The Tree of Knowledge


Traverse Theatre

Jo Clifford’s play looks at what would happen if the ideological founders of modern capitalism, Adam Smith and David Hume, would be brought back to life in contemporary Edinburgh.

The two philosophers are by turns amazed, disgusted and astounded by where their theories have led to: the internet, the iphone, ecstasy and club culture and the darker reaches of pornography.

Meeting Eve, a contemporary Everywoman who has worked her way up from the factory floor, they are confronted by the draining monotony of the production line and the struggle of feminism. A deeply spiritual although secular play for Christmas, The Tree of Knowledge was the most successful Christmas show in the Traverse’s history, selling out its whole run in Traverse One.

The production featured stunning performances from Gerry Mulgrew, Joanna Tope and Neil McKinven with design by Ali Maclaurin, video by Tim Reid and lights by Jeanine Davies and a score by David Paul Jones.