Decorative graphic with an orange circle and a white circle overlapping against a teal and purple background


By: Margaret Edson

Wit promotional image showing a woman wearing a white cap and hospital gown standing on stage next to a hospital bed
Image by Marc Marnie


By: Margaret Edson

Directed by: Gaynor Macfarlane

Wit is an original and triumphant celebration of life, death and the power of human kindness. A woman’s quest to discover her true self while living with cancer, reconciling her brilliant mind with her fragile body, is treated with enormous honesty, compassion and startling humour.

Vivian Bearing PhD – scholar, cynic and expert in the poetry of John Donne – has devoted her life to academic achievement and finds herself hospitalised with advanced ovarian cancer. During the course of her illness (and a stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy project) Vivian comes to reassess her life and work with a profound understanding and humour that transform her and the audience.

Vivian begins to learn about new things – wit, acceptance, grace, friendship and, finally, salvation.

"One of the most satisfying and enjoyable evenings of drama Scottish theatre has produced for a while."

by The Scotsman

"[an] intelligent, tough production… which has you laughing, crying and pondering priorities in your own life."

by Sunday Herald

"I did Wit on film in 2000 and was staggered by the writing. It's an extraordinary play and Stellar Quines is canny as hell for choosing to stage the first Scottish production. See it."

by Emma Thompson


  • Jonathan Battersby


  • Natalie Bennett


  • Molly Innes


  • James Mackenzie


  • Alexandra Mathie


  • Jessica Richards


  • Joanna Tope


  • Chris Young


Creative Team

  • Margaret Edson


  • Gaynor Macfarlane


  • Ti Green


  • Natasha Chivers

    Lighting Designer

  • Jane Howie

    Movement Director

About The Show

Margaret Edson’s first play, Wit, was written in 1991 and in 1999 it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Alexandra Mathie was awarded the 2003 Critics Award For Theatre in Scotland for Best Actress for her role as Vivian Bearing in Stellar Quines’ acclaimed 2003 production, which was a Scottish premiere..

Tour History