Category Archives: What’s on / Listings

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Glasgow based A Little Company present A Love Letter to Theatre

Glasgow based theatre company A Little Company have been online fundraising for the last few months, which is raising money for Acting For Others and future A Little Company productions. Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities.

Made up mostly of professional actors/musicians/singers they hope, in the post-Covid world, to create work opportunities for others like themselves.

They have enlisted the help of some friends who have had to continue working throughout this pandemic: a biomedical scientist, a primary teacher and a customer assistant, to name a few.

The concert is called A Love Letter to Theatre and is essentially a compilation of some of their favourite musical theatre songs. It streams from February 14th until the 21st.

Join them as they celebrate an industry brought to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to dedicate a concert to the industry we love so dearly.

With songs from Disney, Company, Chess and more.

LINK: A Little Company Presents: A Love Letter to Theatre Tickets, Sun 14 Feb 2021 at 18:00 | Eventbrite

NEWS: New Old Friends present: Crimes of a Country Garden 2nd story in the award-winning audio comedy murder mystery series

New Old Friends have created a second original story to build on the success of their award-winning debut; Crimes of a Country Garden. Crimes Against Christmas, originally intended as a standalone ‘gift’ to their followers proved such a success, the company have once again teamed up with long-time collaborator Fred Riding to create an audio comedy murder mystery. It will be released through their rebranded podcast channel; Comedy Whodunnits – for your ears.

The touring theatre company lost two national tours and at least one Christmas show in 2020; they responded by creating a festive comedy audio drama released in daily instalments throughout advent. It was a way of guaranteeing the delivery of ‘comedy nonsense’ to their audience that Covid couldn’t derail. The result, Crimes Against Christmas, proved hugely popular with over 36,000 downloads, claiming the number two spot in the iTunes fiction chart throughout December, being featured on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and even winning an OnComm award. Not bad for a first attempt at audio comedy.

Unlike Crimes Against Christmas, the new show, Crimes of a Country Garden, is not an adaptation of an existing stage play. Rather, it has been written especially for the medium and builds upon the skills and experienced gained with the first series. This means there are more audio-specific gags written into the piece, but it doesn’t stray too far from the popular format of the company’s ‘Crimes…’ series; namely a classic murder mystery tale peopled with hilarious characters delivering witty wordplay in silly voices.

Crimes of a Country Garden still owes a debt to the oeuvre of Agatha Christie but is perhaps closer to P.G. Wodehouse in tone. We follow Penny Pink in her quest to become a detective (not easy as a woman in the 1930s) as she takes a job as assistant to established sleuth Perry Pink (no relation) and proves her worth. On this case the P. Pink Detective Agency are hired by the Earl of Longmeadow to investigate the murder of his beloved rosebushes, but no sooner is Penny on the scene than the gardener turns up dead and the mystery begins.

The six-episode podcast will be released at 00:00am each Thursday morning and be accessible on most podcasting platforms (including Apple, Spotify and Google) as well as YouTube with scrolling text for d/Deaf audiences.

Co-artistic director and performer Heather Westwell said: “Last year was pretty awful for everyone, especially touring theatre, but we were determined to put out something fun and true to our style as a company. We were overwhelmed by the support and love that Crimes Against Christmas received and when we had to push our (already rescheduled) spring tour back from February to April at the earliest we quickly decided to create something new to hopefully lift the spirits of our audience in this latest lockdown.”

Co-artistic director and performer Feargus Woods Dunlop said: “Crimes Against Christmas took quite a convoluted route to audio form; it was a play which I spent the first lockdown turning into a novel, which I then adapted again into the audio drama we presented. It was a great challenge for me as a writer and we’re thrilled with the result, but for Crimes of a Country Garden we knew what magic Fred could create with his sound and music and wanted to make better use of that. It was brilliant to be working on a script expressly for this medium.”

New Old Friends are an award-winning theatre company dedicated to creating original comedy theatre, founded in 2008 and run by husband-and-wife team Feargus Woods Dunlop and Heather Westwell. In 2017 and 2018 the company were awarded the Creative Bath Award for writing. Previous shows include five instalments of the hugely popular Crimes… series of comedy thrillers, including 2019’s spring hit Crimes on the Nile. In summer 2019, their adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’ The Falcon’s Malteser enjoyed a six-week run at London’s Vaults Theatre. It was selected as a ‘Critic’s Choice’ for ‘Best Family Shows’ by the Guardian. Their latest show for families, Swiss Family Robinson (Top 40 Christmas shows 2019, inews) premiered at The Core at Corby Cube Christmas 2019.

