Category Archives: What’s on FEBRUARY 2020

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: SCOTTISH OPERA PREMIERE OF JOHN ADAMS’ ICONIC NIXON IN CHINA TAKES PLACE IN FEBRUARY AT THEATRE ROYAL GLASGOW

The Scottish Opera premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China takes place on February 18. Following three performances at Theatre Royal Glasgow, this new co-production with The Royal Danish Theatre and Teatro Real Madrid transfers to Festival Theatre Edinburgh for two further dates. 

John Fulljames, Director of Opera at The Royal Danish Theatre, directs an exciting cast including Eric Greene as Richard Nixon, Julia Sporsén (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018) as Pat Nixon, Mark Le Brocq (Anthropocene 2019) as Mao Tse-tung, and Hye-Youn Lee (La bohème 2017) as Madame Mao. The conductor is Joana Carneiro, Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa at Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon. Designs are by Dick Bird, who last worked with Scottish Opera on The Mikado in 2016. 

Adams’ work, a collaboration with poet and librettist Alice Goodman and theatre director Peter Sellars, is inspired by Nixon’s much-publicised 1972 visit to China, the first time an American president had journeyed there. Hailed as the pioneer of a new kind of ‘docu-opera’, in his eclectic score Adams’ mixes a huge range of sounds from pre-recorded electronics to live passages echoing Wagner and Johann Strauss, alongside jazz references and big band sounds that evoke the 1930s of Nixon’s youth. Featuring fascinating archive footage from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and The Richard Nixon Foundation, the opera, which premiered in 1987, is as much about the private moments as the public during the historic trip. It explores the experience of the wives as well as the husbands, and memory versus fact. 

Director John Fulljames said: Nixon in China is a classic opera; Nixon is a hero of Verdian complexity and Madame Mao’s vocal fireworks ranks alongside those of the Queen of the Night. This is a spell-bending score which established John Adams’ as one of the great twentieth century opera composers and put American opera on a world stage. Although the events of President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to Chairman Mao in China have passed into history, this tale of the staging of global politics at the birth of the live media age feels more potent than ever. With a cast led by Eric Greene as President Nixon, and Julia Sporsén as Pat Nixon we have a great team to stage this myth about the ultimate powerlessness of the most powerful people in the world.’  

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend Nixon in China Unwrapped, one-hour tasters delving further into the show, as well as Pre-show Talks. Audience members with a visual impairment can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have a live commentary describing the action on stage without compromising the music. 

Cast List 

Richard Nixon Eric Greene  

Mao Tse-tung Mark Le Brocq  

Chou En-lai Nicholas Lester 

Pat Nixon Julia Sporsén

Henry Kissinger David Stout  

Chiang Ch’ing (Madame Mao) Hye-Youn Lee  

First Secretary to Mao Louise Callinan  

Second Secretary to Mao Sioned Gwen Davies

Third Secretary to Mao Emma Carrington 

 

Creative Team 

Composer John Adams

Libretto Alice Goodman 

 

Conductor Joana Carneiro

Director John Fulljames  

Set & Costume Designer Dick Bird 

Lighting Designer Ellen Ruge  

Projection Designer Will Duke 

Sound Designer Cameron Crosby

Original Choreographer John Ross

Revival Choreographer Nathan Johnston  

Associate Projection Designer Hayley Egan

 

 

Performance Diary 

 

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

Tue 18 Feb, 7.15pm

Thu 20 Feb, 7.15pm

Sat 22 Feb, 7.15pm 

 

Nixon in China Unwrapped 

Fri 21 Feb, 6pm 

Nixon in China Pre-show Talk

Sat 22 Feb, 6pm 

Nixon in China Touch Tour

Sat 22 Feb, 6pm 

Nixon in China Audio-described performance 

Sat 22 Feb, 7.15pm 

 

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

Thu 27 Feb, 7.15pm

Sat 29 Feb, 7.15pm 

 

Nixon in China Unwrapped 

Fri 28 Feb, 6pm

Nixon in China Pre-show Talk

Sat 29 Feb, 6pm 

Nixon in China Touch Tour

Sat 29 Feb, 6pm 

Nixon in China Audio-described performance

Sat 29 Feb, 7.15pm 

NEWS: BRENDAN COLE ANNOUNCES FINAL BIG BAND TOUR – SHOW MAN

Brendan Cole announces today that he will revive his hugely popular 2019 tour for 2020 Show Man, announcing this will be his last big band tour after 10 years of touring 5 exceptional critically acclaimed productions.  Show Man opens at Grimsby Auditorium 19 Feb 2020 before touring the UK and Ireland.

