Tag Archives: 2019

WHAT’S ON FEB/MARCH: Rouse Ye Women at John Smith House & Clydebank Town Hall

Townsend Theatre Productions has announced the world premiere of its new show “Rouse, Ye Women!”

This groundbreaking folk opera tells the true story of Mary Macarthur and the women chainmakers and features original songs and music composed by revered folk musician John Kirkpatrick (Steeleye Span, Home Service, Richard Thompson Band).

The role of trade unionist and strike leader Mary Macarthur will be performed by Scottish folk singer Bryony Purdue. Purdue is an outstandingly versatile and charismatic performer and has sung with UK Opera companies Opera GlassWorks, Longborough Festival Opera and touring ensembles VoxCollective and Transatlantic Ensemble.

Folk singer Rowan Godel will play chainmaker Bird. Godel is a rising star in the music world and has worked extensively with some of the biggest names in folk, including Oysterband (duetting with John Jones on Street of Dreams, Spirit of Dust and more ), The Levellers and Ray Cooper.

Women chainmakers in the Black Country in the 1900s started work at the forge as children and spent their entire lives making chains. These women had no vote, were largely illiterate, worked a 54-hour week for ‘starvation wages’, and had to take their children to work.

But in the Autumn of 1910 hundreds of women chainmakers of Cradley Heath held a ten-week strike against their employers. Led by the remarkable trade union organiser and campaigner Mary Macarthur, they won a minimum wage which doubled their incomes.

More importantly, they returned to work confident in the knowledge that by sticking together in a union they could stand up to the chain masters and companies.

The strike was a prelude to the ‘Great Unrest’ of industrial action that swept Britain in 1911, and led to a landmark victory for a fair wage, changing the lives of thousands of workers, whilst proving their economic power.

‘Rouse, Ye Women!’ is a folk-song opera that tells the story of Mary Macarthur and the chainmakers, and shares the story of the lives of the workers and campaigners through rousing, heartfelt traditional song and music.

Director Louise Townsend said: “The focus of the production is not just the massive achievement of the women chainmakers in their fight for better wages, but also how Mary Macarthur and the National Federation of Women Workers, of which she was a founding member, sought to challenge the prevailing view that women made poor trade unionists, were a threat to male employment and wages, and were generally unorganisable.

“Mary Macarthur herself wanted trade unions to educate women workers to be better citizens, empower them to demand more from life and gain fair treatment as workers; to ensure that women can be an effective force within the trade union movement to strengthen the position of the entire industrial working class.

“Through this production we will aim to draw parallels with the inequalities in the lives of women just over a hundred years ago with modern issues of family life, low pay, the minimum wage, the gender pay gap and equality of opportunity.”

Writer, actor and musician Neil Gore said: “The story is truly inspirational because it centres on the energy and drive of Mary Macarthur, and her skills as an organiser and tactician. She came to be admired by her trade union and socialist comrades as well as those in positions of power – employers, business leaders and those in government. But, most importantly, she gained the trust of those women workers that she so skilfully organised and represented. She lived a thrilling, breathless life sustained with unfaltering courage and determination to achieve; she was cool and persuasive in argument and possessed immense good-humour and common-sense. Through this production we aim to celebrate her enormous achievements and her all-too-often overlooked legacy.”

John Kirkpatrick said: “The songs and music for “Rouse Ye Women!” are inspired in large part by traditional industrial folk song, music hall, and protest songs, as well as from projects created within the folk revival period of the 1960s and 70s, themselves based on direct links with traditional music of the past, with a modern, contemporary twist. Industrial folk song originally emerged in Britain in the 18th century from the Industrial Revolution. These workers tended to take the forms of music with which they were familiar, ballads and agricultural work songs, and adapt them to their new experiences and circumstances. They tended to be descriptive of work, often political in nature, and were sung between work shifts or in leisure, expressing workers’ interests and aspirations, and passed on among themselves by oral means.

“Other influences would come from popular and musical hall songs as well as formal hymns that had been adopted by the workers. The various types of song include chants of labour and protest including narratives of disasters, laments for conditions and political strike ballads. Amongst these are also songs about heroic and mythical figures of industrial work.

“There was a great tradition for women to sing at work in the big factories and the back-yard forges, especially music hall songs; their strong melodies and clear narratives having a wide appeal: “They can’t stop us singing! It’s a way of getting rid of the boredom”, as one worker once put it.

“Through the description and poetry or wit and wisdom of songs from this time, one can gain a feel for the hardships and pleasures; the day-to-day struggle for existence, as well as the ways of breaking the monotony of work with descriptions of local events and incidents, or through after-work collective relaxation.

“Through new rousing songs and moving ballads we aim to tell the story of the Women Chainmakers’ Strike by reflecting, imitating and embellishing the styles of music that were most significant to those who struggled to make the strike a success.”

             FEB 25 – 7.00PM – CLYDEBANK TOWN HALL

  • MAR 27 – 7.30PM – ST JOHN SMITH HOUSE GLASGOW

  • MAR 28 – 7.30PM – BIRNAM ARTS

  • MAR 29 – 7.30PM – NORTH EDINBURGH ARTS

NEWS: Imaginate launches 30th Anniversary programme

Imaginate has announced the programme for its 30th anniversary year, which will feature an enhanced Children’s Festival programme including an immersive production from ground-breaking Punchdrunk, two new commissions from Scottish theatre makers, an exciting year-round schools programme, new international partnerships and more development opportunities for artists.

