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Verbatim play about toxic masculinity to be performed at Scottish Parliament

Cast of Locker Room Talk at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Photo: David Monteith-Hodge/Photographise Cast of Locker Room Talk at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Photo: David Monteith-Hodge/Photographise
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Locker Room Talk, the Traverse Edinburgh’s verbatim theatre piece that calls out systematic sexual aggression, will be performed in front of politicians at the Scottish Parliament next month.

The play is written by Gary McNair who interviewed hundreds of men about their attitudes to women. Their words are then performed, verbatim, by a cast of four women directed by Traverse artistic director Orla O’Loughlin.

It has been invited to perform at Holyrood following the production’s Edinburgh Fringe performance in August, which was seen by several MSPs.

O’Loughlin told The Stage: “We were invited to bring the show at that point, but it is very interesting how the world is changing on a day-by-day basis. This piece is catching a mood and speaking very powerfully to a very particular moment.”

The play was conceived more than a year go, after a recording emerged of then US presidential candidate Donald Trump bragging about his predatory sexual advances towards women, which he later labelled “locker room talk”.

Referring to the more recent news concerning movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, O’Loughlin said: “It is endemic. What is clear is that we are not speaking about one community, one industry, one country, we are talking about everybody at the moment, which is why it is so frightening.”

O’Loughlin said that the production, which has already toured to Ireland and music festival Latitude, always elicits a response and encourages difficult conversations among its audiences.

She added: “It is only by making [sexual assault] visible that we can have the conversation that hopefully can lead to change. We don’t have the answers, but we have it within our power to generate a conversation and hold a safe space for that conversation. So taking this to the very top, speaking truth to power is such an important opportunity.”

Locker Room Talk will be performed at Holyrood on November 9.

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