Michel Tremblay: Plays in Scots, edited by Martin Bowman, is a two-volume set of the translations by Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay of eight plays by Michel Tremblay translated from joual, the vernacular French of Montreal, into contemporary urban Scots. Between 1989 and 2003, these translations received professional productions in major theatres in Scotland, and several of them toured beyond Scotland to Montreal, Toronto, New York State, and London. Michel Tremblay’s exceptional plays found a second home in their Scots guise, emphasizing the political and cultural resonance between Quebec and Scotland. Unlike most translations of plays into Scots, these scripts are not adaptations. Keeping the plays in their original setting, the translators set out to show that a play in Scots does not have to be set in Scotland or have Scottish characters. In 2007 The Scotsman of Edinburgh described the première of The Guid Sisters, the first of the plays by Michel Tremblay to be translated into Scots, as one of the top twenty Scottish theatre events of all time.
In addition to editing the scripts, appearing here for the first time in their final versions, Martin Bowman has provided ten introductory essays: one to each volume as a whole and one to each of the eight scripts. These introductions (125 pages) document the extraordinary success in Scotland of Michel Tremblay and, in so doing, provide a comprehensive work about collaborative translation and the use of vernacular languages in translations for the theatre.