Traverse Theatre's Festival 2018 programme announced
- Deborah Chu
- 16 May 2018
This article is from 2018
Including new work from David Ireland and the return of the Fringe favourite Breakfast Plays
Never one to shy away from difficult topics, the Traverse Theatre's complete lineup for Fringe 2018 boasts some of their most challenging works of theatre yet, beginning with the world premiere of James Tait Black winner David Ireland's Ulster America, a black comedy about consent and the Irish cultural identity at a time when abuse of power has seemingly become our new normal. Meanwhile, CLASS tackles the intergenerational violence of class prejudice, as a conflict-ridden parent-teacher conference unearths a couple's own negative experiences of the school system. State control is similarly excoriated in Penelope Skinner's Meek, which sees a woman imprisoned for a seemingly-harmless act in a world wherein one's right to a private life and freedom of expression has become a thing of the past.
Violence in America is another theme that runs through the Traverse's programme. The UK debut of Martín Zimmerman's gut-wrenching On the Exhale interrogates the darkest depths of both the political and the personal, as a mother who lost her child to gun violence becomes obsessed with the very weapon that took her son's life. Meanwhile, Underground Railroad Game illuminates America's toxic legacy of slavery and the long shadow it casts onto contemporary social and political commentary on race. The Traverse will also feature an off-site production of User Not Found, a voyeuristic glimpse into a man's quandary over whether to delete or keep his deceased ex-lover's digital identity.
But all hope is not lost, as new voices of protest grow from strength to strength. The Traverse's popular Breakfast Plays return with Youthquake, as part of Scotland's Year of Young People, which sees three young playwrights paired with three leading British writers to create twinned works that explore how the next generation can bring about socio-political change. Mark Thomas also returns to the Fringe with Check Up: Our NHS at 70, which takes the pulse of the National Health Service and considers how we might save it, based on interviews with experts and doctors. Project #1, a new development piece from Wildlife Theatre, challenges the audience to rethink our perceptions of working class women with performed readings, whilst Theatre Uncut: Women on Power debates this watershed moment in the struggle for gender equality in the wake of #MeToo. Finally, the autobiography of the mighty Cora Bissett, as chronicled in What Girls Are Made Of, will chart the highs and lows of her career as an indie rock star, and consider what wisdom we should impart on young people, and what 'glorious' mistakes they must be allowed to make on their own.