Author Archives: glasgowtheatreblog

NEWS: STEPHEN TOMPKINSON & JESSICA JOHNSON STAR IN THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION OF WILLY RUSSELL’S EDUCATING RITA

David Pugh and Theatre by the Lake are delighted to announce that their highly acclaimed production of Willy Russell’s EDUCATING RITA will run at Theatre Royal, Glasgow in 2020 as part of 40th anniversary UK tour.

Starring Stephen Tompkinson as Frank and Jessica Johnson as Rita, the play will  run from Monday 24 February until Saturday 29 February 2020.

The production is directed by Max Roberts.

EDUCATING RITA tells the story of married hairdresser Rita, who enrols on an Open University course to expand her horizons, and her encounters with university tutor Frank. Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and dedicated drinker, who is less than enthusiastic about teaching Rita. However, Frank soon finds that his passion for literature is reignited by Rita, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education, but whose enthusiasm Frank finds refreshing. The two soon realise how much they have to learn from each other.

EDUCATING RITA was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played at the Warehouse Theatre, London in 1980, starring Julie Walters and Mark Kingston. Julie Walters reprised her role in the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning film opposite Michael Caine.

Born in Liverpool in 1947, Willy Russell left school at 15 and became a women’s hairdresser and part-time singer/songwriter before returning to education to retrain as a teacher. Russell’s other writing credits include the Olivier Award-winning musical Blood Brothers, and the hugely successful play Shirley Valentine, which won the Olivier Awards for Best New Comedy and Best New Actress, and a  Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. The play was adapted for film and nominated for a host of BAFTA and Academy Awards. Willy Russell continues to be one of the most celebrated writers of his generation with works constantly in production throughout the world as well as in the UK.

Willy Russell said of this tour: “I am delighted that Stephen and Jess are returning next year to play Frank and Rita in the 40th anniversary production of Educating Rita, directed once again by the wonderful Max Roberts – I’m extremely proud to be associated with this marvellous production.”

Stephen Tompkinson’s television credits include ITV’s Torvill & Dean, BBC’s The Split, five series of DCI Banks, four series of Trollied, seven series of Wild at Heart, six series of Drop the Dead Donkey (British Comedy Award Winner for Best TV Comedy Actor) and three series of Ballykissangel, and his films include Phil in Brassed Off. His theatre work includes Spamalot, Rattle of a Simple Man and Arsenic and Old Lace in the West End, Cloaca and A Christmas Carol (Old Vic), Art and Tartuffe (National Tours).

Stephen Tompkinson said: “We had such a wonderful time touring and performing this last year around the UK.  Audiences respond so well to Willy Russell’s brilliant two-hander.  The response Jess and I receive and their affection for this play and these characters are overwhelming.  I’m thrilled to be a part of this production and to be sharing the stage with Jess again in even more cities next year.”

Jessica Johnson’s theatre credits include Call Me Mary Poppins, Goth Weekend, Kings and Queens, Each Piece and Anti-Gravity at the Live Theatre, Newcastle. She previously played Rita in Rebecca Frecknall’s 2017 production of Educating Rita at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Her television credits include Wire In The Blood (ITV), Coronation Street (ITV) and Cuckoo (Channel 4).

Jessica Johnson said: “Working with Willy, Max and Stephen earlier this year and developing the role of Rita in front of incredible audiences, has been the highlight of my career so far. It has been a total honour and now I get to do it again in the 40th anniversary production. I couldn’t be happier.”

Max Roberts is Emeritus Artistic Director of Newcastle’s Live Theatre. Under his direction, the Live Theatre has become one of the country’s most successful theatre companies with an outstanding reputation for developing new work. His Olivier Award-nominated production of Lee Hall’s Cooking With Elvis transferred to the West End’s Whitehall Theatre (now Trafalgar Studios) before touring nationally. He also directed The Pitman Painters, which transferred to the National Theatre and won Best Play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards before opening on Broadway.

LISITNGS

Educating Rita

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Mon 24 – Sat 29 Feb 2020

Mon-Sat: 7.30pm

Wed & Sat: 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com*

0844 871 7647**

*fees apply

**calls cost up to 7p per minute plus you phone’s company’s access charge

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Jack & the Beanstalk at Beacon Arts Centre Greenock

Poor Dame Trot and her son Jack hardly have a bean to their name, and to make things worse the village is being terrorised by a wicked giant. Can Jack defeat the giant, win the heart of his one true love and solve his economic woes?

