The Traverse announces The Monstrous Heart, its first co-production with Stephen Joseph Theatre

18 January 2019 ← return to listing

The Traverse announces The Monstrous Heart, its first co-production with Stephen Joseph Theatre

The Traverse Theatre is excited to reveal that a brand new play by Oliver Emanuel, The Monstrous Heart - a co-production with Stephen Joseph Theatre - will premiere as part of Stephen Joseph Theatre's summer/autumn 2019 season. This will mark the first time that the Traverse Theatre and Stephen Joseph Theatre have worked together collaboratively.

Written by the award-winning Oliver Emanuel (The 306 trilogy; Flight; Dragon) and directed by the Traverse Theatre's Interim Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls (of Festival 2018 smash hit Ulster American, which tours internationally this spring), The Monstrous Heart is a thrilling, chilling and witty piece of new writing. It examines afresh the eternal question of whether we are the product of nature or nurture, or if we can we ever really change how we're made. Is it possible to kill our old selves and create someone new and better in their place?

Mag lives in a rustic cabin in the Canadian wilds, far from neighbours and further from her past. But when her estranged daughter Beth turns up on the doorstep newly released from prison, the past becomes terrifyingly present. And it has teeth.

Beth came to ask Mag a question. But is she prepared for the answer? Can they really settle their scores? And can Mag keep an innocent party from being destroyed in the crossfire? As a blizzard closes in and dangerous words are traded, Mag accepts a challenge from a most unexpected source and lights a fuse that looks set to blow both women sky high.

Oliver Emanuel, Playwright, says:

'I'm so excited to bring this story to the stage. It's been a passion project for me, something I've been thinking about and working on for ten years and it's a dream come true to have it realised in a co-production by the Traverse Theatre Company and Stephen Joseph Theatre. The play itself is about mothers and daughters, nature and nurture, and about who pays the price for our failures. It's dark, funny and weird. All the things I love to do in theatre and I hope audiences love it, too.'

Gareth Nicholls, Director and Traverse Interim Artistic Director, says:

'I'm delighted to be collaborating with Oliver Emanuel on his bold and ambitious new play alongside our partners at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. I've been a fan of Oliver's writing for some time and with The Monstrous Heart he's created a provocative piece full of dark humour, explosive relationships and twisted logic. It promises to be a thrilling night at the theatre that will grip, surprise and rattle audiences before asking some big questions of the world we live in. I can't wait to get started.'

The Monstrous Heart is at Stephen Joseph Theatre, 3-19 October and Traverse Theatre, 22 October-2 November. Tickets go on sale 15 February.


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