Author Archives: glasgowtheatreblog

NEWS: FROM THE QUEEN VIC TO THE QUEEN OF NARNIA SAMANTHA WOMACK TO PLAY THE WHITE WITCH IN THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE

THEATRE ROYAL, GLASGOW

TUESDAY 1 – SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2022

Theatre Royal, Glasgow has announced that TV and theatre star Samantha Womack will appear at the venue next year in a new stage adaptation of C.S Lewis’ beloved classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

 Samantha Womack, who known for her role as Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders, takes on the role of The White Witch when the show runs at the Hope Street venue from Tuesday 1 until Saturday 5 March 2022  as part of a UK tour, which will also visit Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe broke box office records upon opening at the Leeds Playhouse and went on to sell out shows and receive critical acclaim at the Bridge Theatre in London in 2019.

The show tells the story of Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter who embark on a magical journey through the wardrobe into the enchanted kingdom of Narnia. Waving goodbye to wartime Britain, they adventure the frozen, faraway land where they meet a faun, talking beavers, and of course noble king of Narnia, Aslan and the coldest, most evil White Witch.

Samantha Womack returns to the theatre after her recent success playing the lead role in the sold-out production of The Girl on the Train in the West End and on tour.  Sam’s past theatre roles include the Tony award-winning production of South Pacific in which she starred alongside Patrick Swayze, Guys and Dolls at London’s Piccadilly Theatre (directed by Michael Grandage) and playing Emma in an award-winning production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (directed by Sir Peter Hall). Her varied work on television has seen Samantha moving from comedy to drama with the cult success of BBC’s Game On and Babes in the Wood to ITV’s gritty crime drama Liverpool 1Imogen’s Face and Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders.  Films include playing the unhinged mother of Eggsy in The Kingsman franchise sharing the screen with Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson and playing Hazel in Jon Godbers  Up ‘n Under.

She said“Having been a huge fan of C S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for as long as I can remember, I am thrilled to be playing The White Witch. The book has always been a magical read and having watched incredible actors interpret this role in the past, I am excited to see what she holds for me. This production is so beautifully conceived with thrilling sets and costumes and an amazingly talented cast and creative team. I can’t wait to seduce, plot and terrify Narnia into a permanent winter.”

James Haworth, Theatre Director at Theatre Royal, Glasgow, said: “What a treat to it is to welcome the magical land of Narnia to our stage as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe arrives for what will be a fabulous run.”

Joining Samantha in the cast are: Ammar Duffus (Peter Pevensie), Shaka Kalokoh (Edmund Pevensie), Robyn Sinclair (Susan Pevensie) and Karise Yansen (Lucy Pevensie).   Aslan is played by Chris Jared, Mr Tumnus by Jez Unwin, Mr Beaver by Sam Buttery and Maugrim by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay.  They are joined by Oliver Bingham (Mr Brinkworth, March Hare and Aslan Puppeteer), Scott Brooks (Mr Pope, Fox Trot, Associate Music Captain), Rachel Dawson (Miss Chutney, Blue Badger and Spirit of the Moon), Oliver Grant (Mr Wilson, Schrodinger, Red Squirrel and Aslan Puppeteer), Matthew James Hinchliffe (Mr Marsden, Mauve Mole), Tash Holway (on stage Swing, Dance Captain), Shaun McCourt (Mr Granville, Jack Rabbit, Aslan Puppeteer), Sophie Naglik (on stage Swing) Kate Parr (Miss Gumley-Warmley and Phoenix), Anthony Starr (on stage Swing), Christina Tedders (Mrs Beaver), Brad Veitch (on stage Swing). Johnson Willis (Professor Kirk, Father Christmas, Wise Owl and White Mouse) and Grace Wylde (Mrs Pevensie, Robin and Falcon)

The tour will be directed by Michael Fentiman, based on the original production by Sally Cookson with original Set and Costume design by Rae Smith.  Michael’s previous productions include the Olivier Award-nominated Amélie (Watermill Theatre/The Other Palace/UK Tour and currently running in the West End), The Windsors: Endgame (also running in the West End), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), the 50th anniversary production of Joe Orton’s Loot (Park Theatre/Watermill Theatre), Titus Andronicus and Ahasverus (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Taming of the Shrew (Sherman Theatre/Tron Theatre) and, as director and writer, CinderELLA (Nuffield Southampton) and The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (Tower of London).

