SEA WALL at the Traverse

Simon Stephens at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Thu 6 - Sun 16 Aug, 2009

Bush Theatre at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival '09

Things for Alex are good. He loves his wife, his daughter, his city, his job. But sometimes the force of life can crash against you. Sometimes everything you thought you could always depend on can be taken away.

Sea Wall is a story about family, fear and the things that can't be undone. It is award-winning playwright Simon Stephens' new play. His previous plays include Pornography (Traverse Theatre, 2008), Port (Pearson Award for Best Play), Christmas, On the Shore of the Wide World (Olivier Award for Best New Play), Motortown, and Harper Regan.

Olivier Award Winner Andrew Scott's recent theatre credits include Roaring Trade at the Soho Theatre and Vertical Hour on Broadway.

Sea Wall was first shown at the Bush Theatre in 2008 as part of the Broken Space Season.

To book tickets please visit the Traverse Website or ring the box office on 0131 228 1404


What the papers say

Read more reviews


'If you want to see the small but perfectly formed in all its glory, look no further than Simon Stephens's Sea Wall, first seen at the Bush last year. Performed with devastating intensity by Andrew Scott, this monologue is an exquisitely written and moving account of the fragility of our existence and how the good life can suddenly turn bad without warning.'

The Guardian

'First off the starting-block in Traverse Theatre festival programme for 2009 is a monologue, just 30 minutes long, by the Stockport writer Simon Stephens, first fleetingly glimpsed at the Bush in London last year. It's a delicate wisp of a thing, like a curl of cigarette-smoke exhaled in a moment of mournful reverie. After contact with it, sure enough, your eyes are welling up, and you're starting to choke...

...The delight of this solo, directed by George Perrin, is also two-fold. First, there's the quality of Stephens's writing, which has a rich feel for the embarrassments, detours, short-cuts and comic self-deprecations of everyday speech. But holding it together is a pitch-perfect performance from the actor Andrew Scott, telling the tale to his audience directly, on a bare stage, under the most basic lighting. He's charming and casual, groping for the right words - building up a picture for us of a photographer who's been blessed with the woman of his dreams and a beautiful young daughter. His father-in-law, with his house in the South of France, gives the family a gateway to sun-soaked afternoons by the Mediterranean. Who should Alex thank for this bounty? Not God in heaven, surely - he doesn't believe in any of that. And yet when things go horribly wrong - who, then, can he turn to? From something quite shallow, superficial, even smug in its tone, this heart-on-sleeve confessional suddenly launches us into a flux of profound, unanswerable questions. It's good to be thrown in at the deep end like this, on day one.'

The Daily Telegraph


Director - George Perrin
Lighting Designer - Natasha Chivers


cast includes

Andrew Scott



Dates - 6 - 16 August (see for performance times)
To book - Traverse Box Office 0131 228 1404 or