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Ulster American

Ulster American
or Call the Box Office
0131 228 1404
The Scotsman


    Written byDavid Ireland
    Start date28 Jul 2018
    End date26 Aug 2018
  • TicketsFull price £20.50 / Standard concession £15.50 / U30s & Students £15 / Other concession £9.50
    Genre Festival, Theatre,

World Premiere
Traverse Theatre Company

When someone treats me like a piece of shit…
I bring out my Academy Award.
It has something to say. It’s saying I’m right.

Jay is the Oscar-winning actor taking the lead in a new play that connects with his Irish roots. Leigh is the ambitious director who will do anything to get noticed. And Ruth is the Northern Irish playwright whose voice must be heard.

The stage is set for great success but when the three meet to discuss the play’s challenges and provocations a line is crossed, and the heated discussion quickly escalates to a violent climax.

Exploring consent, abuses of power and the confusions of cultural identity, Ulster American is confrontational, brutally funny and not for the faint of heart.

Written by David Ireland, whose most recent play Cyprus Avenue won the James Tait Black Award 2017 and Best Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017, and directed by Traverse Associate Director Gareth Nicholls (How to DisappearLetters to MorrisseyTrainspotting).

@traversetheatre / #UlsterAmerican

Sat 28 Jul, 7.30pm
Thu 2 Aug, 11am

Preview Tickets
Full price £13
Concession £9

Fri 3 – Sun 26 Aug
(No Mon Performances)

Mon 13 Aug, 11.15am

Note: Click on 'Book Now' for dates and times. 

Full price £20.50
Standard concession £15.50
U30s / Students £15
Other concession £9.50

See our Box Office page for full pricing and booking information.

Access Performances
Audio Described: Sun 19 Aug
British Sign Language: Sun 19 Aug


Running Time
1h 20min

Age Recommendation 

Note: Strictly no latecomers. Contains very strong language and graphic violence.

Supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Image by Sid Scott

  • Gareth Nicholls

  • Becky Minto

  • Kate Bonney

    Lighting Designer
  • MJ McCarthy

    Composer / Sound Designer
  • Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir

    Assistant Director (Supported by The JMK Trust. Leverhulme Arts Scholar and recipient of the JMK regional bursary funded by the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarships Fund)
  • Darrell D’Silva, Robert Jack, Lucianne McEvoy

  • EmmaClaire Brightlyn

    Fight Director
    The Scotsman
  • If Jacobean revenge tragedies were played as uproarious comedy, they’d look like this... a satire as timely as it is riotous. ★★★★★
    The Guardian
  • Gareth Nicholls directs a production that has the energy of a bullfight. ★★★★★
    The Times
  • Ferocious, raucous, more-is-more humour and furious, unstoppable energy. ★★★★★
    The Arts Desk
  • There are moments in this play that are so shockingly provocative, so laugh-out-loud funny while simultaneously curl-into-a-ball-and cringe-worrying that I found my mouth was actually open. ★★★★★
    What’s On Stage
  • Full of sharp satire and black humour ramped up to black hole levels of dark, it dares to actually shock. ★★★★★
    Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
  • Couldn’t be more relevant, thought-provoking and achingly uncomfortable if it tried [...] without doubt one of the best plays on this Fringe. ★★★★★
    Young Perspective
  • Brutal, excoriating and blisteringly funny black comedy. ★★★★★
    The Reviews Hub
  • A brutal, unsettling and uncompromising dark comedy about power. ★★★★
    The List
  • David Ireland has written a funny and important play that feels fresh and completely relevant in 2018. ★★★★
    The Wee Review
  • An increasingly bloody welter of gender and identity politics. ★★★★
    The Scotsman
  • Sharply directed by Gareth Nicholls and performed with a ferocious intensity... ★★★★
    The Independent
  • For its incisiveness and sheer energy, Ulster American is pretty unmissable. ★★★★
    Financial Times
  • Every minute you’re caught between gasps, guilty guffaws and the urge to storm out. ★★★★
    The Telegraph
  • The play’s punchline might not be subtle, but it is necessarily deadly in its execution. ★★★★
    The Herald
  • David Ireland’s script delivers more than comic shock-merchantry, and there’s finesse to its gruesome coup de grâce. ★★★★
    The Sunday Times
  • Not for the fainthearted, but one to discuss for hours afterwards. ★★★★
    Evening Standard
  • Brash, loud and brutal, David Ireland’s explosive three-hander is a well-drawn character piece full of supremely tasteless laughs. ★★★★
    The Skinny
  • The issues that it takes on could not be more important or timely. ★★★★
    British Theatre Guide
  • So wild it beggars belief.
  • A fabulously brutal satire. [...] As hilarious as it is discomfiting.
    The Sunday Herald
  • A visceral, violent and incredibly explosive punch to the gut. ★★★★
    Broadway Baby
  • A confrontational coruscating comedy that deserves a London transfer. ★★★★
    50 Connect
  • This may be the play of the Fringe, if not the year. ★★★★★

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