Your Turn to Clean the Stair

DOI: 10.5040/9781784602192.00000003
Acts: 2. Roles: Male (2) , Female (3) , Neutral (0)

Rona Munro's Your Turn to Clean the Stair is a murder mystery set in the communal stairwell of an Edinburgh tenement. It was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, on 4 April 1992 and subsequently on tour.

Old Mrs Mackie has always been in charge of the communal stairwell she shares with her neighbours: tough single-mum Kay and brittle young couple, Lisa and Brian. Then there’s Bobby who just gets on everyone’s nerves by constantly dodging his cleaning duties and chatting up anything in sight. But when his body is found at the bottom of the stairs, the question is not did he fall or was he pushed, but whodunnit?

In a note accompanying the published text, Munro writes 'The title [of the play] refers to the printed notice that is hung on each doorknob in turn as the residents of Edinburgh tenements pass on the obligation to swab down the common stair. Tenement life in Edinburgh creates a particular kind of relationship with your neighbours. Tenements are usually nineteenth-century buildings with three storeys and three flats on each floor. The common stair is the meeting point and its maintenance can become a point of tension. I wanted to write something particular to Edinburgh and I wanted to write a kind of murder mystery.'

The Traverse Theatre premiere was directed by John Mitchell and designed by Karen Tennent. It was performed by Janet Dye, John Ramage, Louise Ironside, Graham de Banzie and Kay Gallie.

From Your Turn to Clean the Stair & Fugue


Nick Hern Books

Rona Munro

ISBN: 9781854592484

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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