Gut preview: a psychological thriller about parents and their kids from Frances Poet

Gut: Frances Poet's new play is a psychological thriller about parents and their children

We talk to the literary manager-turned-playwright about her latest work for the stage

Directed by Traverse associate director Zinnie Harris, Frances Poet's play is a timely one, as it delves into how much trust parents have in strangers keeping their children safe. The play focuses on a couple, Maddy and Rory, who are devoted parents to their three-year-old boy Joshua, but who one day find a supermarket cafe trip with their young son turning into a living nightmare.

'I wrote the first draft of Gut when my kids were two and four,' recalls Poet who is currently a creative Fellow at the Traverse. 'I was in the eye of the parenting storm: exhausted, fire-fighting and looking at the world with new eyes.' It's this vulnerability, as well as notions on how best to protect children, that informs the piece, without losing a sense of dramatic engagement. With another commission from the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Edinburgh University already in progress, Poet makes theatre that is both socially conscious and dynamic.

'Gut is a psychological thriller,' she continues. 'First and foremost, I hope an audience will be engaged and excited by it. When it comes to how we raise our children, people tend to have a strong emotional response, and I can't wait to hear the discussions coming out of the theatre.' (Lorna Irvine)

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 20 Apr–Sat 12 May; Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 16–Thu 19 May.


Taut psychological thriller that explores who we can trust with our children. And whether it’s more dangerous not to trust at all. Written by Fringe First award-winning playwright Frances Poet (Adam) and directed by award-winning Traverse Associate Director Zinnie Harris.