The show stars Still Game’s Jane McCarry as Queen Grizelda, Mark Cox as Fleshcreep, River City’s Jimmy Chisholm as Dame Trot and the hilarious Lee Samuel as Simon. The quartet return by popular demand having proved a huge success in the Beacon panto over the last few years.

Once again the Beacon Arts Centre will have all the ingredients for a perfect family panto, with a dastardly villain, a hapless comic and a hilarious panto dame, as well as spectacular sets and costumes, fabulous songs and dances and bags of slapstick fun!

6 – 31 December 2019

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock

Tickets: http://beaconartscentre.co.uk/events/tags/jack-and-the-beanstalk/

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Sleeping Beauty at Eastwood Park

Runway Theatre Company present Sleeping Beauty

Monday 02 – Saturday 07 December
7.30pm each evening
Sat matinees, 11am & 3pm

Don’t get caught napping this Christmas when Runway’s dreamy panto Sleeping Beauty comes to town.

When Princess Beauty pricks her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel she’s cursed to fall asleep for 100 years, unless she’s kissed by her one true love. Enter a dashing Prince, along with Nurse Teeny Tiddlewinks and Yo-Yo the Jester, who embark on a brave adventure to save the Princess from her terrible fate. But with the wicked Fairy Carabosse determined to ruin their plans, will our trusty trio be triumphant or is the Princess doomed to a century of snoozing?

Prices

  • £14 – £17

www.runwaytheatre.co.uk

Tickets also available from 07801 048527

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Waiting For Gabriel at EK Arts Centre

East Kilbride Arts Centre

Running Late Theatre Company present
Waiting for Gabriel

Monday 23 December 2019 / 3.00pm & 8.00pm
Tuesday 24 December 2019 / 1.00pm
£12.00

It’s Christmas Eve and a group of strangers who were once friends wait for Gabriel. A vacancy has opened up so if they want that promotion, they’ll have to impress him. They’ve each been waiting 2000 years, have plenty of work experience and the right skills for the job so they really shouldn’t let a little friendly rivalry distract them before he arrives.

From the angels who brought you A Christmas Carol – The Radio Play and It’s A Wonderful Life – The Radio Play, Running Late Theatre Company present Waiting for Gabriel, an original heavenly comedy.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be served after the performance.

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Jackie and the Baked Bean Stock in East Kilbride and Lanark.

Lanark Memorial Hall and East Kilbride Village Theatre

FROM THE PRODUCERS THAT BROUGHT YOU LAST YEARS HIT PANTO SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN WEE MUPPETS
Insideout Theatre Productions Ltd Proudly Presents:

Jackie and the Baked Bean Stock
By Paul Harper-Swan

Lanark Memorial Hall

School Performances:
Friday 6 & Monday 9 December / 10.00am and 1.00pm
Tuesday 10 December / 9.30am and 12.30pm
Wednesday 11 December / 10am

Public Shows:
Saturday 7 December / 1.00pm & 5.00pm
Sunday 8 December / 2.30pm **

** This will be a BSL Interpreted Performance. For information please visit; https://www.slleisureandculture.co.uk/signedperformances

East Kilbride Village Theatre

School Performances:
Monday 16 & Tuesday 17 December 2019 / 10.00am and 1.00pm

Public Shows:

Thursday 19 December 2019 / 7.00pm **
Friday 20 December 2019 / 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Saturday 21 December 2019 / 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Sunday 22 December 2019 / 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Monday 23 December 2019 / 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Tuesday 24 December 2019 / 2.30pm
Friday 27 December 2019 / 2.30pm
Saturday 28 December 2019 / 2.30pm
Sunday 29 December 2019 / 2.30pm

** This will be a BSL Interpreted Performance. For information please visit; https://www.slleisureandculture.co.uk/signedperformances

Tickets: £12.00 / £10.50 concession / £40.00 family ticket of four / £8.50 Group ticket 20+ / £5.50 Schools

A GIANT of Family Pantomime with all the banter, bouncing beats and a first class professional cast.

Fee, Fie , Fo Fum…We smell the blood of a strong Scots woman!

Starring Pamela Byrne (River City), Sarah Galbraith (Phantom of the Opera, Broadway), Mark Lomond, Andrew Grayson, Alex Kirby.
Join Jackie and her pals, Joe the Joker and Janey along with her hilarious Mammy Lola on a Panto adventure not to be missed this Christmas.
Will Jackie and the gang defeat evil Endora? Will they make it out of the Giants castle alive?
Only one way to find out! Book now for this year’s hilarious Scottish twist on the classic tale.
Full of banter, fun, song and dance.

