Traverse Theatre Announces First Collaboration With Magnetic North

Traverse Theatre Announces First Collaboration With Magnetic North

An intriguing new play exploring the relationship between fathers and sons will have its world premiere this October at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre before touring the rest of Scotland. Our Fathers is co-produced by Magnetic North and the Traverse Theatre, and is written and performed by multi-award-winning playwright Rob Drummond and Magnetic North's Artistic Director Nicholas Bone.

The play is inspired by Edmund Gosse's 1907 book Father and Son, which tells the story of Gosse's upbringing as the only child of evangelical Christians in Victorian England, and his growing realisation that he did not share their religious faith. Both Drummond and Bone are the atheist children of clergymen, and bring their contemporary perspective and experiences to the story.

This new production is the first co-production between the two Edinburgh-based companies and is also the first time Rob Drummond - a Traverse Associate Artist and writer of Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and In Fidelity - has worked with Magnetic North. Nicholas Bone, the company's Artistic Director, will appear in a Magnetic North production for the first time and, in a reversal of roles, Ian Cameron - who performed in Magnetic North's award-winning A Walk at the Edge of the World in 2014 - will be co-director. Cameron most recently worked at the Traverse as collaborator on the hugely successful and award-winning Black Beauty.

As the performance unfolds, weaving together Edmund Gosse's story with those of Bone and Drummond, the audience will also be invited to contribute - given the opportunity to comment on the story and talk about experiences of their own in dialogue with the performers. Bone and Drummond will also be available before the show at each venue to meet audiences and chat about their experiences of family relationships.

Rob Drummond, writer/performer and Traverse Associate Artist, says:

'This is a deeply personal play for both Nick and myself. In adapting this book for the stage we have found it necessary to talk about our own relationships with our fathers and reminisce about our religious upbringings. I am now an atheist. My father is decidedly not. How do we respect people who we disagree with? Are there certain things that should simply remain unspoken? This is a play for anyone who has ever been the child of a parent, the parent of a child or who has ever found themselves in ideological disagreement with a loved one. Everyone, then. I'm very excited to be back at the Traverse - it feels like the right place to launch a show about religion and family as the Traverse is a spiritual home for me.'

Nicholas Bone, writer/performer and Magnetic North Artistic Director, says:

'As we've worked on Our Fathers we've become very interested in how people talk to each other, and maintain a relationship with each other, when they disagree strongly. In today's world of political discourse, 24-hour news and conversations over social media, this theme has considerable contemporary resonance. We're looking forward to sharing the piece with audiences at the Traverse and then on tour.'

Orla O'Loughlin, Traverse Artistic Director, says:

'As long-time admirers of Magnetic North's ground-breaking work, the Traverse is thrilled to be collaborating with them for the first time on Our Fathers. We are looking forward to not just welcoming back our Associate Artist Rob Drummond but also to the whole Magnetic North team to look at the delicacy of many father-son relationships, and to discuss the increasingly important and timeless issue of how we respectfully disagree or begin uncomfortable discourse with those whom we love.'


Traverse Theatre

Wednesday 25 October-Saturday 28 October (previews 21 and 24 October, BSL Interpreted 25 October)

Press performance: 25 October

Box Office: 0131 228 1404 / online here

The production then tours to Glasgow, Inverness, Banchory, Aberdeen, Greenock, St Andrews and Peebles. Details here.

Magnetic North

Based in Edinburgh, Magnetic North is an award-winning theatre company formed in 1999 by theatre and opera director Nicholas Bone. Magnetic North works with playwrights, composers, visual artists, choreographers and other artists to create striking and intriguing new work. The company runs an extensive multi-art form artist development programmes, with a particular focus on creating opportunities for experienced artists. Its recently launched Artist's Attachment programme creates a unique opportunity for an experienced artist to work on a significant development in their practice. Previous productions include Pass the Spoon, a collaboration with Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley, and the highly-acclaimed Walden.

Traverse Theatre

Formed in 1963 by a group of passionate theatre enthusiasts, the Traverse Theatre was originally founded to extend the spirit of the Edinburgh festivals throughout the year. Today, under Artistic Director Orla O'Loughlin, the Traverse is proud to deliver its year-round mission of championing creative talent by placing powerful and contemporary theatre at the heart of cultural life - producing and programming urgent and diverse work spanning theatre, dance, performance, music and spoken word.

Through the work it presents, the Traverse aims to both entertain and stir conversation - reflecting the times and provoking crucial debate amongst audiences, inspiring them to ask questions, seek answers and challenge the status quo.

The Traverse has launched the careers of some of the UK's most celebrated writers - David Greig, David Harrower and Zinnie Harris - and continues to discover and support new voices, including Stef Smith, Morna Pearson, Gary McNair and Rob Drummond.

With two custom-built and versatile theatre spaces, the Traverse's home in Edinburgh's city centre holds an iconic status as the theatrical heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every August

Outside the theatre walls, the Traverse runs an extensive engagement programme, offering audiences of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to explore, create and develop. Further afield, the Traverse frequently tours internationally and engages in exchanges and partnerships - most recently in India, New Zealand and Quebec.

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