Category Archives: What’s on / Listings

NEWS: National Theatre of Scotland presents a site-specific theatre event on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal

To celebrate the National Theatre of Scotland’s move into Rockvilla, a new facility for Scottish theatre-making on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal, the Company are delighted to announce Submarine Time Machine. Audiences of all ages are invited to participate in a free weekend of performance, art and myth-making,  from a leading team of professional artists and actors working alongside local community groups.

Submarine Time Machine
is an, interactive, multimedia, theatre experience telling the stories of the canal as seen by mini submarine HMS XE9, whose final journey took it from the North Glasgow Canal Corridor to Rosyth in 1952. National Theatre of Scotland is working with local community groups, schools, residents and organisations to excavate the past and rediscover the myths of the canal, the secrets held by the submarine as well as the community’s hopes for the future.

These myths, old and new, will be brought to life by a cast of a hundred on the towpath of the Forth & Clyde Canal, between Speirs Locks and Firhill Basin. They will recreate the fantastical stories through sound installations, dance, sculpture, football, choirs, music, virtual reality, an immersive submarine experience and the telling of the tallest tales.

The audience will be invited to marvel at the strength of the boy who pulled the plug that drained the canal, swoon at the sight of the glorious white hart that appears whenever a stout heart is broken, be aghast and exhausted as they take wing with the most incredible Glesga Doo, relive the glory day of Partick Thistle Football Club’s defining defeat of the Lisbon Lions and roar 4-1 all over again.

Submarine Time Machine
has been made possible thanks to the support of the ScottishPower Foundation. The project is one of 26 beneficiaries to receive a slice of a £1.8M donation in 2017.

National Theatre of Scotland Associate Director Simon Sharkey (Home Away, Granite, The Tin Forest) will lead the project. The National Theatre of Scotland has established an international reputation for its participatory theatre projects, with recent successes including the award-winning Granite in Aberdeen, To Begin… in Forres and Wigtown, and Jump in Fife, East Glasgow and Kingston, Jamaica. In October 2016 the Company hosted its first international participatory theatre festival and also participated in the multiple award-winning we’re here because we’re here, a UK-wide participatory arts event marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, conceived and created by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with 26 UK arts organisations.

Community groups, organisations and schools involved in the project include GAMTA, Junior Conservatoire, Possilpoint Mens Group, Possilpoint Womens Group, Lambhill Heritage Group, McKintosh Choir, Home Start NG, St Teresa’s Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School and St Cuthbert’s Primary School.

23 June 7pm-9pm; 24 & 25 June 11am-1pm & 2.30pm-4.30pm
Schools performances 20-23 June 2017 10.30am-12.30pm (to be booked in advance)

Free event

Additional information
Access is via all canal entry points between Speirs Locks and Firhill Basin. The Submarine is not wheelchair accessible but an alternative Submarine experience will be available. This is a promenade performance taking place on the canal towpath and involves walking – some of this is on uneven ground. This is an outdoor event so dress for the weather.

Join the conversation:  #SubmarineTimeMachine

NEWS: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students stage a ‘mini season’ at the Citizens

The professional stage beckons for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students who will perform at the Citizens Theatre this month and next.

Scotland’s national conservatoire will take a trio of drama productions to the Glasgow theatre in a ‘mini season’ which includes the annual On the Verge festival of innovative and experimental new works by Scotland’s freshest talent. On the Verge, at the Citizens Theatre for the first time, brings together performers of all ages and experience in an exciting and eclectic programme. Newcomers to the festival for 2017 include young actors from the Junior Conservatoire and students from the Royal Conservatoire’s BA Performance in British Sign Language and English programme, who will all make their On the Verge debut.

The Citizens Theatre will play host to:

  • Table (May 20, 22, 23 and 24) written for the National Theatre by Tanya Ronder and directed by Guy Hollands, Associate Director (Citizens Learning) at the Citizens Theatre.
  • Pleasure and Pain (May 31, June 1, 2 and 3): written and directed by Mark Thomson, former Royal Lyceum Theatre Company Artistic Director.
  • On the Verge (June 13-16): annual festival produced by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate Alex Fthenakis.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:

“As Scotland’s national conservatoire, we are uniquely placed to partner with the finest national and regional arts companies to provide students with extraordinary learning experiences.