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Cinderella at East Kilbride Arts Centre

East Kilbride Arts Centre

Studio 32 and East Kilbride Arts Centre present
Cinderella

Wednesday 4 December – Sunday 8 December 2019
Wednesday 11 December – Sunday 15 December 2019
Wednesday 18 December – Sunday 22 December 2019

Wednesday to Friday – 7.30pm
Saturday – 11.30am, 3.00pm and 7.30pm
Sunday – 11.30am and 3.00pm

Tickets from as little as £8.00 up to £12.00

A Royal ball.  A handsome prince. A glass slipper.  The best friend a girl could wish for. And two very ugly sisters. Cinderella has it all, following the inspiring rags to riches tale of our kind and beautiful heroine Cinders.

Studio 32 return to the Arts Centre with the fairy godmother of all pantomimes, packed full of action, comedy, romance and songs you’ll be humming all the way home.  Come join us to witness Cinderella’s magical transformation from pauper to princess.  Boo as her wicked stepmother attempts to thwart the path of true love.  And cheer as Buttons saves the day!

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Aladdin at the Town House Hamilton & Rutherglen Town Hall

Aladdin

Hitch a lift on our magic carpet and fly off to Old Peking for a roller coaster ride of thrills and spills that takes us all the way from China to the Egyptian pyramids…via Hamilton and Rutherglen!

Can true love really blossom between Aladdin, a poor and penniless street urchin, and the Royal Princess Jasmine?

Will Widow Twankey be able to keep her ailing, failing laundry from going bust, or will she manage to get aff with the Emperor of China and marry into panto royalty?

Can Aladdin stop the evil sorcerer, Abanazar, getting his hands on the lamp, and taking over the world, the galaxy, the universe, and South Lanarkshire?

To find out the answers to all these questions and many more, come and join us for our MAGICAL FAMILY PANTO!

30 November to 8 December 2019
The Town House, Hamilton

Sat 30 Nov    1pm
Sun 1 Dec     1pm
Mon 2 Dec     10am / 1pm SCHOOLS ONLY
Tue 3 Dec 10am / 1pm SCHOOLS ONLY
Wed 4 Dec   no performance
Thu 5 Dec 7.30pm
Fri 6 Dec 7.30pm
Sat 7 Dec 1pm / 5.30pm **
Sun 8 Dec 1pm / 5.30pm

** This will be a BSL Interpreted Performance.  For information please visit; https://www.slleisureandculture.co.uk/signedperformances

Tickets:  Adults £15.50
Concession £13.50
Groups (20+) £9.00
Schools: £6.00
Family Ticket of 4: £47.00

11 to 23 December 2019
Rutherglen Town Hall

Wed 11 Dec 9.45am / 1pm SCHOOLS ONLY
Thu 12 Dec   9.45am / 1pm SCHOOLS ONLY
Fri 13 Dec 7pm
Sat 14 Dec 1.30pm / 7pm
Sun 15 Dec 1.30pm / 7pm
Mon 16 Dec no performance
Tue 17 Dec 7pm
Wed 18 Dec 7pm **
Thu 19 Dec 7pm
Fri 20 Dec 1.30pm / 7pm
Sat 21 Dec 1.30pm / 7pm
Sun 22 Dec 1.30pm / 7pm
Mon 23 Dec 1.30pm / 7pm

** This will be a BSL Interpreted Performance.  For information please visit; https://www.slleisureandculture.co.uk/signedperformances

Tickets:  Adults £13.50
Concession £12.00
Groups (20+) £9.00
Schools: £6.00
Family Ticket of 4: £45.00

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: The Magical Adventures of Pinocchio

Following the success of last year’s production Cinderella, The Pavilion have decided to take the team on another Panto adventure.

The production team have said: “It has been one of our favourites over the years and we think that we are the only theatre in the country to produce The Magical Adventures of Pinocchio. As always, we base our Pantomime on the original story but have that Glasgow twist in true Pavilion style and you can be confident that it is Good Clean Family Entertainment.”

It is sure to be a Sing-A-Long, Join In Adventure with an all star cast, a brand new script, stunning scenery, sensational costumes and magical special effects that they have become known for.

There are Generous Discounts and Concessions available at all performances.

28 Nov 2019 – 12 Jan 2020

More info here: https://www.paviliontheatre.co.uk/shows/the-magical-adventures-of-pinocchio/

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: Winterfest at Eastwood Park

Winterfest 2019 is approaching fast, and Eastwood Park Theatre have a great range of activities and events to get you into the festive mood.

From arts and crafts, exhibitions, Winter film screenings, and our extra special Cinderella Panto, there is plenty to get involved in.

