Johnson and Boswell
Late But Live

Devised by Stewart Lee
With Miles Jupp as James Boswell and
Simon Munnery as Dr Samuel Johnson
Directed by Owen Lewis

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Samuel Johnson and James Boswell are back to re-launch their classic Scottish travel journals.

Doctor Johnson is one of England’s greatest literary figures: wit, essayist, biographer, lexicographer, legendary curmudgeon and coffee house philosopher.

In 1773 he was enticed by his Scottish friend James Boswell to accompany him on a tour through the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland. Both published books based on the journey. Johnson described his experience of Scotland. Boswell described Scotland's experience of Johnson.  

Late But Live gives the two billious bores the chance to try and flog their travel guides to a new audience, 230 years after they made their journey.  Boswell hosts a book launch, interviewing Johnson, and discussing Scotland ancient and modern. Haggis is eaten. Pipes are played. Sacred highland cattle are ritually slaughtered. And Boswell finds that it is sometimes dangerous to meet your heroes.

Stewart Lee was last represented at the Traverse in 2001 with his show Pea Green Boat. Since then his other festival projects have included Jerry Springer The Opera (Assembly 2002), which transferred to the National Theatre and the West End, Talk Radio (Udderbelly 2006), and a variety of stand-up comedy shows.

The cast includes Miles Jupp as James Boswell and Simon Munnery as Samuel Johnson. The show represents Perrier nominee and Sony Gold award winner Munnery’s first major stage role at the festival for some years.  His work as a writer and performer for television includes Attention Scum which was nominated for a Golden Rose of Montreux. He last worked with Lee at the Traverse in 2002 on Pea Green Boat.

Jupp is best known for his stand-up comedy (Perrier Best Newcomer nominee 2003) and regularly appears on stage and screen.  TV work as a stand-up includes The World Stands Up (Paramount) and Live Floor Show (BBC Scotland). He also appears as Archie The Inventor in popular kids TV series Balamory.

Owen Lewis’s directing credits include the Edinburgh Fringe 2005 and West End hit comedy, Pete and Dud: Come Again. He also directs Touch by Bill Dare at The Pleasance during this year’s festival.  

Simon Munnery as Johnson, with Miles Jupp as Boswell in background

'Snortingly funny - it's not a phrase to be found in Johnson's Dictionary, but it's the only way to describe it.' Daily Telegraph (click for full review)

'This is Fringe theatre at its silly, clever, fun-filled best.' **** Evening Standard (click for full review)

'Lee and his stand-up chums, both of whom rise to the occasion with aplomb, have created a pop-cultural hybrid that sticks its neck to kick against the pricks and protectors of his subjects' legacy. Makes for some very naughty and utterly knowing fun indeed.' **** The Herald (click for full review)

“In England you have better horses, and in Scotland we have better men”  James Boswell

“Much may be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young” Samuel Johnson

“I am not sure what this show was. Except wonderful. It is stand-up comedy, but it is storytelling. This is a spellbinding, giggle-engendering hour.”
**** The Scotsman on Pea Green Boat



Traverse Theatre
(Venue 15)

7 - 26 August 2007
Days off: 13 & 20
10.30pm - 11.45pm
Tickets £11 - £16

Online Booking:

Offline Booking:
0131 228 1404
0131 226 0000

Herald feature

Scotsman feature

Stewart Lee's site

Blue Box

Weasel & Sons



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