“The strength and quality of these special partnerships, which are embedded into the curriculum of each programme, are a distinctive and defining element of life at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, helping us to nurture the performing artists of tomorrow.”

Hugh Hodgart, Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film, said:

“The partnership between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Citizens Theatre gives our students, of all ages, invaluable industry experience at one of the country’s most prominent, and progressive, theatres.

“Our unrivalled connections with creative professional partners like the Citizens Theatre put students at the heart of performance in Scotland, providing wonderful opportunities to work, learn and create alongside experts and artistic leaders, often in iconic venues.

“Our ‘mini season’ represents a new chapter in our long-standing relationship with the Citizens Theatre and we are especially delighted to be bringing such a range of contemporary material to Glasgow’s most exciting theatre.”

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has enjoyed a long relationship with the Citizens Theatre, one of Scotland’s flagship producing theatres, which presents a mix of original Scottish drama and contemporary versions of classic plays. The theatre was officially constituted as the Citizens’ Company in 1943 by the playwright James Bridie. For the first few seasons before finding their current home in the city’s Gorbals, they performed in the Royal Conservatoire’s former premises on Buchanan Street, in the Athenaeum Theatre, and links between the two institutions have remained strong ever since. James Bridie was the primary force behind the foundation of the Royal Conservatoire’s College of Dramatic Art in 1950 under the directorship of Colin Chandler, which has grown into the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film as it is today.

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director at the Citizens Theatre, said:

“I am delighted that the links between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Citizens are growing stronger and stronger. As so many of the people who perform on our stages were trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it seems appropriate that the relationship between the theatre and actor starts as early as possible and I’m looking forward to seeing the students’ work in our building in the coming weeks.”

The first show at the Citizens Theatre in the Royal Conservatoire’s ‘mini season’ is Table (May 20, 22, 23 and 24) a piece written for the National Theatre by Tanya Ronder and directed by Guy Hollands, Associate Director (Citizens Learning) at the Citizens Theatre.

Six generations, twenty-three characters and one special piece of furniture, Ronder’s thrilling play is an epic tale of belonging, identity and the things we pass on. Constructed as an intriguing puzzle, it follows the shifting fortunes of the Best family on their travels around the world. This tour de force of assured storytelling encompasses one hundred years of a family and the table that is passed down the generations.

Pleasure and Pain (May 31, June 1, 2 and 3) is written and directed by former Royal Lyceum Theatre Company Artistic Director Mark Thomson and was originally produced at the Citizens Theatre 14 years ago. It returns to the venue with Thomson as director once again. It’s an evening with French writer Guy de Maupassant, charting his tragic journey from aspiring writer into the darkness of drug addiction and madness. Mark Thomson’s adaptation of Maupassant’s stories conjures up a florid and vivid world that reflects Maupassant’s own life and imagination.

On the Verge (June 13-16) has been part of the RCS performance calendar for nine years, during which time many of the performers and writers have gone on to tour their work nationally and internationally.

Described as ‘a small festival of big ideas and big ambition’, it’s an invitation for audiences to share in the original and exploratory processes of emerging artists from the Royal Conservatoire’s MA Classical and Contemporary Text, BA Acting and BA Performance in British Sign Language and English programmes, as well as young artists from the Junior Conservatoire Acting. The BA Performance in British Sign Language and English is the only performance undergraduate programme for deaf students in the UK, developed in association with Solar Bear Theatre Company. It teaches students to be both actors and makers of work, exploring the most innovative ways of creating performance through British Sign Language and English.

Junior Conservatoire Acting final year students, who are performing in On the Verge for the first time, have created a piece, The Choosing, a ‘tense, dystopian thriller’, directed by Andy McGregor. It opens on June 16 as part of On the Verge then has stand-alone matinee and evening performances at the Citizens on June 17.

Alex Fthenakis, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate and producer of On the Verge, said:

“It’s exciting to partner with the Citizens Theatre for the first time for On the Verge which will showcase 21 dynamic and diverse new works, making it the largest incarnation of the festival to date.

“I’m also delighted to welcome students from the BA Performance in British Sign Language and English and the Junior Conservatoire Acting who will make their On the Verge debut.”

Ticket information:

Table and Pleasure and Pain tickets are available through the Citizens Theatre box office:

T: 0141 429 0022 /

On the Verge tickets are available from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland box office:

T: 0141 332 5057 /

Image: On the Verge team at the Citizens Theatre with Alex Fthenakis, far right.