Speaking at the launch in Bute House today, Paul Fitzpatrick, CEO of Imaginate, said:
Our 30th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to launch new programmes that will deepen our relationships with schools in Edinburgh and across Scotland, encourage artists to make new works for young audiences and create stronger international relationships.  What’s exciting is that these new programmes will be in place for the next three years, making a real change to what we are providing for theatre and dance for young people in Scotland.”

Highlights for the 30th anniversary year include:

  • Inspiring Schools: A year-round offer for schools – particularly in areas of high deprivation
  • An enhanced Festival programme: A unique production from Punchdrunk, performing in Scotland for the first time, and four Scottish productions.
  • PUSH+ : A three-year Creative Europe-funded project enabling Imaginate to forge stronger links with four European countries as the UK faces leaving the European Union.
  • Accelerator: Increased support for artists over the next three years, to bring new ideas to production through a residency and support programme Accelerator.
  • Archiving Project: An opportunity to explore Imaginate’s rich history of festivals and projects for the first time, online and at the Scottish Theatre Archive.


Inspiring Schools
Imaginate’s new offer for schools will include:

  • Immerse: A new three-year collaboration with world-renowned immersive theatre makers Punchdrunk (in their first foray in Scotland) to deliver unique and innovative theatrical experiences in six adventurous schools in areas of high deprivation, using a creative approach to boost skills in reading, writing and listening, and developing deep relationships with the schools over three years. This programme is sponsored by Baillie Gifford.
  • Explore: An extension of the Theatre in Schools Scotland programme, in partnership with National Theatre of Scotland, building on the experience of Scotland’s best children’s theatre companies to bring children to the Festival for the first time.
  • Artist residencies in the schools creating the foundations for profound and lasting change.
  • A Teachers’ Theatre Club in partnership with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to help teachers build their experience and confidence of watching and discussing live performances.

The Inspiring Schools programme is funded by PLACE (Platforms for Creative Excellence), a unique three-way partnership between the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh festivals.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and International Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
“Imaginate has had an incredible impact on Scotland’s arts scene over the last decades. This year’s plan, with its diverse, high-quality programme of activity, confirms the festival’s commitment to providing a platform for our young people to engage with the arts and experience culture from an early age.
As Imaginate celebrates its 30th anniversary, I am pleased that we were able to contribute £126,000 in 2019 from the Scottish Government’s Festival Expo fund and £535,000 over the next three years through our PLACE fund. The funding will support the ‘Imaginate at 30’ and ‘Inspiring Generations’ programmes, as part of the Festival’s wider effort to develop a year-round offer for schools, and it will help ensure young people in some of the most deprived areas can be exposed to the arts.”

An enhanced Festival programme
From its early beginning in a tented village in Inverleith Park, the Children’s Festival has become one of the most celebrated festivals for young audiences in the world, attracting over 11,000 children yearly, as well as hundreds of industry professionals from over 23 countries. The 30th edition of the Festival will take place from Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June 2019, showcasing some of the world’s best theatre and dance made for young audiences.

This year, the programme boasts a unique production from Punchdrunk, Small Wonders, an interactive theatrical experience where children are invited inside the home of an elderly miniaturist for an awe-inspiring magical journey. The production will be shown exceptionally over three weeks to enable as many children as possible to attend.

Punchdrunk’s Artistic Director Pete Higgins said:
“We are hugely excited to be working with Imaginate over the next three years, both to bring our transformative projects to schools most in need and also to share our production, Small Wonders with Edinburgh audiences.  At Punchdrunk we believe access to creativity can transform a child’s prospects. We are proud to be part of Imaginate’s programme for our first time in Scotland.”

Two new Imaginate commissions are also taking pride of place in the Festival programme.

Stellar Quines, the award-winning Scottish theatre company that celebrates women in theatre, are staging a new production of the internationally acclaimed play This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, a contemporary fairytale about triplet sisters abandoned in a forest, who follow their own path in the world and fulfil their dreams through courage, determination and friendship.

The Letter J’s Super Human Heroes is a comical and musical dance with darkness, exploring the ways we are, fail and try to be super human heroes. This funny and poignant family show featuring live music, dance and video projection, offers a version of the world where even Captain Sunshine is overwhelmed by the challenges of the day, tired of being sunny, funny and smart.

Both commissions are supported by the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund.
The full Festival’s programme will be released on 20 March.

Inspiring Futures appeal launch
Having inspired children over the last 30 years, the Festival is now seeking to raise £10,000 to spend over the next 5 years to ensure that more children can access its world class shows regardless of their background and circumstance. The Inspiring Futures appeal will help make the Festival more accessible than ever before through transport subsidies, free tickets for those who need it most and adapted performances for children with additional support needs.

More creative opportunities for Scotland-based artists
Imaginate’s Creative Development programme is also getting a boost. The programme plays a central role in the development of a vibrant sector, supporting artists with skills development, networking and international exchange.