Episode duration: Approximately 25mins | Suitable for ages 12 and up

Listings information

4th February – 11th March 2021

A new episode weekly at 00:00am Thursday

Apple Podcasts https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/comedy-whodunnits-for-your-ears/id1540599662

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6CidzIxXBonFB6qs1Djjxs

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjdrPlBTdCQ

Anchor FM and all other platforms https://anchor.fm/crimesagainstchristmas

NEWS: Scottish Ensemble launches the latest in its Musical Book Club series

Scottish Ensemble (SE) today reveal Sally Beamish as the latest classical music star to grace its Musical Book Club guest list.

Taking place on Wednesday 24 February at 7.30pm, Sally will be joined in conversation by SE violinist Cheryl Crockett with audiences tuning in at home via Zoom.

Sally, one of the UK’s foremost living composers, is an active violist and pianist, and a regular collaborator with Scottish Ensemble – the group having commissioned and premiered many significant works. In this special discussion event, she will explore her compositional process and influences through a selection of her own works and the works that inspired them. SE violinist Cheryl Crockett, who has played in many of the premieres, will bring the performer’s perspective.

Aimed at bringing people together to discuss powerful works of music and recapture some of the post-concert spirit that would, in more normal times, be enjoyed over post-concert drinks, each Musical Book Club attendee will receive a playlist containing recordings to be discussed on the night, along with some questions and thoughts from Sally, a week before the event.

Jenny Jamison, Chief Executive of Scottish Ensemble, said: “We are thrilled to have Sally as our guest for the eighth Scottish Ensemble Musical Book Club. These events are a great way for music lovers from around the world and from a range of backgrounds to engage with each other, the ensemble and some of the UK’s most prominent musicians, while enjoying some stunning pieces of music. We all miss talking directly with people who share our interests just now, and this format allows people to do that in as intimate a setting as digital life can allow.”

Next up in the Musical Book Club calendar is BBC writer and broadcaster Tom Service and Scottish Ensemble cellist Naomi Pavri who will be discussing the legendary Hungarian composer György Kurtág on Wednesday 10 March at 7.30pm.

Of Kurtág Tom Service says: “Kurtág’s fragments are about musical and, above all, expressive intensification: maximising the effect and impact of every note, every gesture.”

The second in this newly announced Musical Book Club lineup will also take place online via Zoom and will position György Kurtág’s as one of the most unique compositional voices of the 20th century.

And finally, on Wednesday 14 April SE Artistic Director Jonathan Morton will be joined by none other than Colin Currie, a solo and chamber artist at the very peak of his powers.

Championing new music at the highest level, he is hailed as being “at the summit of percussion performance today” (Gramophone). Currie is the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers and conductors and he performs with the world’s leading orchestras.

Together, Colin and Jonathan will reflect on music written by some of the composers with whom Colin has had long professional relationships – like Steve Reich and Sir James MacMillan – as well as composers he has premiered works for more recently – Helen Grime and Andy Akiho.

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: A STAR-STUDDED PRODUCTION OF JASON ROBERT BROWN’S SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD THIS FEBRUARY

Filmed during the first UK lockdown, entirely in isolation and on the artists smart phones, Séimí Campbell directs Rachel John (Hamilton), Ramin Karimloo (Phantom of The Opera), Cedric Neal (Motown) and Rachel Tucker (Come From Away), and introducing Shem Omari James, with musical supervision by Adam Hoskins, musical direction from Josh Winstone and video editing by Danny Kaan

“It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice… or take a stand… or turn around and go back.”  

Written by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and sitting between musical and song cycle, this moving collection of powerful songs examines life, love, and the choices that we make as it transports audiences through time and space. This topical piece is an examination of a defining moment in history, a reflection of the state of the world in the Summer of 2020.

Rachel John plays Woman 1. Her previous theatre credits include Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre), The Color Purple – In Concert (Cadogan Hall), The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre/UK tour), Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre), Rent (UK tour), We Will Rock You, Sister Act (London Palladium) and The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre/international tour).  

Ramin Karimloo plays Man 2. His previous concert credits for Lambert Jackson Productions include Dr Zhivago (Cadogan Hall). His other theatre credits include Chess in Concert (Umeda Arts Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar in ConcertEvita (Theatre Orb Tokyo), Chess (The Kennedy Centre), Anastasia (Broadhurst Theatre), Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Les Miserables (Imperial Theatre/Princess of Wales Theatre/Queens Theatre/Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall), Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre), Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert (O2 Arena), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre) and Miss Saigon (UK tour).  

