What We Know
One of the changes at the Traverse since Dominic Hill’s appointment as artistic director is the theatre’s determination to mount a wide range of small scale work in its studio theatre. The success of David Greig’s Midsummer over the last year bears out Hill’s faith in this process.
‘I’ve always wanted to broaden the amount and kind of work we were putting on,’ Hill explains. ‘I’ve also wanted the Traverse to become a home to some smaller companies. It’s a lonely big world out there and I wanted some companies to feel as if they had a place to perform.’
The latest theatre ensemble to benefit from this sometimes profitable largesse is Pamela Carter’s EK company. Writer and director Carter has secured the services of the brilliant Kate Dickie as a performer for her latest piece, What We Know. The play follows a woman trying to compensate for the man who is no longer part of her life.
‘There are three scenes,’ says Hill, ‘one where a meal is cooked, a scene with Kate and an unwanted teenager, and a scene where there’s a dinner party – they don’t necessarily work in a linear way. It’s a bit like a whodunit, though, you kind of have to engage with it and work out what’s happened.’
As with much of Carter’s work, the piece sets out to challenge audiences, rather than reassure them, something Hill admires. ‘It has a guise of being about something simple and familiar, and it’s very funny, but underneath that, there comes a time when you have to work something out about what happens. It’s a theatre of ideas, and frankly that’s not to everyone’s taste – we should be up front about that, but it’s fascinating work.’
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 17—Sat 27 Feb