The Whip Hand
Direct from the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
It's Dougie's birthday. He just turned 50 and his family are throwing him a party. But it's Dougie who has a surprise for them. A bombshell proposal.
He wants his ex-wife Arlene to back his new endeavour. He wants to serve a good cause, a global cause. He wants to make right a terrible wrong, even if it puts their daughter's future at risk. They can all sense a scam, but Dougie won't back down. He is convinced this is his only chance to do something truly glorious, but his motivation may not be as pure as it seems. As the touchpaper under his family is lit, no one escapes the fallout.
Written by Douglas Maxwell (Charlie Sonata, Promises Promises), The Whip Hand is an explosive new play about power, privilege, blood ties and our inescapable past, directed by The REP's Associate Director Tessa Walker (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Quiet House, Folk).
Director Tessa Walker
Designer Natasha Jenkins
Lighting Designer Simon Bond
Sound Designer Iain Armstrong
Please note: This show contains strong language.
A firecracker of a piece… Every single performance is flawless
The humour and wit of Maxwell’s script hit the mark perfectly, and yet the deeper sense of trauma behind the gags is equally hard-hitting
Hilarious… A riveting 90 minutes
Savage and dark humour, and an excellent cast
New, clever and punchy, drama… Great performances
An original and exciting piece of new writing that infuses vigour and energy into an atypical and enjoyable family drama
The Wee Review
A stimulating departure from some of Douglas Maxwell’s previous work, opening up possibilities and potentialities that make one hungry and impatient for whatever he may next set before us
Tangled family drama exploring social inequality and what it is to be privileged
It has a gutsy energy and airs some big issues… Vivid performances
The writing is sharp… the whole cast is excellent
What's On Stage
Fiery family warfare that ramps up to nuclear level
British Theatre Guide
This play is a wonderfully nuanced examination of class, family and race with clever laughs, real dramatic tension and real characters I recognise… Thrilling
The dramatic action is relentless… a production that is entertaining and uncomfortable in equal measures
Across The Arts
There’s plenty of laughter... A splendid cast
A powerful modern tale… Maxwell is forever keeping the audience on their toes
As ex-wife Arlene, Louise Ludgate is acerbic and biting, raising laughs with her putdowns. Jonathan Watson is excellent as Dougie… and there's good support from the rest of the cast
What starts out as sit-com style awkwardness awash with wicked one-liners erupts into an explosive treatise on class, racial prejudice, social aspirations, acquired familial guilt and some of the pretensions and hypocrisy that go with them
Maxwell's writing is both down-to-earth and lyrical, heightened to intensify the atmosphere of the story
Tribune on writer Douglas Maxwell's Promises Promises
Tickets from £10.
Group, family, disabled and school rates available via our box office.