Douglas Maxwell

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The Whip Hand

11 Aug 20174 stars

A strong cast drive down the middle of the ethical divide

It's certainly a memorable 50th birthday celebration. Working class Dougie has summoned his family to the flashy new house of his ex-wife Arlene and her suave new partner Lorenzo. He has discovered that he is the last descendant of a drippingly wealthy…

Charlie Sonata is a heartfelt story of dark nostalgia and redemption

3 May 20174 stars

Director Matthew Lenton mashes up a metaphysical world of fairytales and a brutally naturalistic Glasgow of dubious pubs

In Matthew Lenton, playwright Douglas Maxwell has an ideal director: with a script that floats in and out of the hero's consciousness, mashing up a metaphysical world of fairytales and a brutally naturalistic Glasgow of dubious pubs, antiseptic…

Theatre review: Yer Granny

29 May 20152 stars

A fine cast are poorly served by a lacklustre script in this National Theatre of Scotland production

The Russo family have had their chips in Yer Granny, a black comedy from National Theatre of Scotland. Douglas Maxwell's adaptation of Roberto Cossa's Argentine hit comedy La Nona has an all-star cast, yet it never gets into first gear, despite…

National Theatre of Scotland announce programme for 2015 Belong season

26 Nov 2014

Including a gaelic Whisky Galore, The Driver's Seat and a documentary drama of genital mutilation

‘Tribes, families, clans and gangs’ are the themes behind the National Theatre of Scotland’s Belong season, announced today, which stretches from January to June 2015. The eclectic season draws on a broad spectrum of subjects, bringing together a new…

Talkfest offers aspiring theatremakers an insight into life behind the scenes

24 Mar 2014

Douglas Maxwell, Peter Arnott and Oliver Emanuel are among the speakers and directors attending

Based in the CCA but perhaps most familiar from its annual forays across to the Edinburgh Fringe, the Playwrights’ Studio has been supporting the creation of new writing for a decade. Through a wide range of events, it has offered opportunities to…

Breakfast Plays: A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity

20 Aug 20134 stars

Douglas Maxwell's script finally proves that swearing is both big and clever

Although a barrage of f-words and c-words is a tough call first thing in the morning, Douglas Maxwell’s plea for a more tolerant attitude to bad language is hidden beneath a fast-paced and witty comedy. Following one woman’s attempt to come to terms…

A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity

19 Feb 2013

Douglas Maxwell play charts middle class woman who discovers richness of swearing

'I started off with the idea of calling someone ‘a cunt’ but meaning it nicely,’ says Douglas Maxwell of his new play, ‘and then I thought of people who just don’t swear. Theatre’s a sweary industry, working in it we assume that everyone swears, but…

Ten collaborative music, theatre and film projects from Scotland

7 Nov 2012

Including Speed of Light, Pass the Spoon and Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Pass the Spoon. It sounded like an unlikely dish, with ingredients including off-beat artist David Shrigley (who wrote the libreto), modernist composer David Fennessy and Magnetic North director Nicholas Bone working with the Red Note Ensemble, but when…

Interview: Playwrights David Greig and David Harrower share a bill at Edinburgh Fringe

11 Jul 2012

Scottish playwrights share a bill at Edinburgh for first time

It took centuries of endeavour before the first man ran a four-minute mile. Yet as soon as he did, it happened again just two months later. Since Roger Bannister broke that barrier in 1959, many athletes have done the same. That, says playwright David…

Smalltown collects work by Douglas Maxwell, DC Jackson and Johnny McKnight

7 Mar 20113 stars

Random Accomplice’s trio of Ayrshire-set plays

Random Accomplice’s trio of Ayrshire-set plays by three of Scotland’s leading talents seems intended as an affectionate parody of the portmanteau horror films popularised by Amicus in the 1960s. The individual segments do, however, offer a snapshot of…

