Traverse exhibition highlights 50 years of risk
21 January 2013 ← return to listing
(Image: a press cutting featuring the accidental stabbing of
Colette O'Neil during the Traverse's opening performance of Huis
Stabbings, falling-outs and artistic risks pepper our history,
proved by The Traverse Theatre at 50 - an
exhibition compiling a rich array of photos, press cuttings and
programmes from our past 50 years. Edinburgh Libraries' exhibition
captures the spirit of a daring theatre prepared to take chances on
new work and new writers, without being afraid to raise a few
eyebrows along the way.
Commentary by James Hogg charts the tempestuous relationship
between the founding members of the Traverse, the highly publicised
stabbing of a cast member on our opening night, and documents the
history of challenging work for which we're known. From the
production of Lay By in 1971, where pornography was
distributed to the audience during the performance, to a staging of
Futz, which depicted bestiality with a pig and attracted
headlines such as "Filth on the Fringe", we've long been pushing
Controversy aside, the exhibition focuses on the runaway
successes of the Traverse - highlighting ground breaking work from
Liz Lochhead, John Byrne, David Greig and many others, along with a
host of Fringe First and Herald Angel awards come Festival time.
Some famous faces make an appearance, too -Tilda Swinton in
Man to Man: A One Woman Show, and Robbie Coltraine in
Slab Boys to name just a couple. And this is tip of the
iceberg - across the exhibition, there's a wealth of gems from the
Traverse archive that don't often see the light of day - catch it
before it finishes next month.
The Traverse Theatre at 50 runs until 27 February, at
the Central Library on George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. An online
version is also available here.