THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS launches the 2015 Brits Off Broadway Festival at 59E59 Theaters

59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer; Brian Beirne, Managing Director) is thrilled to launch the 10th annual Brits Off Broadway festival with THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS, written by Matthew Zajac, and directed by Ben Harrison (of Scotland’s famed Grid Iron Theatre Company). Produced by Dogstar Theatre (Inverness, Scotland), THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS begins performances on Tuesday, April 14 for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 3.  Press opening is Sunday, April 19 at 3:30 PM.  The performance schedule is Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday at 8:30 PM; Saturday at 2:30 PM & 8:30 PM; and Sunday at 3:30 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $25 ($17.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to

“I come from the Soviets and the Nazis. Now I am here. I am from here. I speak the language of here.”

Matthew Zajac’s internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning play is a story of a son’s search for his father, a story of 20th century Europe, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine) came to be a tailor in northern Scotland. Called “a resonant meditation on what can become of families when countries shift beneath their feet” by The Guardian, THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS is a poignant story of deception, identity and survival.

Actor/writer Matthew Zajac (whose performance was called “a triumph of evocative staging and storytelling” by The Observer) is joined onstage by one of Scotland’s leading fiddlers, Aidan O’Rourke (who with his band Lau, was named ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards).

The set and costume designer is Ali Maclaurin; the lighting designer is Kai Fischer. Tim Reid is the video designer. The sound designer is Timothy Brinkhurst. The musical directors are Jonny Hardie and Gavin Marwick. The production stage manager is Katie Kavett.

As an actor, Matthew Zajac (playwright/performer) has worked at the Citizens Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, the Lyric Hammersmith, Bush Theatre and the Young Vic. He was a founding member of Plain Clothes Productions, producing, acting and directing for the company’s six productions, including George Devine Award-winner Blue Night in the Heart of the West, A Prick-Song for the New Leviathan, Wolf and Her Sisters Tongue. Matthew has produced two films, The Beauty of the Common Tool (1st Prize at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival) and the digital feature Gordon Bennett. Other recent work includes Creon in Antigone (TAG), Karl Marxs Beard (Arches/Traverse), Monks (Royal Lyceum) and screen appearances in The Planman, Taggart, Inspector George Gently, Shetland (ITV), Still Game, Fiona’s Story, Garrow’s Law (BBC), High Times (STV), Low Winter Sun (C4), and the feature films Young Adam, Man To Man and Valhalla Rising. Zajac wrote and performed The Tailor of Inverness for Dogstar, winning both a Scotsman Fringe First and the Stage Award for Best Solo Performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as well as the Best Actor Award at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. The Tailor of Inverness went on to run for a month at the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival, winning nominations for Best Production and Best Performance. This production has now had four sell-out Scottish tours and has also toured to Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine (twice), USA, Germany, Wales, and Ireland. The Tailor of Inverness was adapted into a book that was published in 2013 by Sandstone Press.

Ben Harrison (director) has been Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron since 1996, since which time the company won 28 awards. His productions for Grid Iron include: Letters Home (Fringe First Award); The Authorised Kate Bane; What Remains; Spring Awakening (co-production with the Traverse Theatre); Decky Does a Bronco (2010; 2000-2001 Scottish, Irish and English tours, the latter with the Almeida Theatre, Fringe First Award), Huxley’s Lab (co-production with Lung Ha’s Theatre Company), Barflies (Fringe First Award); Tryst (a commission from Stavanger 2008); Yarn (co-produced with Dundee Rep); Once Upon A Dragon (Grid Iron/Imaginate/Edinburgh International Children’s Festival); Roam (Grid Iron/NTS/BAA Edinburgh International Airport, multiple awards including CATS Best Production), The Devil’s Larder (multiple awards including Fringe First); Those Eyes, That Mouth (multiple awards including Fringe First); Variety; Fermentation; Monumental; Gargantua (Fringe First); The Bloody Chamber (Herald Angel Award); and Clearance. From 2000-2002 he was Associate Director (Education) of the Almeida Theatre in London, where he directed Caledonian Road; A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; The Whizzkid; Decky Does A Bronco (co-produced with Grid Iron); Ghost Ward; The Last Valentine and Into Our Dreams. Other work includes The Tree of Knowledge for the Traverse Theatre, Hadda and Hassan Lekliches! For NTS/Oran Mor, Bint Jbeil for NTS Workshop, and You Tell Us What Was We Tell You What Is for NTS Learn. In 2008 he directed The Tailor of Inverness at the Edinburgh Fringe for Dogstar which won four awards including a Fringe First and has subsequently toured to Australia, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, USA, Denmark, Poland and Ukraine and played 200 times. He is also the Director of the global smash-hit Peter Pan for 360 Entertainment (Kensington Gardens and the O2; US tour). His play Vertical Transmission is currently in development at the National Theatre Studio.

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