Pic: Julie Howden/RCS.

NEWS: Trainspotting back and tickets on sale tomorrow

orange lettering it's back for trainspotting at citizens theatre glasgow

Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting began its life as a piece of drama at the Citizens Theatre over 20 years ago and returned in 2016 with a critically-acclaimed sold-out run. Hot on the heels of Trainspotting 2, Danny Boyle’s sequel to his phenomenally successful film version, and by popular public demand, the Citizens Theatre is bringing its production of the notorious story back to the stage from 18 October to 11 November 2017.  The production will also tour to the King’s Theatre Edinburgh, presented by Selladoor Scotland.

Trainspotting was first presented in a stage adaptation by Harry Gibson in the theatre’s Stalls Studio in 1994, just a year after the book’s publication. The shocking and explicit production was hugely successful and was quickly remounted in the theatre’s larger Circle Studio. The adaptation has since been staged across the globe.

Trainspotting is set in Thatcher-era Leith, in a world where work and opportunities are scarce. The trappings of a successful lifestyle are held out of reach of Renton, Begbie, Sickboy and Spud, who instead look for fulfilment through the point of a needle.

Gareth Nicholls returns to the Citizens Theatre to direct.  Nicholls’ recent credits include God of Carnage (Tron Theatre) and The Burial at Thebes, Coriolanus and ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). His production of Gary McNair’s A Gambler’s Guide to Dying won a Scotsman Fringe First Award, and has toured the UK and Adelaide Festival, and has just completed an Off-Broadway run. Nicholls held the post of Citizens Theatre Main Stage Director in Residence (2014-16), directing Into That Darkness, Vanya and Blackbird all of which received 4- and 5-star reviews.

Of his return to the Citizens Theatre, Gareth commented, “Irvine Welsh’s urgent and uncompromising story clearly still packs a punch – we saw audiences from all backgrounds connecting strongly to its heady mix of humour, heartache and heroin. Its unflinching look at Scottish identity, masculinity and choice seems to be as pertinent now as it was 24 years ago and I’m thrilled to be once more bringing this raw, energetic and iconic modern classic back to the stage.

Tickets for Trainspotting at the Citizens Theatre are available from Tuesday 16 May from the Citizens Theatre’s website or by calling the Box Office on 0141 429 0022.

Tickets for the King’s Theatre Edinburgh will go on general sale on Tuesday 2 May with Friends Tickets available from Monday 24 April. Tickets available from or 0131 529 6000.

WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER: Madness’ Musical comes to Glasgow

logo of our house the madness musical

From the writer of smash hits Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots comes the feel good, Olivier Award-winning Madness musical, Our House.

On the night of Joe’s 16th birthday, a split-second decision forces him to choose between himself and his heart. As two very different paths unfold before him, the consequences of that choice will change his life forever.

Set to a score of Madness hits including “It Must Be Love”, “House of Fun”, “Baggy Trousers” and “Our House”, this hilarious, high energy musical will have you singing and dancing in the aisles…Welcome to the house of fun!

King’s Theatre Glasgow 26 – 30 September 2017

WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER: Blood Brothers is back

Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences.

Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi-award winning Blood Brothers. Bill Kenwright’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone. It has been affectionately christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, as inevitably it “brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval (The Daily Mail).

Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role she has played many times in the West End, in fact she was the show’s final Mrs Johnstone when it closed at The Phoenix Theatre in 2012. Lyn also starred in Bill Kenwright’s tour of Cabaret with Will Young in 2013 and rose to fame as a member of the pop group New Seekers whose numerous number one hits include ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ which sold over 20 million copies.

The superb score includes Bright New DayMarilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

5 – 16 September 2017 at Glasgow King’s Theatre

WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER: Jackson Live in Concert

man dressed as michael jackson dancing

Michael Jackson is not only remembered as one of the most influential artists of all time, but many of today’s artists have been inspired by his iconic style. His career spanned nearly five decades of music, and he was continually at the forefront of popular music.

Jackson – Live in Concert sees long-time fan and hugely talented Ben recreate the Michael Jackson experience with his stunning rendition of all his favourite songs.

