+3 Interview: Scribble

“The common thread that links all of us is new writing and it’s great to bring all we’ve learnt from previous years to Scribble!”

WHO: Rachel D’Arcy, Producer

WHAT: “Bran flakes, anxiety and gravity. The smallest moments in history. The largest events in the universe. Blink and you’ll miss it. This scribble from your chest. New writing about mental health and supernovas from Andy Edwards, directed by Amy Gilmartin. Winner of the inaugural Assembly Roxy Theatre (ART) Award. Developed under Playwrights’ Studio Scotland Mentoring Programme, with support from the Tom McGrath Trust, Scribble was selected for a rehearsed reading at the Traverse Theatre’s 2016 Hothouse showcase for emerging Scottish artists.”

WHERE: Assembly Roxy (Venue 139) 

WHEN: 15:50 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is our first Fringe as a team working together, however as individuals we have been kicking around Edinburgh during Festival time since 2012. Our playwright Andy presented his first full length play, Killing Time at Bedlam Theatre with the Edinburgh University Theatre Company that year, and our director Amy has presented a lot of work with her company Urban Fox going back to 2013. I’ve worked on shows at the Festival since 2014 and came back with Paines Plough at the Roundabout @ Summerhall. The common thread that links all of us is new writing and it’s great to bring all we’ve learnt from previous years to Scribble!

Tell us about your show.

Scribble began life during Andy’s time being mentored by Rob Drummond on the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland mentoring scheme. It was presented at the Traverse Theatre’s Hothouse season in 2016 as a script-in-hand reading and then the Assembly Roxy Theatre ART Award came up and Andy and Amy went for it because the Fringe felt like a great place to have a really wide conversation with a really varied audience.

After they got the award they approached me, and the team has been growing ever since! We have Blair Coron composing our music, recent RCS graduate Jenny Booth is doing our set and costume design, and Alan MacKenzie is playing the lead role.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Immediately after our show (in the same space!) is Mental by Kane Power Theatre which looks great. It’s been great being on social media as we’ve connected with the creative team there and are really looking forward to meeting them in person.



Grain in the Blood (Traverse: 1 – 12 Nov.’16)

l to r: Frances Thorburn (Violet), Sarah Miele, Andrew Rothney, John Michie, Blythe Duff. Photos: Mihaela Bodlovic

l to r: Frances Thorburn (Violet), Sarah Miele, Andrew Rothney, John Michie, Blythe Duff.
Photos: Mihaela Bodlovic

“This hair-trigger of a play”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars: Nae Bad

What is it about valleys? There’s the BBC’s Happy Valley and Edward Norton in Down in the Valley, also far from ‘happy’, and – seminally – there’s the Valley of the Shadow of Death, which is as good a place as any in which to locate Rob Drummond’s latest enthralling work. Once upon a time, ‘for hundreds of years in the valley everything was just so’, but then the thanksgiving poetry ran out, like blood. Time now, then, for a spell of compassionate release.

That’s the hope anyway, and it is hope that supports Sophia, whose grand-daughter Autumn, needs a kidney transplant if she is to live much beyond her twelfth birthday. Isaac, Sophia’s grown son, has it in him to help but naturally, dramatically, it is not as easy as that. In fact, after 85 minutes, it has all still to be decided, either by the words of a child terribly wise beyond her years or out of the barrels of a 12 bore shotgun. Orla O’Loughlin’s direction respects this hair-trigger of a play right to its showdown.

The action rises over 3½ days, counted as ‘three sleeps’ by Autumn, who is brat reporter and ancient Chorus combined. She knows the ‘Verses of the Harvest’ by heart and the rhythmic invocation of the Grain Mother as provider of health and happiness- sad joke –  sounds solemn and serious, ‘even though She doesn’t fucking exist’. That’s the thing about Autumn (Sarah Miele): she has that unnerving sacrilegious streak that adults can’t manage.

So, there is proper tension down on the farm. There’s even a game of ‘Truth or Dare?’ that contains the greatest reveal of them all, which is wickedly ironic as Isaac (Andrew Rothney) is described as ‘low risk’. Sophia (Blythe Duff) needs to believe that assessment whilst Burt (John Michie), is there as the phlegmatic companion to threatening circumstance. These two play out a nice challenge of ‘Would you kill scumbags to save your daughter?’, which just digs deeper into the disturbing, teasing, ethical dilemmas that Drummond delights in. Go to his Uncanny Valley for starters.


The remote rural location is part of the piece. Where better to unearth the unsettling and the rooted? The harvest moon can glint off Isaac’s blade and there’s the suffering of Auntie Violet’s horse to put alongside Sophia’s claim that ‘We’re all animals’, which might be what her veterinary practice has taught her. Her house is modern, of machined and polished wood, where you might expect low ceilings, wood smoke and warped timbers. The spare, snappy dialogue and careful movement suits the space, whose back wall slides away to show Autumn’s bed with its blood drip stand, or the barn, site of an earlier, bloodier horror. Introducing classical tragedy for our times, anyone?

Intrigued? You should be, because this is fascinating theatre, still and severe in its way, but emotionally resonant, well-focused and very well performed.

nae bad_blue

Star (blue)Star (blue)Star (blue)Star (blue)Star (blue)

Reviewer: Alan Brown  (Seen 1 November)

Go to Grain in the Blood at the Traverse

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