Taking its inspiration from the magic of theatre and the movies Show Man brings something for everyone.  With his amazingly talented hand-picked championship dancers and scorching eight piece live big band and singers, Brendan will bring audiences many of their favourite Strictly dance styles with choreography full of excitement, intimacy, emotion & skill. With laughter and chat throughout you are guaranteed to have a ball.  This is no ‘sit back and watch’ production;  Each show is full on high energy dance dynamite, up close and personal, with superb choreography, stunning lighting and amazing special effects. Expect a cheeky Charleston to Pencil Full of Lead, a sexy Salsa to Despacito, music from Beggin’ to Bublé, plus numbers from The Greatest Showman and La La Land.

Brendan Cole is best known from TV favourite Strictly Come Dancing where he danced the first show of the first series and lifted the very first glitterball trophy.

Show Man is Brendan’s fifth theatrical production and will see him tour the UK for the twelfth time . He has presented ten hugely successful concert tours to date: Live & Unjudged (2010/2011 x 2/2012), Licence to Thrill (2013 & 2014), A Night To Remember (2015/2016) and All Night Long (2017/2018)

Brendan tells us ‘I’m really excited to be bringing back Show Man having toured this production early in 2019 .  This is my most exciting tour to date it’s so dynamic and theatrical – much more so than any previous tour.  We have five male dancers, three female dancers, choirs, a violinist and brand new staging which allows the choreography to be exciting and different; bigger and better lifts, some very strong theatrical numbers as well as a new look set, it really is something special!  My aim is to wow the audience and give them everything they’d expect and much, much more.

Brendan continues ‘ This will be my last big band tour after touring for so many years. I’ve loved every second of being own the stage with my friends who have now become family. It’s time for something different and I’m honoured to be taking Show Man out for one last run. I’m so proud of this production and I’m going out on a high’

If you love live music from one of the best touring bands and exciting and emotive dance this is the show for you.  Don’t miss your chance to experience the ultimate Show Man at his best.

For more information and tour dates visit www.brendancolelive.com or www.pmbpresentations.com

Find us on Twitter and Facebook @BrendanColeTour

Wed 26-Feb    Aberdeen Music Hall              www.aberdeenperformingarts.com            01224 641122

Thu 27-Feb      Glasgow Royal Concert Hall   www.glasgowconcerthalls.com            0141 353 8000

Sat 29-Feb       Dunfermline Alhambra          www.alhambradunfermline.com            01383 740384 

Tue 03-Mar     Perth Concert Hall                  www.horsecross.co.uk                       01738 621031

Wed 04-Mar   Inverness Eden Court              www.eden-court.co.uk                      01463 234234

Images: Fiona Whyte

NEWS: God of Carnage announced to return for UK tour starring Elizabeth McGovern, Nigel Lindsay, Samantha Spiro and Simon Paisley Day

Following an acclaimed run as part of its Summer Season 2018, Theatre Royal Bath Productions is delighted to announced the return of its hit comedy production of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage for a UK tour starting in January 2020. Elizabeth McGovern, fresh from starring in the celebrated Downton Abbey film, reprises her dazzling performance as Veronica with Nigel Lindsay back as her bluff husband Michael. Directed by Lindsay Posner, the production welcomes two-time Olivier Award-winning actress Samantha Spiro who will play Annette and Simon Paisley Day, recently seen in Ralegh: The Treason Trial at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, in the role of husband, Alan.

God of Carnage will run at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (14 – 18 January 2020), Theatre Royal Bath (20 – 25 January and with opening night for press on 21 January), Theatre Royal Glasgow (27 January – 1 February), Cambridge Arts Theatre (3 – 8 February) and Rose Theatre Kingston (10 – 15 February).

