‘Glad’ presented “an uncompromising description of homelessness”. Based on the experiences of selective members of Edinburgh’s homeless community, the production involved twelve homeless men from the Grassmarket area of the city, who alongside two support actors confronted their audience with personal experiences of boredom, violence, alcoholism, drug addiction and social exclusion.
The production itself consisted of a combination of two plots: one told the story of a theatre director entering the world of the homeless with the intention of developing a piece of theatre based upon the experiences of and involving these people. Interwoven with this self-reflective aspect of the production was a collage of scenes set outside workshop hours focusing on the relationship between one of the homeless men and his retarded girlfriend, discussions between the director and the hostel warden and everyday scenes inside the dormitory walls.
“Violence, anger, bad language, boredom, bullying and even loud, messy on-stage spitting are effectively used in the Grassmarket Project’s remarkable production, GLAD, which brings raw realism to the stage in a way so many playwrights have tried to aspire to, yet so often have failed. Writers who have attempted to convey human failure and degradation, have tried to create convincing portraits of people reduced to the subhuman and treated as freaks, and watched their endeavors slide into melodrama, should study this mesmerisingly honest slice of real life.”
Eileen Battersby – (The Irish Times)