City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Traverse Launches 2016 Fringe Programme with a Big Pink Wink!


By Irene Brown - Posted on 07 June 2016

Milk by Ross Dunsmore, Credit Mihaela Bodlovic.jpg

To a packed Traverse 1 theatre space, this year’s exciting Fringe programme, encased within bright pink pages with a ‘wink’ emoticon, was revealed in style with its prime strands of relationships, technology and live music.

In her opening speech, producer Linda Crooks made it clear that this Fringe the Traverse will offer the best of ‘glocal’ new work from morning till late throughout August with 10 world premieres, 4 Scottish premieres and 1 European premiere thanks to the artists involved but also thanks to supporters and to her colleagues, Team Trav. Both she and Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin spoke of the importance of work shown at the Traverse reflecting community as well as lives as they are lived, and so recognised locally as well as universally.

To the sound of North Coast, from Matt Regan (aka Little King who brings storytelling with a string quartet in Greater Belfast), the Traverse Fringe programme was showcased on film. And reflecting the techie theme, Traverse Theatre’s Associate Artists, Rob Drummond, Morna Pearson, Tim Price and Stef Smith appeared on screen giving their personal take on their involvement with the Traverse. These four playwrights will be writing this year’s popular Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tears Us Apart (?), script-in-hand readings that will be performed three times across a rotating daily schedule from 16 August and include a breakfast roll and tea or coffee with the ticket.

This year’s flagship production in Traverse 1, is Milk the first full play written by actor Ross Dunsmore, and will be directed by Traverse Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin. With a cast of six, Milk explores the universal need for physical, emotional and spiritually nourishment and reunites the creative team behind last year’s festival hit from Stef Smith, Swallow.
Early last year, Milk arrived in the Traverse office, sent in during the Traverse Theatre’s open submissions window and from 1 August to 30 September the Traverse will looking for bold, brilliant, innovative new plays through another open submissions window, so give the Traverse a story that could only be told on the Traverse Theatre stage.

Among the ten world premieres are Rob Drummond’s new show In Fidelity, an interactive piece that combines evolutionary theory and a live on-stage date, and from writer and director Adura Onashile, Expensive Shit that follows a nightclub toilet attendant in a fictional club in Glasgow and her journey that is spliced with flashbacks to the toilets of the Shrine nightclub in Lagos.

Gate Theatre brings an adaptation by Al Smith of Nikolai Gogol’s classic story Diary of a Madman that is reimagined in contemporary Scotland where Pop Sheeran is taking on the family trade of restoring the Forth Rail Bridge. And returning to the Traverse is Mark Thomas with the premiere of his new play The Red Shedthat tells the story of the 47-foot-long wooden hut that doubles up as a Labour Club where he performed his first gigs and is celebrating its 50th birthday.

Daffodils (A Play with Songs) , a Kiwi love story inspired by true events and small-town family secrets, has its European premiere on the Traverse 1 while Scottish premieres come in the form of Daniel Kitson with Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought, a new show about, friendship and loneliness, doubt and hope, a mouse, a phone call and the unfathomable repercussions of everything we ever do; the RSC with Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again by Alice Birch that has played briefly at Midsummer Mischief Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon, and examines the language, behaviour and forces that shape women in the 21st century; a political message from Panti Bliss with Panti: High Heels in Low Places that traces her journey from small-town boy kicking against traditions to towering woman in false lashes making history and the modern tragedy inspired by real events that tells of a Russian architect driven to revenge after losing his family in a plane crash in My Eyes Went Dark by Matthew Wilkinson.

For two performances only, Julia Taudevin and Kim Moore with Susan Bear and Julie Eisenstein from Glasgow's indie-pop duo Tuff Love bring a new piece of guerilla-gig-theatre with Blow Off, a fierce and playful feminist work that explores the psychology of extremism with melodies and punk riffs.

Every Monday morning in the Traverse Bar Café Hair of the Dog with Village Pub Theatre will feature a different morning-after theme in script-in-hand plays courtesy of Edinburgh’s own Village Pub Theatre and University of Edinburgh and Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland Pre-View featuring readings from seven new plays from Canada, USA, England and Scotland.

On Monday 8 & 15 August TalkFest 2016 , presented by Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and Made in Scotland, will take place led by Scotland’s leading playwrights and theatre-makers including David Greig and Lewis Hetherington. The discussions will explore what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Made in Scotland showcase, the Traverse’s own programme and the wider Edinburgh Festival and Fringe.

Monday 22nd August sees the return of the award ceremony for the James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2016 when The University of Edinburgh in association with Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and the Traverse Theatre with support from the National Theatre of Scotland award the £10,000 prize to the best new play worldwide.

The Traverse sure looks like the “place to be” this August!

Book at The Traverse.