Residencies will be set-up in partnership with key arts organisations across the country to encourage new artists to create work for young audiences. Diversity is at the heart of the programme. Residencies in 2019 will support artists with disability (with Birds of Paradise) and artists of colour (with Project X), with more opportunities being created over the next three years.

In addition, Imaginate is developing Accelerator, a programme offering funding and support to allow artists to take new and ambitious ideas to production. As well as artistic support and mentoring, artists will benefit from on-going assistance from a producer who will ensure the work has a life beyond the residency. To encourage new voices in the sector, Imaginate will also run Launchpad, an offer similar to Accelerator aimed at emerging artists.

A new project with European partners
Imaginate has once again been awarded Creative Europe funding to lead PUSH+, a new artistic development project with four European partners and Thailand, to explore topics which are under-represented in theatre and dance for young audiences. The three-year project will enable artists from Scotland, Norway, Belgium, Denmark and Ireland to ‘push’ their thinking on the ideas of Home, Failure and Different Bodies, through labs, residencies and international workshops, leading to more diversity of people and stories in work for young people.

Archiving project
Lastly, an interactive archive will open up 30 years of Imaginate’s history to the public. Made in collaboration with a PhD student from the University of Edinburgh, the online tool will use new interviews, old photos, video clips and press cuttings to celebrate the organisation’s past as much as its present.

NEWS: Joe McFadden to star in Mark Goucher and Jason Donovan’s UK tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Mark Goucher and first-time producer Jason Donovan have today announced that actor and Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden will star in their brand-new production of the much-loved glittering hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The producers have also announced today that the tour will continue through 2020. The show, which was announced last year, will tour the UK and Ireland from September 2019. It marks Donovan’s first time as a producer, having performed in the cast of the original West End production and two subsequent UK tours. The producing team is completed by Gavin Kalin and Matthew GalePriscilla, Queen of the Desert will preview in Dartford from 5 September 2019.

Joe McFadden’s theatre credits include: House on Cold Hill (UK tour); The Missing (National Theatre of Scotland); Rainbow Kiss (Royal Court); Torch Song Trilogy (Menier Chocolate Factory); Rent (West End); Haunting Julia (Colchester Mercury/ UK Tour); She Loves Me (Chichester Festival Theatre); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The Edinburgh Playhouse); A Life In The Theatre (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; (Chichester Festival Theatre); 15 Seconds (Traverse Theatre ); Aladdin (The Old Vic); Entertaining Mr Sloane (Theatre Clwyd). Television credits include:  Holby City (BBC); Casualty (BBC); Heartbeat (ITV/YTV); Cranford (BBC); Sparkhouse (BBC/Red Productions); A Mortal God (BBC); Reverse Psychology (BBC); Judge John Deed (BBC/One Eyed Dog); The Glass (ITV1/Granada); The Law (ITV1/Pearson); Sex, Chips & Rock n’ Roll (BBC); The Crow Road (BBC/Union Pictures). Film includes:  Small Faces; Dad Savage; Zig Zag Love; The Trouble with Men and Women; Bumping The Odds.

Newly announced cities that the tour will visit include: Southampton; Plymouth; Nottingham; Dublin; Cambridge; Newcastle; Southend; Sheffield; Carlisle; Ipswich; Leeds; Oxford; Birmingham; Glasgow; Cardiff; Bristol.  Full listings are still to be announced.

Joe McFadden said: “I’m over the moon to be taking on this new and exciting challenge in a musical that I have been a massive fan of for such a long time. I’m looking forward to working with this wonderful production team, including Jason whose guidance I feel especially lucky to have given his previous experience with the production.  I can’t wait to take the Priscilla bus on the road and have a bonzer time making the role my own!”

Mark Goucher said: “Joe is great casting for Priscilla. He is a very strong musical theatre performer and will bring great charm and integrity to this new production of a great musical.”

Jason Donovan said: “So pleased to announce Joe be starring in our production. He’s a down to earth, talented guy who will bring enormous warmth to the role of Mitzi. I can’t wait to see him in heels doing those dance routines…. Awesome.”

The iconic hit musical has more glitter than ever before, featuring a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The NightlifeFinally and many more.

Based on the Oscar-winning film, PRISCILLA is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime. Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.

This brand new production comes from the team behind the critically acclaimed UK tours of Hairspray; with direction by Paul Kerryson, choreography by Tom Jackson-Greaves with designs by Phil R Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Ben Harrison.

PriscillaUKTour.com & PriscillaUKTour.co.uk

Monday 4 November – Saturday 9 November 2019
EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE
Tel: 0844 8713014
Tickets on sale 14th September

Monday 18 November – Saturday 23 November 2019
INVERNESS EDEN COURT
Tel: 01463 234234
Tickets now on sale

Image: Darren Bell

NEWS: JOHN BARROWMAN ANNOUNCES UK SUMMER TOUR INCLUDING GLASGOW & EDINBURGH DATES

This summer, John Barrowman will tour England, Scotland, and Wales celebrating his 30 years on stage and screen with favourite songs and fabulous stories from his life and career.

Barrowman is a singer, actor, dancer, presenter, judge and author. Most recently, UK audiences delighted in supporting him as he made the final three in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2018.

The Scottish-born star will come to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on Tuesday, June 18 and Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Wednesday, June 19.

