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Blythe Duff in Good With People

The Traverse Theatre earlier today launched its 2012 festival programme, with eight world premieres and two Scottish premieres among its total of 19 festival shows and events.

The programme showcases new writing from some of the most important names in contemporary theatre. A flagship double bill contrasts pieces by two major Scottish playwrights: David Greig’s The Letter of Last Resort, about a future Prime Minister struggling with her vision of the future, with David Harrower’s Good With People, in which a man returns to a past he’s been trying to avoid.

Morning, a dark coming-of-age drama, is the first play for young people by Simon Stephens, and its production by the Lyric Hammersmith performed by the Lyric Young Company is directed by Sean Holmes. Bill Paterson and Dearbhla Molloy star in And No More Shall We Part, a moving look at a fracturing relationship by Australian playwright Tom Holloway.

Two erstwhile comedians also tread the boards of Traverse 1. There’s a new show from Daniel Kitson, at the moment given the title As of 1.52GMT on Friday April 27th 2012, This Show Has No Title, although Kitson has admitted that he is yet to write it – he will think about it in June, work on it in July and perform it in August. And political activist Mark Thomas turns the spotlight on himself and his family in the world premiere of Bravo Figaro!, which focuses on his father.

Belgian troublemakers Ontroerend Goed return to the Traverse for the final part of their trilogy on youth, All That Is Wrong, which follows the acclaimed Once and For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen and Teenage Riot. And award-winning writer Chris Goode collaborates with the Unicorn Theatre on Monkey Bars, a verbatim piece based on 30 children aged eight to ten talking about their lives.

There are two productions performed at the Scottish Book Trust aimed specifically at children: Shona Reppe’s puppetry piece The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean and The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk from Catherine Wheels, who received wide acclaim for their sublime White.

Two emerging Scottish artists get prime slots in Traverse 2: Kieran Hurley with his look at 1990s rave culture, Beats, and Gary McNair with Born to Run. And there’s the return of breakfast theatre, with Dream Plays (Scenes from a Play I’ll Never Write), curated and directed by David Greig and Traverse Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin, for which they’ve asked 12 of the UK’s most gifted playwrights to explore the world of dreams.

With a wealth of other productions and collaborations, contemporary opera, talks and cutting-edge political theatre, it’s a rich and compelling season.