National Theatre of Scotland in The Driver’s Seat with Murial Spark thriller

The Drivers Seat

The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat, comes to Glasgow’s Tramway next month.

Laurie Sansom directs the psychological thriller, which is based on a 1970 novella, that is currently playing at Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre.

In its first adaptation for the stage, Lise’s journey to an unnamed European city – and the ever curious people she encounters – merge with the urgency of a police incident room on the hunt for a killer.

This is one of Spark’s most unique, gripping and disturbing books, telling the story of one woman’s mission to leave her mark on a world that is becoming increasingly alien to her, and asking whether we are ever in control of our lives.

The Driver’s Seat is also a taut thriller and a darkly comic tale that displays Spark at the height of her powers.

The Driver’s Seat was nominated, posthumously, for a ‘Lost Man Booker Prize’ and was also adapted into 1974 film, Identikit, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Muriel Spark referred to it as her favourite novel.

Sansom adapts and directs. This is his first production for the National Theatre of Scotland after the success of his productions of Rona Munro’s epic historical trilogy, The James Plays, in Edinburgh and London.

He previously directed an acclaimed production of Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009.

Laurie said: “I’m thrilled to be adapting the work of one of Scotland’s finest writers, and The Driver’s Seat is one of her most perfect and idiosyncratic books.

“It combines her razor sharp wit and crisp narrative voice with an enigmatic central figure that slips in and out of focus until its final, shocking conclusion.

“Capturing Spark’s voice on stage is always a challenge, but this has to be one of her most dramatic and mysterious stories, lending itself to theatrical reinvention.

“I’m proud that the National Theatre of Scotland can help to bring people’s attention back to her wonderful body of work and this book in particular.”

Morven Christie plays the central role of Lise. She is an acclaimed actress on stage and screen known for her roles in BBC’s TwentyTwelve, ITV’s Grantchester and the film Young Victoria.

She previously appeared in Blabbermouth and Glasgow Scrapbook for the National Theatre of Scotland.

The cast also features Michael Thomson, who has previously worked with Laurie Sansom on Beyond the Horizon and Spring Storm at the National Theatre, and is known to TV audiences as Jonny Maconie in Holby City; Sheila Reid (ITV’s Benidorm); Ryan Fletcher; Ivor Castiglione, Andrea Volpetti and Gabriel Quigley.

The Driver’s Seat Tour plays at Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh until June 27 and at Tramway, Glasgow, from July 2-4.

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