Joining Michael Fentiman on the creative team are Tour Set and Costume Designer Tom Paris, Dramaturg Adam Peck, Composer Benji Bower with additional composition by Music Supervisor Barnaby Race, Choreographer Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus, Lighting Designer Jack Knowles, Sound Designers Ian Dickinson and Gareth Tucker for Autograph, Puppetry Director Toby Olié, Puppetry Designer Max Humphries, Aerial Director Gwen Hales, Illusionist Chris Fisher, Music Director Toby Higgins, Movement Consultant Dan Canham, Casting Director Will Burton, Fight Director Jonathan Holby, Costume Supervisor Joanna Coe, Wigs and Make Up Supervisor Susanna Peretz, Props Supervisor Lizzie Frankl, and Associate Director James Callàs Ball.

Image: Seamus Ryan

WHAT’S ON OCTOBER – CITIZENS THEATRE TO STAGE TWO ONE-ACT PLAYS IN THE INTIMATE TRON

 

  • The opening production of the Tron’s new season will be the Citizens Theatre double bill of Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett and a newly commissioned play, Go On by Scottish writer Linda McLean.
  • The Citizens Theatre double bill features the world premiere of Go On, commissioned as a companion piece inspired by the iconic Beckett play.
  • Directed by Dominic Hill, the plays star two leading actors of their generation, Niall Buggy and Maureen Beattie.
  • The thought-provoking pairing explores what happens when you dare to interact with previous and future versions of yourself.
  • Together, these stripped-back and intimate productions offer a raw and emotional experience.

In Samuel Beckett’s seminal Krapp’s Last Tape, an older man reflects on his youth. Sitting alone on his 69th birthday, Krapp (Niall Buggy) listens to a recording of his younger self, rewinding through his life with humour and heartache.  It is a revival of a production directed by Dominic Hill at Leeds Playhouse, also starring Buggy, which received critical acclaim when it first reopened in October 2020.

In Go On, Jane (Maureen Beattie) considers how an AI replacement might allow her to exist in the future. Sitting in her sleek kitchen, Jane teaches Jayne the essentials of her life, and the loves and losses that have shaped her. Written by Linda McLean as a companion piece to Krapp’s Last Tape, it is a raw and personal story.

The two plays speak to our own sense of mortality with a wry, dark humour as they look back on life and consider the future.  They provide perfect platforms for the acting talents of Maureen Beattie and Niall Buggy.

Irish actor Niall Buggy has worked extensively on the stage and screen in Ireland, the UK and the US. Some of his well-known roles include the lead in Brian Friel’s Uncle Vanya, for which he won an Irish Times Theatre Award, and Brian in Dead Funny for which he won an Olivier Award. More recent plays include Penelope by Enda Walsh, Krapp’s Last Tape at the Leeds Playhouse (directed by Dominic Hill), Beckett Trilogy and On Blueberry Hill by Sebastian Barry for which he won the Origin theatre award in New York.

Maureen Beattie has appeared in a huge range of performances across stage and screen and is well-known to Citz audiences as a friend and supporter of the theatre.  She recently appeared in the National Theatre of Scotland’s Scenes for Survival: Sore Afraid which was directed by Dominic Hill.

In a challenging time when the Scottish theatre sector has worked together to recover and the Citizens Theatre building continues its redevelopment, this is the ideal opportunity to welcome back both Citz and Tron audiences to indoor performances.

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre said:

“I am a huge fan of Samuel Beckett’s work and was very keen for Glasgow to see Niall Buggy’s heart-breaking performance as Krapp. At the Citizens we aim to look forward as well as back, so I also wanted to commission a new play to sit alongside Krapp’s Last Tape. Linda McLean’s fascination with the form of drama, her poetic voice and ability to find something epic in the everyday, made her the ideal writer to accompany Beckett’s extraordinary play. I am delighted to working with the wonderful Maureen Beattie for the first time on a stage play.”

Andy Arnold, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Tron Theatre said:

“It’s such a joy that Tron Theatre will be open to the public again after so long an absence and what better way to mark this occasion than with the wonderful Citizens Theatre Company and their first ever performances on the Tron stage.  Can’t wait.”

