Traverse Theatre reveals GUT in association with National Theatre of Scotland

We are delighted that GUT, shortlisted under its previous title of MADRA for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, has been announced as the centrepiece of The Traverse Theatre Spring/Summer 2018 season, produced in association with the National Theatre of Scotland.

GUT is a taut psychological thriller exploring who we can trust with our children, written by award-winning playwright Frances Poet. The first production to be announced from the Traverse’s new season, GUT centres on Maddy and Rory, devoted parents committed to keeping their three-year-old son happy and safe. But when an everyday visit to a supermarket café turns into a far more troubling incident, their trust even in those closest to them is shattered. Frances Poet, writer, says: I’ owe it all to the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. I’m not sure I would have summoned the courage to send it out but for making the shortlist’

I wrote the first draft of Gut when my kids were two and four. I was in the eye of the parenting storm: exhausted, fire-fighting and looking at the world with new eyes. My daily stimulus was fellow parents with one topic of conversation – how to keep our children not just happy and well, but safe. Was it OK to leave the kids in the car while we paid for our petrol? Or to fall asleep while our children were playing? Could we trust other people with our kids? There appeared to be no rule book and everybody’s gut instinct led them to form different judgements. Out of these funny and impassioned conversations, Gut was born. It’s a thriller that asks big questions about the world in which we live and with that I hope it will challenge and excite parents and non-parents alike.’

Zinnie Harris, Director, says:
‘I am delighted to be working with the wonderful Frances Poet on her new play. Frances has a strong dramatic imagination and knows how to tell a compelling story; Gut explores vital themes about parenthood and how we raise our children safely within a culture of fear. It puts a woman at the centre of the play – exploring in a theatrical and thought-provoking way her responses, and the fine line between what is rational and what is irrational.’

Orla O’Loughlin, Traverse Artistic Director, says:
I am thrilled that Gut by the brilliant Frances Poet will be the centrepiece of our Spring/Summer 2018 programme and part of Jackie Wylie’s inaugural programme for National Theatre of Scotland. This is a very timely play – a razor sharp thriller that explores the challenges of contemporary family life. Gut asks big, pertinent questions about trust and responsibility and at its heart is a study of how far we should go to keep those we love safe. It is great to be working with National Theatre of Scotland on this bold and contemporary world premiere, and also celebrating their reimagining of Midsummer – a former Traverse premiere – which they will restage at Edinburgh International Festival next August.’


Tuesday 24 April-Saturday 12 May (previews 20 & 21 April)
Box Office: 0131 228 1404 / online from 11 December

For more info and to book tickets please go to:

Published on:
12 Dec 2017


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