THEATRE is back and the Fringe is up and running again (although at one-third capacity). One show enjoying rave reviews at the Edinburgh festival is 1902.

The Saltire Sky production follows four young men from Leith who try to pay back a gangster they owe money in order to buy tickets to the 2016 Scottish Cup final, a game which saw Hibernian beat Rangers 3-2.

What ensues is a fast-paced, intense 80-minute run in a theatre-in-the-round production with actors as close to the audience as they are to each other.

And its home during the festival is the historic Leith Arches, ideal for a play set in a pub in Leith.

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Nathan Scott-Dunn spoke to The National about his debut play, what inspired him to write it, and plans to take it further to an English audience.

Set in Edinburgh and following a working-class group of football fans, co-director and star of the show Scott-Dunn says it’s the play’s authenticity that cuts through to audiences of all types.

“I think the show itself has like a strong sense of identity and I've also written it phonetically, it’s how we talk.

“If you went to a pub, and you're sat there then these conversations are the real conversations that you will hear. It’s the authenticity I think, I think authenticity is what sells the show a lot because you know it’s real.”

The National: Nathan Scott-Dunn's debut play 1902 takes an 'access all areas approach to working-class life in Scotland'Nathan Scott-Dunn's debut play 1902 takes an 'access all areas approach to working-class life in Scotland'

Scott-Dunn uses that authenticity to shine through an industry he says is saturated with upper and middle-class issues.

The play showcases similar themes to such Scottish classics as Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen and My Name Is Joe, which Scott-Dunn sees as part of the play’s strength.

He continued: “I think that Scottish cinema and TV all have this sort of underdog tone to it with adversity and an ability to find happiness in dark times.

“These people are often forgotten by high society. What people seem to forget is that life still goes on. It’s quite impressive. In some cases 15-year-old laddies, literally not getting their dinner, having one meal a day who are out playing football all day which is all they have to do.”

While the past few years performing in the capital has seen the show become a critical success with packed seats, the warm reception in Birmingham is inspiring the team to take the show further down south.

“For the Fringe, we can get the audience and they'll enjoy it and we get rave reviews. But it’s actually hard to get the right eyes on it to take it further. Living in Birmingham we had a base to take it there.

The National:

“Hopefully in September we're going to go back down there. And then we're just talking to people to try and bookend the tour, from this Fringe to the next.

“We really want to do the Vaults festival in London, which is a perfect setting for the show. We want to go to working-class football cities where I think it will be received the best.

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“Places like Manchester, Leeds - even London - those footballing communities, they will resonate with the story.

“What we're also trying to do this year is reach the elitist press to see the show and see its potential. That's the hard thing about it - if you're not getting the reviews from the big papers then producers are quite hesitant to get anywhere.”

No better example of the show’s broad appeal despite its local authenticity is the time a group of Americans went to see it.

The National:

“One that sticks in our brain so much is we had a group of Americans come and see the show - and they absolutely loved it,” Scott-Dunn said.

“They knew nothing about Hibs, they just came to see a Fringe show. And then the next day, they went to the Easter Road match, and then came back the next night to the show, with all these Hibs fans drinking pints with them.

"It’s actually incredible what the show does, and that's why it's special - because it brings the two walks of life together.

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“I see a traditional theatre audience come who've never been to a football game and get a taste of what that looks like. Whereas football fans will go who have never been to the theatre and get a taste of what that's like.

“And when they both match together properly, it's just such an amazing feeling.

“We make theatre for people who don’t go to the theatre. That’s our ethos because there are a lot more people that don't go than those who do, particularly in Scotland. And so that's why that's what we do.”

Saltire Sky's 1902 is running until August 30 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and tickets can be purchased here: