Playwright David Harrower visits Glasgow the Dangerous in Ciara

This article is from 2013


credit: Eoin Carey

Blythe Duff takes the lead in Harrower's Traverse production for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

The Traverse’s programme during the Fringe is predictably solid: the theatre’s continued support for Scotland’s top playwrights is reflected in a new work from David Harrower, Ciara. Harrower remains most famous for his incendiary Blackbird, a complex analysis of child abuse that is sadly still relevant today. But in Ciara, he has consciously considered his performer in the script’s writing.

The story takes on the difficult history of Glasgow, and the woman who witnesses its changes was, for Harrower, always going to be performed by Blythe Duff: hers was ‘the face I saw as I brought Ciara into being, the voice I heard whispering her cradled secrets,’ he says. Duff is well known for her role in Taggart, but her recent victory at the 2013 CATS is a reminder that she is more than just a famous face.

Using the trope of Glasgow as ‘no mean city’, Ciara has Duff’s character confront her grandfather’s dark legacy. Through Harrower’s adept ear for language and Duff’s forceful charisma, this familiar background promises a more personal and incisive meditation on change and responsibility.

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, 4–25 Aug (not 5, 12, 19), times vary, £18–£20 (£13–£15). Previews 1 & 3 Aug, £13 (£6).


Award winning play about a woman coming to terms with her gangster father's past. Ages 14+.