Theatre

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It Wis­nae Me, Oct 9 to Oct 13, Tra­verse Theatre, Ed­in­burgh

Orig­i­nally ti­tled Jock: On Trial, Alan Bis­sett’s new play It Wis­nae Me ex­plores Scot­land’s com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship with colo­nial­ism and the Bri­tish Em­pire.

Fea­tur­ing An­drew John Tait, Danielle Jam and Ali Watt, the play places Jock – a stereo­type of a hard-drink­ing foot­ball fan with a chip per­pet­u­ally on his shoul­der – in a po­lice in­ter­view room. He’s there, he says, for a crime he didn’t com­mit: im­pe­ri­al­ism.

A lark­ing but clever po­lit­i­cal satire, Bis­sett’s play is an at­ten­tion-keep­ing med­ley of styles and tones which ask whether Scot­land is the coloniser or the colonised.

“Grow­ing up you hear about all these great things that Scots took to the world,” says Bis­sett. “In or­der to do all that, these things pre­sented as be­ing noble and pro­gres­sive, we had to be in the world. And we were in the world be­cause we were part of the Bri­tish Em­pire, which ex­ploited peo­ple.”

It Wis­nae Me dates back to 2014 when ques­tions about Scot­land’s colo­nial past were just be­gin­ning to be asked as the coun­try was acutely con­sid­er­ing its con­sti­tu­tional fu­ture and the Com­mon­wealth Games were held in Glas­gow, a city much of whose wealth was built on to­bacco, sugar and slave labour.

The cast of Alan Bis­sett’s new play It Wis­nae Me which is at the Tra­verse in Ed­in­burgh this week

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