First Stages Readings with Q&A: GAME and Blue Departed

Traverse Theatre Company By Emilie Robson and Serafina Cusack

Live event on Fri 26 Feb

Choose dates & Book


As part of the First Stages Festival, extracts from plays by writers who entered scripts to Open Submissions 2019 receive their first public readings on their journey towards the stage, hosted by playwright Douglas Maxwell.

by Emilie Robson

Jen and Dean travel back and forth on the Tyne & Wear Metro line; to parties, to prom and often to nowhere in particular. Following them as they navigate the complicated dance of an adolescent friendship, fuelled by jealousy, confusion and vodka, GAME asks what happens when we realise that we no longer want what we wanted, only as it’s happening.

Blue Departed by Serafina Cusack

Him and Her. Dante and Beatrice. Imagine for a moment that Dante is a heroin addict. Beatrice has overdosed; she lies cold and crumpled on the kitchen floor. Flashes of reality burn quickly as He spirals downwards through the circles of Hell guided by the earnest hand of His Brother, all the while haunted by the memory of his deceased lover. Blue Departed is a portrait of a couple consumed by addiction and despair, caught in a decaying, high-speed dystopia.

These script-in-hand readings are directed by Debbie Hannan (GAME) and Gareth Nicholls (Blue Departed) and will be followed by a Q&A, hosted by playwright Douglas Maxwell.

Each Autumn, the Traverse invites writers based in the UK and Ireland to anonymously submit a full length script to us via our Open Submissions window to help us discover the most exciting and visionary new voices out there. Both GAME and Blue Departed have been developed by our literary department after Emilie Robson and Serafina Cusack were selected from over 600 writers who sent us their plays in 2019.

You can submit your questions on Zoom following the reading.

A recording of these readings will be available to purchase and watch following the live event.

This event is part of our First Stages Festival - a celebration of storytelling and playwriting.

Emilie Robson
Serafina Cusack

The Traverse Theatre is funded by Creative Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council, with additional support from The Scottish Government Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund.


We ask that all participants in interactive live events, including Q&As and workshops, follow our Terms of Conduct to ensure a positive and inclusive experience for everyone involved.


  • Director - GAMEDebbie Hannan
  • Director - Blue DepartedGareth Nicholls
  • DramaturgEleanor White
  • Video Design & EditingLewis den Hertog
  • Jake Jarratt

    Cast - GAME

  • Francesca Tomlinson

    Cast - GAME

  • Lorn Macdonald

    Cast - Blue Departed

  • Anna Russell-Martin

    Cast - Blue Departed

  • Reuben Joseph

    Cast - Blue Departed

Choose Dates and Book

Immediately after booking you'll receive an email from us confirming your purchase. One hour before the reading, you'll receive a second email from us which will contain your link to join the event.