The end of #TravFest18

30 August 2018 ← return to listing

The end of #TravFest18

In 2018, the Traverse are proud to have delivered a bold celebration of stories for now - covering pain and joy, conflict and hope, loss and progress - all the while provoking crucial conversation beyond our theatre walls and placing powerful contemporary theatre at the fore.

Audience numbers reflected the strength of the programme, which marks Orla O'Loughlin's final Festival season as Artistic Director - taking in 15 productions, among them eight world premieres, alongside a schedule of 'in conversation' and discussion sessions - with total numbers up on last year, reaching 40,596 across the 264 production performances.

Likewise, the critical praise has seen Traverse-own productions receive 21 five-star reviews so far, with The Herald hailing Cora Bissett's What Girls Are Made Of 'a life changing litany of pure joy', while The Guardian called David Ireland's Ulster Americanan 'immaculately paced production' that 'brilliantly captures the bewilderment of a generation that knows the rules of social engagement have changed'. Overall praise for the Traverse Festival 2018 programme included Lyn Gardner (for The Independent) calling it a: 'firing on all cylinder's festival season'.

The programme received six Fringe First awards (What Girls Are Made Of; Ulster American; CLASS; Check Up: Our NHS at 70; On The Exhale; Underground Railroad Game), three The Stage Awards (The Greatest Play in the History of the World…; Underground Railroad Game; Coriolanus Vanishes), a Herald Angel award (Cora Bissett for What Girls Are Made Of), a Scottish Arts Club Award (Coriolanus Vanishes), and the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award (Ulster American), which has an attached prize fund aimed to facilitate a New York transfer of the production.

In addition, there was a Music Theatre Review shortlist for What Girls Are Made Of, a Scottish Arts Club Award shortlist for Ulster American, an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression shortlist for Meek, a Total Theatre Award shortlist for Underground Railroad Game, and a Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award shortlist for CLASS.

Orla O'Loughlin, Traverse Artistic Director, and Linda Crooks, Traverse Executive Producer say:

'We have been delighted by the incredibly positive reception that this year's Festival programme has received, and the many and varied conversations it has provoked around important subjects not just in our own spaces, but across the city and country. It is a testament to the brave, innovative and hugely entertaining work created by all of the companies who have contributed to Traverse Festival 2018 and the organisations which have supported them, that so many audiences have found work to challenge, excite and comfort them during this month. We are particularly thrilled with the audience, critical and awards reactions to Ulster American and What Girls Are Made Of, and hope to have news of future outings for them both soon. Though this Festival marks Orla's last in the position of Artistic Director, the Traverse's key strength is that it is a place of true collaboration, with a wider team helping to shape and deliver its programme, and who will continue to do so in the future. We are now looking forward to our previously announced Autumn/Winter 2018 season, and will be sharing news on our Spring/Summer 2019 season soon.'



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