Cedric Neal plays Man 1. His previous theatre credits include Back To The Future (Manchester Opera House), The View Upstairs (Soho Theatre), Stagger Lee, Death of a Salesman (Dallas Theater Center), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and Dreamgirls (Signature Theatre). His credits for television include Friday Night Lights and The Good Guys 

Rachel Tucker plays Woman 2. Her previous theatre credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Victoria/The Gershwin Theater), Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Last Ship (Neil Simon Theatre), Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Dusty (Leicester Square Theatre), The Wizard of OzTo Be SureMerry Christmas Betty Ford (Belfast Lyric Theatre), Tonight’s The NightTommy and The Full Monty (UK tour).  

Shem Omari James plays Steam Train. Shem is a recent graduate and appeared in the London Palladium production of Songs For a New World in October 2020. 

Séimí Campbell directs. His previous credits include My Son Pinocchio (Southwark Playhouse). As an assistant director his credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); and as resident director credits include Amour (Charing Cross Theatre), Cereal Café (The Other Palace) and Sweeney Todd (Shoreditch Town Hall). 

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD 

stream.theatre FROM 21 FEBRUARY 2021 

WHAT’S ON APRIL: Footloose at The King’s

Following two tours and a West End run, Footloose is back. Based on the 1980s screen sensation which took the world by storm, Footloose sizzles with spirit, fun and the best in UK musical talent. With cutting edge modern choreography, you’ll enjoy classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear It For The Boy and of course the title track Footloose.

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 19 Apr – Sat 24 Apr 2021

297 Bath St, Glasgow G2, UK

Mon – Sat at 19:30

Wed and Sat at 14:30

Link here: Footloose Tickets | King’s Theatre, Glasgow in Glasgow | ATG Tickets

WHAT’S ON MAY: Heathers The Musical

Following two smash hit record breaking London West End seasons, Heathers the Musical embarks on its first national tour.

This high octane, black comedy rock musical based on the 1988 film of the same name is back with a bang, missing out might just be the death of you…

Welcome to Westerberg High, where Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder to be a somebody.

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 11 May – Sat 15 May 2021

297 Bath St, Glasgow G2, UK

2 hours 30 minutes incl. interval

Tue and Wed at 19:30

Thu – Sat at 14:30 and 19:30

Age guidance Age 14+ – Contains strong language and adult topics

Link: Heathers The Musical Tickets | King’s Theatre, Glasgow in Glasgow | ATG Tickets

 

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: The Theatre Café present Sunday Night LIVE at The Theatre Café

The Theatre Café are proud to present Sunday Night LIVE at The Theatre Café.

A FREE virtual evening, streaming across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube & TikTok from 6pm on Sunday 7th February.

Join Jack Malin with special guests; Joshua St Clair, (Kinky Boots, Wicked, School of Rock, City of Angels), Lucy Kane (Singer/Song Writer, The Voice contestant 2017), Luspinda (Guinness World Record Holder) Gracie McGonigal (BRIT School 2020 Graduate) and Nikki Bentley (Wicked, Shrek the Musical, Ghost the Musical) for an evening full of fun and entertainment.

 

Each Sunday Night Live at The Theatre Café will be raising money for a different charity and the charity for 7th February is MouseTrap Theatre Projects.

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Roulette by Claire Wood

Being single sucks. Especially during a pandemic.

So what better time to resurrect hit game show, Love Roulette? This time though, there’s a difference. Current restrictions mean the producers have moved the show online. The show is still broadcast live. The audience still decide which contestants get paired in hope of finding lifelong love. But the wannabe lovers don’t just win a weekend away. They win total freedom from all restrictions so they can kindle a romance of an un-socially distant kind.

Enjoy the nation’s raciest game show hosts, Rex and Dion, seducing our contestants into baring their souls. Meet the Valentine’s Day show contestants: saucy Saira, eccentric Eartha, hard nut Harriet, tricksy Tristen and voracious Vardo. And let Maestro set your mood for love. Who’ll be happily ever after and who’ll be hurled onto the slagheap of singledom? In Love Roulette, it’s all up to you.

