her alcoholic mother, Yasmin faces one of life’s great challenges completely alone – it’s just Yasmin and Jack against the world. Book here.

The Monstrous Heart
Wednesday 23 Oct – Saturday 2 November 2019
Tue- Sat: 7.30pm; Mat Thurs 31: 3pm. [T1]
Why would anyone want to get closer to nature? What’s that about? It’s cruel. Vindictive. Mag lives in a rustic cabin in the Canadian wilds, far from neighbours and further from her past. But when her estranged daughter Beth turns up on the doorstep having been freshly released from prison, the past becomes terrifyingly present. And it has teeth.  Book here.

Anatomy: Finest Cuts
Thursday 24 Oct 2019
8pm [T2]
Full-throttle live art cabaret: an unpredictable cauldron of mischievous performance, featuring everything from tactical action to bleak bouffon, from noise art to fart jokes, from opera to pop and ballet to biscuits. After seven years of producing a wild diversity of genre-defying work in Edinburgh, gardening the grassroots for gorgeous originality, legendary local music hall outfit Anatomy, takes a cleaver to the renowned international archives to carve out juicy morsels and terrifyingly tender tastes. Book here.

Thick Skin, Elastic Heart
Friday 25 – Saturday 26 Oct 2019
8pm [T2]
A hybrid poetic theatre production, showcasing a kaleidoscope of diverse UK voices, played out like a frenzied scroll through a social media feed, with seemingly disconnected pieces, woven together with athletic, physical delivery. The piece presents a collection of contemporary spoken-word monologues and group poems, giving voice to a generation, frequently reduced to a sound-bite in mass media – ineffectual, lazy, oversensitive “snowflakes”. Featuring a special support slot from an Edinburgh poet. Book here.

Tuesday 29 – Wednesday 30 Oct 2019
8pm [T2]
A story of love, laughter and the untold legacy of Glasgow’s shipyards. Written by award-winning playwright Frances Poet (Gut), Fibres is a big-hearted and laugh out loud play about what it means to entwine our lives with another, in sickness and in health. A story told by four characters who show a very Glaswegian resilience and wit, the play asks can we ever cut the cords that bind us and who will catch us if we do? Book here.

November 2019

Hope and Joy
Friday 1 – Saturday 2 Nov 2019
Daily 8pm; Sat mat: 2.30pm. [T2]
Hope’s labour is unusual and uneggspected. Happily, nothing fazes Joy, the hospital cleaner, who helps Hope escape. When Joy is sacked from her job, she moves in with Hope and her swan-boy son, Magnus. Their lives collide in chaos – can they survive this shifting world? A Scotland in a time much like ours, but not quite. Book here.

Still No Idea
Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 Nov 2019
7.30pm [T1]
Lisa and Rachael want to make a show, but there’s a problem: they don’t have any ideas. So who do they turn to? The Great British Public of course! Part-verbatim theatre, part-confession, part-comedy sketch show with a bit of singing and dancing thrown in. Turns out getting the public to write your story is quite an adventure. All performances of Still No Idea will be Relaxed. Book here.

First Stages Festival:
Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 November.
Every year, we invite scripts through our Open Submissions window. This year, six of over 400 submissions have been picked to receive dramaturgical support with the aim of helping the writers develop their plays. This culminates in our first-ever First Stages Festival featuring script-in-hand readings of the selected plays, showcasing them to industry professionals and Traverse audiences alike. Each evening will be followed by a Q&A. This festival is a celebration of the Traverse’s commitment to nurturing and supporting new voices. The festival programme also includes writing workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

First Stages Festival: Audition Preperation Workshop
Thursday 7 Nov 2019
2pm [T2]
Led by Gareth Nicholls, this workshop will examine how to prepare and feel comfortable in auditions. Aimed at actors, recent graduates and those still in training, it offers an opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the process of auditions and improve skills. Book here.

Panel Discussion: Who’s Who at the Traverse
Friday 8 Nov 2019
11am [T2]
Come and meet the Traverse’s Artistic and Programming team. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the work that goes on behind the scenes and ask questions about what’s coming up next at the Traverse. Book here.

First Stages Readings: I’m Not Here / Tiger Mum
Friday 8 Nov 2019
5.30pm [T2]
I’m Not Here by Rachael O’Connor. Retired couple Les and Carol arrange to meet their estranged son at a Modern Art Gallery, but, lost within its identical-looking rooms, they are forced to confront their troubled past.
Tiger Mum by Eva Edo. Constance is a mother on a mission to guarantee her son Elijah lives beyond his eighteenth birthday. He’s not sick. Just black. Book here.

First Stages Readings: Blessed / Exquisite Corpse
Saturday 9 Nov 2019
1pm [T2]
Blessed by Natalie McGrath. As women in a war zone fight to stay alive, the night sky is lit up by a relentless bombardment above, conjuring up memories and fragments of love, loss and resistance.
Exquisite Corpse by Conor O’Loughlin. Following a grim discovery at their workplace, a theme park attendant and her manager find themselves faced with an impossible choice. Book here.

A Playwrights’ Gathering: Scotland, A Place for Playwrights?
Saturday 9 Nov 2020
2pm [T2]
Join your colleagues from the Scottish Society of Playwrights, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and researcher Fraser White as we pore over the early results from the biennial Playwrights Survey. A great way to catch up on the latest issues affecting playwrights in Scotland. Book here.