Linda McLean, writer of Go On said:

“Krapp’s Last Tape is one of my favourite Beckett plays. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it. I love the puzzle of it, the way it loops back on itself and adjusts our understanding of then and now and what matters. It demands that you be present and involved. It’s endlessly giving. When Dominic and I talked about a companion piece I knew I had something that would answer but instead of reassessing the past, this woman is training her AI for the future. I’m extremely happy to be working with Dominic again and I have wanted to work with Maureen Beattie for years so this is very special for me.”

KRAPP’S LAST TAPE WITH GO ON

A double bill of one act plays by Samuel Beckett and Linda McLean

Everyone talks to themselves…don’t they?  This thought-provoking double bill takes things one step further and explores what happens when you dare to interact with previous and future versions of yourself.

In Samuel Beckett’s seminal Krapp’s Last Tape, an older man reflects on his youth. Sitting alone on his 69th birthday, Krapp (Niall Buggy) listens to a recording of his younger self, rewinding through his life with humour and heartache.

In Go On,  Jane (Maureen Beattie) considers how an AI replacement might allow her to exist in the future. Sitting in her sleek kitchen, Jane teaches Jayne the essentials of her life, and the loves and losses that have shaped her.

Inspired by Beckett’s iconic work, Go On is the world premiere of a new play by one of Scotland’s most important voices, Linda McLean. Together, these stripped-back and intimate productions offer a raw and emotional experience that speaks to our own sense of mortality with a wry, dark humour.

Performances will take place at the Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB.

Performance schedule (10 performances):

Thursday 30 September – 7.30pm (preview)

Friday 1 October – 7.30pm (preview)

Saturday 2 October – 7.30pm (press night)

Tuesday 5 October – 7.30pm

Wednesday 6 October – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Thursday 7 October – 7.30pm

Friday 8 October – 7.30pm

Saturday 9 October– 2.30pm (audio described and captioned) & 7.30pm

 

Tickets are priced at £19 | £16 | £14.50

Previews are £10 and a limited number of tickets are available to Gorbals Card holders at £5 on non-preview nights.

Available from citz.co.uk or by calling the Tron Box Office on 0141 552 4267.

NEWS: Tickets for Over Lunan, a major live commission in the dunes of Lunan Bay are released.

Tickets from £8 available to book here .

Commissioned by Hospitalfield and Arbroath 2020+1, Over Lunan is an extraordinary promenade performance in the dunes of Lunan Bay in Angus, Scotland. Created by Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of social action and arts organisation Aproxima Arts with dramaturg and former Artistic Director of Unicorn Theatre Purni Morell, this significant live commission blends an atmospheric ambisonic sound installation and live music with elements of public memorial. As darkness falls, audience members become immersed in one of Scotland’s most stunning coastal locations; in an unusual work that draws on the fragility of the natural world and ancient flood mythologies. This special open-air production running from 9 – 19 September (no performance on 13th) is designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed, socially distant environment.

Angus Farquhar has assembled an inspiring team to produce Over Lunan which includes Purni Morell as dramaturg and co-script writer, composer of electroacoustic music Andrew Knight-Hill, trumpeter and conductor Bede Williams, Director of Chapel Choirs at the University of St Andrews Claire Innes-Hopkins, musician and composer Cameron Sinclair with music recorded by the St Salvator’s Chapel Choir which is based at St Andrews University.

The team also includes Angus Farquhar’s long-term collaborator designer James Johnson and world-leading Assyriologist Nathan Wasserman.

Angus Farquhar said: “As we began to research the name Lunan through the location and the family name, we found some unusual thinking linking to Luna the Roman divine embodiment of the moon, then back further through time to Lu-Nanna, one of the Apkallu – ancient Mesopotamian demi-gods, half-human and half-fish who walked out of the sea to bring knowledge to humanity. Within these first creation myths, pre-biblical stories of a great flood began to appear in epic poetry. In the real world we find the remarkable story of the Storegga Slides which caused a gigantic tsunami that destroyed Scotland’s north east shores 8100 years ago. All this seems pertinent to the world now, with sea levels rising due to climate crisis and thousands dying as they cross the seas, trying to escape wars or in search of a better life.

“Over Lunan is Aproxima Arts first major production and we cannot wait to hear what local audiences – and those able to travel from further afield – think of the stories we’re exploring.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Over Lunan through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund as part of the celebrations for Arbroath Festival 2020+1 and in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. As restrictions continue to ease it is great to see more live events starting to take place as they play an important role in our communities by providing both great entertainment as well as bringing social and economic change.”

