City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Traverse Theatre announces 2017 Spring Programme


By Irene Brown - Posted on 12 December 2016

Santa has still to drop down Edinburgh’s chimney’s, but already there is another treat waiting round the Capital’s corner for 2017. The Traverse Spring/Summer Programme!

The work presented has been selected to directly address a mix of both long-existent and emergent social, political and technological challenges, and comes from some of the most exciting companies in the UK, 22 in all. The programme additionally seeks to elevate the voices of those often left on the margins of our rapidly-changing society, and to tell stories at risk of being overlooked.

Speaking about the new season Traverse Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin said, “In turbulent times theatre becomes more vital than ever. This season the Traverse remains a place for artists and audiences to gather, examine and debate the pressing issues of the day. At these tipping points in history, new writing offers a uniquely urgent, challenging and heartfelt response to the rapidly evolving world around us. It’s time to take stock, take action and stand up for what we believe in and there is no better place for that to happen than right here at the Traverse.”

This season the Traverse will play host to work from companies some of which cover stories involving challenging topics from across the globe with Made in India a new play about motherhood and blood ties between women and across nations in a brave new world; Pink Mist about three young men deployed to Afghanistan inspired by 30 interviews with returned servicemen and If I had a girl… , a groundbreaking verbatim production that provides insight into the experience of honour-based violence in ethnic minority communities around Scotland.

As well as this they are staging home grown productions that include the ever popular A Play, A Pie and A Pint and a new verbatim piece from Gary McNair, Locker Room Talk , where the words of men will be performed by a cast of women in this quick-response about the issues raised by US president elect Donald Trump’s comments as captured on a hot mic. Traverse associate Artist Stef Smith envisions our digital futures with Girl in the Machine where a near-future dystopia presents a bold and compassionate take on our potential digital future and what it might mean for life as we know it.

Celebrating its 10th birthday, the visual theatre and animation festival, manipulate, returns in late January to brighten dark days and international children’s festival imaginate runs from late May for a stimulating week while March sees the new National Theatre Connections festival, a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts. Add to these the mini festival from Village Pub Theatre, a new writing theatre company based in Leith who had a sell-out run during Festival 2016 at the Traverse and are presenting work-in-progress readings of new plays currently in development from four of the writers in the collective.

Successful Fringe shows such as Heads Up from Kieran Hurley, Expensive Shit written and directed by Adura Onashile and Sarah Cameron’s contemporary take on folk and fairy tale storytelling traditions The Red Chair (see edinburghguide.com reviews) along with Stacey Gregg’s 2016 Fringe First winning Scorch will return.

Early 2017 sees this year’s Traverse and Red Bridge Arts Christmas show, Black Beauty tour around Scotland and the North of England following its magnificent canter in Edinburgh and in February, multi-award winning puppet company Tortoise in a Nutshell brings Fisk, a story of a man and a fish and their unexpected impact on one another.

June sees the return of Strangetown, whose performers aged between 14 and 18 will perform two pieces including Last Night Me by Alan Gordon. Then we have the Scottish and UK premiere of Shackleton the story of his Endurance on the Antarctic’s icy Weddell Sea from the mighty Irish company and Traverse favourite, Blue Raincoat.

Add to this comedy, dance, masterclasses, youth writing and music that takes in the popular Soundhouse gigs bringing a mix of musical acts to the Traverse bar on a Monday evening, and Cambridge Street looks like a good place to be heading, in 2017!