Written by Claire Wood (skirtbeauty) and directed by Ross Hope (JerusalemAll About My Mother), roulette is a new play, written specifically in response to theatre being performed online. The production makes the most of the digital format, using the interactive capabilities of a Zoom meeting to give the audience the power to shape the action.

Claire Wood is enthusiastic about the possibilities the technology presents.
“While we can’t make theatre in person, I’m interested in exploring how digital technology can be used to involve the audience more directly in the show. Streamed theatre hasn’t been able to elicit the same connection to the performance that we feel sat in a theatre, but I think the potential is there to make the audience feel more involved. In roulette, the audience get to choose what they see next – and ultimately, decide on the shows outcome. They’re as close to the action as they can be, with a direct influence on the story being told. It’s exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.”

Director Ross Hope adds:
“The latest series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing got the highest viewing figures producers had seen in years. Amidst the pandemic and all the restrictions, it was glorious escapism. You won’t catch our contestants dancing but we can’t wait to see our audiences put them through their paces. roulette is frivolous, fun and frothy and delivers its message by stealth. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.”

Established in 2016 by Wood, Production Lines creates “theatre that makes a statement”. Its first production was #likes in 2016. Since the closure of theatres due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Production Lines has turned its attention to producing theatre written to be performed using the digital mediums that now connect us in our day to day lives.  Their most recent production, shrapnel, used the all too familiar Zoom format to take an insightful look at loneliness during the pandemic and all the forms it takes. roulette will be the company’s second piece performed live online.

Tickets for roulette are free, although Production Lines has asked for its viewers to consider making a donation to the Equity Benevolent Fund, which contributes to the performing arts unions subscription solidarity drive, to keep its members under the protection of the union during these difficult times for the industry.

roulette
Claire Wood
Performances 13, 14, 18, 19 & 20 February at 8pm
Tickets are free and are available from https://productionlines.eventbrite.co.uk

productionlines.co.uk

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA PRESENTS A FILMED PERFORMANCE OF HUMPERDINCK’S HANSEL AND GRETEL

Scottish Opera premieres Humperdinck’s enchanting Hansel and Gretel in the latest Scottish Opera: On Screen, filmed at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 19 December. The whole family can immerse themselves in this modern adaptation of the classic fairy tale from Wednesday 10 February at 6pm, via the Scottish Opera website. Before then, BBC Radio Scotland will feature audio excerpts from the performance as part of Classics Unwrapped, presented by Jamie MacDougall, on 7 February.

Sung in English, with staging by Daisy Evans, this vivid and joyful reimagining of Humperdinck’s opera tells the heart-warming story of two children and their journey from an impoverished home, into the mystery and danger of the woods. Brought to life by Daisy’s unique staging, with a Christmas-crazed witch and a shopping trolley full of sugary sweets and garish goodies, Hansel and Gretel seem a long way from their simple family life. Packed full of charm and sparkle this production is an ideal anytime treat for children and adults alike, sure to lift spirits and transport audiences from behind the screen to a world of hope and wonder. Although Hansel and Gretel is an opera traditionally associated with Christmas, Daisy’s new production celebrates the opera’s joy and hope that are just as powerful and relevant whatever the season.

David Parry conducts a cast including Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner Kitty Whately as Hansel, Rhian Lois (La bohème 2020) as Gretel, ENO Harewood Artist Nadine Benjamin as Mother and The Witch, Phillip Rhodes as Father and former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Charlie Drummond (Così fan tutte, 2020) as The Sandman and The Dew Fairy, in a translation by David Pountney and with a reduced orchestration by Derek Clark. Humperdinck’s chorus of gingerbread children is performed by a chorus of four adults.

Daisy Evans said: ‘This show is fun for all the family, bright colours, big energy and plenty of glitter! With the current pandemic, everybody has had a difficult Christmas, so I wanted it to be about finding joy where we can, and about families celebrating together. And I also want it to encourage people to come back to the theatre, and to bring their children with them – to make them want to be part of this experience, and to invest in it as part of our culture.’

Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark said: ‘Despite a prolific composing career, Humperdinck’s reputation rests solely on this one opera. The combination of a straightforward fairy tale with a musical language which owes a heavy debt to Wagner may seem an unlikely one, but in Hansel and Gretel, the mixture of simple tunes, like the famous Dance duet, thrilling orchestral passages such as the Witch’s Ride and the Dream pantomime, and the tender emotion of the children’s Evening Prayer produces a masterpiece which has kept its popularity for well over a century.’