When 11-year-old Ferdinand hits 11-year-old Bruno with a stick in a playground punch-up and knocks out two of his teeth, the combatants’ enlightened parents decide to meet to talk things over civilly. But once the niceties are done with and the drink starts flowing, it is the parents who turn into spoiled brats.

Elizabeth McGovern/Veronica

God of Carnage is a ruthlessly comic study of middle-class parenting. Originally written in French, the play was translated by Christopher Hampton in 2008. The production went on to win the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the Tony Award for Best New Play.

Elizabeth McGovern is well known for her Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominated role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey. She has also played Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Her theatre credits include Broadway productions of Time and the Conways, Hamlet and Love Letters. Other film and television credits include Ordinary People, Once Upon a Time in AmericaThe Handmaid’s Tale and The Wings of the Dove.

Nigel Lindsay/Michael

Nigel Lindsay is an Olivier Award nominated actor. His numerous television credits include the ITV series Victoria, Spooks, White Gold and The Capture. For film he has appeared in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Four Lions, for which he was nominated for Best British Comedy Performance in Film at the British Comedy Awards. His many stage credits include the title role in Shrek the Musical for which he was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Guys and Dolls (West End), Harrogate (Royal Court), A Small Family Business (National Theatre), Broken Glass (Tricycle Theatre) and Awake and Sing (Almeida).

Samantha Spiro is a two-time Oliver Award-winning actress. Her numerous television credits include her British Comedy Award-winning role in Grandma’s House, Game of Thrones and Cold Feet. She recently appeared on stage in Lady Windermere’s Fan (West End). Previous credits include Guys and Dolls (West End), Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), her Olivier Award winning title role in Hello, Dolly! and Mary Flynn in Merrily We Roll Along which also saw her receive the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Simon Paisley Day’s recent screen credits include Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Born A King, The Crown, Brexit: The Uncivil War and Victoria & Abdul. He previously appeared at Bath in Richard Eyre’s Private Lives. Further stage credits include Twelfth Night (National Theatre), The Lorax (Old Vic), West End productions of Anything Goes, The Philanthropist, The 39 Steps and Private Lives, the title role in Timon of Athens (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Low Road and The Ugly One (Royal Court).

Yasmina Reza has written numerous plays including Olivier and Tony Award winning God of Carnage, Art, The Unexpected Man and The Passage of Winter.  She has also written novels Hammerklavier, Desolation, Adam Haberberg, Happy are The Happy and Babylone and the screenplay for Carnage.

Lindsay Posner’s career includes positions as Associate Director of Royal Court Theatre, Artistic Director of Royal Court Theatre Upstairs and Deputy Director for main house.  Additional credits include Olivier nominated productions of A View from the Bridge (Duke of York’s Theatre) and Carousel (Churchill Theatre, UK Tour and Savoy Theatre) as well as The Lie (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Truth (Menier Chocolate Factory, Wyndham’s), Hayfever (Theatre Royal Bath/West End) and The Winslow Boy (Roundabout Theatre, New York; Old Vic Theatre). Television credits include Two Oranges and a Mango and The Maitlands.

Monday 27 January – Saturday 1 February 2020
Theatre Royal Glasgow
282 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 3QA
Box Office: 08448 717 647
www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-Glasgow/

Images: Nobby Clark

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: MUSICAL COMEDY DUO FLO & JOAN COME TO THE STAND

It was announced today, that amidst the release of their first comedy special on Amazon Prime Video and performing a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe including two extra shows at 3pm on Monday 19th and 7.30pm on Sunday 25th at Assembly Piccolo Tent, musical comedy duo Flo & Joan are set to embark on a UK tour of their brand new show Before the Screaming Starts from 28th October. They will visit The Stand in Glasgow on 10 February 2020. Tickets are now on sale at floandjoan.com

This follows Flo & Joan appearing at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal at The Hasan Minhaj Gala and as part of the prestigious Brit(ish) lineup, as well as a hugely successful run at the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

In January, the suspiciously unsimilar sisters Flo & Joan – whose songs have racked up over 50 million views online – watched the Bros documentary. Through the tension and arguments of estranged siblings Matt and Luke Goss, Flo & Joan glimpsed a possible future waiting for them; a lot of dog portraits, male pattern baldness and the occasional argument over the use of pyrotechnics. Despite this ominous foreshadowing, they are doing their best to ignore the warning signs with more waggish songs to parade about the place in their brand new show Before the Screaming Starts.

