Nests: Xana Marwick and Heather Fulton's new play deconstructs assumptions about poverty and class


Nests / credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

'It's not just a discussion of the excluded but with the excluded'

Nests straddles the divide between the magical and realistic: following the adventures of an alienated young boy and his crow, it is inspired not by playwright Xana Marwick's autobiography but by her work with young people. 'I hope it's not just a discussion of the excluded but with the excluded,' she comments. 'One of our aims is to attract an audience from all walks of life, from people who are living the experiences we present, to people who are in a position to make a difference.'

'Xana has written a poignant script that celebrates the strength of young people,' adds director Heather Fulton. 'What I love most about the boy is his ability to see through the crap; to experience beauty and vulnerability in unexpected places. it's hard to watch in places but also beautiful, moving, funny and hopeful.'

Recognising theatre's potential to at least start a conversation, the team are focused on articulating an experience that is often excluded. 'I think there is a real lack of representation of "the educated poor",' continues Marwick. 'People make so many assumptions about poverty and class that if someone is well read or bright, some find it hard to equate that that person might also be working class or living in poverty. I wanted to try and challenge that in Nests, to show that you can have slipped through the net of social care, be neglected, lost, bullied, but you still might be the most curious, bright kid on the block.'

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 7 & Sat 8 Sep; Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 13–Sat 15 Sep; then touring


A frightened, starving boy and his only friend, a crow, encounter a man on the edge of society trying to forget his past. A fairy-tale for today that questions how our society treats the young and vulnerable.