THE GUITAR MAN

Writer: Jon Fosse in a translation by Louis Muinzer


‘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.


The Guitar Man: Renee Williams
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


The Guitar Man was a dreamlike experience, a contemplative mantra in which Renee Williams’ busking title character reflects on the failure of his/her life in repetitive phrases with a looping, poetic, almost child-like quality; the effect was a concentrated shot of mood and emotion. The Scotsman 

Nora Wardell’s measured direction and Renee William’s thoughtful performance. The List 

…affecting reflection on the personal catastrophes of late capitalism, the piece alights upon the anguished dance within so many people between resilience and despair…Renee Williams engaging, emotionally nuanced performance elevates the character to the status of an Everyperson. The Herald on Sunday