Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Election Day at the Traverse Theatre with David Greig’s Two Minute Manifesto

Of course, childishly, I have had enough of politics. I can't see the relationship between my daily life and the chatter of the party system - which seems to be breaking down into a vicious tribalism. That's probably just the newspapers framing it all. They probably don't want me to vote.

A new addition to its Spring season, the Traverse will host Two Minute Manifesto, curated by Scottish playwright, David Greig, Scottish Greens activist for Edinburgh North & Leith, Sarah Beattie-Smith, and writer and filmmaker, Christopher Silver.

I do have time for David Greig - in so far as I'll listen to his opinion. I don't mind Green activists, either. I can tolerate Green politics, because it is a bit like mine - nervous, and willing to adapt, sometimes.

Political debate and discussion reached a new level in 2014 with a range of different voices coming to the fore in the run-up to the Referendum. 

And it is reaching a new low with the leader of one party trying to prove his machismo by shouting 'hell, yeah' and Boris Johnson being allowed on TV again. Stick to the Classics, Bozzer. 

Next week, on Thursday 7 May at 1pm and 10.30pm, Two Minute Manifesto will offer a space to look at the bigger picture on the day of the General Election. Guests are invited to bring their own personal manifesto ideas to the stage, from the serious to the silly, and present them in 2 minutes. This packed format will talk about big ideas with humour, music, audience interaction, and expert analysis of the current political climate.

At 1pm, presenters David Greig and Sarah Beattie-Smith will be joined for an hour-long show by five guests, including Scottish playwright, Linda McLean, Juliet Swann, Campaigns and Research Officer at Electoral Reform Society Scotland, working on 'Democracy Max' programme and Peter Geoghan, journalist and author of The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again.

The temptation to turn up and shout 'a plague on both your houses' for two minutes, before being dragged off by Peter Geoghan is high.

In the second show at 10:30pm, presenters David Greig and Mairi McFadyen will be joined by guests including singer Karine Polwart, four times winner at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Ian Fraser, author of Inside RBS, The Bank That Broke Britain(named as Book of the Year in 2014 by the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Week and Huffington Post) and Hannah McGill, freelance writer and critic, and former Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

A side point: the RBS broke me as well. I dislike them for their utter lack of humanity in their dealings with - well, me.

Karine Polwart has a nice voice, mind.

Curator and presenter, David Greig comments: “I love the atmosphere of the Traverse on Election Day. The bar’s full of gossip, speculation, wit and whisky. Two Minute Manifesto is an attempt to make a show that captures that spirit. We’ve got fascinating guests who can talk about culture and ideas, top writers looking back at the campaign and forward to the future, as well as some great music. Who knows what’s going to happen on 7 May but whatever the result, the Traverse is the place for discussion, debate and passionate ambivalence.”

Thursday 7 May, 1pm and 10.30pm

Ticket price: £8/£6 concession

Booking at www.traverse.co.uk | 0044 (0) 131 228 1404

Guest line-up for Two Minute Manifesto

1pm performance

Presenters: David Greig and Sarah Beattie-Smith


Linda McLean

Juliet Swann

Peter Geoghan

James Kelly

Chrissy Barnacle

10.30pm performance

Presenters: David Greig and Mairi McFadyen


Karine Polwart

Ian Fraser

Hannah McGill

Wounded Knee

Christopher Silver

Stephen Greenhorn

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