After critically acclaimed, sold out performances in Edinburgh and London, Traverse Theatre Company returns to Adelaide this March with Mouthpiece, Kieran Hurley’s confronting new play about class, culture and appropriation, following their smash hit 2019 production of Ulster American.
Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh. Twilight. A woman takes a step forward into the air. A teenage boy pulls her back. Two lives are changed forever. Who are they and where have they come from?
Libby, a middle-aged, middle-class playwright has not picked up a pen in years and, roundly rejected by London’s artistic establishment, spends her time brooding in the rarefied environs of Edinburgh’s New Town. Declan is a 17-year-old struggling with a volatile home life on a deprived Edinburgh housing estate, but in possession of a remarkable artistic talent.
When Libby’s despair drives her to a literal cliff edge, their lives collide. But if you think you’ve heard this story of despair and the power of an unlikely friendship before, Mouthpiece is way, way ahead of you. As their relationship strengthens and develops, Libby decides Declan’s story must be told. And sure, it doesn’t hurt that it also might reboot her career…
From its startling opening, through to its final devastating showdown, this audacious, gripping and self-questioning play invites us to probe where the lines should be drawn. It’s very funny, very moving and will have your head spinning with the knotty ethical issues it provokes long after you leave the theatre. Winner of the 2019 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, Mouthpiece is unmissable; destined to be a classic of our times.
“I suppose Mouthpiece is a play with a lot of me in it,” says writer Kieran Hurley. “It’s about storytelling and theatre, but more than that it’s about who gets to shape and tell the stories that we hear about the world and about each other.”
Kieran Hurley is an award-winning writer, performer, and theatre-maker based in Glasgow whose work has been presented throughout the UK and internationally. Recent work includes: Square Go (with Gary McNair, Paines Plough Roundabout); A Six-Inch Layer of Topsoil and the Fact It Rains (Perth Theatre); Heads Up (Show And Tell); Rantin (National Theatre of Scotland); Chalk Farm (with AJ Taudevin, ThickSkin).
Awards include: Scotsman Fringe First Awards for Square Go and Heads Up and a Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland Best New Play for Heads Up and Beats. The film adaptation of Beats was released in 2019, after premiering at the Glasgow Film Festival.
“A play that wrestles fiercely and brilliantly with the dilemmas faced by serious artists in a bitterly divided society… This astonishing 90-minute two-handed drama powers to its riveting and challenging climax.” – The Scotsman
Director: Orla O’Loughlin Featuring: Shauna Macdonald, Angus Taylor Associate Director: Katherine Nesbitt Set Designer & Lighting Designer: Kai Fischer Composer & Sound Designer: Kim Moore Costume Designer: Sophie Ferguson Writer: Kieran Hurley
Odeon Theatre, 57a Queen Street, Norwood
Season: 6 – 14 March 2020
Information and Bookings: www.adelaidefestival.com.au
Image: Traverse Theatre Co presents Mouthpiece – photo by Stewart Armstrong