Tag Archives: Glasgow

NEWS: Weegie Hink Ae That? are back with their Christmas show at Cottiers

The Weegies are back again, but this time with a Christmas spectacular. For Christmas with a Glaswegian twist this show is definitely a must see this festive season. From Sketches about angry elves, Mary and Joseph making their way to Govan and Christmas at Grandas the lads promise to share their Christmas spirits…by the litre. Come along for original Christmas songs and an all-round good time with the weegie quartet this holiday season.


This is a seated event. Tickets sold as General Admission (you will not be allocated a specific seat in the auditorium)

Please note, box office is only manned when there is a performance in the venue. For Box Office Collection, please wait until the day of performance. Phone messages and emails to the Box Office are checked at least once a day, Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Other Performances
20 Dec 2017 – 19:30

Cottiers Theatre



The Citizens Theatre has announced details of the final season to be presented at its home at 119 Gorbals Street before work commences on a major redevelopment of the iconic Glasgow venue.

Prior to the Citizens Theatre Company temporarily moving out of its premises next summer, it will mount a full spring programme ending in May 2018. The theatre will then stage work across Glasgow for the duration of its multi-million pound project to transform the Gorbals theatre. Further details on this project are available from citz.co.uk/press.

Following the announcement earlier this year of a co-production with HOME Manchester of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, the theatre has released full listings for this eclectic Spring 2018 season, which goes on sale today.

The Spring 2018 season will include:

  • Bold Girls: A timely revival of Rona Munro’s award winning play. Former River City star Deirdre Davis leads an all-female cast in this hilarious and poignant story of love, friendship and betrayal, set in working class Belfast against the backdrop of the Troubles.
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night: A seminal work of 20th century American drama, Dominic Hill directs Eugene O’Neill’s play about the struggles of the Tyrone family in a Citizens Theatre co-production with HOME Manchester.
  • A Night to Remember: As the Citizens Theatre Company prepares to temporarily move out of its Gorbal home, this community production takes audiences back in time to the building’s origins as the Royal Princess’s Theatre for an evening of variety set on one eventful night in 1918.
  • Andrea Dunbar’s landmark semi-autobiographical play Rita, Sue and Bob Too presented by Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Royal Court Theatre.
  • A full programme of innovative work will be presented in the intimate setting of the Circle Studio, following the success of The Macbeths and Lampedusa in autumn 2017.


 A Citizens Theatre production

BOLD GIRLS (Wed 24 Jan – Sat 10 Feb)

By Rona Munro
Directed by Richard Baron

Belfast in the early 1990s. Against a backdrop of gunfire and police raids, four women whose lives have been turned upside down by the Troubles carry on with everyday life. But what starts out as a riotous night out, leads to the spilling of some very sobering truths in the early hours. Packed with abrasive humour, Bold Girls is a story of love, friendship and betrayal.

Rona Munro, whose trilogy The James Plays – written for the National Theatre of Scotland – was a recent international hit, burst onto the scene in 1991 with this celebration of women’s lives in West Belfast.



Company of Wolves present
ACHILLES (Tue 23 Jan – Sat 27 Jan)

Created and Performed by Ewan Downie

Glasgow theatre company Company of Wolves re-imagines the myth of Achilles in a heart-stopping solo performance by Ewan Downie.

Achilles tells the story of the greatest hero of the Greeks during the Trojan War: how his best friend is killed by the champion of the Trojans, his desperate grief, and his terrible vengeance.  A fusion of storytelling, dance and song, Achilles is a story of a man’s exorcism: a burning out of his vulnerability, his rage, and his humanity.

Supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland in association with Platform, Dance House and Citizens Theatre. This performance will be part of manipulate Visual Theatre Festival in 2018 produced by Puppet Animation Scotland.


Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Royal Court Theatre present
RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO (Tue 13 Feb – Sat 17 Feb)

By Andrea Dunbar
Directed by Kate Wasserberg

Best friends Rita and Sue get a lift home from married Bob after babysitting his kids. When he takes the scenic route and offers them a bit of fun, the three start a fling each of them think they control.

Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play, written for the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 when she was just 19, is a vivid portrait of girls caught between brutal childhood and an uncompromising future, both hungry for adult adventure.

Told with wicked humour, startling insight and a great ear for dialogue, Rita, Sue and Bob Too was adapted into a cult 80s film.



Wonder Fools in association with Brunton Theatre present
549: SCOTS OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR (Tues 13 Feb – Sat 17 Feb)

By Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon
Directed by Jack Nurse

  1. In villages, towns and cities across Scotland, 549 lives are gradually intertwining. People of contrasting backgrounds, ideologies and religions. Spurred on by their burning passion for equality and freedom, they will form the Scottish ranks of the Spanish Civil War’s legendary International Brigade.

This true story follows four miners from the streets of East Lothian to the valleys of Spain. They gave up everything they knew: for a land they did not know; for a people they had never met; and for a cause they believed was right.

549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War, a new play with songs and storytelling, is a timely insight into one of Scotland’s almost forgotten conflicts.



Firebrand in co-production with The Byre Theatre and Heart of Hawick present
THE MATCH BOX (Tue 20 Feb – Sat 24 Feb)

By Frank McGuinness
Directed by Richard Baron

Firebrand present the Scottish premiere of a breathtaking new monologue by one of Ireland’s greatest dramatists, Frank McGuinness (Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme).

The ties that bind us can never be broken, and the shocking events that bring Sal to exile on a remote Irish island are as unexpected as they are brutal. Her compelling journey through grief, revenge and the temptations of evil begs only one question: what would you do if pushed to the very edge?

Based in the Scottish Borders, Firebrand tour award-winning contemporary theatre productions from writers such as Rona Munro, David Grieg, David Harrower and Lucy Prebble and present their first production at the Citizens Theatre.

Directed by Firebrand’s Director of Productions Richard Baron, who also directs Bold Girls at the Citizens this spring.



A Citizens Theatre Community Production supported by Sky Arts
COME HELL OR HIGH WATER (Wed 21 Mar – Sat 24 Mar)

By Martin Travers
Directed by Guy Hollands

If it’s no broke – why try to Brexit?

An evening of new songs, interesting facts, light hearted banter, fake news and a cast of thousands (well – twenty five if the truth be told) looking at what it feels like to be living in Scotland now and knowing that Brexit means exit.

Come Hell or High Water is one of 50 new works commissioned by Sky Art’s Art 50 project, all on the theme of what it means to be British following the EU Referendum. In partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council.



Lung Ha Theatre Company present
By Anton Chekhov in a new version by Adrian Osmond

Chekhov’s classic Three Sisters in a new version by Adrian Osmond. Presented by the award winning Lung Ha Theatre Company and The Sibelius Academy at the University of Helsinki.

A play of life, love, loss, dreams, whimsy, hope – real and false – of moving and of remaining where you are.



Brite Theater present
RICHARD III (A ONE WOMAN SHOW) (Tue 10 – Sat 14 Apr)

A one woman show
Adapted by Emily Carding and Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir from William Shakespeare

Breaking new ground in Shakespearean performance, Brite Theater re-imagine Richard III as a one-woman show. The fourth wall is utterly obliterated as the audience takes on the roles of all the other characters at Richard’s party in this intimate, unpredictable and moving production. Richard wants to entertain you but will you survive?

First performed at the Prague Fringe 2015, Richard III has been thrilling audiences around the globe ever since, including in New York, Rome, Reykjavik and a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Citizens Theatre and HOME Manchester present

By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Dominic Hill

One of the greatest American dramas of the 20th century, Eugene O’Neill’s hugely moving and personal Pulitzer Prize-winning Long Day’s Journey Into Night delves into the private lives and failings of a conflicted family, while revealing insights into his own upbringing.

The four members of the troubled Tyrone family each have their vice to dull their memories of their painful past and face their current trials Over the course of one devastating day at their Connecticut summer home the resentments of the family are exposed, pushing their bonds to the limit.