First Stages Readings: Motherland / 44 Sex Acts in 1 Week
Saturday 9 Nov 2019
4.30pm [T2]
Motherland by Hugo Timbrell. Tracking the course of a young woman’s life, from mummy’s girl to ruthless businesswoman, and back again, Motherland presents a troubling future that asks whether we deserve to be helped anymore.
44 Sex Acts in One Week by David Finnigan. Lifestyle blogger Celina is given the job of putting new book The 44 Sex Acts You Must Try Before You Die to the test – but the only person she can convince to take part is her arch-nemesis. Over the course of a sex-laden week, will the friction between the two turn into something more? Book here.

Playwright and Director Networking Event
Saturday 9 Nov 2019
6pm [CB]
This informal networking session is an opportunity for professional playwrights and directors to make new connections and meet potential collaborators. To book, please email Book here.

Imaginate Accelerator Reading: The Tumeric Trail
Saturday 9 Nov 2019
7.30pm [T2]
A new play about the power of our thoughts to create our reality through the eyes of an insect-obsessed teenager whose psychotic aunt comes to stay while she is on the brink of exams she can’t afford to fail. Followed by a Q&A. Book here.

Class Act
Wednesday 13 – Thursday 14 Nov 2019
7.30pm [T1]
Bringing you brand new short plays written exclusively for the Traverse stage by young people from across Edinburgh, Class Act is a must-see for anyone who wants to see the world afresh. This year’s playwrights are pupils from Boroughmuir High School, Craigroyston Community High School, Trinity Academy and Wester Hailes Education Centre. Class Act is the Traverse’s flagship education project. Now in its 28th year, it challenges senior pupils from schools across Edinburgh to become playwrights, creating brand new scripts which are premiered on the Traverse stage. Book here.

Alex & Eliza
Wednesday 13 – Thursday 14 Nov 2019
8pm [T2]
As a girl she lived through the death and destruction of the 1947 partition between India and Pakistan, but now Zubair’s grandmother is like everyone else’s grandmother. Old and wrinkly, slow in speech and speed. The separation, isolation and loss of that time are a distant memory. She had lived in the same house on the same street for 40 years of her life. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until she gets on a plane to visit Zubair seven seas afar. Book here.

Emergence 2019
Friday 15 – Saturday 16 Nov 2019
8pm [T2]
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland presents a celebration of bold new works-in-progress from the country’s leading youth theatre directors. Each new piece is the culmination of a 3-month long artistic development programme in which each director has been exploring and expanding their practice in collaboration with some of Scotland’s most talented young performers. Book here.

Atlantis Banal: Beneath the Surface
Thursday 21 – Friday 22 Nov 2020
6.30pm [T2]
Born on an island, struck by lightning and raised by a dry cleaner, Atlantis Banal is an artist like no other. Since she first rose to the surface of the art scene she’s been creating ripples far and wide. In her exhibition Beneath the Surface she invites visitors to take the plunge, and immerse themselves in a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and nothing is what it first appears. This brand new show for families is set in an intimate ‘pop-up’ art gallery, featuring a flying fish, fashion on a tin can and a mermaid who isn’t afraid to make an exhibition of herself. Book here.

Wednesday 27/Thursday 28 Nov 2019
Wed: 1.30pm & 6pm; Thurs: 10.30am & 1.30pm [T2]
Welcome to the beautifully strange world of White. Full of birdsong and birdhouses, it gleams and dazzles and shines in the night. Two friends look after the birds and make sure the eggs stay safe. We watch, we help. The world is bright, ordered and white. But high up in the trees, all is not white. Colour appears. First red… then yellow… then blue… White is a playful, highly visual show for very young children and is a perfect first-time theatre experience for 2-4 year-olds. Book here.

December 2019

Strange Tales
Tuesday 3 – Saturday 21 December 2019
Tuesday – Saturday : 7.30pm; Mats Fri 13: 2.30pm, Sat 21: 2pm. [T1]
Written in China centuries ago, Pu Songling’s Strange Tales are now adapted for stage by the acclaimed immersive theatre company Grid Iron in co-production with the Traverse Theatre. Filled with intrigue, mysticism, magic, sensuality, and a dash of terror, Strange Tales will draw you into a world full of mischievous fox spirits, yearning ghosts and enchanted swords where anything and everything is possible. Book here.

I Can Go Anywhere
Tuesday 10 – Saturday 21 Dec 2019
Tuesday – Saturday : 8pm; Mats Thu 12, Sat 14, Thu 19 & Sat 21 Dec: 2.30pm. [T2]
Stevie is a disillusioned academic who once wrote an unfashionable book on youth movements in Britain, now struggling to cope after a painful break-up. His misery is interrupted by Jimmy who lands unexpectedly on his doorstep beaming with excitement. Jimmy is 100% Mod: oversized military parka, fitted Italian suit, dessy boots, pork pie hat. The full package. Jimmy is seeking asylum in the UK. With just a few days before the substantive interview that’s going to decide his fate, the stakes are high. So he came up with a brilliant plan. Book here.

Strange Tales Workshop: Playing With Tales
Saturday 14 Dec 2019
2pm [T2]
How do you transform traditional texts for contemporary audiences? How can written text be transformed to visual storytelling? Join writer and performer Pauline Lockhart and the team for a workshop which aims to explore the creative process behind creating Strange Tales. Book here.