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The Slab Boys

Citizens Theatre


One of the best-loved works in twentieth-century Scottish theatre, revived in a major new production directed by David Hayman.
At King’s Theatre Edinburgh 10 - 14 March.

In the technicolour confines of the slab room of A. F. Stobo & Co. Carpet Factory in Paisley, young boys have to grow up fast. Strutting adolescent double act Phil and Spanky are passing the time with an endless verbal tug o’ war and merciless ribbing of their workmates and boss. But even the distractions of the annual staff dance, the monthly pay packet or the unattainable Lucille can’t stop Phil from dreaming of becoming an artist.

John Byrne’s funny and poignant play paints a vivid picture of the tough, rebellious, working-class culture of 1950s industrial Scotland. The original creators revive this landmark theatre show for the stage in a major new production.

The Slab Boys will tour to King’s Theatre Edinburgh 10 - 14 March. MORE INFO

Take home a bit of history

The Slab Boys poster is available to buy from our online store.
Part of our Artwork from the Archives series.

Main Theatre

View seating plan

    User Rating

    Rated: (5/5), based on 7 ratings

Read and download the programme

Previews 12/13 Feb
Audio Described: 25 Feb, 7.30pm
Signed: 27 Feb, 7.30pm
Captioned: 5 Mar, 7.30pm
Post Show Discussion: 3 Mar

Wheelchair Access
Guide Dogs welcome
Induction Loop

Cast and Creative team >

Written by John Byrne
Directed by David Hayman
Designed by John Byrne
Lighting Design by Jeanine Byrne
Assistant Director David Hayman Jnr


Plooky Jack James Allenby-Kirk
Alan         Kieran Baker
Hector       Scott Fletcher
Mr Currie     David Hayman
Phil         Sammy Hayman
Sadie       Kathryn Howden
Lucille       Keira Lucchesi
Spanky     Jamie Quinn

Activities for Schools

Watch schools interviews with John Byrne and David Hayman


“David Hayman rolls back the clock with impressive revival of John Byrne’s Scots classic
The Big Issue ★★★★

“glitteringly complex piece of drama”
The Scotsman ★★★★

“As Phil and Spanky, Sammy Hayman and Jamie Quinn spark off each other like razors”
Evening Times ★★★★


“we’ve always had a really collaborative experience”
David Hayman Snr and David Hayman Jnr talk to Brian Didcock about working together on The Slab Boys in the Sunday Herald

“suddenly I’ve got a piece of work that reflects my culture, my background, my longings, my dreams, my aspirations”
David Hayman and John Byrne speak with Neil Cooper about the origins of The Slab Boys in The Herald

“I’d never seen myself on stage – or anyone like me. I never saw anything about my culture.”
John Byrne and David Hayman in The Guardian

“Young people still have dreams and aspirations”
David Hayman and John Byrne talk to STV Glasgow about reviving The Slab Boys in 2015.

”‘It is still so very familiar…It’s just a different generation playing it: they are newly ripe.’
John Byrne tells Gareth K Vile why his 1957 tale is as relevant now as it was in 1978 in The List


John Donnelly

3rd March 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed the play, brought back memories at the start of my working life, I had an ex soldier for a boss. Great acting and hope they complete the trilogy.

di mcpherson

1st March 2015

I was truly touched by the performances and of course the gentle style. More please.


21st February 2015

The Slab Boys is outdated and very slow, not a show appropriate for a modern audience as it left me and many others under 50 asleep. Good set and staging, plus good performances from Keira and David but this show lacks contemporary theatre style. Uninteresting, dated and no longer funny


20th February 2015

It is magnificent in every way. I saw the trilogy 30 odd years ago and was so excited to see it again. I was not disappointed. John Byrne thank you for the beautiful writing and David Hayman thank you for a most beautiful production and a plea to the Citizen's bring back the trilogy. Huge congratulations to all the cast you were truly magnificent.

dawn jason

4th November 2014

my school is coming and i cant wait omg omg omg omg

Isabell Mcgowan

16th October 2014

So looking forward to this fingers crossed I get tickets


27th August 2014

Fantastic! I have seen the trilogy several times - still as good as the first time! Can't wait! Hope David does the trilogy for a whole new generation.

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The Slab Boys - Trailer
The Slab Boys - interview with John Byrne and David Hayman
Pre-show Curtain raiser with David Hayman and John Byrne

Photos by Tim Morozzo

Listen to the pre-show curtain raiser with John Byrne and David Hayman:

The Slab Boys production photos

Photos by Tim Morozzo

Audience feedback
Deaf Theatre Club: Fri 27 Feb

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, we want to make sure you can enjoy the best night out at the Citizens Theatre. Find out more about the Deaf Theatre Club.

Opening night of The Slab Boys
The Slab Boys in Rehearsals

Photos by Tim Morozzo