Dominic Hill will direct this co-production with HOME Manchester, who we previously partnered with to present Endgame in 2016.



Broke Lad Present
MCLUCKIE’S LINES (Wed 25 Apr – Sat 28 Apr)
By Martin Travers and Martin Docherty

Life’s a Gamble!

Unemployed actor and compulsive gambler McLuckie waits nervously in a claustrophobic corridor of a Glasgow hospital. He’s expecting the phone call he’s been waiting for his whole life – what could go wrong? Place your bets!

Starring Martin Docherty who has previously appeared in Still Game, Rab C Nesbit, Dear Green Place, River City, Gary: Tank Commander, Father Brown and Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks. Marty Goes To Hollywood, a documentary featuring Martin as himself, won a New Talent Bafta in 2015.

£1.00 from every ticket will be donated to MacMillan Cancer Support



Dundee Rep present
PASSING PLACES (Tue 8 May – Sat 12 May)

by Stephen Greenhorn
Directed by Andrew Panton

Passing Places is a hilarious road movie for the stage. Stephen Greenhorn’s much loved contemporary comedy has been described as a Scottish equivalent of Kerouac’s On the Road.

The story of two Motherwell lads going nowhere who are forced to escape the urban doldrums in a wornout Lada, and end up with their psychopathic gangster boss hot on their heels.

In this high-octane, fast-paced, physical new production, the Dundee Rep Ensemble showcase their storytelling talents, propelling you up Scotland’s west coast from Fort William to Thurso and everywhere in between on a hilarious journey of self-discovery.



A Citizens Theatre Community Production
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (Wed 23 – Sat 26 May)

By Peter Arnott
Directed by Guy Hollands and Neil Packham

Exactly a hundred years ago in the Gorbals, as World War One draws towards its bloody close, audience and performers, soldiers and civilians, prepare for a big night out in the theatre to help them forget their troubles. But those troubles come right into the auditorium with them: Russia is in revolution, Ireland is on the point of Civil War, and this is the crossroads of a world in chaos on a night in the Royal Princess’s Theatre at 119 Gorbals Street that none of them will ever forget.


Tickets for all the above shows are available now through citz.co.uk and Box Office 0141 429 0022

REVIEW: Rudolph – Platform, Easterhouse, Glasgow

Esmerelda is one unhappy chicken, not only does she want to be called Joyce now, she’s also in no mood to provide the much needed eggs for the poor storytellers Christmas dinner – two poor storytellers who have no cards and no presents either. Esmerelda decides that she’ll only lay an egg if the pair re-tell her favourite story, that of Rudolph the famous red-nosed reindeer.

Rudolph (for pre-schoolers) is as far removed from the brash, candy-coloured pantomimes on offer around the city, this is the gentlest of storytelling, played out on a beautiful, naturalistic cottage-yard set, illuminated by the most beautiful lighting effects from Sergey Jakovsky.

While it does tend to stray on the side of the bizarre – there’s a strange ‘birthing’ sequence for Rudolph and Olive (the other reindeer) relishes her torment of poor Rudolph at reindeer school, it’s a gentle introduction into modern theatre for the tiniest of audience members.

The highlight of the night is when the only song of the evening plays from the radio Edwin Starr’s HAPPY Radio and the tiny dancers in the auditorium burst into life. The creators would do well to take note of the effect of music on young children – it speaks to their very soul. At only 45 minutes long it should fly by but it lacks the necessary life it takes to make it a real hit with its target audience, there’s a lot of restlessness around. A work of quality but not without its faults.

