Upcoming Edinburgh Theatre That Should be Talked About
We are lucky to live in a city of culture; a city that celebrates art, its diversity and its power. Edinburgh is a hive of creativity and whether inspiring the narrative or the writer, is responsible for helping to create theatre worth talking about. From the work-in-progress sharing of Jen McGregor’s Rabbler to the highly anticipated Macbeth (An Undoing) reimagined by Edinburgh-born playwright Zinnie Harris, our city is a city that inspires. Below we share some theatre we believe is worth talking about.
Enough of Him by May Sumbwanyambe
The balance between freedom and obligation, Enough of Him explores the factual account of Joseph Knight, an African man brought to serve plantation owner Sir John Wedderburn in his Perthshire mansion. After falling in love, Knight’s desperation to be a free man results in a gruelling four-year legal battle, resulting in the Scottish abolition of slavery in 1778. This captivating work helps introduce a new generation of young people to the delicate balance of power and privilege.
Edinburgh-born May Sumbwanyambe is not only responsible for creating theatrical brilliance, but for educating the young Edinburgh-based talent of tomorrow as a former teaching fellow in Theatre at the University of Edinburgh and Associate Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University. Sumbwanyambe is currently writing his PhD on “A Practice-Based investigation into writing Post-Black History Plays”. Enough of Him is currently touring in Scotland, with upcoming performances in Cumbernauld, Musselburgh and Perth. It is part of Black History Month and The Year of Stories.
Rabbler by Jen McGregor
Exploring how a singular action can spark a war, Rabbler recounts the life of Jenny Geddes, a mere market stall owner from Edinburgh. Incited by the first public reading of the Book of Common Prayer in 1637, Geddes hurled a stool at the head of the minister of St Giles Kirk, reportedly screeching "Devil cause you colic in your stomach, false thief: dare you say the Mass in my ear?". This act reportedly steamrolled Scotland into the Covenanters' War.
Despite the tale being wrapped in religious turmoil, Rabbler examines the woman herself; a fifty-minute monologue packed full of heartache, anger and pride. Pulling on the ancient past of Edinburgh, it explores execution, bigotry, the place of a woman and mob mentality - how the act of one can set a wave in motion.
Although set in firmly in the 17th century, Jenny’s tale is one we might all recognise today. First performed in Octupcoming-edinburgh-theatre-that-should-be-talked-aboutober as part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, the production at the Waverley Bar in St. Mary’s Street spoke of political tension, growing unrest, the unruliness of the people and manipulation. Within the walls of the venue, the audience was enveloped in Edinburgh: ancient and new; nodding sagely at the references to King Charles and deadly disease. The play is currently in development, directed by Niloo-Far Khan, and has exciting plans for 2023.
When Mountains Meet by Anne Wood
Although we may be biased, we believe When Mountains Meet is a culture-combination story we can’t help but talk about. Based on the journey and journals of Anne Wood as she travels from Edinburgh to Pakistan to discover her heritage and family, When Mountains Meet combines the power of shared culture, music and storytelling to share a tale like no other.
One culture can only enhance another and the first work-in-progress performances at the Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh on the 27th and 28th October will share Anne’s adventures in an unforgettable journey through Pakistan, brought to life with beautifully blended music, visuals and intimate storytelling.
When Mountains Meet tickets are on sale now.
These three examples, we believe, showcase the power of theatre inspired by or written by the people of Edinburgh, whether political, diverse or a personal account. Our writers use their narrative or passions to create world-class productions that we are truly proud of and we look forward to future productions shaped by our city.