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Mouthpiece

Traverse Theatre

Cause it’s all very well wanting to be a voice for the voiceless eh. Until you find oot the voiceless have a fucking voice and mibbe they might want tay use it. Read more …

Salisbury Crags. Twilight. A woman takes a step forward into the air. A teenage boy pulls her back. Two lives are changed forever.

Libby whiles away her days in New Town cafes and still calls herself a writer – but she’s not put pen to page for years. Declan is a talented young artist struggling with a volatile home life in Pilton. As they form an uneasy friendship, complicated by class and culture, Libby spots an opportunity to put herself back on track, and really make a difference.

She needs Declan’s story. In all its messy, painful detail.

But does she have the right to it?

When does poverty portrayal become poverty porn?


The critical consensus

O’Loughlin’s production is moving and tense, frequently funny and full of poignant moments.

****(*)Michael Cox, Across the Arts

The play becomes a wrestling match for the soul of a divided society in which art imitates life imitating art in a safe space where everyone likes a bit of rough.

****(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 07/12/2018

It’s not often I come out of the theatre with my mind spinning in circles around a knotty ethical dilemma. Although Mouthpiece is as problematic as it is provocative, it’s all the better for being both.

Crystal Bennes, Exeunt, 07/12/2018

Mouthpiece remains a play that wrestles fiercely and brilliantly with the dilemmas faced by serious artists in a bitterly divided society.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 07/12/2018

The problem is one of too many ideas being insufficiently thought out, rather than a lack of them.

***(*)(*)Hugh Simpson, All Edinburgh Theatre, 07/12/2018

O’Loughlin’s direction is unflashy, enabling Neve McIntosh and Lorn Macdonald to deliver two distinct yet emotionally authentic performances.

****(*)Paul F Cockburn, Broadway Baby, 07/12/2018

Provocative, daring and completely riveting, Mouthpiece proves yet again that the Traverse is Scotland’s leading light when it comes to important and exciting new writing.

*****Kirsty McGrory, The Wee Review, 08/12/2018

It will move and shock those from Edinburgh and beyond as the points it raises should be heard by all, no matter the side of the city.

****(*)Stephanie Allard, Review Sphere, 07/12/2018

Kieran Hurley’s gripping Edinburgh-set two-hander confronts the economic divide in the city and the stranglehold the middle-classes have on the arts.

****(*)Mark Fisher, The Guardian, 09/12/2018

The applause came in fast and loud at the final blackout. Too fast. The performances are outstanding and deserve it but Mouthpiece is one of those plays that is yelling at yous to shut up and think.

*****Alan Brown, Edinburgh 49, 10/12/2018

“It’s very meta”, as one of the characters glibly puts it. Yes indeed, and, alas, the less meaningful for it.

***(*)(*)Edie Ranvier, The Reviews Hub, 10/12/2018

Mouthpiece looks like the outcome of an ill-advised collaboration between Irvine Welsh and Alan Ayckbourn. It purports to offer a sceptical deconstruction of the well-intentioned, but artistically unrewarding, theatre of liberal conscience, but ends up becoming the very thing it set out to critique.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 20/12/2018

Mouthpiece's all-too human subjects stage a defiant, complicated portrait of class and privilege on our own doorstep.

****(*)Deborah Chu, The List, 18/12/2018

Kieran Hurley's provocative and stark two-hander explores the class divide in society and theatre, and asks: what are we going to do about it?

*****Amy Taylor, The Skinny, 21/12/2018


Features about Mouthpiece

Kieran Hurley's Mouthpiece is 'a vigorous examination of how appropriation and exploitation threatens authenticity'.

Gareth K Vile, The List, 27/11/2018

Where and when?

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Saturday December 1, 2018, until Saturday December 22, 2018. More info: www.traverse.co.uk

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