Over Lunan is part of Arbroath Festival 2020+1, a 3-month long celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath which was postponed by a year due to the global pandemic. An apolitical festival championing the creativity in the region, Arbroath Festival will see the area busy across the summer months with live performances, cultural trails, exhibition and family events, all led by the local community.

Accompanying Over Lunan, a radio play produced by Steve Urquhart and written and directed by Purni Morell will premiere on Radio North Angus and Resonance FM this summer. It will explore the story of journalist Charlie Ross who spent a summer in Lunan Bay in 2015, investigating the area’s history and mythology, and the natural forces that have shaped this coast through millennia. He died before his work was complete, but his discoveries, including Lunan’s connection to the ancient cultures of the Middle East, are now brought to life posthumously in this radio play.

Tickets for Over Lunan go on sale at 10am on Wednesday, 30 June with a 33% discount for local audiences available. Those keen on making the event part of a bigger experience exploring the natural beauty of Angus are welcome to book a camping spot on Lunan Farm site here. For full FAQs, including information on accessibility, parking and how to get to Lunan Bay, click here.

The event is presented in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and generously supported by the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Creative Scotland, William Grant Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.

 

NEWS: Bat Out of Hell makes Scottish premiere at the King’s this October

Award-winning Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical, featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, will be touring the UK and Ireland in 2021 and 2022, with the Scottish premier taking place at the King’s Theatre Glasgow from the 19 – 30th October. Tickets for the tour are now on sale.

The show, which blew audiences away in the UK, Canada and USA and given Jim Steinman’s masterpiece Bat Out Of Hell is the highest selling album of all time in Australia, will be performing throughout Australia in November 2021, and the production is looking forward to working with Paul Dainty President and CEO of TEG DAINTY.

Casting is to be announced.

Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and London’s Dominion Theatre from 2017 to 2019. The musical also ran successfully in Canada, Germany and at New York’s City Centre in 2019.

Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards and was nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical.

Producer Michael Cohl said today, “We’ve all been through a lot these past 15 months and we now need a really good night out with friends and family. Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical will give you the most fun night you can have in the UK and Ireland this year (with your clothes on)! People will once again be able to dance and sing along to these great Steinman songs. This musical was Jim Steinman’s life-long dream and he was incredibly proud of the love the show received from critics and audiences alike. This tour will be in memory of Jim.”

2021 – 2022 SCOTTISH TOUR LISTINGS INFORMATION

19 – 30 October              King’s Theatre Glasgow 0844 871 7615* www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

 

8 – 19 February               Edinburgh Playhouse     0844 871 7615*              www.atgtickets.com/edinburgh-playhouse

 

12 – 16 April      His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

 

*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

 

NEWS: PACE ANNOUNCES SUMMER PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

PACE in Paisley has revealed a summer programme of unique and varied in-person creative performance experiences for ages 3-21, performing both indoors and out.

The programme is brimming with exciting performance courses; from classic to contemporary texts, devising, physical theatre, comedy and musicals.

Highlights include several site-specific outdoor productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods and The Secret Garden; a strand of youth-led productions inspired by the climate crisis; devised and physical theatre performances; comedy and improv events; film-making and writing workshops; as well as musical theatre shows including Bugsy Malone and 13.

PACE have been working hard to ensure young people can experience all of the social, educational and wellbeing benefits of the summer activities safely and in line with current covid guidance. PACE successfully re-introduced in person workshops for the Summer term, and has made a number of changes to capacities, introduced staggered start times, enhanced cleaning, ventilation and other procedures to minimise risk and all activities have been risk assessed in line with covid guidance for children’s activities, youth work and performance.

Jenni Mason, Artistic Director of PACE, said:

“We can’t wait to have our building buzzing with energy and creativity again this summer. We’re incredibly proud of the way the team adapted last year to deliver an online programme, but we really missed being able to see everyone in person. During Fest! we see the young people who join us grow in confidence, as well as creating amazing performances, and this year more than ever it’s important that they have this opportunity to express themselves and to mix with their peers.”

The full programme can be viewed and booked online at .www.pacetheatre.com/fest

Details of Bursary and concessionary places are available on application.

 

NB – photographs are from previous Fests prior to the introduction of social distancing or any other covid measures.

NEWS: Pitlochry Festival Theatre to celebrate the best of Mozart and Italian opera

Scottish operatic stars, Katie Grosset and Colleen Nicoll, are set to captivate opera fans next week with four days of the best of Mozart and Italian opera, performed beside the River Tummel in the picturesque grounds of Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Between 17-20 June, audiences will have the opportunity to relax and float away to the magnificent sounds of one of the greatest and most influential classical composers of all time – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Around the three Mozart concerts, Katie Grosset and Colleen Nicoll will thrill audiences, with three unforgettable performances of Italian opera, featuring the works of PucciniVerdiVivaldiPonchielliRossini and Giordani and more, with something for everyone – from opera first-timers to consummate opera gurus.

Perthshire soprano, Colleen Nicoll has performed roles in numerous operatic productions including the title role in Handel’s Semele, Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Britten), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart), Diana (Actéon– Charpentier), Yum (The Mikado – Gilbert and Sullivan), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore – Donizetti), Lady Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement – Lenox Berkeley), Galatea (Acis and Galatea – Handel).

She sang the role of Titania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Minack Theatre, including a special performance for HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Colleen recently made two role debuts as Queen of the Night and Dido with the Scots Opera project, in world premières of new Scots Language translations of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

 

Colleen Nicholl said:

“Growing up in Dunkeld I enjoyed many shows at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. When I was about 10 years old, I entered a competition to write a review of a play. I won the competition, and the prize was a backstage tour of the theatre. I was so excited and loved learning how it all worked behind the scenes! I also got to read my review out on the local radio station, and I remember telling the producer at the time that one day they would be able to see me perform at that theatre… and here we are, I kept my promise! 

 

It is a wonderful feeling performing to a ‘home crowd’ and I am delighted to be working with such a fantastic team and to be performing alongside Katie.”

 

Scottish mezzo-soprano, Katie Grosset trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Opera Studio Vlaanderen and at the National Opera Studio in London. Highlights in recent seasons include Mother Vixen in Fox-tot, Mezzo soloist in The Opera Factory and The 8th Door (Scottish Opera); Nightingale in The Nightingale and the Rose (Pegasus Opera); Olga in Eugene Onegin for Opera Bohemia; Roméo I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Pop-Up Opera; Second Lady in The Magic Flute for St John Opera; Shoushan in Tchouhadjian’s Gariné at Grimeborn; and Mercédès in Carmen for Nevill Holt Opera. Other notable engagements include Flora and Annina in La Traviata, Third Witch in Macbeth, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, and the Opera Highlights Tour (Scottish Opera); and the title role in Xerxes (Byre Opera).

Katie Grosset said:

Having toured Scotland very extensively, weirdly, I have actually never had the opportunity to perform in the beautiful town of Pitlochry. Having enjoyed many performances here as an audience member, I’m excited to be singing here with the incredibly talented Colleen.”

An Afternoon/Evening Celebrating Mozart will be performed on 17 and 20 June at 2pm and in the evening of 19 June at 7.30pm. An Afternoon/Evening at the Italian Opera will take place on 18 and 19 June at 2pm and in the evening of 20th June 7.30pm.

 

Tickets are priced from £18-£25. Capacity is limited for a safe, socially distanced, outdoor event.

 

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence, that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!

Listings

An Afternoon Celebrating Mozart – 17 & 20 June at 2pm

An Evening Celebrating Mozart – 19 June at 7.30pm.

An Afternoon at the Italian Opera will take place on 18 & 19 June at 2pm

An Evening at the Italian Opera –20 June at 7.30pm

Bandstand, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Box office and enquiries: boxoffice@pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

Web: www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

Programme

MOZART

DUET Prendero quel brunettino (Cosi)

Smanie Implacabili (Cosi)

Deh Vieni (Figaro)

Svegliatevi nel core (Cesare)

Lascia (Rinaldo)

Voi Che Sapete (Figaro)

Vedrai (Don G)

DUET Laci Darem (Don G)

 

INTERVAL

 

Queen of the Night (Flute)

Iris Hence Away (Semele)

Endless Pleasure (Semele)

Ombra Mai Fu (Xerxes)

S’altro che lacrime (Tito)

Torna di Tito (Tito)

DUET Ah Perdona il primo affetto (Tito)

 

