Full Traverse 1 Programme for Festival 2018 Announced

The Traverse Theatre announces a full programme of five works for Traverse 1 for Festival 2018 including three world premieres, one UK and one Scottish premiere.

Actor, musician and theatre director Cora Bissett returns to the stage for the first time in eight years, since her acclaimed Midsummer performances with What Girls Are Made Of, an autobiographical story of her rollercoaster journey from Fife schoolgirl to indie rock star. A co-production between Traverse Theatre Company and fledgling company Raw Material, written and performed by Bissett with live backing band, this World Premiere celebrates the euphoric highs and hellish lows of her young life in the rock world of the early ‘90s. Bissett’s writing draws from her own teenage diaries to question what wisdom we should pass on to the next generation. What Girls Are Made Of is part of Made in Scotland Showcase 2018 and will be directed by Traverse Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin.

PW Productions bring us the Scottish Premiere of the Lowry production of Toast, based on the food writer, journalist and broadcaster Nigel Slater’s bestselling memoir Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger that won six awards and was adapted into a BBC radio production and a film. The all-new stage version evokes the story of Slater’s childhood that takes audiences on a journey through the foods and smells he grew up with and folds love and loss in the mix. Toast has been adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Jonnie Riordan.

Traverse regular and firm favourite, Mark Thomas returns with a World premiere entitled Check Up: Our NHS at 70, directed by Nicolas Kent, in which Thomas turns his attention to the National Health Service. Based on a series of interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS, residencies in hospitals and surgeries, and with theatre director Nicolas Kent, Thomas uses his own demise to explore the state we’re in, what’s going wrong in the NHS, how can we fix it, and what might the future hold for us all.

World premiere number three comes from Headlong in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre Meek from playwright Penelope Skinner who marks her return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after 10 years. Directed by Headlong’s Associate Director Amy Hodge, this new work is a reflection of our own fraught times, examining state control and self-control in an unknown theocratic society where one woman’s determination not to be broken by the impossible situation she finds herself in is at the centre.

Soho Theatre brings a UK premiere of the New York theatre company Ars Nova production of 2017 OBIE Award Winner for Best New American Theatre Work Underground Railroad Game, directed by Taibi Magar. Created and performed by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, this fearless comedy starts as a standard teaching exercise about the Underground Railroad and quickly spirals into social and political commentary on race relations in contemporary America.

Traverse Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin says, “I am thrilled to be making this first announcement about the line-up for our Traverse Festival 2018 programme in Traverse 1. This year we’ll be introducing some brand new companies to our festival audience, as well as welcoming back some firm Traverse favourites. And we are delighted to present three world premieres, one UK premiere and one Scottish premiere.

The programme includes some of the most exciting artists working in the UK and internationally and it’s an honour to invite them to blaze a trail on our main stage this August. I look forward to revealing the rest of our line-up come May. We have plenty more brilliant shows, events and experiences up our sleeve that I can’t wait to share.”

Tickets are on sale from Thursday 22 March