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Swallow (NHB Modern Plays)

Swallow (NHB Modern Plays)

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Swallow (NHB Modern Plays)

5/5 (5 valutazioni)
74 pagine
48 minuti
Aug 1, 2015


Three strangers are about to face their demons head on. Balanced precariously on the tipping point, they might just be able to save one another - if they can only overcome their urge to self-destruct.

Painful yet playful, poignant but uplifting, Stef Smith’s Swallow takes a long, hard look at the extremes of everyday life. This powerful and poetic play premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, as part of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Aug 1, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Stef Smith is a playwright whose work includes: Enough (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2019); Nora : A Doll's House (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 2019); Girl in the Machine (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2017); Human Animals (Royal Court Theatre, London, 2016); Swallow (Traverse Theatre, 2015); Remote (NT Connections 2015); And The Beat Goes On (Random Accomplice/Horsecross); Cured (The Arches, Glasgow); Woman of the Year (Òran Mór); Grey Matter (Lemon Tree, Aberdeen); Falling/Flying (Tron, Glasgow); Roadkill (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2010 and 2011). Awards include: Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best New Production, Amnesty International Expression of Freedom Award, Herald Angel Award, Total Theatre Award for Innovation, The Scotsman Fringe First Award (Roadkill); Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award for Drama, The Scotsman Fringe First Award (Swallow). She has been awarded the New Playwright Award by Playwrights Studio, Scotland. Stef was a member of the Royal Court National Writers Group in 2013. She is an Associate Artist at the Traverse Theatre.

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Anteprima del libro

Swallow (NHB Modern Plays) - Stef Smith

Stef Smith





Title Page

Original Production

Foreword by Orla O’Loughlin

Foreword by Stef Smith




About the Author

Copyright and Performing Rights Information

Swallow was first performed at the Traverse Theatre,

Edinburgh, on 9 August 2015. The cast was as follows:

Foreword from Director Orla O’Loughlin

It is February 2015. I am sitting in a packed studio theatre next to Traverse Executive Producer, Linda Crooks. Beside her is playwright Stef Smith. We are here, at the Doosan Arts Centre in Seoul, to see a public rehearsed reading of Stef’s Traverse commission, Swallow. In Korean.

As ever at these kind of events, I watch the audience as much as the performance. I am very curious to know what these characters and their stories will mean here, over 5000 miles from home. I wonder how Swallow might translate narratively, emotionally, politically and culturally.

Linda, Stef and I share a giddy mix of jet lag and nerves before the performance starts, but once it does, we settle and, like the audience, are very focused and at times deeply moved. The play clearly takes flight with ease. The performers are very still and give enormously detailed and delicate performances. And the majority of the audience stay for a question-and-answer session following the show.

Questions for Stef relate mostly to her writing process, and for me are concerned with how I will direct the play. The audience have questions about how the play came into being and how, now it exists, it will translate into three dimensions. It strikes me very powerfully that no questions arise in relation to the characters, plot, themes or form. It seems that the world of Swallow is readily accepted in the terms within which it is presented.

I’m surprised and delighted. Surprised because Swallow isn’t a straightforward kind of play. It is fragmentary, poetic and tonally diverse. It invites questions at every moment as to the who, what and why. I am thrilled that none of this gets in the way. Rather it creates an eloquence and internal logic all of its own.

The experience proves a shot in the arm for me. Proof, if it were needed, that Swallow is ready for production.

So, now, here I sit typing this. It is July 2015. I am in the Traverse rehearsal room in Leith. We are midway through week two and I am as inspired, challenged and excited as I have ever been about a project.

The actors and Stef are swapping romantic anecdotes in the green room, the gulls are squawking overhead and we are preparing to dive back in to the vivid, troubled and wonderful world of Swallow.

I’d like to thank the entire company for their fearless embrace of the play, its complications and celebrations. Dream creative and production teams for really going on the journey and supporting all our creative adventures. The actors for their bravery, tenacity and sheer class. And to Stef, for her tireless pursuit of better and for the blistering, clarion call of Swallow.


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  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    It was amazing. I am doing Sam's monologue from it. The play is just beautiful.

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