Martin Travers


Martin can be contacted through Playwrights' Studio

Playwrights' Studio

Former Writers Project

Martin Travers

Martin Travers is a playwright based in Lanark.


Martin is currently writing a new full-length play in Scots about nineteenth century working class poets in Lanarkshire. Set against the backdrop of the Udston Mining Disaster;A Daurk Matieris one element of Piston, Pen & Press: an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project which aims to understand how industrial workers in Scotland and the North of England, from the 1840s to the 1910s, engaged with literary culture through writing, reading, and participation in wider cultural activities.

Commissioned by In Cahootz to be performed by community actors,Oor Carol's Christmasis an ensemble play based on Dickens'A Christmas Carol. Oor Carol's Christmasis the story of homeless busker Carol's life-changing Christmas Eve in a spooky, magical Glasgow alley called Rookery Lane.

Funded by the Scottish Government, Martin is researching a new play for teenagers that explores on-line recruitment by right-wing extremists and its dark consequences for a modern Scotland.    

Martin is also writing the first play for the Citizens Theatre's newly formed Care Experienced Theatre Company that will premier as a full professionally supported production in autumn 2019.


McLuckie's Line,co-written with Martin Docherty, premiered at the Citizens Theatre's in April 2018. The play toured nationally (supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland) in September 2018 to critical acclaim and was been seen by over 1000 people across Scotland. 

Martin conceived and script editedCome Hell or High Water. A new urban oratorio based on interviews with Scottish residents, asylum seekers and refugees exploring what it is to be Scottish and British after the referendum to leave Europe.  Funded by Sky Art 50,Come Hell or High Waterwas directed by Guy Hollands with new songs and music by composer Finn Anderson. It premiered at the Citizens Theatre in March 2018 with a cast of twenty five community actors and a live professional band. Extracts of the production will be aired on Sky Arts on 29 March 2019. 

Martin was awarded Open Funding from Creative Scotland/ National Lottery funding to radically adapt Canadian writer and artist Heather Spears' novelThe Flourishinto a Scots stage play in 2017. Directed by Amanda Gaughan, there were three chamber performances of the play (with live piano accompaniment by Musical Director Karen MacIver) at the Citizens Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Institute of the Formation of Character in New Lanark.  

Martin's short playLife is Not a Rehearsal(funded by the Noël Coward Foundation) was performed by the Citizens Young Company at the Citizens Theatre as a curtain raiser to Dominic Hill's production ofHay Feverin April 2017. 

Martin's radical adaptation of Glasgow Girl Jessie M King'sThe Little White Town of Never Wearyfor Scottish Opera toured nationally in May 2016. The tour was featured on the national news. The trailer for the production has had over 65,000 hits on YouTube.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Martin's World War One musicalThe Rifleswas performed in November 2015 by a cast of 30, a nine piece professional band, a piper and a choir of sixty students from New College Lanarkshire.  Directed by award winning director Guy Hollands,The Rifleswas supported by a large scale workshop programme and was seen by over 2,500 people.

His play Scarfed for Life was a finalist of Creative Carbon Scotland's Sustainable Practice Awards 2016. This autumn tour was seen by over 2,000 young people and adults and was part of the Edinburgh Fringe before performances at The Beacon in Greenock, the Oran Mor in Glasgow and secondary schools across Glasgow. Scarfed for Life has had five professional productions and three community productions and has toured Scottish prisons, schools and has been performed in theatre venues throughout the country. The adult version ofScarfed for Life was published by Bloomsbury in October 2013. A new second edition of the play, specifically for secondary schools, was published by Bloomsbury in February 2014.Scarfed for Lifeis currently being studied in all Glasgow secondary schools and participating in supporting workshops led by Sense over Sectarianism.

His one woman showMiss Shamrock's World of Glamorous Flightwas part of the Play, Pie and a Pint autumn 2014 season at the Oran Mor and starred award-winning Scottish actor Pauline Knowles.

Martin's musical adaption of Theresa Breslin's multi-award winning novel Divided City for the Citizens Theatrewas the longest running participatory theatre in education project in the history of Scottish theatre. The play having been seen by over 20,000 people with 2497 young people from 109 schools have performed in a production.

Divided Citywas also performed by Irish pupils from local schools to over 2500 people as part of the Derry/ Londonderry City of Culture in 2013.

Divided Citywas published by Bloomsbury as part of their Critical Scripts series in January 2013. The Abridged Musical Edition of Divided City was published by A & C Black in February 2014.

In 2012, directed by award winning director Amanda Gaughan, his play Roman Bridge was the centre piece of the National Theatre of Scotland'sRevealseason. TheRoman Bridge play script was printed by Bloomsbury.

In 2010 he worked with prisoners to create the script for the large scalePlatform 2:10project that culminated in four live performances in the chapel at HMP Barlinnie.Platform 2010was part of Creative Scotland's ground breaking Inspiring Change initiative. The script forPlatform 2:10won a gold Koestler Trust Award in 2012.

He worked with Lanarkshire writers' groups as part of the National Theatre of Scotland's large-scale performance project SHIFT in autumn and winter of 2017.

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