Speaking about the tour he said: “I can’t believe it’s been 30 years from my West End debut in Anything Goes to my Australian jungle adventures in I’m A Celebrity, and there’s been lots of fabulousness in between.

 “I’m thrilled to celebrate this amazing milestone with my FABULOUS tour. I’m looking forward to meeting fans and sharing some of my favourite moments with you all.”

Tickets go on sale at 10am Wednesday, January 23 from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

NEWS: Casting announced for Annie at The King’s

Full casting for the musical ANNIE which runs at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow this spring as part of a UK tour, has been announced.

Joining the previously announced Anita Dobson as Miss Hannigan will be Alex Bourne as ‘Oliver Warbucks’, Richard Meek as ‘Rooster’, Jenny Gayner as ‘Lily’ and Carolyn Maitland as ‘Grace Farrell’. The title role of ‘Annie’ is shared by Faye Katsande, Ava Smith and Freya Yates. They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the girls in Miss Hannigan’s orphanage.

Completing the cast will be Michael Anderson, Thomas Audibert, Andy Barke, Caroline Bateson, Daisy Boyles, Blaise Colangelo, Gary Davis, Ashleigh Graham, George Rae, Anne Smith, India Thornton, Matt Trevorrow, Amy West and Samuel Wilson Freeman.

This production recently ran for an extended season in the West End following a sell-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2015/16 as well as a recent sell-out season in Toronto.

As Angie Watts in EastEnders, Anita Dobson created one of the most popular characters in television winning numerous awards. Her West End theatre credits include “Madame Morrible’ in “Wicked”, ‘Mama Morton’ in “Chicago”, ‘Mrs Meers’ in “Thoroughly Modern Mille”, ‘Chris’ in “Calendar Girls”, ‘Joan Crawford’ in “Bette and Joan” and ‘Nancy’ in “Frozen” at the National Theatre for which she was nominated for an Olivier, Evening Standard and London Critics Award. Her film credits include “London Road”.

Alex Bourne reprises his performance as ‘Oliver Warbucks’ after playing the role in this production of “Annie” in the West End, Toronto and on the 2015/16 tour. His many other West End credits include ‘Danny’ in “Grease”, ‘The Beast’ in “Beauty and the Beast”, ‘Billy Flynn’ in “Chicago”, ‘Khashoggi’ in “We Will Rock You” and ‘Fred/Petruchio’ in “Kiss Me, Kate” for which he received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. His other credits include ‘Daryl Van Horne’ in “The Witches of Eastwick” and the Watermill Theatre, for which he received a TMA nomination for Best Actor, ‘Sam Michael’ in the national tour of “Mamma Mia!” and ‘Lex Hogan’ in “Eugenius!” at the Other Palace.

 Richard Meek’s many credits include ‘Trevor Graydon’ in “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, ‘Brad’, ‘Eddie’ and ‘Dr Scott’ in “The Rocky Horror Show” and ‘Sir Galahad’ in “Spamalot”, all on national tour. He has also appeared as ‘Leo Bloom’ in the international tour of “The Producers” as well as ‘Dustin’ and ‘Greaseball’ in the 25th anniversary cast of “Starlight Express” in Bochum, Germany.

Jenny Gayner’s West End credits include ‘Miss Wilson’ in the original cast of “The Girls” at the Phoenix Theatre, ‘Hunyak’ in “Chicago” at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick theatres and “Spamalot” at the Palace Theatre. Jenny has also appeared as ‘Lina Lamont’ in “Singin’ in the Rain” and ‘Brooke Windham’ in “Legally Blonde”, both at Kilworth House.

Carolyn Maitland reprises her performance as ‘Grace Farrell’ after playing the role in this production of “Annie” in Toronto. Her West End credits include ‘Ellen’ in “Miss Saigon” at the Prince Edward Theatre, ‘Marian’ in “The Woman in White” at the Charing Cross Theatre and “Groundhog Day” and “Kiss Me, Kate”, both at the Old Vic. Her other credits include ‘Molly’ in the national tour of “Ghost”,  which ran at the King’s in 2017, and ‘Kathy Seldon’ in Singin’ in the Rain at Kilworth House.

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…

With its award-winning book and score, this stunning new production includes the unforgettable songs ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’, ‘I Don’t Need Anything But You’ and ‘Tomorrow’.

ANNIE has Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Book by Thomas Meehan. ANNIE is directed by Nikolai Foster with set and costume design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker. ANNIE is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

ANNIE

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 15 – Sat 20 Apr 2019

Mon-Sat: 7.30pm

Wed, Sat: 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com

0844 871 7648

 

WHAT’S ON JANUARY: Dial M For Murder at Eastwood Park.

Giffnock Theatre Players upcoming production Dial M For Murder is coming to Eastwood Park Theatre later this month. It’s an intense, sophisticated, gripping thriller made famous by the movie of the same name, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly.

M for Money… Marriage… Murder. This suspenseful classic weaves an ever-tightening web of danger and deception.

Former tennis pro Tony Wendice has carefully plotted the murder of his wealthy, elegant, younger but unfaithful wife Sheila, so that he will inherit her money. His ingenious plan involves blackmailing an old university friend to strangle her, while he has the perfect alibi. It’s the perfect murder – or so he thinks. His plan goes wrong, but as events unfold he quickly improvises, coming up with a new scheme to outsmart the police and still get rid of his wife. But has he met his match in the shrewd, sharp detective assigned to the case? Or will he get away with it all?

Dial M For Murder runs at Eastwood Park Theatre, Rouken Glen Road, Giffnock, G46 6UG in Glasgow’s Southside from 23rd to 26th January 2019 at 7.30pm, with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 26th January.

Tickets are £15 (£13 concessions available) and may be purchased by phoning 07518 201 756 or 0141 577 4956, or by emailing tickets-gtp@hotmail.co.uk or online at www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/boxoffice (online booking fee applies). Also available at the theatre’s box office.

For further information and for all the latest news from Giffnock Theatre Players, please visit our website at www.giffnocktheatreplayers.com. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/giffnockplayers, or on Twitter at twitter.com/giffnockplayers .

NEWS: OPERA HIGHLIGHTS TOURS TO 18 LOCATIONS ACROSS SCOTLAND IN SPRING 2019

Hitting the road on the 5 February, Scottish Opera’s much-loved Opera Highlights sets off once more around Scotland with a brand-new show. Four singers and a pianist journey to 18 venues across Scotland from Ayrshire to the Western Isles.

Opening in East Kilbride, the Opera Highlights performers will go on to visit Strathmiglo, Cumbernauld, Ardfern, Barra, Benbecula, Tarbert Isle of Harris, Gairloch, Ardross, Duns, Blairgowrie, Maybole, Durness, Boat of Garten, Aboyne, Whiting Bay and Dunblane, before bringing the tour to a close in Paisley on 16 March.

Sara Brodie directs a programme of works by composers from across the centuries, from Handel and Gluck, to Mozart, Verdi, Britten and Bernstein, carefully curated by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark. Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2018/19 soprano Lucy Anderson, who sang the role of Countess Ceprano in the Company’s 2018 revival of Rigoletto; mezzo-soprano Heather Ireson; tenor Tom Smith and baritone Harry Thatcher join Music Director/Pianist Elizabeth Rowe to bring to life some of opera’s best-known arias alongside hidden gems and forgotten favourites.

Director Sara Brodie said: ‘Opera Highlights 2019 offers a dazzling array of operatic hits from Wagner to Gilbert and Sullivan. We promise an evening of frivolities, folly and flirtation as our singers take you to the depths of the underworld, Paris at dawn, a Viennese masked ball and a tryst by the Thames. Four erstwhile travellers journey the seas of love and back again, in scenes of picaresque torment and delight, to warm your hearts on a chilly night.’

Scottish Opera General Director, Alex Reedijk, said: ‘Following the tremendous success of our 17-date Autumn Opera Highlights tour, we are greatly looking forward to visiting 18 smaller and rural venues in the Spring. This new, pint-sized production is a celebration of opera and the accomplished creative team will no doubt bring out the best in this talented cast, as they journey around Scotland from Barra to Boat of Garten.’

This tour is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera, the JTH Charitable Trust and the Scottish Opera Endowment Trust.

Village Theatre, East Kilbride

Tue 5 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Strathmiglo Village Hall, Strathmiglo

Thu 7 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Cumbernauld Theatre, Cumbernauld

Sat 9 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern

Tue 12 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Northbay Hall, Barra

Thu 14 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Liniclate School, Benbecula

Sat 16 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Tarbert Village Hall, Harris

Tue 19 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Gairloch Community Hall, Gairloch

Thu 21 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Ardross Community Hall, Ardross

Sat 23 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Volunteer Hall, Duns

Tue 26 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Blairgowrie Town Hall, Blairgowrie

Thu 28 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Maybole Town Hall, Maybole

Sat 2 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Durness Village Hall, Durness

Tue 5 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Boat of Garten Community Hall, Boat of Garten

Thu 7 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Deeside Theatre, Aboyne

Sat 9 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Whiting Bay Village Hall, Isle of Arran

Tue 12 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Victoria Hall, Dunblane

Thu 14 Mar, 7.30pm

 

The Wynd Auditorium at The Spires, Paisley
Sat 16 Mar, 7.30pm

 

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA’S NEW PRIMARY SCHOOLS SHOW 1719! COMMEMORATES THE JACOBITE RISINGS

In the Spring and Summer of 2019, thousands of primary five, six and seven school pupils will rehearse and perform an opera about one of the most dramatic periods in Scottish history: the Jacobite risings.

Entitled 1719!, the opera has been composed by David Munro, revised and re-orchestrated by Alan Penman with words by Allan Dunn. Pupils learn the words and songs in their classrooms with teaching materials prepared by Scottish Opera’s Education and Outreach department and then work with a team from the Company to prepare for a performance in front of classmates, friends and family.

Scottish Opera’s Primary Schools Tour hits the road on 14 January in Mosshead Primary, Bearsden and will visit 50 schools around Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross and the Highlands, until March. It continues on 16 April, touring to schools in areas including Aberdeen, the Borders, the Western Isles, Shetland and Dumfries and Galloway.

1719! travels back to a key moment in Scottish history to tell the story of the Jacobite Scots locked in a desperate struggle to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of Great Britain, while the Hanoverian King George argued with other European rulers over the lands and riches of the New World. King Philip of Spain sent troops and money to help the Jacobites in an attempt to distract the British government from this dispute. Pupils will go back in time 300 years when the Jacobites and their Spanish allies gathered in Glen Shiel for battle with King George’s forces, in what was the last close engagement of British and European troops on British soil.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: ‘An amazing way to learn about one of the most dramatic and exciting periods in Scottish history, 1719! features more battles than Braveheart and is a thrilling adventure that pits the Jacobite troops and their Spanish allies against the forces of King George’s government in the mountains surrounding Glen Shiel. Although not the most famous of engagement in the Jacobite Wars, it had far reaching significance for Britain’s role in Europe and 300 years later, is still recalled in the name Sgurr nan Spainteach (The Peak of the Spaniards) in recognition of the Spanish troops who fought there.’

1719! is supported by The Cruden Foundation, New Park Educational Trust, The Forteviot Charitable Trust, Scottish Opera’s Education Angels and a number of other generous funders.

More details about 1719! are available from www.scottishopera.org.uk/join-in/opera-for-schools/

NEWS: National Theatre of Scotland announces its 2019 season

This week, Jackie Wylie Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland launched next year’s programme of work:

In 2019 the National Theatre of Scotland is focussing on major Scottish artists, creating major new works that explore the vital questions facing all of us both as Scots and as global citizens. 

What Scottish theatre can do like no other national culture is tackle the big questions of our times, with a unique sense of joy and a love of communal celebration.

Touring remains at the heart of our commitment to audiences across Scotland and beyond. In 2019, twenty productions will be touring to theatre venues, schools, community centres, and pop up performance spaces. We will also take the work of Scottish artists throughout the UK and internationally to New York, Montreal, Virginia, Kentucky and Lisbon.

We are proud to be without walls – we have partnerships in our DNA, and we aim for our collaborations to be as diverse as Scotland’s ever changing populace. I would like to thank the partners, funders, artists and collaborators who are joining us to ensure that theatre in Scotland, in 2019, matters more than ever”

WORLD PREMIERES AND NEW PRODUCTIONS INCLUDE:

  • Interference will be performed in a transformed Glasgow office block from 16 to 30 March 2019.  A bold and chilling new trilogy of near-future plays by three provocative writers, Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea, and directed by National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate Director Cora Bissett. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Dear Europe is a special event produced by National Theatre of Scotland to mark Scotland’s scheduled exit from the European Union. Six of the country’s most adventurous theatre- makers will create and present short performances that respond to this significant moment in Europe’s history at SWG3, Glasgow on the night of 29 March 2019. Co-curated by Stewart Laing and Jackie Wylie. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with SWG3.
  • Them! tackles the nebulous nature of identity in a changing world. Written by Pamela Carter with long-time collaborator Stewart Laing directing his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. Premiering at Tramway, Glasgow in June and July 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham using the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. A Manchester International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland co-production, opening in Manchester in July 2019 and touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.
  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, written by Tim Crouch and directed by Karl James & Andy Smith will premiere at the Edinburgh Festivals in August 2019 before touring to Brighton and Lisbon later in the autumn. Exploring manipulation and the nature of truth in an age of arch-political misdirection, the play is a bold experiment in the collective creation of fiction. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and Teatro do Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
  • Red Dust Road is the first stage adaptation of the bestselling memoir by Jackie Kay, tracing the challenges she faced on the journey to discover the truth about her birth parents. Adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton, it will premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival and HOME, Manchester, touring throughout autumn 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland and HOME, Manchester co-production, developed with support from Macrobert Arts Centre.
  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery journeys through history, Scottishness, belonging, and grief, exploring her legacy of being “mixed” in Scotland. Directed by Eve Nicol, it will tour Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019 as part of Black History Month 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production, tour supported by Flint & Pitch and The Workers Theatre with the Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights, as part of Black History Month 2019.
  • The Panopticon will be adapted for the stage by Jenni Fagan from her celebrated novel of the same name. A gritty and gripping coming-of-age tale turned on its head, the production will be directed by Debbie Hannan, touring to the Traverse Theatre and Platform, Glasgow in November 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.

TOURING SCOTLAND

  • Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil, in newly imagined version, based on his acclaimed recent production for Dundee Rep Theatre. The production will tour nationwide, in the spirit of the 1973 original tour. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre, Newcastle.

INTERNATIONAL TOURING

  • Adam is the remarkable true story of a young trans man and his journey to reconciliation; with himself, those closest to him, and the world as he knows it. Conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett, written by Frances Poet and performed by Adam Kashmiry, upon whom the story is based, and Rehanna MacDonald. The show receives its US premiere in New York from 14 to 16 February 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Première neige/First Snow follows its successful run at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with an international tour to Canada. Directed by Patrice Dubois and written by Davey Anderson, Philippe Ducros and Linda McLean, the Fringe First-winning show will be performed at Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March. An international co-production between National Theatre of Scotland, Théâtre PÀP and Hôtel-Motel.
  • Anything That Gives Off Light returns following its premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016. Focusing on three characters in a pub as they wrestle with loneliness, grief and a festering sense of betrayal, the production will visit Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019. A co-production from The TEAM, the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.

PARTICIPATORY THEATRE AND FESTIVALS INCLUDE:

  • LIKE FLYING is a new participatory project from the National Theatre of Scotland, working in partnership for the first time with SAMH, (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council. The project, tackling mental wellbeing through aerial performance, will be performed in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh in June  2019 and curated by National Theatre of Scotland Artist-in-Residence Nic Green.
  • The Coming Back Out Ball, a year-long engagement programme created for the LGBTI elder community comes to Scotland, having been successfully pioneered in Australia by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid of All The Queens Men. Led by Scottish theatre-maker Lewis Hetherington alongside the original creative team from All The Queens Men, the project will take place from May 2019.
  • Just Start Here, the National Theatre of Scotland’s pop-up festival celebrating new work and Scottish artists, arrives in Aberdeen on 08 and 09 March 2019 as part of the Company’s Engine Room programme. Produced in partnership with Citymoves, Aberdeen.

THE YEAR IN BRIEF:

February

  • Adam, conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett, written by Frances Poet and performed by Adam Kashmiry and Rehanna MacDonald, tours to New York for performances at the Skirball Centre in Manhattan from 14 to 16 February 2019, the show’s first international dates.

March

  • Anything that Gives Off Light, directed by Rachel Chavkin, with Associate Direction from Davey Anderson, visits Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019. Written by Jessica Almasy, Davey Anderson, Fraser Ayres, Rachel Chavkin, Brian Ferguson, and Alexander Grierson. A co-production from The TEAM, the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.
  • Première neige/First Snow, directed by Patrice Dubois and written by Davey Anderson, Philippe Ducros and Linda McLean, follows its successful premiere at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with a tour to Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March 2019. An international co-production between National Theatre of Scotland Théâtre PÀP and Hôtel-Motel.
  • Engine Room’s Just Start Here pop-up festival returns, bringing two days of music, climate change activism and cross-art form making to Aberdeen from 08 to 09 March 2019.  Presented in partnership with Aberdeen’s Citymoves.
  • Interference, a chilling new trilogy of near-future plays, will be performed in a transformed Glasgow office block from 16 to 30 March 2019. Written by Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea and directed by Cora Bissett. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Dear Europe will mark Scotland’s scheduled exit from the European Union with an evening of live music and live performance at SWG3, Glasgow on Friday 29 March 2019. Co-curated by Stewart Laing and Jackie Wylie and featuring work from artists Adura Onashile, Nima Séne, Alan McKendrick, Angus Farquar, Nic Green, and Leonie Rae Gasson. A National Theatre of Scotland production, in association with SWG3

May

  • The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil begins its new Scotland-wide tour with performances in Dundee, Inverness, Shetland and the Highlands. Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre, Newcastle. Based on the original Dundee Rep Theatre production.
  • My Left Right Foot – The Musical returns to the stage with new performances at Dundee Rep from 21 to 25 May 2019. Written and directed by Robert Softley Gale, with music and lyrics by Scott Gilmour & Claire McKenzie, Richard Thomas & Robert Softley Gale. A Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland co-production.

June

  • Them! is written by Pamela Carter and directed by Stewart Laing, his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. It will premiere at Tramway, Glasgow in June/July. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • LIKE FLYING, is led by National Theatre Scotland Artist in Residence Nic Green in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh from June. In partnership with (SAMH) Scottish Association for Mental Health, in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council.
  • The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil visits the final stops on its Scotland-wide tour, including Skye, Aberdeen and Stirling, before beginning a two-week run at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.

July

  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham, using the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. It is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland and premieres in Manchester in July 2019 before touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.
  • Them!, Stewart Laing and Pamela Carter’s subversive and immersive new production, concludes its debut performances at Tramway, Glasgow.

August

  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, written by Tim Crouch and directed by Karl James & Andy Smith, is the first of two shows from the National Theatre of Scotland at the 2019 Edinburgh Festivals, running through August.
  • Red Dust Road has its opening performances, the first stage production of Jackie Kay’s heart-warming memoir, in an adaptation by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton. The show premieres at the Edinburgh International Festival, before visiting Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling and Eden Court, Inverness later in the autumn

September

  • Red Dust Road follows its opening performances at the Edinburgh International Festival with a tour to the home of co-producing partners HOME, in Manchester.

October

  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery, directed by Eve Nicol, tours Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019, with visits to Aberdeen, Tobermory, Hawick, Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of Black History Month.

November

  • Jenni Fagan adapts her hit novel The Panopticon for the stage. Directed by Debbie Hannan, the show will be presented at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Platform, Glasgow.
  • Thank You Very Much receives its Scottish premiere in Glasgow from 31 Oct to 03 November 2019, following its opening performances at Manchester International Festival in the summer.

Throughout 2019

Theatre in Schools Scotland
National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate. Touring a programme of acclaimed shows to nurseries and schools across Scotland.

Engine Room

Established in 2018, our Engine Room programme will continue to provide artistic development opportunities for artists throughout Scotland.

The Coming Back Out Ball

A year-long engagement programme from May 2019 created for the LGBTI elder community in Scotland, led by Lewis Hetherington, Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid. Presented by National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men in partnership with Luminate.