ITALIAN OPERA

DUET Barcarolle 3min 40

Habanera (Carmen) 3 min

Quando m’en vo (Boheme) 2 min

Voce di Donna (La Gioconda) 3 mins

Sa per vorreste (Ballo) 2 mins 20

Seguidilla (Carmen)

Countess aria (Figaro) 2 mins

Laci Darem (Don G) 3 min 15

 

INTERVAL

 

Laudamus Te (Gloria)

A Quel Diner (La Perichole) 1 min 10

Cruda Sorte (L’Italiana) 4 min 50

Caro Mio Ben 3 min

En Vain Pour Eviter (Carmen) 3min 30

O Mio Babbino Caro (Gianni Schicci) 2 min

DUET Ah Perdona (Tito) 3 min 10

DUET Rossini Cat duet 3 min 10

For further information and tickets visit www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

 

NEWS: 120 young people from Edinburgh create multi-artform production during Covid

Strange Town, one of Scotland’s leading theatre companies for young people, is delighted to announce that their large scale multi-artform project – theatre, movement, spoken word, film, sound – ‘Generation Z: The Future is Unwritten’, will culminate in a live promenade performance and video installation event at Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 June 2021.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions throughout the five-month project, Strange Town’s most ambitious production to date has involved more than 120 of Edinburgh’s young people (aged 8 -18), with support from the company’s emerging playwrights (aged 18-25) and directors; and guided and mentored by industry professionals.

Using the stimulus, ‘Can Young People Change the World?’, ‘Generation Z: The Future is Unwritten’ has been created by, and will be performed by, members of the eight Strange Town Youth Theatre Groups from across the city.  The members of Strange Town Youth Theatre responded to the stimulus with work addressing a range of topics including isolation, technology, identity, generational division, Black Lives Matter, climate change, ideal society/world, protest, kindness, having your voice heard and Covid-19.

In order to maximise the opportunities audiences will have to experience the live performance and video installation, the 60-minute promenade event will be presented to 20 socially distanced audience members three times a night in three separate spaces.  The whole audience will come together to experience a live performance from just six actors before being split into two separate groups to watch film and listen to audio material.

Additionally, a site specific eight-minute video will be projected on a wall next to the St. Andrew, Ukrainian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Pochaev, on Dalmeny Street, which will include a specially choreographed movement piece.  This will also be be a ticketed event for socially distanced audiences.

On 26 and 27 June there will be an opportunity to pay to view a film of the live event together with a variety of additional video, audio and written material developed by the groups.

Funded by Creative Scotland’s Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development Programme, through the National Lottery, ‘Generation Z: The Future is Unwritten’ has been developed flexibly in response to the ever-changing situation caused by the pandemic.

The eight groups have met for weekly online digital drama workshops and face-to-face creative sessions, where possible, to explore the question and to create, write, film and record material.  The groups have also worked together with members of the new Strange Town Young Writers Group who have both developed the work the groups have devised and written their own additional scenes. As well as theatre, choreography and movement has played a big part in the project.  70 young people from the company got involved in a professionally choreographed movement piece, reflecting on the stimulus.  This involved Zoom rehearsals and everybody recording their final performance on their mobile phones.

Rehearsals for the live performance are now underway with a drastically reduced number of actors working to strict guidelines, while video and sound design and editing is nearing completion

The Creative Scotland funding has also enabled Strange Town to employ a full technical team and additional production staff that include film editors, projection mappers, sound designers, a choreographer and production designer.

Steve Small, co-creative director of Strange Town and producer of ‘Generation Z: The Future is Unwritten’, said: “The Gen Z project is a testament to the hard work put in by everybody involved in the company. Despite the challenges and difficulties of the pandemic, watching the enthusiasm, skill and pride with which the production team has undertaken this task and having seen how the young people have adapted and risen to the challenge, as well as the range and quality of the work they’ve produced, it’s impossible not to feel massively encouraged. Despite the dark days of the lockdown restrictions, we hope better days are coming. People will always find a way to be creative.

“Thanks to the funding from Creative Scotland, Generation Z: The Future is Unwritten’s mix of indoor and outdoor and digital work means that everyone will be able to enjoy it wherever they are. We hope it will create some much-needed hope and enjoyment for 2021.”

