Media Release: Robbie Coltrane joins Slab Boys reunion



The Traverse, New Writing and how it changed the World part of

National Theatre of Scotland’s Staging The Nation series of events

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh: Tuesday 22nd March, 7.30pm

Robbie Coltrane will take his place alongside members of the original cast and creative team of John Byrne’s The Slab Boys for an evening of conversation about the play and its impact on the legacy of new writing in Scotland.

In a discussion hosted by playwright, Chris Hannan, entitled, The Traverse, New Writing and how it changed the World at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tuesday 22nd March, The Slab Boys writer John Byrne and original director, David Hayman, will be reunited with Robbie Coltrane (JACK HOGG), Jim Byars (SPANKY), Pat Doyle (HECTOR), Carey Wilson (WILLIE CURRY), and Ida Schuster (SADIE).

Bill Paterson will also take part in the discussion around the impact of the play in a wider context.

For Byrne and Hayman this will be the first time they’ve spoken publicly since the play premiered at the Traverse Theatre Club in April 1978.

John Byrne said: “I haven’t seen David, who directed the original production in a very long time. We haven’t caught sight of each other because we’ve both been so, so busy. It’ll be lovely to see him and lovely to look back at that time.”

The Slab Boys trilogy has long been regarded as one of Scotland’s most influential and most loved pieces of theatre.

The National Library of Scotland has named the play as one of the 12 key plays of the last 40 years.

This unique one-off event with some of Scottish theatre’s most charismatic characters offers audiences an opportunity to meet the original Slab Boys and discover their initial take on the characters of Phil and Spanky – and the playwright’s first reaction to the actors.

It’s also a chance to look at the play in a wider context – its influence on other playwrights, on the history of theatre and on Scotland.

The Traverse, New Writing and how it changed the World represents the first event in the National Theatre of Scotland’s Staging The Nation programme, taking place throughout the company’s fifth birthday year

Tickets are available in person from the Traverse Box Office or by phoning 0131 228 1404.

Notes to Editors:

1. Staging the Nation: In its fifth year, the National Theatre of Scotland is resuming, provoking, and joining a nation-wide conversation about theatre with Scottish artists and audiences. Staging The Nation features a number of strands – lectures, debates, curated events, book clubs – and is open to everyone who cares about theatre-making in Scotland.

The Staging the Nation online home, features further information, updates and box office details.

2. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government. Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating over 137 productions in 125 different locations. With no building of its own, the company takes theatre all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to almost 600,000 people, across three continents.

3. For box office information and updates visit and / follow us on; National Theatre of Scotland and


Andrew Neilson, Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 141 227 9497 E:

Wendy Grannon, Press Manager (maternity leave)

Tel: +44 (0) 141 227 9016 E:

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Contact: Andrew Neilson
Phone: 01412279497