The Scotsman 5 September 2023

Ann Marie Di Mambro teaches on a television writing course at Glasgow Caledonian University. She gives her students one crucial piece of advice. As she sees it, what matters above all else is the emotional relationship of your characters.

“Drama is what happens between people emotionally,” she says. Unless you get that right then everything else – the themes, the politics, the clever ideas – will struggle to land.

It is why when she looks back at her play Tally’s Blood, which premiered at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre in 1990, she talks of it as much in terms of the characters who brought it to life as the questions of immigration, internment and integration that it provokes. Drawing on her own family story, the play follows the lives of Italian immigrants before, during and after the Second World War through the lens of a “Tally café”. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).