Taking the Traverse Fifty to the fringe

May 23 2013 | By More

Original 500-word plays get August outing – & other Trav notes…

The Traverse 50. Photo Credit Eoin Carie

The Traverse 50. Photo Credit Eoin Carie

By Thom Dibdin

The Traverse has announced that it is to feature all the Traverse Fifty’s original 500-word plays – the Fifty Plays for Edinburgh – as part of the productions at this year’s Edinburgh festivals.

Originally produced as a marathon one-evening event, the 50 plays will return over two nights at the end of August – 25 plays each night. They will once again be directed by Traverse artistic director Orla O’Loughlin and associate director Hamish Pirie.

O’Loughlin told the Annals: “In the Traverse’s fiftieth year, we’re looking ahead to the next generation of playwriting talent. Putting our Traverse Fifty writers centre stage this festival was the perfect opportunity to celebrate our commitment to emerging writers, and showcase the compelling new work that is currently being produced.

“The 50 Plays were a runaway success when performed back in January, and we’re thrilled to be bringing them back at our busiest time of the year, to an audience of international Festival-goers.”

The plays are the original pieces written for the Traverse which secured the writers their place on the mentoring scheme which runs right through this year, the Traverse’s fiftieth anniversary. The two evenings will take place on 30 and 31 August, after the end of the fringe but while the EIF is still running.

Early notice of fringe productions

Although the Traverse assiduously keeps the full details of its Edinburgh fringe plans under wraps until the official fringe launch, this year’s associations with the Made in Scotland and the British Council showcases mean that early notice has come of three productions.

The first of these is I’m With the Band, a Traverse co-production with Wales Millennium Centre written by Tim Price and directed by Traverse Associate Director Hamish Pirie, which is part of the British Council Showcase.

The play tells the story of an Englishman, a Northern Irishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman who walked into a recording studio and created The Union. Commercially successful and critically acclaimed, the pioneering indie-rock band is now on the verge of breaking-up when financial disaster strikes and Scottish guitarist Barry leaves the band. Artistic differences go head to head with alliances that run deep – Can The Union survive? Can you see what the metaphor is yet?

Also  part of the British Council Showcase is Brand New Ancients a co-production between poet and spoken word artist, Kate Tempest, and Battersea Arts Centre. Using an exhilarating live score played by tuba, cello, violin, drums and electronics this wrenches the ancient Greek Gods out of their myths and into the here and now.

Another visitor is David Leddy’s Fire Exit, as part of Made in Scotland, with Long Live The Little Knife, which originally played in Glasgow earlier this year.

The show is a fast-paced, punchy feast of spoken word that questions the nature of ‘truth’, via a husband and wife forgery team. They’re small-time con-artists who need £250 grand to buy their way out of a turf war. Their mission is to be the greatest art forgers in the world. There is one slight problem: They can’t paint.

Returning to the Traverse for this year’s fringe is Playwrights’ Studio Scotland with their Talkfest programme. This series of lively discussions focuses on the artists behind Made in Scotland programme. This is the place to find out what stimulates the creatives behind the work, in panels chaired by leading playwrights.

Booking for for all plays opens on 30 May, the launch date of this year’s Traverse Festival season.

Further information of running order, time and cast for the Traverse Fifty shows will be available on www.traverse.co.uk.


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Comments (2)

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  1. Stuart Collinson says:

    Is the 500 word play writing for the Traverse open to the piblic?

  2. Thom Dibdin says:

    Thanks Stuart,
    The 500 word plays were open to the public, but their performance is now past, sadly.
    There are future Traverse 50 productions in the theatre’s Autumn programme. More details are here: https://www.alledinburghtheatre.com/traverse-autumn-season-announced/