Search Party

by Inua Ellams

Fri 4 Oct, 8PM

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Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall) brings his chaotic, audience-led poetry event to the Traverse.

Search Party is a unique interactive experience where the boundary between artist and audience blurs into a dynamic act of creation. Ellams uses a lifetime of writings, from poems to plays and essays, all meticulously indexed and stored within his electronic tablet. Choose a word, any word, and watch as he navigates his vast archive, uncovering gems of written art — whether polished masterpieces or intriguing works-in-progress.

Inspired by audience suggestions and open dialogue, this spontaneous performance transforms each session and is a modern call and response, a nod to the origins of storytelling with a decidedly futuristic twist. Join us for an evening where stories unfold in real-time, guided by the collective curiosity of the artist and his audience.

Search Party is part of the Traverse's £1 Tickets Project.

Image: Tiu Makkonen & Inua Ellams

The Traverse Theatre is funded by Creative Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council.


'Like his theatrical work, Search Party shows Ellams’s versatility and fearlessness as an artist who’s willing to take risks, especially in a show like this, which by its nature will never be the same twice.' - Theatre Mania

'He impressed us with his talent as a performer, with his genuine love of theater, and his unique gift of bonding with an audience.' - Theatre Pizzazz

'Welcoming, soft-spoken, ultra-casual… but Search Party is… the work of an immensely erudite, multifaceted, and busy artist... His poetry is thoughtful, tender, and muscular.' - Vulture

'It’s a luxury to hear Ellams… I highly recommend. Go hang with him.' - New York Times

If you have access requirements, please contact our Sales and Welcome Team on or 0131 228 1404 so we can arrange reserved seating for you and discuss how else we can best support your visit.

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