NEWS: CAPITAL THEATRES WELCOMES AUDIENCES BACK TO THEIR VENUES FROM 29 JUNE 2021

Capital Theatres have confirmed they will open their doors from 29 June 2021 welcoming the first in-person audiences to their venues in 15 months. Audiences can enjoy a series of socially distanced performances over the summer alongside enhanced COVID safety measures, working towards a full programme of events from the autumn onwards.

Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres said:

“After closing our doors on 16 March and ‘going dark’ for longer than any of us would ever have imagined; we’re delighted to be able to welcome our audiences back into our theatres. We’ve worked closely with Scottish Government and the wider theatre industry to ensure that audiences can feel safe, comfortable and secure as they return to the joy of live performance. Our summer programme, using socially distanced seating plans, will build the confidence of audience, staff and artists alike as we look forward to a full programme of events this autumn, bringing you all the thrilling variety and entertainment which Capital Theatres is famous for.”

  • The Festival Theatre will open on 29 June with Blindness, a theatrical sound installation from the Donmar Warehouse with the voice of Juliet Stephenson. After sell-out runs in London and New York, an Edinburgh audience will experience this unique event on the Festival Theatre stage itself.

 

  • In July the Festival Theatre will play host to Zog; Caitlin Moran: More Than A Woman LIVE!; Silent Cinema: A Night of Laurel & Hardy; Rosie Kay: Absolute Solo II; all on socially distanced seating plans in line with the latest government guidance.

 

  • In August Scottish Opera will come to the Festival Theatre with Falstaff as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

 

  • The King’s Theatre will reopen with spy thriller A Splinter of Ice starring Oliver Ford Davies (Game of Thrones, Star Wars) as Graham Greene, Stephen Boxer (The Crown) as Kim Philby.

 

  • Both venues will be fully programmed from September 2021 onwards. Highlights include Grease, The Play That Goes Wrong, Dirty Dancing, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Six, Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, National Theatre of Scotland’s Orphans and The Enemy,  Stewart Lee and The Cher Show. All on sale now. They’re also looking forward to the return of our much-loved Christmas shows; The King’s Panto Sleeping Beauty and Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

 

  • Enhanced COVID safety measures will be in place to ensure audiences feel welcomed, safe and comfortable at all times when visiting the venues.

 

  • Capital Theatres has both We’re Good to Go accreditation from Visit Scotland and See it Safely accreditation from Society of London Theatres and UK Theatre.

 

All shows listed are on sale at: www.capitaltheatres.com

NEWS: AWARD-WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER ROSIE KAY RETURNS TO THE STAGE AFTER SIX YEARS

A triple bill of solos, looking backwards and forwards at Kay’s personal experience as an older female in dance, will be performed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on Saturday 24 July.

21 years on from her first-ever solo show, Absolute Solo, which she performed in the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, and six years since last appearing on stage herself, Edinburgh-born Kay returns to performing with a triple bill of solos. Her new work, Adult Female Dancer, was created in the 2020 lockdown and explores the deep emotional connection between her life and dance. Now, as an older dancing female, she has something to say about the female body and the experience of being female and being on stage. Part autobiography, part socio-anthropological study, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.

The triple bill also includes an archive film of the international award-winning Patisserie (1999) and Kay’s first public performance of Artemis Clown (originally commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance Company).

As part of making Adult Female Dancer, she completed a five-day ‘virtual’ residency at C-DaRE, (Centre for Dance Research at the University of Coventry), where she spent time thinking about her own life and her own body as the material. As well as looking at themes in her 1999 debut solo works, she revisited her 1998 university dissertation that explored female solo choreographers of the early 20th Century. Using these early influences, Kay has also been looking at core feminist texts and their relevance to today’s society. Partly autobiographical, part meditation on the need to dance, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.

Rosie Kay said: “Going back on stage again, after a break of many years has been an extraordinary experience. I used lockdown as a chance to rediscover my body, adapt it to dancing again, and mined my own life to create a new solo that is part autobiography, part celebration of a life dedicated to dance. I don’t shy away from the big stuff; life, death, violence, pain, and childbirth all come up, but ultimately there is deep joy in a life given to art. I use the music of Bach, Morricone, and Patti Smith as well as my own voiceover to tell my story. I wanted to say something deeply personal about being a woman on stage, as well as have a universal message that anyone can connect to and enjoy. The whole triple bill weaves themes of sex, performance, identity and vulnerability. It is scary and exciting to be finally showing these works to the world!”

