Traverse announces first shows of TravFest21

News 29 Jun 2021

The Traverse Theatre today announces the first shows of its Traverse Festival 2021, which will include in-person, outdoor and online events.

This year more than ever, we celebrate our incredible city, its vibrant community, and are excited to share the fruits of some of the creative development journeys taken in collaboration with stellar artists as scripts move from first draft towards full production.

We are absolutely overjoyed to welcome audiences back into Traverse 1 for the first time since March 2020, for the world premiere of Frances Poet’s Still – a cathartic story of life, love and loss which takes place in familiar Edinburgh locations. Michael John O’Neill’s timely and powerful monologue about the fragility of peace in Northern Ireland, This is Paradise, will also be performed in-person for a limited Traverse 1 run, and we take to Silverknowes Beach for the first time, with in-person open air performances of Disaster Plan’s evocative MOVE.

Traverse 3 will present on-demand versions of all in-person shows following their live performances, as well as the world premiere of We’ll Meet in Moscow – an immersive audio play written in response to Russian courts banning Moscow Pride celebrations in August 2012 for 100 years, a digital production of Fishamble’s On Blueberry Hill, another chance to catch Inua Ellam's intimate and affecting An Evening With An Immigrant (which sold out its TravFest17 run), Uninvited Guest's isolation busting interactive and music powered Zoom show Love Letters at Home, and the return of SHEDINBURGH – all for a limited run.

TravFest21 spotlights writers at different stages of their careers and invites those who might not yet consider themselves as creatives, to ignite their imaginations with the Summer 21 edition of our First Stages Festival of creative development readings and workshops.

We are excited to present this blended model of events, which we are committed to continuing as we move beyond lockdown and into the future. Along with all events being sold on a Pay What You Can basis, and availability of £1 Tickets across the programme for those under 25 or in receipt of government benefits, we will continue to both maintain and improve the inclusivity and accessibility of our work and stories.

Browse What's On, including TravFest21 events

Many more additions to the TravFest21 programme will be announced in coming weeks – this is just the beginning.

Traverse Executive Producer, Linda Crooks, said:

“Announcing the first shows of the Traverse Festival 2021 today is a moment worthy of celebration – of artists, compelling stories, our incredibly supportive audiences, and our unique and vibrant Edinburgh community. Our Festival programme aims to be a love letter to Edinburgh, and its spirit of resilience is embodied within the culture of the Traverse Festival. In Still, Walk This Play and MOVE, audiences have the chance to rediscover and reconnect with their city, both indoors and out, and shows including This is Paradise, We’ll Meet in Moscow, On Blueberry Hill, An Evening with an Immigrant and Love Letters at Home take us to very different worlds, shining a light on some of the most urgent and important issues facing us today We meet the world in Edinburgh and we take Edinburgh to the world. We’re committed to discovering new voices, sharing our passion for creativity, and giving you a first look at shows soon to be on our stages in the Summer 21 edition of our First Stages Festival. And we’re thrilled to be able to present our full programme in our digital venue, Traverse 3, for the very first time, capturing our in-person shows and making them available for audiences near and far, who may be unable to attend the live performances. The Traverse is here to entertain, challenge, comfort and welcome audiences, no matter where they are.”

Traverse Artistic Director, Gareth Nicholls, said:

“Over the past 15 months we’ve been bowled over by artists’ imaginations in using digital spaces and technologies to tell their stories and connect with audiences, who have been just as open minded in their enthusiastic embracing of this new way of enjoying and participating in our work. We’re now particularly overjoyed to be back in our Cambridge Street home to savour and celebrate some of our productions with audiences in person again. I’m delighted that Frances Poet’s Still will be the first Traverse production back on the Traverse 1 stage since March 2020. It’s a beautiful and cathartic story, full of life and love and live music, a celebration of and for Edinburgh, which is so deserved after a period of such upheaval and uncertainty, which saw our incredible local community come together to support one another and become stronger than ever. This city is a unique place with a singular spirit, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with the world, in-person and digitally, this August.”

COVID-19 safety

We are adhering to 2m distancing for in-person events. Traverse 1 will be an allocated venue for the foreseeable future, with audiences able to book specific seats in bubbles of 1, 2 or 4 seats comprised of individuals from the same household. Audiences will be required to wear masks whilst in the Traverse and throughout in-person performances, unless medically exempt.

As the world continues to open up, we know that some audiences may feel nervous about booking, so we guarantee any bookers for in-person events full refunds at any point before their booked performance, no questions asked.

Full COVID-19 safety procedures will be in place across all sites, which will be shared with bookers before their visit, and our current procedures can be viewed by anyone on the How We’re Keeping You Safe section of our website.