THE GUITAR MAN

The Guitar Man FINAL_300dpi_LANDSCAPE

The Guitar Man: Renee Williams
Writer: Jon Fosse in a translation by Louis Muinzer
Dramaturg: Eszter Marsalkó
Set and Costume Design: Sarah Beaton
Guitar and Vocal Fragments: Hanna Tuulikki
Sound Design: Kevin Murray
Lighting Design: Emma Jones
Assistant Producer: Lottie Barker
Director: Nora Wardell


‘Everything has its time, a man and a piece of music…’

A man makes his living singing the same songs day after day on the edge of town. He plays to an audience that is always on the move, always passing him by. People call him ‘The Guitar Man’.

On a Winter’s night, he takes shelter and tells us his story: he came here because of a woman, and stayed here because of a son. Searching for answers to the past, present and future, he reaches a decision: to stop playing.

In a world made up of winners and losers, The Guitar Man asks what is left when we reject the role we are expected to play? Written in 1997, by Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, the play speaks anew to a post-industrial society in crisis, where rootlessness and homelessness are the common experience.

Weaving text, song and silence to create an intimate, physical and disquieting theatrical experience, this tender study of a so-called ‘outsider’ traces the delicate balance between loneliness and longing, loss and salvation.


Norwegian playwright, novelist and poet Jon Fosse is one of the most produced European playwrights in the world. His plays have been staged more than nine hundred times and translated into more than forty languages. He writes in New Norwegian, or Nynorsk, one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language; a synthetic form, whose cadences are infused with the remote landscapes of its origin, the farming communities and fjords of West Norway. Fosse’s theatre, influenced by writers such as Samuel Beckett and Peter Handke, is one of the repetitions, evasions and failures of language. His interest lies not in what is said, but what cannot be spoken.

Fosse’s various awards include the Scandinavian National Theatre Award (2002), the Arts Council Norway Honorary Prize (2003), the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize (2007), the International Ibsen Award (2010 and 2012) and the European Prize for Literature (2014).


The Guitar Man opens at Platform in Easterhouse as part of Outskirts festival on the 27 April before touring to Paisley Arts Centre (1 May), Beacon Arts Centre (2 May), Perth Theatre (3 & 4 May), Lemon Tree (11 May), Assembly Roxy (14-18 May), Eastgate Theatre (22 May), Macrobert Arts Centre (24 May), Brigend Theatre (25 May) and CatStrand (26 May).

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