Theatre preview: For Once @ Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Published by METRO

Tonight (4 April) until next Saturday (14 April), 7.30pm (matinees Saturday 2.30pm), £15-£17 (concessions £6-£13), Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 228 1404. www.traverse.co.uk

In the theatre, less can be more. As some new works experiment with audio or visual devices, others find success by putting all their faith in the basics: good actors, and a good script.

This piece falls defiantly into the latter category. Breasting the finishing tape at the end of a successful UK spring tour, For Once stages its Scottish premiere at the Traverse tonight.

The play, which takes place in the home of a troubled family, conveys compassion with a curious mix of humour and heartache.

Through a series of entwining monologues, we learn how an unthinkable tragedy has affected a teenage boy, his parents, and their community.

For Once is presented by Shropshire-based theatre company Pentabus, directed by the Traverse’s artistic director Orla O’Loughlin, and written by Tim Price – who was recently nominated for an Olivier Award.

Productions like this prove you don’t need to be flashy to put on a great show these days. So thank goodness it’s not as fleeting as its title suggests, and instead continues at this fine Edinburgh venue for more than a week.