How The Earth Must See Itself

A short film produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Sculpture Workshop, created by Lucy Cash and Simone Kenyon, and based on the book – The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

 

NEWS: A SEASON OF RADICAL TAKES ON CLASSIC DRAMA AT THE TRON

Tron Theatre’s Spring-Summer 2019 season is packed full of work that will challenge conventions and subvert some of drama’s most classic of texts. Andy Arnold’s programme for the new year sees him welcome early career influencers like Pete Brook of Impact Theatre and Linda Marlowe alongside some of the finest emergent artists and companies making work. Highlights will include:

* Jo Clifford’s razor-sharp new version of The Taming of the Shrew, presented by Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and Tron Theatre Company.
* imitating the dog’s bold re-telling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness fusing live performance with digital technology.
* The Zinnie Harris re-working of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie presented by Perth Theatre.
* Marius von Mayenburg’s fast-moving farce about external beauty, identity and the brutality of capitalism, The Ugly One in Tron Theatre Company’s summer comedy directed by Debbie Hannan.

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and Tron Theatre Company will present Jo Clifford’s new version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (20-30 March, Press Night: Thu 21 March, 7.45pm). A bawdy and riotous take on a contentious classic, directed by Michael Fentiman, you are invited to step into a world where women hold all the power, the patriarchy is being challenged and new possibilities abound.  The summer comedy this year will be the Marius von Mayenburg farce translated by Maja Zade, The Ugly One (4 -20 July, Press Night: Friday 5 July, 7.45pm). Debbie Hannan will direct this hilarious and fast-moving piece that exposes some very ugly truths about our self-obsessed culture.

The main auditorium programme opens with Celtic Connections (18 Jan – 2 Feb), after which the theatre programme gets underway with Fuel’s production The Dark (15 & 16 Feb) about a four-year-old boy and his mother escaping a country divided by dictatorship and consumed by conflict. Shilpa T-Hyland will direct Perth Theatre’s production of Miss Julie (27 Feb – 2 Mar), in a version re-worked by Zinnie Harris and set in 1920s Scotland. The Tron are particularly pleased to be able to welcome back Tamasha for the Scottish premiere of Approaching Empty (5 Mar), an incisive new drama set in Northern England in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s death, by award-winning playwright Ishy Din.  imitating the dog present a bold re-telling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (7-9 Mar), a visually rich, multi-layered work fusing live performance with digital technology. Choreography, live sewing, comedy and original music come together in ThisEgg’s dressed. (14-16 Mar), celebrating the power clothes have to define us, liberate us, hide us and embellish us.

Mark Thomas is back, this time with Check Up Our NHS@70 (9-11 Apr), using his own demise to explore the state of the NHS. Let Me Look At You (12 & 13 Apr) is a hilarious and deeply moving celebration of LGBTQ history performed by Mark Pinkosh and written by Godfrey Hamilton, otherwise known as Starving Artists.  For young audiences, Tortoise in a Nutshell present The Lost Things (16 & 17 Apr), Oliver Emanuel’s dark fairy-tale where nothing is quite as it seems, performed in a unique dome structure.  Hilarious and heart-lifting, Tangram Theatre (who presented Team Viking in 2017) present A Hundred Different Words for Love (19 & 20 Apr), a story of romance, despair and friendship. Following overwhelming responses from previous runs at the Traverse Theatre and Abbey Theatre, Gary McNair’s Locker Room Talk (25-27 Apr) continues the conversation about misogyny and masculinity which has become even more urgent since its premiere.

The Changing House programme opens with performance artist Katy Dye’s Baby Face (7-9 Feb) a brave and outlandish show about the infantilisation of women.  Testroom 2019 (12 Feb) returns to showcase puppetry-making and performance skills ahead of performances at manipulate. Sonnet Youth, Scotland’s literary ravers, take up residence for a spoken word Weekender with Gigantic Lying Mouth (15 Feb) about the human desire to lie and Confessionals (16 Feb) a coming-of-age character piece set in an East End boozer. The tour de force that is Linda Marlowe gives voice to Steven Berkoff’s outrageous female characters in Berkoff’s Women (21-23 Feb) and there’s the Scottish premiere of In Other Words (5-7 Mar), a deeply moving love story exploring the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir examines the immigrant experience of the EU referendum in (Can This Be) Home (14-16 Mar) and Holly Gallagher presents her new show Tensile Strength (Or How To Survive At Your Wit’s End) (20-22 Mar) about stress and how so many of us feel it to an unhealthy degree. DUPed (4-6 Apr) explores the legacy and continuing impact the Reverend Dr. Ian Kyle Paisley and his Democratic Unionist Party on those who oppose extreme religious and social conservatism. Harry Josephine Giles brings bleak humour and tender fury in Drone (11-13 Apr), a live jam of sound, visuals and poetic storytelling about the life of a military drone.  Father (17-20 Apr) is the European premiere of an intimate work with mythical scope – an abusive parent/child relationship reflected in their wider relationship with Mother Nature and the evolution of our climate. Perth Theatre have the last Changing House show of the season with their fast-paced and irreverent Marie (25-27 Apr), a darkly comic new play inspired by the life of Mary Queen of Scots but given a distinctly modern twist.

 

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