Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Launching The Traverse Fifty

The Traverse Fifty Board

After an exciting and nerve-wracking wait, the Traverse Fifty officially launched on 14th January 2013! The launch day had the feel of a first day of school or uni, with all the participants – if they were anything like me – feeling like the new kid and tentatively approaching each other in the theatre bar. Fortunately, the excitement  quickly took over and all the writers were soon chatting and swapping stories and experiences like old friends.

We then took part in a day of discussions with and talks from well-established playwrights Zinnie Harris, Douglas Maxwell, Lynda Radley, and Kieran Hurley. Orla & Hamish gave us some insight into the year ahead, and also told us that the ‘Plays for Edinburgh’ evening on 26th Jan would now be two evenings, as due to popular demand they had added a show on the 25th!

The event was a bit of a whirlwind, and I found myself heading back to London the following morning just dying to pick up a pen and start writing. Before my play ‘The Boundary’ was even submitted to the Traverse Fifty I knew I wanted to develop it into a full length play, so between the launch and the play night I set about sketching the outline and researching some new aspects of the play. I received a call from Assistant Director Jo Rush during rehearsals for the play as some questions had been raised by the cast, and I was so delighted to be involved in the process and to offer my thoughts. At the same time, the actors’ questions gave me some things to think about, and pushed me in the direction of some new research which was incredibly helpful.

I landed back in Edinburgh on the 25th, and made a beeline for the Traverse where the first performance was underway. Running at a staggering 3 1/2 hours, the performance went really well and the audience all seemed to be in really good spirits. I had the chance to chat with a few people I knew in the audience as well as other Traverse Fifty writers who had been in, and when I went home that evening I just couldn’t wait to see everyone’s work the following night.

The Traverse Fifty Photo by Eoin Carey

The Traverse Fifty
Photo by Eoin Carey

On the 26th, as we all clustered together on the Traverse One stage for the photo call, there was a definite nervous energy in the room. Afterwards in the bar here were some new faces who hadn’t made the launch day, plus many of us had friends and family in tow, so there was a fantastic buzz and air of expectation.

Despite the name, there were actually fifty-three plays in the running order. Zinnie Harris and Kieran Hurley’s plays top and tailed the bill, and my little play, ‘The Boundary’, was close to the end of the first half. It is impossible to pick out favourites, but the other writers’ plays were a lovely mix: funny, touching and surprising pieces all performed by the fabulous cast and thoughtfully staged by Orla and Hamish. I was delighted with the performance of my play, and a few days later was overjoyed to get a mention in Joyce McMillan’s review of the evening:

“I loved Deborah Klayman’s Boundary, which brought images of cities divided by war home to the urban boundary between Edinburgh and Leith.”

All in all January’s events were fantastic, and made me all the more focused on developing ‘The Boundary’ and my other ideas while I have the Traverse’s support and other events to help me hone my work. 2013 is looking like a very creatively exciting year, and I can’t wait to see what happens next…

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The Traverse Fifty

In celebration of their 50th anniversary in 2013, the Traverse Theatre launched a competition in September to find 50 writers from Scotland and beyond for a year-long attachment.  The Traverse Fifty application was a 500-word play submission with the theme “Plays for Edinburgh”, and being both a writer and an Edinburgh native I thought this was a brief I could get my teeth into.

I promptly set about writing The Boundary, my uber-short about the Edinburgh/Leith divide, and was delighted to be notified in December that I had been selected as one of the Traverse Fifty! This certainly meant my 2013 started with a bang, and the year ahead is looking very exciting indeed, albeit extremely busy…

Since I no longer live in Scotland the main issue is physically getting to the monthly events at the Traverse.  I have begun the intricate juggling act that is finding regular travel between London and Edinburgh that does not require a remortgage, and so far have managed to book up until April without too much difficulty. The theatre are kindly assisting with costs which is a huge help, particularly as this month we have two events that I certainly would not be willing to miss.

This Monday, 14th Jan, is the Traverse Fifty official launch day so I have already landed in Edinburgh and am eagerly awaiting my first opportunity to meet the Traverse team and the other fourty-nine and to hear about the plans for the year ahead.

1 city, 50 writers, 50 plays, 25,000 words

On the 26th Jan the Traverse is staging the plays of all those selected in an evening entitled “50 Plays for Edinburgh“. The showcase is directed by Orla O’Loughlin and Hamish Pirie, and tickets are a very reasonable £6 (£4 conc). I will be there with very excited bells on!


Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Having arrived in Edinburgh late last night I had promised myself some rest and relaxation time before starting the marathon reviewing schedule I cruelly made for my first week. I lied to myself. Show no.1 was at 10am at the Traverse Theatre, followed by three back to back shows at Assembly George Square. Thankfully, all four shows were good and as I write this all my reviews have been submitted in good time – actually more than twelve hours early – avoiding the usual 6am writeathon I subject myself to.

That done, I am retrying the R n R before my seven show day tomorrow. Reviews will appear on The Public Reviews and I will subsequently post them here.

Happy festival everyone!

Debs