Available to watch via Scottish Opera’s website www.scottishopera.org.uk. Scottish Opera has also produced an Audio Described version of the film, also available to watch via the Company’s website. This is the latest in Scottish Opera’s Audio Described opera films, all of which have proved extremely popular with viewers.

Find out more about Daisy Evans staging of Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera in an exclusive interview: www.scottishopera.org.uk/news/an-exclusive-interview-with-daisy-evans-staging-hansel-gretel/

IMAGE: James Glossop

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: New digital play, An Isolated Incident starts this week

Actor and playwright Kenny Boyle’s newest work starts this week.

An Isolated Incident is a new play presented digitally in six parts. Through six interconnected monologues, each delivered by up and coming or well established actors from the world of Scottish theatre, An Isolated Incident explores how people deal with isolation and the removal of our comforts and coping mechanisms. The play explores the mental health repercussions of fear and loneliness, the impact on the very young and on the elderly of being cut off from social interaction, and the terrible emotional cost for those with no one to reach out to. It also explores the various techniques–be those exercise, TV, or escaping into an inner fantasy world –that we use to help us adapt to this new normal. Each monologue has a strong focus on mental health and mental wellbeing. Each also has an unwavering dedication to the importance of speaking out, reaching out and destroying stigma. Most crucially each revolves around an incident of human kindness and connection and contains that most valuable of things: hope.

The play will be available to watch online for free starting from the 4th of February 2021, here: https://www.facebook.com/KennyBoyleOfficial.

Kenny Boyle said: “2020 and the start of 2021 have been different for everyone, but it they have been unanimously hard. We truly believe that this shared worldwide hardship has given us all more empathy. If we manage to reach even one person who’s struggling with the mental health implications of loneliness and make them feel less alone then we feel as though we’ll have achieved something immeasurable.

This is only possible thanks to the support of Creative Scotland and we are delighted that they have afforded us this opportunity to tell these stories and to do something that, in some small way, makes people feel less isolated, and more connected.

As is the case with most theatre during this unusual time An Isolated Incident is filmed entirely on iPhones, edited on a free software on a home PC’s that valiantly do their best to rise to the challenge of video editing, and the performances are all captured remotely from actors hiding under blankets to improve audio quality. At its heart, it’s a lockdown iPhone project… but we hope it’s a really good iPhone lockdown project.

We are proud to be collaborating with Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline to raise awareness of domestic abuse during lockdown – particularly in the episode named “werewolf”

With permission, we provide the details of SAMH on all of the episodes so that anyone affected by the mental health issues we discuss knows there is somewhere to turn. SAMH have no direct involvement with the project other than permitting us to signpost them.”

Episode 1 is written and performed by Kenny Boyle an actor and playwright from the Isle of Lewis. Kenny trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is a recipient of Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland’s New Playwrights’ award 2021. Kenny plays the lead role of Rob in feature film Lost at Christmas.  

Episode 2 is performed by Karen Bartke an actress and voiceover artist based in Glasgow. On screen she is best known as Officer Karen in the BAFTA winning mockumentary Scot Squad, audio credits include Alien: River of Pain and Sandman for Audible UK. She’s the winner of the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Debut Performance in 2016 (My Name Is, dir. Philip Osment), and winner of the Norman Beaton Fellowship 2016

Episode 3 is performed by Natalie Clark a Glasgow based actress who most recently completed a tour of Scotland with Rapture Theatre in The Browning Version. TV credits include Still Game and Royal History’s Biggest Fibs for the BBC. Feature film credits include Love Bite, Lost at Christmas, and the upcoming film The Last Bus.

Episode 4 is performed by Gillian Massey a Glasgow based actor with a diverse background in both live and on-screen performances. She made her Edinburgh Fringe debut in the three-hander comedy Irrelevant, which was shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award, and returned to the Fringe in the one-woman play The Lament of Dorothy Wordsworth, which also ran at Glasgow’s West End Festival. More recently, she has appeared in online shows for Short Attention Span Theatre and The Gaiety Theatre.

Episode 5 is performed by John Michael-Love who featured in Series 1 of popular TV Show Outlander, and recently featured in Police Scotland’s 2020 campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of online grooming. His stage roles include Polonius in Bard in the Botanics’ 2014 production of ‘Hamlet’ and Jack Jarvis in Sonic Boom Theatre Company’s 2012/2013 reboot of the original ‘Still Game’ stage show.”


Episode 6 is performed by the entire ensemble working remotely across Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to the Borders and in between.

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