Runs until 17 December at various times

Tickets from £4.50 (local links) /£5/ £8.50


Sun 10 Dec
Tues 12 Dec
Tues 12 Dec
Weds 13 Dec
Weds 13 Dec
Thurs 14 Dec
Fri 15 Dec
Sat 16 Dec
Sat 16 Dec
Sun 17 Dec


Artistic Director Andy Arnold has been taking stock as he enters his 10th anniversary year at the helm of Tron Theatre, with his enthusiasm for the work made and programmed undiminished.  He continues to push the boundaries of theatrical experiment and provocation more than ever before and his Spring/Summer 2018 season is a refusal to present the safe and familiar. Highlights will include:

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s high-octane, tough-talking play about love, infidelity and survival The Motherf**ker with the Hat presented by Tron Theatre Company and Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

A new musical comedy Bingo! from Grid Iron and Stellar Quines, penned by Tron favourites Johnny McKnight and Anita Vettesse.

The world premiere of David Leddy’s absurd, sensual and provocative parable about trust and truth, The Last Bordello

An all-female, irreverent version of a literary classic, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) in a Tron Theatre Company co-production with Blood of the Young.

Tron Theatre Company, in co-production with Sherman Theatre, Cardiff take on Stephen Adly Guirgis’s fast and ferocious, The Motherf**ker with the Hat (1-17 March), about recovering addict and ex-con Jackie’s attempts to stay on the straight and narrow in both life and love despite the behaviour of the people closest to him.

The Tron are also working with Blood of the Young on the summer comedy, this year we’re tackling a literary classic with Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) (28 June – 14 July). Paul Brotherston will direct this irreverent all-female adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous text. The question is: how important is a happy ending?

In the main auditorium, there’s a diverse programme of work. Celtic Connections returns (19 Jan – 3 Feb) including a run of Matt Regan’s Greater Belfast which Tron Theatre helped to develop in 2016.  ‘Iconoclast’ David Leddy presents The Last Bordello (10-17 Feb), an ingeniously fiendish labyrinth of a story that gets more puzzling and suspenseful with every wrong turn. Mark Thomas, whose highly politicized comedy regularly sells out here at the Tron brings a new show about his attempts to set up a comedy club in the Palestinian city of Jenin Showtime from the Frontline (21-24 March, 7.45pm + matinee Sat 24, 2.30pm).

Grid Iron and Stellar Quines present a new musical comedy from the inimitable Johnny McKnight and Anita Vettesse, Bingo! (12-14 April, 7.45pm) combining barnstorming numbers and banter for an unforgettable night. The visceral, physical and musical qualities of Milton’s Paradise Lost are explored in Al Seed and Judith Milligan’s new work The Shadow of Heaven (17 & 18 Apr, 7.45pm), a highly imaginative adaptation of the seminal poem that was originally imagined as a piece of tragic theatre.

The Changing House programme opens with Testroom Scratch Night (24 Jan) as part of manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, where four scratch pieces will be given their first public airing.  Leyla Josephine is Hopeless (26 & 27 Jan), examining human suffering through quick-fire poetry and dark comedy. Tron Studio, the adult community drama group, present Chimera (15-17 Feb) and the same creative team from Eden Court Theatre that brought us Not About Heroes present The Return (23 Feb), a gripping play about the mystery of identity and the survival instinct.

Stuntman (28 Feb – 3 Mar) is an intensely physical, funny and tender duet by two men who wrestle with their relationship with violence; and How to Act (6-10 Mar) explores the contemporary realities of personal, cultural and economic exploitation.  Andy Edwards will present his experiment in laying bare the mechanics of poetry, In Burrows (23 & 24 Mar, 8pm) and Paul Brotherston will direct Olivier Award-winning writer Jack Thorne’s vital coming-of-age tale for our times, Bunny (28 Mar – 7 Apr) for Tron Theatre Company. Mary Shelley’s life is explored in an atmospheric and moving new piece from The Occasion, The Monster and Mary Shelley (20 & 21 Apr) and Knaive Theatre bring their ‘deeply uncomfortable and deeply dramatic’ smash-hit Edinburgh Fringe show, Bin Laden: The One Man Show (26-28 Apr).

