In Company Theatre Productions – in association with Kirkcaldy4All and Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University – are bringing the play Adam Smith – The Invisible Hand to this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe.
The play is following the journey that the great man himself took; first written and performed in Kirkcaldy, Adam Smith’s birthplace, it is now making its way to Edinburgh where the globally-renowned moral philosopher and economist spent the last years of his life.
Adam Smith is perhaps best known for his economic theories based on his famous book, ‘The Wealth of Nations’ which apparently Margaret Thatcher carried around in her handbag! But he was so much more than an economic scientist … he was a philosopher, a teacher and a man of letters.
The Invisible Hand tells the story of how Adam Smith reached this pinnacle of success, the famous people he met along the way and their influence on him. It also tells how his mother, a strong, resourceful, Kirkcaldy woman, tried to influence him away from what she perceived as being the destructive forces of opinion at home and abroad.
He came to the attention of ‘the authorities’ due to his involvement in the French Revolution, and the story of that involvement is told in the play. He was also a leader of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th Century, a movement that changed Scotland from a poor, backward and bigoted society to one that led the world in social philosophy, social change and religious freedom.
Adam Smith’s first book, the ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’ is less well known than ‘The Wealth of Nations’ but it was equally influential. Both books were read globally, and Adam Smith became one of the most famous men in the world during his own lifetime.
The play brings to life the conflict Adam Smith felt about his inability to finish his work by bringing his two famous books together in a third volume. He struggled with his mother’s wishes and his desire to embrace the changes being brought about in France and America.
The play is brought up-to-date by the discovery of letters between Adam Smith and his mother, together with pamphlets concerning his involvement in the French Revolution. The conclusion of the play brings the two stories – the past and the present – together.
Bill Harvey, manager of BID company, Kirkcaldy4All says: “We saw the potential for this play from the start. It was written in Kirkcaldy, by local playwright and actor John Yule, and we backed a reading of it a few years ago. Then last year we helped bring it to the stage in Kirkcaldy where it was very well received, so we are delighted that it is now making its journey, across the Forth to the biggest arts festival in the world. The play gives people the chance to discover more about this enigmatic man – a life all of us in Kirkcaldy are proud to remember.”
John Yule, writer and director on The Invisible Hand said: “There is little doubt that Adam Smith was not only a famous and influential thinker but a good man, whose concerns were for the ordinary people of Scotland and their welfare in an ever-changing society. He’s a fascinating subject, and still relevant to our times.”
Want to get your hands on tickets for The Invisible Hand?
Adam Smith – The Invisible Hand is showing at The Edinburgh Fringe
Where? Panmure House, 4 Lochend Close, Edinburgh, EH8 8BL.
When? From 11 August until 26 August 2018 at 16.00. Running time – 75 minutes.
Tickets: £12 – just follow this link for ticket availability and to book or call 0131 226 0000.
Writer and Director: John Yule – in Company Theatre Productions
- Past productions include:
- Multiple Choice by Ronnie Mackintosh at The Edinburgh Fringe (2013)
- Shadow Boxing by Simon Macallum at the Edinburgh Fringe and London West End (1999)
- Krapp’s Last Tape with Russell Hunter – toured Scotland and invited to the Newcastle Beckett Festival
- Paul Samson (playing Adam Smith) – most recently in River City, playing the part of Raymond. (From 19-26 August, the part of Adam Smith will be played by John Yule)
- Susan Coyle (playing Adam Smith’s mother and Helen McKenzie) – Her numerous theatre credits include: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Blood and Ice, Tartuffe at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. She Stoops to Conquer at Perth Theatre. Romeo and Juliet, Cutting Edge Theatre. Great Expectations, Prime Productions. The Cherry Orchard, Benchtours.Her TV/Film credits include: Jonathan Creek, BBC. A Long, Long Crime Ago, CBBC. River City, BBC. Taggart, SMG Productions. Child of the Dead End, Glass Machine Productions.
- Simon Macallum (playing the Narrator) – Theatre credits include: Dates, Death of a Theatre Critic, Preen Back your Lugs (Swedish Theatre of Helsinki/ACE) Dig (Paines Plough) Nigerian Story (Oran Mor) Cuttin’ a Rug, Of Mice and Men, A Stranger Came Ashore, (Royal Lyceum). The Snow Queen, The BFG (Citizens Theatre) School for Scandal, Tally’s Blood, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn, Mary Rose, (Perth Theatre) Fire in the Basement (Communicado) Macbeth (Durham Theatre) Leaving (7:84) TV and Film credits: Murphy’s Law (Tiger Aspect/ BBC) Keen Eddie (Fox), Gary’s War (Channel 4) Pramface (BBC) Punchdrunk (Comedy Unit) Legit (Comedy Unit) Room for Rent (Renegade Films) My Name is Joe (Parallax)
- Martin Docherty (playing Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume and Burns) – Martin is known for Cloud Atlas (2012), TAM (2017) and Gasping (2014). His TV credits include Father Brown and Rab C. Nesbitt.
Find the event on Facebook: @KirkcaldyInvisibleHand