Lung Ha's Around the World in 80 Days

24 Feb 2011

Interview with Maria Oller, artistic director of Lung Ha's

What inspired you to take on Around the World in 80 Days? I wanted to give the company members a chance to do a classic play. Around the World in 80 Days came to mind as a story that is rarely produced for the stage, and is funny, with lots of…

Random Accomplice's Smalltown offers three plays by leading Scottish playwrights

26 Jan 2011

New works by Douglas Maxwell, DC Jackson and Johnny McKnight

Typical. You wait ages for a great new play to arrive and then three come along at once. As luck would have it the trio of plays that make up Random Accomplice’s latest production, Smalltown, have been crafted by three of Scotland’s leading young…

Spring Awakening unites Douglas Maxwell, Grid Iron and Traverse

3 Nov 20104 stars

Frank Wedekind's attack on sexually-oppressive culture relocated from Germany to Calvinist Scotland

Boldly returning to Frank Wedekind’s original play in the wake of the enormous success of the Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening, Douglas Maxwell, together with Grid Iron and the Traverse, has created a fresh, creative and relevant new adaptation…

Why Frank Wedekind's seminal play Spring Awakening still resonates

27 Oct 2010

Grid Iron unleash new production at Traverse, Edinburgh

Frank Wedekind’s seminal drama Spring Awakening has experienced a renaissance in recent years. The often banned 1891 play, which portrays 14-year-olds grappling with ideas of sexuality, death and religion in the prohibitive climate of late 19th century…

The Bookie is playwright Douglas Maxwell’s first musical

4 Oct 20102 stars

Let down by complex plot despite suitably murky atmosphere

Playwright Douglas Maxwell’s first musical is unlikely to threaten the market dominance of Stephen Sondheim or Rodgers and Hammerstein or even Andrew Lloyd Webber any time soon. Aly Macrae’s songs, which range from catchy to unmemorable, punctuate the…

Decky Does A Bronco

12 Aug 20104 stars

Winning revival of site-specific coming-of-age drama

Reviving its award-winning 2000 production of Douglas Maxwell’s site-specific play Grid Iron set up home in a Canonmills park. In a circular arena focused on a swingset David, a self-confessed ‘pathological reminiscer’, dredges up childhood…

Edinburgh Festival anniversaries in 2010

15 Jul 2010

Anniversaries abound at this years festival, not least the the Comedy Awards and Assembly Rooms, both of which celebrate their 30th years.

National Theatre of Scotland's tfd season targets teenage audience

23 Feb 2010

‘Teenagers aren’t aliens, they’re just us but younger.’ It’s a fact easily forgotten but one that playwright Rob Drummond and the rest of the team behind a new season for young people from the National Theatre of Scotland are keeping firmly in mind.

Promises Promises

10 Feb 20104 stars

It’s no mere nod and a wink to lovers of Muriel Spark that the school teacher protagonist of Douglas Maxwell’s gripping new monologue is called Margaret Anne Brodie. The character herself may claim not to have read Spark’s famous novel of sex, power and…

Promises Promises - Douglas Maxwell interview

12 Jan 2010

With The Miracle Man, his play for the NTS slated to open in March, Douglas Maxwell will be in familiar territory. Spotty trauma, adolescent angst and the icky business of entering into the adult world are house themes for Maxwell, and this new work, in…

Curtain up

7 Jan 2010

The National Theatre of Scotland has launched its programme for 2010, with highlights including a new piece of work by the team behind worldwide hit Black Watch. In line with the company’s ethos of working with a variety of art forms, in February and…

Best of a decade: Respectable in the Noughties

2 Dec 2009

Much of the most powerful art produced in Scotland in the 1980s–1990s developed in angry reaction to the political situation and tapped into our radical, left-wing and egalitarian traditions – it’s no accident that the most popular works of that period…

Douglas Maxwell

13 Mar 2008

'It’s a bit like being at the controls of a jumbo jet after four pints at lunchtime. It’s exhilarating but terrifying.’ Douglas Maxwell is employing a typically vivid metaphor for entering into fatherhood. With a child of three months recently arriving…