Theatre Gu Leòr present a site-specific new play with live music, songs and stories, Cèilidh (7-10 Mar) in the Vic Bar and all the regular music sessions are back including Sunday Jazz, The Seven Song Club sponsored by Makar and An Evening Of…

Andy Arnold said of his Spring/Summer programme:

“I’ve put together a really strong programme of work for the Spring and Summer season, and in the ten years that I’ve been in post at the Tron Theatre, I’ve always striven to push boundaries and challenge audience expectations.  The calibre of the creatives and companies we’re working with is second-to-none which means our audiences get to see some of the most innovative, thought-provoking and bold work being made and toured in Scotland today.”


Sting this morning visited Fairfield Heritage Centre in Govan, Glasgow to launch The Last Ship.

The Last Ship is inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences. It tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the town’s Swan Hunter shipyard – making Fairfield the perfect spot for the exclusive event.

Sting arrived in Govan to treat a small audience of around 80 to a live acoustic performance of songs from the show and a Q&A. Members of the audience included press, guests of Theatre Royal, guests of Fairfield and secondary school music pupils.

The Last Ship will sail into Glasgow’s Theatre Royal from Monday 18 until Saturday 18 June 2018 following a week at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.

James Haworth, Theatre Director at Theatre Royal, said: “It was an honour to welcome Sting to Glasgow today and invite him to visit Fairfield Heritage Centre. With The Last Ship exploring the culture and history of shipbuilding I have no doubt that this musical will appeal to the Glasgow audience. I’d like to thank Sting for taking the time to visit and to everyone at Fairfield Heritage Centre who helped make this a morning to remember.”


Abigail Morris, Fairfield Co-ordinator, said: “We have many visitors pass through our doors but it’s not every day you can say that Sting was one of them. We hope he enjoyed his visit to Fairfield and Glasgow and we look forward to seeing The Last Ship when it arrives in June.”

This personal, political and passionate new musical from multiple Grammy Award winner Sting, is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance. With original music and lyrics by Sting, The Last Ship also features some of his best-loved songs Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.

When Gideon Fletcher returns home after seventeen years at sea, tensions between past and future flare in both his family and his town. The local shipyard, around which Wallsend has always revolved, is closing and no-one knows what will come next, only that a half-built ship towers over the terraces.

This is the proud story of when the last ship sails.

Tickets are on sale now.



The Last Ship

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Monday 18-Saturday 23 June 2018

Mon-Sat eves, 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mat, 2.30pm


0844 871 7647 *calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

Images: © Ian Watson

REVIEW: The Fiery Angel (Scottish Opera Sunday Series) – City Halls, Glasgow

Masochistic obsession, black magic, demons, mass possession, exorcism, skeletons, nuns, appearances from Faust and Mephistopheles, it’s no wonder Sergei Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, often called lurid and sensationalist, is seldom staged. This latest production in The Sunday Series from Scottish Opera sees the work given a stripped back concert style treatment and it’s all the better for it.

Rehearsal for The Fiery Angel
Photos by Julie Howden

While lacking a set, it lacks for nothing else. The principal cast is largely made up of native Russian speakers and some fellow Eastern Europeans and is supplemented by current students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland opera school. The expertise with the language is partly the reason for the quality of this production, that and the considerable singing and acting skills of its principal players. Russian soprano Svetlana Sozdateleva is fine-voiced and gives a convincing, emotive performance throughout as the mentally unsound Renata, as is Azerbaijani baritone Evez Abdulla as Ruprecht and Russian tenor Dmitry Golovnin as Agrippa von Nettesheim, though it must be said that at times they, and their fellow singers find it hard to be heard over the outstanding orchestra (itself swelled in number by students from the Conservatoire), who, under the commanding baton of Mikhail Agrest, have rarely sounded more powerful.

Rehearsal for The Fiery Angel
Photos by Julie Howden

For all its, quite frankly insane subject matter, the score is an absolute winner: powerful, hypnotic, dissonant, majestic, bold and gripping.

Every aspect of this largely concert hall venue is utilised well: singers enter through the auditorium, sing from the balconies, orchestra stalls and act out the considerable drama in an arrangement of simply staged, but hugely effective scenes.

An absolute triumph for both Scottish Opera and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a fantastic opportunity to hear Prokofiev’s masterpiece sounding at its best.



