The Slab Boys Trilogy
The Slab Boys Trilogy by John Byrne – now considered one of Scotland’s defining literary works of the twentieth century – captures the rebellious mood of a generation growing up against a backdrop of James Dean, Elvis, sharp suits and despair.
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Spanning the 1950s to the 70s, the plays capture the rebellious mood of a post-war generation growing up to a backdrop of James Dean, Elvis, sharp-suited glamour, hope and despair.
John Byrne takes the slab room he worked in and makes it pure theatre: the scams, the dreams, the aloof but gorgeous girl, the despair of life back home, the obligatory tormenting of the office ‘weed’, and the mandatory boy chat and pranks all help the day to pass. Phil and Spanky explode onto the stage in a classic vaudeville double-act.
Now considered one of Scotland’s defining literary works of the twentieth century, the Slab Boys Trilogy premiered at the Traverse back in the late 1970s and early 80s taking Scotland, then Britain, and then Broadway quickly by storm.
The Traverse revived the Slab Boys Trilogy for the theatre’s fortieth anniversary in November 2003.
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