The success of their latest show follows a complete sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe which saw them add five extra shows and embark on their debut UK tour. Nicola and Rosie’s television and radio credits include Rob Delaney’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and Fresh from the Fringe (BBC Radio 4), writing and performing two songs for Horrible Histories (CBBC) and they have also had an enormous viral hit online with their 2016 Song which was subsequently featured on websites including Comedy Central (where it was video of the day worldwide), A.V. Club, Glamour and Stylist.

Elsewhere the pair also wrote and starred in a series of adverts for Nationwide Building Society, with their video Sisters being rated YouTube’s most popular advert in January 2018, and have established a sell-out monthly residency hosted at London’s Brasserie Zedel. In 2016, 2017 and 2019 they were part of the Best of the Fest selections at Toronto and Montreal Sketchfests, also winning the Now Audience Choice Award in Toronto and their Canadian TV credits include CBC’s flagship comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes and a series of videos for CBC Online.

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: The Dark by Nick Makoha at the TRON

Fuel open Tron Theatre’s main house season this Spring with The Dark (15 & 16 Feb), the harrowing and uplifting autobiographical story of poet Nick Makoha’s migration with his mother at the age of four to escape a country divided by dictatorship and consumed by conflict.

‘Night is not the only darkness. Nick takes a breath as he tries to remember.’ Fragments of a forgotten journey flicker in front of his eyes. It is night, November 1978. He is four years old. He is holding his mother’s hand as they wait on the escarpment. They are leaving Kampala. Buying safe passage and silence with all they have, they travel by matatu and the conductor asks no questions. Their companions are the missing, lost and displaced. Those who have suffered eight long years under the rule of Idi Amin.

Two performers, Akiya Henry and Michael Balogun play multiple characters in this exploration of memory directed by the award-winning Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night) and The Dark is a co-commission by Fuel and Ovalhouse as part of their First Bites series.

Fuel Director, Kate McGrath said:
Brilliant artists create a space for a temporary community to come together and seek to understand and to imagine. Fuel’s job is to identify those living artists and bring their urgent and brave work to life for people to experience. Our 2019 season, which includes Nick Makoha’s The Dark, celebrates our common humanity: how we all connect to the earth and to each other.

Running time: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Scotland’s Little Fix announce Glasgow, Lanark and Largs dates

Finalists in BBC One’s Even Better Than the Real Thing, officially voted the UK’s number one Little Mix tribute act in last year’s National Tribute Music Awards, Glasgow’s Little Fix are coming to town. . .

Since winning TV’s The X Factor Little Mix have become the biggest girl group on the planet – topping the charts with Black Magic, Shout Out to My Ex, Wings and Cannonball among their 20 million-selling hits that also include Power, Woman Like Me, Move, Only You, DNA, Love Me Like You, Touch, Change Your Life, How Ya Doin’, Little Me and Reggaeton Lento.

Show promoter David Halford of Artistes International Management says that Little Fix deliver a high energy show that replicates the energy, stage presence and vocal abilities of the original group. “With stunning stage outfits to match,” he says. “Little Fix power through all of Little Mix’s biggest hits with identical choreography and vocal finesse that puts ‘Girl Power’ firmly back on the agenda.”

Since their TV success, Little Fix have toured the UK bringing the greatest hits of Little Mix alive on stage while Little Mix themselves have lined up a number of arena shows .

“With Little Mix not set to tour until late autumn next year,” says David, “why wait to get your fix of Little Mix, catch Little Fix at your local theatre in the coming weeks.”

Tickets for the weekend afternoon show are available from the venue box office.