Panto

This year the Panto will be extra special. They will be bringing the truly magical story of Cinderella to life and are excited to welcome Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts (GAMTA) to the stage.

GAMTA is home to many stars in the making and has a long history of producing successful pantomimes, so audiences are in for a treat. Don’t miss this magical adventure that promises to be a show-stopping, all singing, all dancing panto!

Cinderella is running from Wed 11 Dec – Mon 30 Dec 2019. To book your tickets, visit Eastwood Park Theatre Box Office Website or call 0141 577 4956.

Art Activities

In line with the Christmas Panto, there are some exciting art activities to take part in.

Cinderella Crafts (6 – 10 years)

Extend the fun of your weekend – come along and make your own Cinderella themed craft before you enjoy the magic of the Pantomime in Eastwood Park Theatre. All materials are included in the cost of this session.

Sat 14 Dec | 12.30 – 1.30pm, | Eastwood Park Theatre Art Room | £7

Get your tickets here!

Cinderella Family Crafts (3 – 5 years)

Extend the fun of your weekend – go along and make your own Cinderella themed craft before you enjoy the pantomime. All materials are included in the cost of this session. Adults join in the class with kids – we provide all the materials and tidy up all the mess too.

Suitable for 3 – 5 years with accompanying adult. Adults do not need to purchase a ticket but all children attending are required to have one

Sun 15 Dec | 11.30 – 12.30pm | Carmichael Hall | £7

Get your tickets here!

Elf Academy

Back by popular demand, ERCL’s Elf Academy returns! Kids will enjoy a series of creative and fun acivities in this jam-packed session! Make a Christmas craft, play some games, join in with a wintery tale and enjoy a festive film before graduating from the Elf Academy with your very own Elf ears!

Festive outfits are encouraged but please make sure you don’t mind if they get messy. Those attending may also bring a nut-free snack and drink with them to keep them fuelled for all the activities!

Be sure to book quick – spaces on our Elf Academy sessions go faster than Santa’s sleigh! Tickets £20.

Various dates available from Sat 14 Dec – Mon 23 Dec. Get your tickets here!

Exhibition

The gallery space will be displaying entries for the Cinderella colouring competition. Local schools attending the Cinderella Pantomime at Eastwood Park Theatre have been given special colouring sheets to complete before going along to the show. The entries will be displayed, including the three winners and runners-up from P1-2, P3-5 and P6-7.

Wed 11 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

THIS WEEK: Made in Dagenham at Eastwood Park

Theatre fans from in and around Glasgow are preparing to bring Essex to Eastwood in new musical Made in Dagenham.

More than 40 performers from the Minerva Club will bring the powerful story to life on stage at Eastwood Park Theatre from 11 November, 2019.

Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Made in Dagenham is drawn from the real-life 1968 sewing machinists’ strike at the Ford factory in Dagenham, Essex. The strike was influential in the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1970.

Brian Toward and Eleanor MacKay

The musical follows the leader of the strike, Rita O’Grady – played by Gemma Arterton in the 2014 West End production – as she encourages the women of the factory to walk out after they are reclassified as unskilled workers, while their male counterparts see their wages increase.

Brian Toward, 33, of Woodlands, plays the male lead, Eddie O’Grady, and said he was delighted to be cast. “This is my first show with the Minerva Club, and my first role in any production for 15 years since school,” he said.

“When I first decided to audition for the show I would have been genuinely happy just to be a part of it. To land the lead male role was beyond any expectation, and I have loved every second of rehearsals so far. Now I can’t wait to get on stage.”

Minerva Club President, Colette Dunsmore, said: “Made in Dagenham is a very emotive show, and as a club we are looking forward to bringing the Incredible true story of the Dagenham woman to a local audience. We have been loving rehearsals so far and can’t wait to showcase our hard work on the Eastwood stage.”

Made in Dagenham will be on at Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock, from Tuesday 12 November to Saturday 16 November. Tickets cost £15-£19 and are available from any cast member, by emailing tickets@theminervaclub.com or online from www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk

The Minerva Club will be supporting the charity SiMBA with its 2019 production of Made in Dagenham. SiMBA is a Scottish charity supporting families affected by the loss of a baby by donating memory boxes, refurbishing family rooms, and providing bereavement support.

SiMBA CEO, Sara Fitzsimmons MBE, said: “Our charity supports families at the most difficult time in their lives, often hearing about SiMBA for the first time when they receive a Memory Box after losing their baby.

“It’s fantastic that theatre groups like this are supporting us and helping us to raise awareness so that more families who need it can benefit from what we do. We would like to thank everyone in the show for dedicating their interest and time to SiMBA and really helping to make a difference.”

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