Ben’s portrayal of Jackson  has to be the most accurate and exciting tribute to the King of Pop to have ever toured UK theatres. Ben is joined on the stage by his Incredible Band and Dancers who work their way through all the hits. He’s got the look, the moonwalk and the voice! His renditions of Thriller, Beat it and Billie Jean are truly sensational.

Jackson – Live in Concert features all-live vocals and superb musicians and dancers, fabulous costumes, and of course all the signature dance moves associated so fondly with the undisputed King of Pop.

Sunday 3rd September 2017 at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow

NEWS: Harlequin Eastwood Theatre for Youth present All Shook Up

all shook up love me tender logo

Harlequin Eastwood Theatre for Youth present All Shook Up.

Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley with a book by Joe Dipietro, best known for the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, as well as for writing the book and lyrics for the long-running off-Broadway show (and much-loved Fringe favourite) I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

This musical comedy is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and takes us into the American mid-west in 1955. It tells the story of Natalie, who dreams of “hitting the road” and Chad, a rock ‘n’ roll loving biker, who stops at the town’s garage to have his bike repaired. Natalie, the mechanic, immediately falls for him.

Chad, a charismatic rebel, rebuffs her advances, but Natalie has other ideas, and disguises herself as a man, seeking to become Chad’s sidekick.

The show follows all the “will they won’t they” drama, set to a fabulous score full of wonderful Elvis songs. There are of course a few hilarious hiccups and surprises along the way, building to a fantastic finale.

*All Shook Up has recently been professionally presented and toured the UK as Love Me Tender.

Wednesday 24-Saturday 27 May 2017

7.30pm each evening  and Saturday Matinee at 2.30pm

Tickets £12-£14 tickets also available from 07593 093028 or email or theatre Box Office 0141 577 4956


hye youn lee luis gomes la boheme scene

Renowned director/designer team Renaud Doucet and André Barbe return to Scottish Opera in May with a new production of Giacomo Puccini’s ravishing classic, La bohème.

Set in the flea markets of Paris, the production is inspired by the Jazz Age of Josephine Baker, and is full of  Renaud Doucet and André Barbe’s trademark colour, character and style. It opens in Glasgow before touring to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness.

cast scottish opera la boheme

The cast in rehearsals for La bohème | Image: Sally Jubb

Scottish Opera Music Director, Stuart Stratford, conducts Hye–Youn Lee as the fated Mimi, and Luis Gomes, winner of 2015’s Grand Prize at Verbier Festival Academy, as Rodolfo. Joining them are David Stout as Marcello, Jeanine De Bique as Musetta, Božidar Smiljanić as Schaunard, Damien Pass as Colline and Jonathan Best as Alcindoro/Benoît.

Hye-Youn Lee (Mimi) and Luis Gomes (Rodolfo) in rehearsals for La bohème. Scottish Opera 2017. Credit Sally Jubb

Hye-Youn Lee (Mimi) and Luis Gomes (Rodolfo) in rehearsals for La bohème | Image: Sally Jubb

Director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe said: ‘The story of La bohème is one we can all relate to. It seemed important to us to explore the theme of illness since, as a society, we are all under the weather at the moment and in need of healing. The flea market setting represents a little bit of what we are up against today – we seem to live life too fast and, through antiques, people get a sense of going back to a less hectic time. This opera is not about nostalgia ­­­­­­– La bohème is not a museum piece – the story is timeless.’

Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera’s General Director added: ‘La bohème is always an audience favourite, with beautiful music and heart-wrenching tragedy. Renaud and André create engaging, colourful and gorgeous productions that bring the emotions of the characters to the fore. I love their setting of the production in 1920’s Paris and all the images that conjures up – it’s romantic, yet also illuminates the contrast between the wealthy and the aspirations of those still trapped in post World War One poverty, and that gives a particular truthfulness to their vision.’

Audiences have the chance to attend La bohème Unwrapped, free one-hour tasters delving further in to the show and how it was created, as well as Pre-show Talks. Those who are visually impaired can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have live commentary that describes the action on stage without compromising the music.

Scottish Opera is also staging two dementia friendly performances of La bohème: one at Theatre Royal Glasgow on 13 May, and one in collaboration with Festival Theatre Edinburgh on 3 June. These specially abridged performances have a running time of one hour 45 minutes including an interval, and are carefully designed to make the theatrical experience more accessible to people living with dementia.

