Martin Travers

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Playwrights' Studio

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Martin Travers

Martin Travers is a playwright and producer based in Lanark.

Written for Scotland's first care experienced ensemble, Martin's punk play Whatever Happened to the Jaggy Nettles? was premiered by the Citizens Theatre in February 2020. The play is published by Bloomsbury.

"Captures the heart and soul spirit of friendship, fights and fleeting moments of unity that helped define a generation's rites of passage" **** The Herald

"The Jaggy Nettles roar out their defiant determination that whatever the future holds, they will implode in style, and with an unforgettable banshee yell." **** The Scotsman

His play The Kids Are Alt Right is a cautionary tale of how right wing social media and online content can lead to actions and consequences that can never be undone. The play is published by Bloomsbury and is part of their Plays for Young People series.

McLuckie's Line, co-written with, and starring, Martin Docherty, premiered in April 2018. Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland funding, the play toured nationally in September 2018 to critical acclaim and was been seen by enthusiastic audiences across Scotland.

"…stunningly vivid evocation of life on the front line in working class Glasgow ...stories that have an energy and poetry that are funny, angry and elegiac…" **** The Scotsman

"The lyrical, yet profane writing is a joy...feels like a spontaneous meeting with an old friend - the kind you love dearly" **** The List

Martin's A Daurk Maiter is a full-length play in Scots about nineteenth century working class poets in Lanarkshire. Set against the backdrop of the Udston Mining Disaster; this play is part 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.

Martin has a long running partnership with Glasgow-based arts and community theatre company In Cahootz.Directed by Kate Black,his plays Haw Hen, Pigeon and Oor Carol and the Seagulls were written specifically for large casts of community actors.

Martin conceived and scripted Come 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. Come Hell or High Water was 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 were aired on Sky Arts in March and June 2019.

Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland funding Martin radically adapted Canadian writer and artist Heather Spears' novel The Flourish into a Scots stage play in 2017. Directed by Amanda Gaughan, there were three chamber performances of Annville (with live piano accompaniment created 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 comedy Life is Not a Rehearsal was funded by the Noël Coward Foundation and performed by the Citizens Young Company at the Citizens Theatre as a curtain raiser to Dominic Hill's production of Hay Fever in April 2017.

Martin's radical adaptation of Glasgow Girl Jessie M King's The Little White Town of Never Weary for Scottish Opera toured across Scotland in May 2016 and was also featured on the national news.

Martin's World War One Musical The Rifles was 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 Guy Hollands with music composed by Claire McKenzie, The Rifles was supported by a large-scale workshop programme and was seen by over 2,500 people.

His award-winning play Scarfed for Life has been performed numerous times by professional and non-professional companies and has toured Scottish prisons, schools and has been performed in theatre venues throughout the country. Scarfed for Life is currently studied in all Glasgow secondary schools. Two editions of the play are published by Bloomsbury.

"Loud, lively...a mix of broad mouthy comedy and serious agitprop". The Scotsman

His one woman show Miss Shamrock's World of Glamorous Flight starring Pauline Knowles was part of the Play, Pie and a Pint autumn 2014 season at the Oran Mor.

Martin's musical adaption of Theresa Breslin's multi-award winning novel Divided City for the Citizens Theatre was 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 2500 young people from 110 schools have performed in a production.

In 2012 his play Roman Bridge was directed by Amanda Gaughan and was the centrepiece of the National Theatre of Scotland's Reveal season.

"eloquent and forceful" **** The Scotsman

"a major new voice might just have been heard" **** The Herald

"the greatest pleasure is Travers' muscular dialogue, at once flinty and naturalistic and richly lyrical, which marks him out as a new voice to relish in the future"**** The List

 

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