Peter Arnott Two Plays:
Tay Bridge & The Signalman (eBook)


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The Signalman: Winner, Best New Play at The Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, 2020

Tay Bridge

On the night of Sunday December 28, 1879, the unthinkable happened. Battered by a ferocious storm, the Tay Bridge collapsed. Tay Bridge tells the poignant and unexpected stories of the suddenly interrupted passengers making the journey that night. Who were they? Where were they going? A powerful ensemble piece, Tay Bridge gives a whole new perspective on this famous bridge disaster.

The Signalman
Winter 1919. Thomas Barclay is transported back in time by his memories of the night when he was the Signalman who sent the Edinburgh/Burntisland train onto the Tay Rail Bridge forty years before. Who is responsible when accidents occur? Why do we need somebody to blame…even if it’s ourselves?


‘Peter Arnott’s brilliant vignettes about a 1879 railway bridge disaster imagine the lives and hopes of passengers stalked by death. [Arnott] pulls it off brilliantly thanks to vivid writing, political nous and thematic unity.’
★★★★ The Guardian on Tay Bridge

‘a thrilling portrait of Scotland at that 19th century moment, with all its inequalities, hypocrisies, tensions and possibilities… offers an unforgettable insight into the terrible sense of shock and tragedy that swept over the city of Dundee, 140 years ago this winter.’
★★★★ The Scotsman on Tay Bridge

‘Riveting… intense… a dark exploration of fear – and of the moment you realise your fears are real… wonderfully chilling.’
★★★★★ Thom Dibdin, on The Signalman

Additional information









Publication date

18 June 2020

About the writer

Born in Glasgow in 1962, Peter Arnott is the writer of nearly fifty professionally produced stage plays including the award-winning The Breathing House (Lyceum, Edinburgh 2003, TMA Best New Play 2003) and Why Do You Stand There in the Rain? (Pepperdine University, Edinburgh Fringe First 2012) while his adaptation of Monarch of the Glen at Pitlochry Festival Theatre won the CATS Award for Best New Scottish Play of 2017/18. He has been Writer in Residence at Tron and the Traverse as well as at The National Library of Scotland and both the Genomics Forum and IASH at Edinburgh University.

Recent work includes: Unspotted Snow for Mull Theatre and Janis Joplin Full Tilt which has toured extensively, including a residency at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. His work has appeared in the USA and Australia, Russia and Finland. He is currently working on commissions from The National Theatre of Scotland and the Glasgow Citizens/Raw Material Arts. His first novel, Moon Country, was published by Vagabond Voices in 2015.