Rosie Kay stopped performing in 2015, after a career spanning over thirty years on stage and has been happy to be behind the scenes for the past five years choreographing her critically acclaimed works 5 SOLDIERS, 10 SOLDIERS, MK ULTRA, and Fantasia amongst others. However, she has felt the draw to perform again, which was reignited when she had to stand in for one of the 5 SOLDIERS dancers on the company’s tour of the USA in February 2020.

 

NEWS: Jane McCarry & Colin McCredie to star in new outdoor production of The Wind in the Willows

Take a jaunt down to the banks of the River Tummel and join Mr. Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger on their magical adventures in Pitlochry Festival Theatre must-see, family, summer stage production of Kenneth Grahame’s enduring story of friendship, courage, consequence, and bravery – The Wind in the Willows.

Adapted for the stage by Mark Powell and performed in the spectacular setting of the banks of the River Tummel, The Wind in the Willows, runs from 2 July – 12 September.

When Mole wakes up after a particularly long winter, the whole world has changed around her. The riverbank seems to be bursting with new faces, fads, and fears. Luckily for Mole, with new friends like Rat, Badger and Mr Toad motoring along for the ride through the Wild Wood, life will never be sleepy again!

Playwright Mark Powell said:

“It’s been a treat spending lockdown with Mole and her friends and working out how to celebrate their classic adventure in a contemporary way. Knowing that audiences are also coming out of hibernation to join the animals on an actual riverbank will give our Willows an extra special sense of celebration!” 

Directors Elizabeth Newman and Ben Occhipinti added.

 “We think it is safe to say The Wind in the Willows by the brilliant Scottish novelist Kenneth Grahame, is one of the most loved family stories ever to be told, and retold. The characters have captivated audiences in theatres, on our screens and through the radio for many, many decades. As soon as we started pondering making work outdoors, it felt like we almost had to do The Wind in the Willows. After all, our beautiful Theatre sits on a Riverbank. As soon as we decided to tell this story, we leapt to commission the wonderful Mark Powell to write the adaptation. Some of the finest work we have seen made for families has been led by Mark. His humour, his love of life, his love of people – little and big – shines in everything he writes. 

We also felt producing The Wind in the Willows would give us a brilliant opportunity to continue to connect with new and established audiences we reached during the festive period when we made The Magic of Christmas.  As we have said, people love the story and right now it feels vital that PFT creates work for people of all ages to come together and experience a fantastic tale that makes them laugh and offers them a truly joyful afternoon or evening on the Riverbank! 

Audiences can expect all their favourite characters, new music and songs, dancing and Mr Toad exclaiming gleefully ‘Poop! Poop!’ from his motorcar for everyone in Highland Perthshire to hear.”

The production’s exciting cast will feature Jane McCarry (Isa Drennan in Still Game, BBC Scotland, and Granny Murray in Me Too! CBBC) as Badger; Colin McCredie (Taggart, ITV and River City , BBC Scotland) as Toad; Alicia McKenzie (Quality Street, Northern Broadsides and Blonde Bombshells of 1943, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Mole; Ali Watt (A Christmas Carol, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Ratty; Richard Colvin (Sunshine on Leith, UK tour and A Christmas Carol, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Weasel; Connor Going (Footloose, UK tour and The Choir of Men, US and Australia tour) as Otter and Kate Milner-Evans (Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Crazy for You, Jamie Wilson Productions) as Rabbit. All other roles will be played by the cast.

Co-directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman (Adventures with the Painted People and Faith Healer, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and Associate Director, Ben Occhipinti (Blonde Bombshells of 1943 and Summer Holiday, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), The Wind in the Willows promises to be a real family treat this summer.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s determination to keep capacity safely reduced, and committed adherence to social-distances, reduces the potential for, and impact of, crowded spaces and any overwhelming busy-ness. The late, light nights of the Scottish summertime mean shows will never be in darkness and any chatter or loud sounds will be mitigated naturally by the outdoor acoustics. Anyone that feels the need to take some time out of a Riverside show can do so, and then return when they feel ready. The outdoor spacious setting in the Bandstand area allows the ability to move around more freely – and in the Amphitheatre at the interval, there is a beautiful setting to get some space if needed. Staff will always be on-hand wearing a name badge for any questions or help needed.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can be too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!

Tickets for The Wind in the Willows are priced from £9-£19. To book and for further information visit  www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com or call 01796 484626.

 

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