TravFest 24 Programme On Sale Now

News 15 May 2024

The Traverse is delighted to announce its programme for TravFest 2024. A bold, exciting, entertaining and timely selection of new work, curated alongside hits from world-leading writers, comedians, actors and musicians taking to the stage from Thursday 25 July to Sunday 25 August.

Voices from Scotland, England, Palestine, Australia, Iran, the USA, and Ireland bring pressing stories of now from around the world. Stories of community, war, forbidden love, belonging, football, mental health, family, and LGBTQIA+ experiences that will fill hearts, minds and the Traverse’s stages this summer. TravFest 2024 is packed with stories that will touch everyone, and are as urgent and important as they are captivating.

Making its World Premiere on the Traverse 1 stage, the Traverse Theatre Company is proud to present So Young by Douglas Maxwell, in co-production with Raw Material and Citizens Theatre. A notable name on the Scottish stage with hits like Decky Does A Bronco and previous Traverse commission I Can Go Anywhere, this touching and funny new play explores the challenges of middle age, shifting friendships, and the impact of losing those close to us. So Young will be brought to life by direction from Traverse Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls.

Back for extra time after a critically-acclaimed run in December 2023, Same Team, by Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse created with Street Soccer’s Women Players, makes its way back into Traverse 1 ready to delight audiences all over again, directed by Bryony Shanahan. Co-created through workshops that wove a tapestry of real women’s experiences into each of the characters, Same Team shines a light on the daily social and economic challenges faced by many in Scotland – and across the world – demonstrating the immense power of community in bringing us together to overcome adversity.

Following the success of last year’s TravFest hit No Love Songs, Dundee Rep Theatre returns in co-production with the Traverse with the World Premiere of A History of Paper, a new play by Oliver Emanuel and Gareth Williams, directed by Andrew Panton. Originally developed as an award-winning radio drama for the BBC Radio 4, the play has blossomed into a tender, uplifting musical love-story about the little bits of paper that make up life, and arrives on the Traverse 2 stage.

Traverse Theatre joins forces in co-production with Soho Theatre to bring the World Premiere of My English Persian Kitchen by Hannah Khalil, based on the story by Atoosa Sepehr and directed by Chris White, to Traverse 2. Utilising live cooking on stage, one woman creates the dishes of her homeland whilst building a new life and community around food. Soho Theatre also present Edinburgh Comedy Award-Winner, Natalie Palamides, in a regular late-night slot in Traverse 1 with her new show WEER, an achingly tender 90s rom-drom (romantic dramedy) that asks you to look at every argument from two sides.

Riding the tide of waves made in Australia, Roast Productions brings a brand-new production of Virginia Gay’s gender-flipped retelling of Cyrano as it makes its European premiere in Traverse 1, directed by Clare Watson. Leah Shelton’s wildly theatrical and deeply intimate story of female madness, BATSHIT directed by Ursula Martinez and produced by Quiet Riot, also transfers from Australia having been described as ‘moving, thought-provoking and terrific fun’ by The Age.

Four-time Scotsman Fringe First and Olivier award-winning Fishamble return to TravFest following a sell-out TravFest 2023 run with Heaven, presenting the UK premiere of Joanne Ryan’s In Two Minds which explores the humour, pain and tenderness within a mother-daughter relationship. Also making their grand return to TravFest stages are Cusack Projects Ltd with Half Moon Street Ltd, bringing the UK premiere of six-time Tony Award nominated The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp, directed by Matt Wilkinson.

Traverse 2 will also be home to the World Premiere of A Knock On The Roof by Khawla Ibraheem. Directed and developed by Oliver Butler, for the final two weeks of August ahead of an Off-Broadway run in early 2025. Performed by Khawla, this is a heart-breaking, gripping, and surprisingly comedic solo show depicting the realities of those living in Gaza during these fractured times, produced by piece by piece productions.

Bringing young voices to the festival programme once again, the Traverse presents Letters To Our Future Government – a public call-out to those aged 16-25 to create rapid-response for short plays and work of creative writing for performance. Asking “Given the opportunity, what would you say to those in charge – or who are about to be?” – this limited week-long series will be sure to shed a light on our ever-changing world. Full details of call-out will be announced in early June.

Completing the festival programme will be a series of Monday events with partners from across the creative industries, including the Society of Scottish Playwrights and Playwrights Studio Scotland – who also return with their bookshop. There will be a special launch event for the Traverse and Wonder Fools project Positive Stories for Negative Times Season 4, and a unique meet-up event for creatives working in all things immersive, spanning theatre, games, escape rooms, TV, film and more.

TravFest 2024 marks the third year running that every production within the programme is taking part within our £1 Tickets Project. This means that there is an allocation of tickets for every performance priced at only £1 for those receiving low income benefits or under the age or 25. Together with our partners, we are committed to making theatre accessible for those across society, breaking down barriers and welcoming in a new generation of theatre-goers.

Linda Crooks, Traverse CEO / Executive Producer, said:

“We live in an era where information is exchanged perpetually, often carelessly, and frequently with malice, across borders and cultures. This August, we are excited to share a tapestry of carefully selected, resonant, global stories from the world of new writing (and reimagined classics through a contemporary lens). Our offer aims to give insights into what that world looks and feels like, from the perspective of a divergent group of storytellers, reflecting the audiences we seek to engage, connect and entertain. We are proud to be presenting a fresh and invigorating programme from artists, both home-grown and international, reflecting the familiar and communal - as well as that which may seem distant to us - but all of which are vital and urgent to connect us together, to care enough to speak truth to power.”

Gareth Nicholls, Traverse Artistic Director and director of So Young, said:

“With this year’s TravFest we continue our future forward approach, exploring our world together with the artists, communities and audiences that we serve within the Scottish and UK arts landscape. I am inspired by the powerful stories and innovative productions that will take to the Traverse stages, each show offering a vital take on what it means to be human, connecting us to the power of our own actions, as we gather to share in rich and urgent storytelling. I am delighted to be joining this group of artists to direct Douglas Maxwell’s ‘So Young’ as part of TravFest. It is a play with humour, humility and heart, and I am excited to share it with our audiences this August.”

TravFest24 productions are on sale now!