LITTLE FIX The UK’s No1 Little Mix Tribute

Saturday 9 February, 2019 2pm

LANARK MEMORIAL HALL St Leonard Street, Lanark ML11 7AB

sllcboxoffice.co.uk  01555 667999

Sunday 10 February, 2019 2pm

GLASGOW PAVILION 121 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3AX

paviliontheatre.co.uk  0141 332 1846

Saturday 16 February, 2019 2pm

BARRFIELD THEATRE Largs

barrfields.co.uk  01475 689777

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Richard Clayderman announces only UK date for 2019 at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Richard Clayderman Celebrates his 40th Anniversary With Exclusive UK Performance

Best-selling recording artist and concert performer, Richard Clayderman, will present his only 2019 UK show at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, on Thursday, February 28. at 7.30pm

Marking the 40th anniversary of his music career, the French pianist has insisted that he is accompanied by a string section from Glasgow for the extra-special show, says show promoter David Halford.

“With album sales in excess of 150 million and with 267 gold and 70 platinum albums to his name, no wonder he has been crowned the most popular pianist in the world,” says David.

Richard Clayderman himself says: “For my concert in Glasgow, I will perform a good selection of my original titles as well as lots of romantic themes and film classics.

“I look forward to meeting all my fans at the Royal Concert Hall as they are true connoisseurs and we all share the same emotions and sensations.”

Richard’s distinctive piano style has seen him record more than 1, 200 melodies and, in the words of a German journalist, “he has arguably done more to popularise the piano around the world than anyone since Beethoven”.

“The Prince of Romance” (as he was dubbed by Nancy Reagan) was born Philippe Pagès. His father, a piano teacher, began teaching him how to play at a very young age. It is said that, at the age of six, Richard Clayderman could read music more adeptly than his native French.

When he was 12 years old he was accepted at the Conservatoire of Music where, at 16, he won first prize. He was predicted a promising career as a classical pianist. However, shortly after this, and much to everyone’s surprise, he cast aside his classical training and turned to contemporary music.

“I wanted to do something different,” Richard says, “So, with some friends, I created a rock group; it was a tough time, a hard time and the little money we could make was devoted to buying equipment. In fact, I used to feed myself so badly – mainly on sandwiches – that I had to have an operation for an ulcer when I was only 17.”

In order to earn a living, Clayderman found work as an accompanist and session musician. “I enjoyed it”, he says, “and it paid well at the same time. That is how I drew away from classical music, although it gave me a strong basis for what I do now.”

His talent did not go unnoticed and he soon became much in demand as an accompanist to such major French stars as Michel Sardou, Thierry LeLuron and Johnny Halliday.

His life changed dramatically in 1976 when he received a telephone call from Olivier Toussaint, a well-known French record producer, who, with his partner, Paul de Senneville, was looking for a pianist to record a gentle piano ballad. Paul had composed this ballad as a tribute to his new born daughter Adeline.

Philippe Pagès’ name was changed to Richard Clayderman (he adopted his great-grandmother’s last name to avoid mispronunciation of his real name outside France), and the single took off, selling an astonishing 22 million copies in 38 countries. It was called “Ballade pour Adeline”.

“When I signed him”, says Olivier Toussaint, “I told him that if we sell 10,000 singles it will be marvellous, because it was disco at that time and we could not bet on such a ballad being a winner. We could not imagine that it would be so big.”

It was the start of what has become an outstanding success story, and since that time, Richard Clayderman’s distinctive piano style has earned him superstar status all over the world.

Thursday, February 28, 2019  7.30pm

RICHARD CLAYDERMAN

GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL

Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3NY

glasgowconcerthalls.com   0141 353 8000

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: Ian Hislop and Nick Newman reunite for Trial by Laughter

Trial By Laughter
Mon 11 – Sat 16 Feb
Kings’s Theatre, Glasgow
Tickets from £13

Following critical acclaim for The Wipers Times, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have once again taken inspiration from real life events for their new play Trial by Laughter.

William Hone, the forgotten hero of free speech, was a bookseller, publisher and satirist. In 1817, he stood trial for ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. The only crime he had committed was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy.