Based on the life and writings of Thomas McCrudden
Cast: Thomas McCrudden, Dale Duffy, John Riley, Harry Mulligan and William Cleveland, Lynne Killin and Mark Traynor
Devised by Jeremy Weller and Mark Traynor
Directed by Jeremy Weller
Doubting Thomas is the true story of one man’s personal struggle to change from a tortured and violent past to a better, more hopeful future. The play is an intricate study of those that which society fears the most are actually the ones who are often most filled with fear themselves: Lost and forgotten and desperate for acceptance. Based on the writings and and life of Thomas McCrudden, a former gangland enforcer in Glasgow’s East End, Doubting Thomas was one of the most controversial and talked about shows of the Edinburgh fringe Festival 2016. Thomas himself stars in the title role supported by a cast of untrained actors, who in turn reveal moments from their own experiences in prison that have shaped their lives and influenced their own personal journeys on the road to redemption. Described by Dominic Cavendish, chief theatre critic for The Telegraph as “viscerally raw and necessary…a play that cannot be missed”, Doubting Thomas is a truly unique and emotionally powerful theatre experience.
“…over the years, Weller and the Grassmarket Project have proved two things: firstly, that theatre is not just art but can have a utilitarian function, that it can be a last court of appeal. Secondly, that it can be a democratic medium, a place where one person pays for the privilege of meeting another – someone who, in other circumstances, he or she might just step over in the street.”
Lyn Gardner (The Guardian)
In a discussion in Summerhall’s Dissection Room, Thomas McCruden from Doubting Thomas and Jean-Marc Mahy from A Man Standing, discuss their lives, their crimes, their time in jail and the events that lead them to presenting plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016.The men were joined by directors Jean-Michel Van den Eeyden and Jeremy Weller, and former Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. The discussion was chaired by Philip Crispin.
The Skinny – ★★★★★ 17 Aug 2016 | Eloise Hendy
“This is award-winning director Jeremy Weller’s forte – taking remarkable lives and devising remarkable pieces of theatre, to reveal the drama that constantly surrounds us. He specialises in immersive, inclusive theatre, that puts individuals centre stage. It is theatre of both the personal and the grand scale. In this sense he is a true contemporary heir of Greek tragedy, as his pieces reveal the intense power and pathos of supposedly ‘ordinary’ modern lives.”
Three Weeks Edinburgh – ★★★★★ Sunday 21 August 2016 | Jane Berg
“I have done terrible, horrible things, now do you think anything less of me?” asks Thomas McCrudden, who has come to the stage in his middle age, to finally stop acting.
Counter Culture – ★★★★★ August 21, 2016 | Patrick Harrington
” I was acting…all of my life I have been trapped in roles that I did not want…I want you to show this…I will do anything on a stage to show what I did and went through to get people too understand that in people like me, people they call monsters…there is still a child, in me, a scarred child…even when others were crying, begging me to stop hurting them, I was still this child.
The Scotsman – ★★★★ Thursday 18 August 2016 | Susan Mansfield
McCrudden’s strong performance, in an ensemble of strong performances, is worthy of many professional theatre companies, and many professional theatre companies could stage this work. Neither is McCrudden simply “being himself”, he is using the skills of theatre to reflect on his story and retell it.