The Tailor of Inverness

Edinburgh, Adelaide and tours of Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Wales, Poland, Germany, Ukraine

August 2009, 2008-2013

The Tailor of Inverness is a true story told by the actor Matthew Zajac about his father, also called Matthew, who died without revealing the full truth of his career during the war. The tale he always spun Matthew was that he fought for the Polish Army and then the British Forces in Egypt and Italy before making his way to Glasgow and then Inverness. The reality, which Matthew the younger pieced together during visits to Poland and Ukraine, was a lot more complex.

The production brought together a tour-de-force performance by Matthew Zajac together with live fiddle playing by Johnny Hardie and Gavin Marwick, design by Ali McLaurin, video design by Tim Reid and lighting by Kai Fischer.

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

in Ben Harrison’s graceful production, the telling of the tale is both strongly theatrical and visually compelling, with subtle use of light and sound, video and still images, and the wonderful live fiddle music of Gavin Marwick.

Katie Toms, The Observer

a beautifully-realised tale of the reality of survival in war-torn Eastern Europe. . .Matthew Zajac’s moving performance is a triumph of evocative staging and storytelling.

Thom Dibdin, Edinburgh Evening News

Zajac sews up the story superbly…this is a compelling and magical piece of theatre.

Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

…in Zajac’s simple, beautiful presentation and performance we feel his sense of self first challenged, then enriched.

Mark Brown, Sunday Herald

many of the theatrical innovations bear the impressive signature of Grid Iron director Ben Harrison…a brave biographical piece…that has succeeded in turning a deeply personal family story into a universal work of theatre.

…theatre at its best…achieves more power, humour and inventiveness in its 75 minutes than most full-length plays manage in three hours…Zajac’s performance is phenomenal. It is easy to get swept away by the narratives, the numerous characters and the constant theatrical surprises that Harrison and Zajac create…personal, creative and mesmerising. This should not be missed.

The Stage

…it is both familiar and unpredictable, challenging yet funny, epic but also profoundly moving…It carries heart-rending poems in hidden pockets and you should definitely try it on.