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New play V.L. from award-winning writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair announced for Edinburgh Fringe 2024

Updated: May 10

V.L. by Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair at Edinburgh Fringe 2024

Two of my favourite Scottish writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair have announced that they are debuting their new play V.L. at the 2024 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Kieran's play Adults was one of my favourite productions at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe, and Gary's work such as Dear Billy and Nae Expectations is always fantastic. So could I be any more excited for this collaboration? Probably not.


By Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair  

Paines Plough Roundabout @ Summerhall

1st - 26th August @ 20.10 (70 mins)  


The producers of Fleabag, Baby Reindeer and Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder today announce the world premiere of V.L., another raucous and riotous comedy from the Fringe First Award-winning writers of Edinburgh Festival smash-hit Square Go, about young boys trying to navigate peer pressures, sexual anxieties, and social status in the chaotic hormonal pressure cooker of a small-town school.  

‘Riotously entertaining’ ★★★★ The Independent (on Square Go


What is V.L. about?

Max and Stevie are just two wee guys trying to survive in the cosmic chaos of An Ordinary Scottish Secondary School. But to survive, sometimes you need to triumph. And triumph you need to not be a sad wee loser wi no mates. And as everyone knows, you'll always be a sad wee loser wi no mates as long as you're a VL.  

For those of you that don't know a VL is a Virgin Lips. It means you've never kissed a lassie, or a laddie, or anybody for that matter. It's a rite of passage thing, and the longer you stay a VL, the more of a VL you become.   


This hilarious and touching new play is written by two of Scotland’s brightest theatre makers Kieran Hurley (ADULTS, Mouthpiece, Beats) and Gary McNair (Dear Billy, Locker Room Talk, A Gambler’s Guide to Dying) and is the follow up to their Fringe-First award-winning Square Go which they previously collaborated on with Francesca Moody Productions. Square Go wowed audiences and critics alike in two sell out runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018 and 2019 before a UK tour and a run at 59E59 Theatres in New York.  


V.L. sees Kieran and Gary reunite with director Orla O’Loughlin (What Girls Are Made Of, Enough of Him, Mouthpiece, Locker Room Talk) along with Scott Fletcher (River City, BBC; Black Watch, NTS) and Gavin Jon Wright (Black Watch, NTS; Taggart, ITV) who revisit the roles of Max and Stevie after originating them in the award-winning 2018 premiere of Square Go.  


V.L. will be premiered as part of Roundabout’s 10th Anniversary year, the home of the original Square Go.  

VL writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair. Photo credit: Mihaela Bodlovic
VL writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair say: “In Square Go, we told the story of Max and Stevie as Max prepares for the masculine coming of age challenge of a fight at the school gates, a square go. This time round, in V.L., we meet our boys as they try to navigate the absurd sexual rites of passage of hetero-masculinity. As with Square Go, we're fascinated by the high school playground as a brutal training ground where young boys learn their role within the absurd competitive, punitive rules that shape the violences of the adult world. But there's bags of heart and humour in all this too, in the recognition of our own ludicrous and bruising teenage experiences. At this stage in their lives, Max and Stevie are just kids trying to survive a world they did not invent. And who knows, maybe they'll manage to figure out something better than we did?”  


Francesca Moody said: “It’s a dream come true to be reuniting with Kieran and Gary, revisiting the characters of Max and Stevie (with the brilliant actors who originated them) and returning to Paines Plough’s amazing Roundabout Theatre this August, all under the fearless directorship of the brilliant Orla O’Loughlin. V.L. promises to be everything that I hope theatre should be, entertaining, accessible and political. It’s going to be an absolutely banging 70 minutes of theatre that audiences will fall in love with and I can’t wait to see it come to life.”   


This year marks Francesca Moody Productions sixth presenting work in Edinburgh where they have produced some of the most successful shows to come out of the festival to date.  In the wake of Baby Reindeer making tidal waves as a No.1 Netflix show globally and the impending West End opening of Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder, both of which began their lives at the Roundabout in Edinburgh, FMP continues to be a champion and advocate for supporting artists to make daring and original work at the fringe.    




By Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair  

Director: Orla O’Loughlin   

Cast: Scott Fletcher and Gavin Jon Wright   

Producer: Francesca Moody Productions 

 Francesca Moody Productions

 FMP is also proudly presenting two other productions at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2024:

I'm Almost There  by NYC favourite Todd Almond, directed by Tony Award-winning David Cromer, in Summerhall's Main Hall at 14.45;

and Weather Girl, a rollercoaster ride of rage and revelation in by Lucille Lortel nominated writer Brian Watkins, directed by Drama Desk nominated Director Tyne Rafaeli in Summerhall’s Cairns Lecture Theatre at 18:00.   


🔵 Gary McNair's wonderful tribute to Billy Connolly from the people of Scotland Dear Billy plays Glasgow Pavilion Theatre later this month. Find my review from Glasgow King's Theatre 2023 here.


V.L. Edinburgh Fringe 2024 venue, dates and ticket info


By Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair  

Venue: Paines Plough Roundabout @ Summerhall  

Dates: 1st - 26th August  

Time: 20.10  

Tickets: From £10  

Running Time: 70 mins  


New play V.L. from award-winning writers Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair announced for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024 at Summerhall.

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Lisa in the theatre. Scottish theatre reviewer. UK theatre blog. Glasgow Theatre. Edinburgh Theatre. Scotland theatre.


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