David Harrower, often called the most talented Scottish playwright of his generation, will be visiting Madrid to share and discuss the vision and motivation behind his works through the project Read, Play, Meet, Repeat organized in Madrid by Bella Batalla, Esto Podría Ser and El Pavón Teatro Kamikaze in collaboration with the British Council / New UK Drama.
David Harrower’s visit to Madrid (28th and 29th June) brings the first edition of Read, Play, Meet, Repeat to a close, a season which has brought some of the UK’s most promising and ground-breaking playwrights to Madrid. He was preceded by Che Walker, Anna Jordan, Tim Crouch, Milly Thomas, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Simon Stephens, Alistair McDowall and Roy Williams. Don’t miss a dramatized reading of extracts from David Harrower’s works at the Pavón Kamikaze Theatre on Saturday 29th June at 12.00h (free admission while space is available).
Playwright David Harrower was born in Edinburgh in 1966 and is the author of ten original plays and a dozen adaptations.
His first play, Knives in Hens premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in 1995 and was an immediate critical hit. Now widely acknowledged as a modern Scottish classic, it has become one of the most performed Scottish plays of all time and has been staged in 25 countries around the world. Knives in Hens is a marvellous and mysterious drama of real -passion written in a stark, puritan style about emerging ¬consciousness as the world moves from the rural to the urban and industrial. It is also an ¬examination of the constraints and -liberating possibilities of language and a journey from ignorance to knowledge. The play led to David becoming known as a practitioner of “in-yer-face” theater, a new genre of drama which emerged in Britain in the 1990s and that is defined by its violence and provocation, perhaps best represented by the works of writer Sarah Kane.
David’s next play Kill the Old Torture Their Young has been described as an urban tragicomedy of alienation, mixing realism with poetry and fantasy. It was first performed in 1998 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and in 1999 received the Meyer-Whitworth Award for best new British playwright. Other plays include Dark Earth, first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in August 2003; 365, presented at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2008 and telling the stories of 14 young people who move out of care; Ciara a monologue written specially for the actor Blythe Duff in 2013 or Blackbird, commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival in a production that later moved to London. A immensely powerful work about a young woman meeting a middle-aged man fifteen years after being sexually abused by him when she was twelve, Blackbird became an instant success and went on to win several awards including the 2006 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for Best New Play or the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. It has subsequently been performed all over the world including a Spanish version staged in Madrid at the Pavón Teatro Kamikaze in 2017.
David has also written adaptations for theatre including The Chrysalids (1999), adapted from John Wyndham's novel for the National Theatre's Connections project; Six Characters Looking for an Author, a version of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author first staged at the Young Vic in 2000; or Chekhov's Ivanov (2002), performed at the National Theatre. In 2018 and on occasion of the Scottish novelist Muriel Spark’s 100th anniversary, The Donmar Warehouse in London presented David’s dynamic new adaptation of one of Spark’s most acclaimed works The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
David Harrower’s film and television credits include the screenplay of his play Blackbird for a film adaptation of the play entitled Una directed by Benedict Andrews which premiered in September 2016, or Lockerbie, a drama series about the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, currently in development at Channel 4 to be directed by the Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald.