The Fifth Step

Touring to Dundee, Edinburgh International Festival and Glasgow

17 - 31 Aug 2024 | Scottish Tour


The point is to divest yourself of shame… It’s about getting clean.

Thirty something Luka is new to Alcoholics Anonymous and looking for a sponsor.  James is older, has been in the programme for years, surely he’s the perfect person to shepherd the younger man through each of the twelve steps on the road to recovery. Or maybe life just isn’t that simple.

In a programme that requires both of them to come to terms with their past, can Luka and James face their transgressions to find a new way of living? 

Featuring Jack Lowden as Luka and Sean Gilder as James, The Fifth Step is David Ireland’s grimly comic, provocative new play about men, intimacy and what we choose to put our faith in.

Jack Lowden is an acclaimed Scottish actor. He has three BAFTA nominations, for EE Rising Star in 2020 and Best Supporting Actor for Apple TV’s Slow Horses in 2023 and 2024. He also won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in Ghosts at The Almeida.

Sean Gilder has worked extensively across theatre, film and TV and was recently in BBC’s The Gold and Slow Horses where he worked with Jack Lowden. He is known for appearances in Shameless (Channel 4), Poldark (BBC) and the Hornblower films and his stage work includes Dear England (National Theatre).

The Fifth Step will preview at Dundee Rep Theatre before opening at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh(Edinburgh International Festival) and touring to Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow in August 2024.

Written by David Ireland
Directed by Finn den Hertog

A National Theatre of Scotland production

In addition to the individuals listed above, there are many others who play a vital role in getting the work on stage. We list the full production teams in the programme or freesheet that we produce to accompany the show.