THE WHIP HAND at the Door, Birmingham Rep

5th – 16th September.

An Explosive New Play About Privilege, Power And Blood Ties

The Whip Hand, a new play from celebrated Scottish playwright Douglas Maxwell, opens at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 5th September following its world première at the Edinburgh Festival.

A blistering and timely family drama set in Glasgow, The Whip Hand is an explosive new play about power, privilege and our inescapable past.

Dougie’s just turned 50 and his family are throwing him a party. But Dougie’s about to throw them a curveball, and there’s no going back. He wants to make right a terrible wrong, even if it puts his daughter’s future at risk.  However, his motivation may not be as pure as it seems.   Will anyone in the family escape the fallout?

Douglas Maxwell, Writer, says:

The Whip Hand is a domestic drama, set in Glasgow, about a guy asking his family to back him in a scheme that harkens back to Scotland’s darkest past.  It’s about trying to make up for our mistakes, it’s about trying to move on, it’s about class, ignorance and race.  It starts off fast and funny but soon roars off into something unstoppable as the family is ripped apart at the seams. 

“It’s an honour to have The Whip Hand in Birmingham.  I love the city and the theatre. The play is gripping audiences at the Fringe and the reaction so far has been amazing. The audience seem hooked from the beginning and shaken and provoked by the end.  I hope Birmingham audiences will enjoy it as much as the Edinburgh crowd.”

Tessa Walker, Director, says:

I have long been a fan of Douglas’s writing, so I’m beyond delighted to be working with him on The Whip Hand. This is a brilliant play. I love that it starts in a place so far from where it ends up, that it manages simultaneously to be about the fractures in a family and about the state of a country, and that it’s as funny and as heartfelt as it is moving and unsettling. To be working with three such wonderful theatre companies – The REP, The Traverse and National Theatre of Scotland – that have such a rooted and unswerving commitment to new voices and new stories, to bring this play to life is a privilege.”

The cast of five includes Scottish actor Jonathan Watson as Dougie who is best known for appearances in the long-running television sketch show Only An Excuse? and the BBC sitcom, Two Doors Down.  Appearing alongside Jonathan is Louise Ludgate as Arlene; Joanne Thomson as Dougie and Arlene’s daughter, Molly; Richard Conlon as Arlene’s boyfriend, Lorenzo; and Michael Abubakar as Dougie’s nephew, Aaron.

The Whip Hand is designed by Natasha Jenkins with lighting design by Simon Bond and sound design by Ian Armstrong and opened at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Fringe on 6th August.