Birmingham gets Whip Hand with new Maxwell play

Steve Orme

The Whip Hand, a new play by Scottish playwright Douglas Maxwell which had its world première at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is to be staged at Birmingham REP.

Maxwell said, “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.”

Director Tessa Walker added, “I’ve 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.”

The cast comprises Jonathan Watson as Dougie, Louise Ludgate as Arlene, Joanne Thomson as their 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. It runs in The Door at the REP from Tuesday 5 until Saturday 16 September.