Edinburgh trams play announced

Mar 1 2014 | By More

Bloody Trams to play Traverse in March

A tram testing on Princes Street. Photo © Marion Donohoe

A tram on Princes Street 26-2-14. Photo © Marion Donohoe

By Thom Dibdin

Edinburgh’s Trams are to step up from being the butt of pantomime mockery to the subject of a piece of verbatim theatre this month.

Bloody Trams: A Rapid Response will be created by director Joe Douglas for the Traverse Theatre Company in association with Utter and will play at the theatre for two nights on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 March.

The production fills a gap left in the Traverse’s Spring programme following the cancelation of ThickSkin’s production of Chalk Farm by AJ Taudevin and Kieran Hurley, which had been due to play Traverse Two 20-22 March.

Douglas said: “I’ve been frustrated and confused by the situation with the trams over the last few years. It has felt, at times, like something other than just the concrete has been ripped out of the city.

“I figured there must be a lot of stories out there from people who’ve been much more directly affected than I have and whose voices haven’t been heard.”

The controversial, over-budget and much-delayed trams are currently testing through the centre of Edinburgh and due to start full operations in May. Douglas will be carrying out interviews with Edinburgh residents over the next fortnight about their thoughts on the Trams project. He can be contacted on twitter as @utterjoe, using the hashtag #bloodytrams.

The anonymous material will then be used as the basis for the rapid response piece. It will be created in Traverse Two over three days in which Douglas will work with two actors to recreate the opinions of the People of Edinburgh on stage.

Composer and pianist David Paul Jones will perform live accompaniment during the shows and will write original songs based on the testimony, giving verbatim theatre a cabaret flavour.

Douglas, who has directed for the NTS and scored a Fringe First in 2012 with Educating Ronnie, adds: “I hope bringing people together in a room, listening to the stories presented in a theatrical way, will be enlightening and even cathartic.

“What is really exciting is that the piece is being made incredibly quickly and the content very much depends on what people say. It’s a rapid response in the truest sense.”

There will be a post-show discussion after each performance for the audience to hear further discussion and debate and also have the chance to give feedback and offer their opinion. Panellists taking part will be announced on 12 March.

Live tweeting of the discussion will also take place from the @traversetheatre feed.

Bloody Trams: A Rapid Response
Wed 19, Thurs 20 March 2014. 8pm.
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street EH1 2ED
Tickets from the Traverse website on: www.traverse.co.uk


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  1. Denys Owen says:

    Yes it’s been a chaotic situation, but not the fault of a tram system per se but the fault of the incompetents who were originally in charge. My frequent visits to Europe convince me of the merits of a tramway, so I’m sure that in due course Edinburgh residents will come to LOVE it!!