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Headshots of Tamara Fairbairn, Esme Kingdom and Kirsty MacLaren.

Cast and Creative Team announced for Protest

The full cast has been announced for Protest, a bold-three hander exploring what it takes to make a difference, the power of friendship, and the importance of believing in your own voice. 

Producers Fuel, Northern Stage, Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland today announce the cast for this timely and important new production from award winning Scottish writer Hannah Lavery (Lament for Sheku Bayoh, The Drift, Eavesdropping). 


Tamara Fairbairn will play Jade. Tamara graduated from Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company in 2021 and was nominate in the Newcomer category at the Offie Awards in 2022 for her performance as ‘Marjory’ in The Moors at Hope Theatre.

Esmé Kingdom makes her professional debut as Chloe. Esmé graduated from RADA in 2022.

Kirsty MacLaren plays the role of Alice. Kirsty’s credits include the Olivier Award winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour for the National Theatre of Scotland and Live TheatreShe was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role. Kirsty can be seen appearing in Series 3 of The Crown (Netflix), playing the role of Violet.

Directed by Northern Stage’s Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive Natalie Ibu (Road, The White Card), the play, a celebration of youth activism, will tour to Northern Stage, Newcastle, the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival and across Scotland in spring 2023. 

Headshots of Tamara Fairbairn, Esme Kingdom and Kirsty MacLaren.

Protest follows Alice, Jade and Chloe. Running is Alice’s happy place – she’s the best runner at her school but is struggling to prove her worth. Jade is slowly coming to realise that prejudices can be found everywhere, even in the most surprising places. Realising that her education is ill-equipped to encompass her own history and heritage, and taunted by bullies at school, she knows it’s time to tell her own story. Meanwhile, litter is piling up in the local forest, and all over the world an environmental crisis is looming. Chloe is determined to make a change, starting with the town. The three girls prepare to stand up for what they believe in despite the injustices stacked against them. 


Writer Hannah Lavery said:

It felt important to write a play for young people which offered hope. We are living in such tumultuous times that can leave us all and especially young people with a sense that we have no agency to inspire and create change. So, I wanted to celebrate those young people who within their local communities, within their schools, families and friendship groups are working to make their world a better and fairer place for us all.

Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive, Northern Stage and also the Director of Protest, said:

I’m thrilled to be directing Protest and proud that Northern Stage are co-producers on this fantastic new play. We hope it inspires more young people to find their voice. A celebration of youth activism and uniting to take a stand against racism, the patriarchy and the climate crisis, Hannah Lavery’s brilliant new play couldn’t be more fitting for our This is Family season – a year long programme exploring how we connect and organise ourselves; for support, for good times, for better or worse.

The Cast

Tamara Fairbairn Jade
Esmé Kingdom Chloe
Kirsty MacLaren Alice


Co-commissioned by Fuel, Imaginate and Northern Stage. Developed and supported by the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund and Imaginate’s Accelerator programme. Accelerator is supported by the PLACE programme, funded by the Scottish Government (through Creative Scotland), the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals. Supported by the Binks Trust.

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