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A triumverate of top Scottish talent team up for the Canadian premiere
of Damascus - April 22 to 26, 2008 at Harbourfront Centre's World Stage

TORONTO, April 9, 2008 - Scotland's Traverse Theatre Company (in partnership with Michael Edwards and Carole Winter ) present the Canadian premiere of Damascus, from April 22 to April 26 at Harbourfront Centre's Premiere Dance Theatre - as part of World Stage 2008. The Traverse Theatre Company presents this acclaimed work by playwright David Greig with the debut of a new lead actor, Ewen Bremner.

Welcome to Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth, a jewel of the Arab world and the crossroads of the Middle East. In a brief encounter in a hotel Paul, a Scottish businessman, finds himself grappling with language and love, meanings and misunderstandings. Paul is in Damascus to sell English Language textbooks. It's Valentine's Day and he'd rather be at home with his wife. He begins negotiations with his Syrian contact, Muna. At first misunderstandings multiply - then, their presumptions about one another fall away and new possibilities emerge. Later, as his flight home is delayed by a bomb at Beirut Airport, Paul begins to wonder - will he ever leave? Damascus is a Traverse Theatre Company commission.

Featuring the writing of influential Scottish playwright David Greig - the cast of Damascus features a debut performance by Ewen Bremner as Paul alongside Natalie Armin (Muna), Alex Elliott (Wasim), Dolya Gavanski (Elena) and Khalid Laith (Zacharia). This play marks the sixth Traverse Theatre collaboration between Greig and director Philip Howard, a collaboration which has seen their productions performed throughout Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. One of their earlier collaborations, Outlying Islands, was featured at World Stage in 2003. Greig is currently Dramaturg of the National Theater of Scotland.

Ewen Bremner makes his debut as Paul at Toronto's Damascus performances. He is best known to international audiences for his portrayal of Spud in Danny Boyle's film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting; and as Mullet, the wimpish street thug in Guy Ritchie's Snatch. He is also known for playing supporting roles in blockbusters such as Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down. In the 1995 stage version of Trainspotting Bremner played the lead role of Renton.

Now in its 45th year, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre is Scotland's new writing theatre. With quality, award-winning productions and programming, the Traverse receives accolades at home and abroad from audiences and critics alike. The Traverse Theatre has an unrivaled reputation for producing contemporary theatre of the highest quality, and for commissioning and supporting writers from Scotland and around the world. For more information please visit www.traverse.co.uk

This production marks a preview of an annual focus of contemporary Scottish culture at Harbourfront Centre. Internationally established organizations, The Scotland Funds and The Traverse Theatre will, among other Scottish supporters, partner with Harbourfront Centre in the ongoing development and import of dynamic Scottish culture to Canada.

Damascus is performed from April 22 to 26, at 8 p.m., at the Premiere Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West, 3rd Floor). A matinee performance takes place at 2 p.m. on April 26. Single tickets: $40. 13/13 rush ticket programme: students and seniors can purchase one $13 ticket, per valid ID, cash only, 13 minutes before curtain (subject to availability). For tickets and information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage.

Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2008 presents a diverse collection of innovative and exciting performing arts events in one visionary series with a number of world and Canadian premieres of some of the world’s most exceptional artistic endeavours.

Other upcoming World Stage performances: Toronto premiere of Short Works—Black Grace (New Zealand), April 30-May 3; and the Toronto premiere of The Space Between—C!RCA (Australia), May 6-10 who also perform 46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes on May 7.

Additional media information, images and artist links are provided on the Harbourfront Centre website at www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstagemedia.

FOCUS: Sacred
From January to June, Harbourfront Centre asks the big question—What do you hold Sacred? Part of an ongoing exploration of ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. Our Lens. Your View. Harbourfront Centre - divine culture.

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Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4518, sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
Linda Liontis, 416-973-4381, lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com
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