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New Red Dust Road © Eoin Carey

Red Dust Road

National Theatre of Scotland / HOME

Chronicling Jackie Kay’s 20-year search for her biological mother and father and her quest for them to recognise her own existence. 

‘You cannot find yourself in two strangers who happen to share your genes. You’re made already ... from a mixture of myth and gene. You are part fable, part porridge.’

Are we as shaped by the folksongs we hear as we are by the cells in our bodies?

Red Dust Road is adapted from the soul-searching memoir by Jackie Kay, poet, playwright, novelist and Scottish Makar. It’s a journey full of heart, humour and profound emotion, exploring race, identity and family secrets, with a deeply human curiosity and compassion.

Born in Edinburgh, Jackie Kay grew up in Glasgow in the 1970s as the adopted, mixed-race child of lifelong committed communists. As a child, while watching cowboys and Indians on TV, Jackie noticed her skin was a different colour to her mother’s. In searching for answers to what makes her — nature or nurture — she decided to find her birth parents.

Travelling from Scotland to Nigeria, Red Dust Road chronicles Jackie’s 20-year search for her biological mother and father and her quest for them to recognise her own existence.

Red Dust Road is adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta, winner of last year’s James Tait Black Prize for her drama Lions and Tigers. Completing the creative trio is Dawn Walton, director of the acclaimed salt. by Selina Thompson.

Download the programme here

Download a visual guide for Red Dust Road here

Part of You Are Here
World Premiere
British Sign Language interpreted performance
17 Aug 2.30pm
Audio Described performance
18 Aug 7.30pm
Touch Tour
18 Aug 6.30pm
Captioned performance
18 Aug 7.30pm

Based on the book by Jackie Kay
Adapted by Tanika Gupta
Dawn Walton Director
Simon Kenny Set and Costumer Designer
Lizzie Powell Lighting Designer
Richard Hammarton Sound Designer
Tayo Akinbode Composer
Vicki Igbokwe Movement Director 

Cast includes Stefan Adegbola, Irene Allan, Simone Cornelius, Elicia Daly, Seroca Davis, Sasha Frost, Lewis Howden, Elaine C Smith, Declan Spaine

Developed with the support of Macrobert Arts Centre.

More information about some of the artists:

National Theatre of Scotland
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Jackie Kay

Tanika Gupta 
Twitter | Instagram

Dawn Walton

14-18 August 2019

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book or watch. The 2021 programme will be announced in June.

With thanks to our supporters

Funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Edinburgh Festivals and