Tag Archives: Arts Centre

NEWS: PACE ANNOUNCES SUMMER PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

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

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

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

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

Jenni Mason, Artistic Director of PACE, said:

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

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

Details of Bursary and concessionary places are available on application.

 

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

REVIEW: Waiting For Gabriel – East Kilbride Arts Centre

Theatre Company Running Late have written and produced a real Christmas cracker of a show at East Kilbride Arts Centre this Festive Season.

It’s Christmas Eve and a group of strangers who were once friends wait for Gabriel. A vacancy has opened up so if they want that promotion, they’ll  have to impress him. They’ve each been waiting 2000 years, have plenty of work experience and the right skills for the job so they really shouldn’t let a little friendly rivalry distract them before he arrives.

Through its comedy and the unfolding competition that ensues as Loreli (Ailsa Courtney), Cassiel (Samantha Toyer-Wright), Ariel (Natalie Clark) and Tobias (Allan Gilmour) each vie for Gabriel’s attention, it prompts us to look at how seemingly random acts of kindness come along when we need them most, how do so-called miraculous feats of human strength and endurance happen when all hope is gone. Is it because of angels? And what about these angels? What happens when their faith and hope are tested?  Is it worth carrying on? Waiting for Gabriel is an original work that, though sprinkled throughout with gentle humour, (and some top-notch singing from Allan Gilmour) eventually takes us to a place that makes us ask some pretty big questions. To its credit it does it in the gentlest, most entertaining way.

Susan Arbuckle’s set is atmospherically dressed and there are some neat visual effects and director Lorna Gold steers the events along at a admirable pace.

Much of the success of the piece is due to its talented cast who perfectly deliver their own script. There’s a surety with the material and a conviction in what they are delivering. Running Late Theatre Company look set to be a company to watch. I look forward to seeing what’s next.

REVIEW: A Life With The Beatles – EK Arts Centre

Entering to the strains of Billy J. Kramer’s version of Lennon & McCartney’s Do You Want to Know a Secret; actor Ian Sexon takes the audience on a blisteringly paced account of the life of Neil Aspinall. A man at the very heart of The Beatles’ story, a man who shared their brightest and darkest moments, a man, who, unlike almost everyone else associated with the group, took his secrets to the grave.

Aspinall went from school pal of Paul McCartney and George Harrison to trainee accountant to first ever roadie, driving his beat-up Commer van the length of the country, to CEO of Apple Corps, The Beatles’ global business conglomerate. Notably,  in helping to sustain The Beatles’ legacy, it was Aspinall who masterminded the creation of the world-wide, best-selling, Beatles Anthology documentary, three-volume double album and book.

Davide Verazzani’s A Life With The Beatles seeks to shed light on some of the most famous moments in the band’s history, most notably, the ground-breaking and quite frankly, bizarre, making of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Verazzani’s writing grips from start to end, while you may think you know everything about The Beatles, there’s enough insight here to surprise even the most die-hard fan. There’s a perfect blend of emotive drama and clever humour. Sexon is a natural storyteller, and his performance in this one-hander is a tour de force, with only four suitcases, a smattering of props and some simple back projections, he has a hypnotic hold over the audience throughout.

This 60-minute show is a little belter, proving that sometimes smallest is best.

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub

Image: Gary Daniell

REVIEW: Stags and Hens – East Kilbride Arts Centre

It’s Liverpool. It’s the 70s. It’s a Liverpool where Industry has gone to the dogs and opportunity has taken a very long ferry trip far beyond the Mersey.

Dave and Linda are on their respective stag and hen nights, unbeknownst to each other, in the same place, a trashy, down-at-heel disco in the city.

The action in Willy Russell’s Stags and Hens takes place in the toilets of the dodgy disco, where Linda and her pals and Dave (who spends the play with his head down the toilet) and his mates, ruminate on life, the universe and everything in between.

Russell is a master portrayer of the lives of the ordinary man (and woman); the clothes may be desperately dated, the jokes chronic; “love is blind, marriage is an institution…who wants to live in an institution for the blind?”, but the dialogue is natural, believable and entirely relatable and underneath the surface laughs there is a deeper commentary on working class life, misogyny, opportunity and expectation.

Inspire Theatre’s production of this little-seen play is near-faultless. Under the tight direction of Elaine Berry, the action moves along at a cracking pace and the razor-sharp dialogue hits the mark every time, but what elevates the whole production is the cast. Universally on point throughout, the cast of twelve maintain an impeccable focus and the production is replete with pristine tiny detail, from the girls’ primping and preening to the boys’ posturing, this is a masterclass in acting.

Particularly impressive are Hazel May MacGregor as the bolshy and boisterous Bernadette and Michelle Minto as the hysterical Maureen. To his great credit, Francis Lyons manages to keep the role of violent hothead Eddy completely within the bounds of reality – a role which could so easily have been overplayed and Martin Haddow elicits both laughs and sympathetic awws, as the misfit Billy. That said, this is a perfect example of exemplary ensemble acting.

This is a theatre company to watch out for, small but perfectly formed, bigger companies should take heed – quality wins every time.