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The Monstrous Heart

  • Stephen Joseph Theatre Westborough Scarborough YO11 1JW United Kingdom (map)

A Stephen Joseph Theatre and Traverse Theatre Company world premiere

The Monstrous Heart

By Oliver Emanuel

A brand new play by Oliver Emanuel, co-writer of the National Theatre of Scotland’s powerful and profound First World War projectThe 306 Trilogy, has opened at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.


The Monstrous Heart is directed by Gareth Nicholls, Interim Artistic Director at the Traverse, whose recent production of Crocodile Fever at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe gained rave reviews.


The co-production of the thrilling, chilling and witty The Monstrous Heart explores those knotty subjects of love/hate, good/evil, and nature/nurture and is performed by Christine Entwisle and Charlene Boyd.


Set and costume designer is by Cécile Trémolières, lighting design by Tigger Johnson and Oğuz Kaplangi is the composer and sound designer.


Mag (Christine Entwisle) lives in a rustic cabin in the Canadian wilds, far from neighbours and further from her past. But when her estranged daughter Beth (Charlene Boyd) turns up on the doorstep fresh from prison, the past becomes terrifyingly present. And it has teeth.

Beth came to ask Mag a question. But is she prepared for the answer? Can they really settle their scores? And can Mag keep an innocent party from being destroyed in the crossfire? 

As a blizzard closes in and dangerous words are traded, Mag accepts a challenge from a most unexpected source and lights a fuse that looks set to blow both women sky high. 

The Monstrous Heart examines afresh the eternal question of whether we ever really change how we’re made. Is it possible to kill our old selves and create someone new and better in their place?


The Monstrous Heart can be seen in the McCarthy at the SJT until Saturday 19 October 2019. Tickets, priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at


It then heads to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, from Tuesday 22 October to Saturday 2 November 2019. Tickets, priced from £5, are available from the box office on 0131 228 1404 or online at