Traverse Theatre presents

Letters to Morrissey

2017 Scotsman Fringe First Award Winner. Read more here

“A tender, well written story about how some of us struggle to find our way in the world… An engaging, beautifully told story that maintains great pace for the hour.” – Quiet Man Dave

★★★★ “Affectionate, stylishly done and involving… Pacily delivered and inventively directed.” – Manchester Theatre Awards

★★★★ “McNair’s ability to carry multiple characters with so much energy was admirable.” – Northern Soul

“There is plenty of substance to the production…” – I Love Manchester

“This poignant piece of theatre is so much more than just a 15-year-old boy writing doting letters to an icon… A thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre.” – Mancunion

★★★★ “Painfully honest, often funny… This show works because everyone has been a teenager with all the horrors that brings.” – North West End

“Powerful, funny and incredibly poignant… A darkly comic and emotive coming-of-age story… A humorous yet touching love letter to music with a moral dilemma at its heart.” – Frankly My Dear

“I suspected I would enjoy it but didn’t realise just how much I would do… Always absorbing… A powerful monologue… Touching and engaging.” – Ghostly Tom’s Travel Blog

“Heart-warming and heart-wrenching… Letters to Morrissey is a lot like a Smiths song: light and dark, comic but poignant, and unashamedly wearing its heart on its sleeve.” – Mancunian Matters

★★★★ “Under the direction of Gareth Nicholls, [Gary] McNair can deftly move from out-loud funny to hear-breaking with a choice of exposition or turn of phrase… A single voice play of the highest quality” – The Reviews Hub

“The success of one man shows really rest with the one man that is performing the show… Gary McNair rises up to the challenge and commands a remarkably affectionate performance… A tender and touching tale.” – Caught in the Act

“Engaging and funny…  Well written and expertly delivered.” – Stagestruck

“Expertly balances buoyant comic observation with a thoughtful spotlight on some tough realities… An engaging piece of storytelling.” – Circles & Stalls

“[A] humdinger of a play… At once engaging and smart… Emotionally satisfying.” – Jildy Sauce

“A fantastic performance… Funny, moving… [I] would definitely recommend it.” – North Manchester FM

“The energy in the one-man show is tangible and exciting… A production that is humorous and moving, leaving a lasting impression of how childhood experiences and relationships remain with us even decades later.” – Now Then Manchester

“Poignant and acute… A deserving winner of a Scotsman Fringe First award… An authentic insight into the teenage mind.” – Live Art Alive

★★★★ “A funny and touching piece.” – London Evening Standard

★★★★ “[Gary] McNair’s writing and delivery, under the direction of Gareth Nicholls, are impeccable, allowing visitors to enter into the young man’s soul and share his love of Morrissey and the musician’s philosophy.” – British Theatre Guide

★★★★ “[Gary] McNair captures just what makes – or rather, what made – Morrissey so alluring.” – What’s On Stage

★★★★ “This is ultimately about a writer/performer hitting all the right notes with a emotive coming-of-age tale… Ably supported by Gareth Nicholls’ direction, McNair is well-skilled at squeezing your heart one moment, then making you laugh the next.” – Broadway Baby

★★★★ “[Gary] McNair has produced a piece of sincerity, humour and kindness, that implores us to look differently at others.” – The Wee Review

“A touching hour… [Gary] McNair and director Gareth Nicholls are adept at making us feel the excitement of being at a gig… There’s a lot to like here.” – The Guardian

“[Gary] McNair once more reveals his ability as a masterful storyteller… Directed assuredly by Gareth Nicholls.” – The Independent

“[Gary] McNair’s performance is heartfelt… Were there ever any letters to Morrissey? I’d guess not. But their contents have the ring of sincerity, and probably that’s enough.” – Time Out

“[Gary] McNair is a consummate storyteller, and Gareth Nicholls’s slick, guitar-infused staging creates moments of exquisite energy.” – The Stage

“It’s no mean feat to sustain the voice, posture and tone of an adolescent for an hour… Funny and poignant and definitely for anyone who has felt like the world won’t listen, which is most of us.” – The Fountain

It’s 1997. You’re 11. You’re sad, lonely and scared of doing anything that could get you singled out by the hopeless, angry people in your home town.

One day you see a man on telly. He’s mumbling, yet electrifying. He sings: “I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does.”

This guy gets it.

You become obsessed with him. Later, when you need someone, you write to him. A lot.

It’s 2017. You find those letters and ask yourself: “Has the world changed, or have I changed?”

Created by Gary McNair and Gareth Nicholls, returning to HOME after their award-winning sell-out show A Gambler’s Guide to Dying, Letters to Morrissey is about confronting the worst thing you’ve done – and hoping that you can still be good person.


  • Running time 65 mins
  • Recommended age 14+
  • No latecomers will be admitted
  • The show contains flashing lights, loud sound effects, strong language and descriptions of domestic violence
  • £12.50 full (conc. available)