La bohème is supported by The Scottish Opera Syndicate and Scottish Opera’s ‘Play a Supporting Role’ appeal.

Cast List 

Mimi                                                    Hye-Youn Lee & Nadine Livingston (16 May, 8, 13 June)

Rodolfo                                             Luis Gomes & Christopher Turner (16 May, 8, 13 June)  

Marcello                                               David Stout

Musetta                                             Jeanine De Bique

Schaunard                                         Božidar Smiljanić

Colline                                               Damien Pass

Alcindoro/Benoît                                  Jonathan Best


Creative Team

Conductor                                         Stuart Stratford & Derek Clark (25, 27 May)  

Director                                               Renaud Doucet

Designer                                             André Barbe  

Lighting                                               Guy Simard                                                   

Performance Diary

Theatre Royal Glasgow, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3QA

Tue 9 May, 7.15pm

Fri 12 May, 7.15pm

Sat 13 May, 3pm (Dementia Friendly performance)

Sun 14 May, 4pm

Tue 16 May, 7.15pm

Thu 18 Mat, 7.15pm

Sat 20 May, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Thu 11 May, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 20 Mar, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sun 14 May, 2.45pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sun 14 May, 4pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Fri 12 May, 1pm

His Majesty’s Theatre, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1GL

Thu 25 May, 7.15pm

Sat 27 May, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Fri 26 May, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 27 May, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sat 27 May, 6pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sat 27 May, 7.15pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Fri 26 May, 1pm

Festival Theatre, 13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT

Wed 31 May, 7.15pm

Sat 3 Jun, 3pm (Dementia Friendly performance)

Sun 4 Jun, 4pm

Tue 6 Jun, 7.15pm

Thu 8 Jun, 7.15pm

Sat 10 Jun, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Thu 1 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 10 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sat 10 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sun 10 Jun, 7.15pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Thu 1 Jun, 1pm

Eden Court, Bishops Road, Inverness IV3 5SA

Tue 13 Jun, 7.15pm

Thu 15 Jun, 7.15pm

Sat 17 Jun, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Wed 14 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 17 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sat 17 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sat 17 Jun, 7.15pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Wed 14 Jun, 1pm

You can follow Scottish Opera on Twitter and Instagram @ScottishOpera


orchestra scottish opera sunday series

 The last performance in this Season’s The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert – Puccini’s Le Villi – takes place on May 21 at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.

Le Villi is based on the same legend as the ballet Giselle and was written in 1883. The opera-ballet was Puccini’s first stage work, and this performance at Theatre Royal Glasgow marks its Scottish premiere.

Scottish Opera’s Music Director, Stuart Stratford, conducts soloists Karen Slack as Anna, Stephen Gadd as Guglielmo and Peter Auty as Roberto. The latter two singers were both last seen at October’s Sunday Series performance of L’amico Fritz, and they are joined by a chorus and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

This concert also includes Preludio Sinfonico, Crisantemi and Capriccio Sinfonico. It is performed during the run of the Company’s staged production of Puccini’s classic La bohème, also conducted by Stuart Stratford, which has performances in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Stuart Stratford said: ‘We are delighted to conclude this year’s The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert with Puccini’s first stage work which offers a wonderful contrast to La bohème. It is a great opportunity to hear Puccini’s seldom-performed first opera and to experience, in the first half of the concert, three of his exquisite early orchestral pieces.’

You can follow Scottish Opera on Twitter and Instagram @ScottishOpera

Cast and Creative Team

Conductor                 Stuart Stratford

Guglielmo                  Stephen Gadd

Anna                           Karen Slack

Roberto                      Peter Auty 

Performance Diary for The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert

Puccini’s Le Villi

21 May 2017, 3pm

WHAT’S ON MAY: Dancing at Lughnasa

New Victory Players Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel


Wednesday 10 May – Saturday 13 May 2017 / 7.30pm

New Victory Players return to The East Kilbride Arts Centre with this beautiful evocative play by one of Theatres best loved dramatists Brian Friel.

Dancing at Lughnasa is a tender poignant and humorous study of the Mundy family. Narrated by Michael he recalls his childhood home in County Donegal during the summer of 1936.

Premiered at Dublin Abbey Theatre in 1990, this multi award winning play was acclaimed subsequently in London and on Broadway . This was followed by a screen adaptation in 1998 starring Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon.

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