REVIEW: Lauder – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

It’s been a dream come true for much-loved Scottish tenor Jamie MacDougall to bring Jimmy Logan’s ‘play with tunes’ back to the stage. Lauder is being staged in the very theatre that launched Sir Harry Lauder to stardom. The place, the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, where in 1905, Lauder in the leading role in the Howard & Wyndham pantomime Aladdin, wrote the now, world-famous I Love a Lassie. The place that is this week celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Lauder’s story truly is one of rags to riches: from leaving school at 12 to go to the coal faces of Lanarkshire, his first steps on the music hall stage, through fame in London (appearing in six theatres a night) then international stardom, to becoming the highest paid entertainer in the world, his skill at self-promotion and his ambition set him apart from the start. This is a man who carefully cultivated his tight-fisted Scotsman image and who, on arriving in the US (in the days before the mass media) rode behind a pipe band in an open-topped car down Broadway to generate a sell-out audience for his shows. He also spotted the potential in his young, inexperienced US agent, one William Morris whose company continues to be the king among acting agencies today. He left an indelible impression on all those he met. His eventual Knighthood though, wasn’t for his fame and skill as a performer, it was for his humanitarian work, raising money (over £1 Million) for the returning troops of World War 1, despite suffering incredible personal loss.

Over a century on from the height of his fame, his legacy lives strong. You may think that you don’t know the words to his songs – but you do. There must be something in the Scottish DNA that pre-programmes them into our psyche, either that or the sheer cleverness of the songwriting, that, by the second verse and chorus, you’ve learned the lyrics and are singing along with the best of them. Indeed, the audience, before the lights dim and the story begins, are gently singing along to these beloved tunes (something they continue to do whenever given the chance throughout the performance).

Besides a gripping tale, jokes that are as fresh and funny 100 years on, and those astonishingly catchy songs, it’s an incredible central performance from MacDougall that elevates this to an unmissable evening of theatre. MacDougall looks as if he’s having the time of his life and his energy and utter immersion in the role transmit to the audience. His rendition of Stop Your Tickling Jock is the most infectiously funny thing I’ve seen on a stage in a long time – I defy anyone not to laugh. This is a joyful experience, both to watch and to feel a part of. MacDougall is a fine tenor and his beautiful diction and impressive acting skills showcase Lauder’s work at its very best.

An in-missable, five-star tribute to one of Scotland’s greats by a production and performing team of the highest quality.

Images: James Glossop

NEWS: Theatre Royal celebrates 150th anniversary

Theatre Royal will tomorrow (28th November) celebrate its 150th birthday, an extraordinary milestone that will be honoured over the next few months with a range of events.

Theatre Royal’s celebratory year will be marked with a special Gala performance of La Traviata on Tuesday 28 November; the premiere of Scottish Opera’s Lauder; a digital memory sharing campaign; a series of specially themed tours – all while the venue continues to showcase a diverse range of high-end touring productions and educational opportunities.


A special Gala performance of Scottish Opera’s La Traviata on Tuesday 28 November will mark the birthday of Theatre Royal. The HRH the Duchess of Gloucester, who has been the patron of Scottish Opera for over 30 years, will attend.


Scottish Opera’s production of Lauder starring Jamie Dougall will premiere on Wednesday 29 November. This new production will explore the figure of Sir Harry Lauder, the legendary Scottish entertainer who has a rich history at the Theatre Royal.

Sir Harry debuted his classic song ‘I Love a Lassie’ onstage at Theatre Royal in 1905 when he appeared in his first pantomime, Aladdin, and in Red Riding Hood in 1910 he performed ‘Roamin’ in the gloamin’’, making Lauder a fitting celebration of the theatre’s 150th year.

Lauder will be performed in the Upper Circle Foyer alongside the run of Scottish Opera’s La Traviata w/c 27 November.


Everyone who would love to hear the theatre’s thrilling stories can join one of the special birthday tours that are planned at the theatre. A 150th Anniversary tour will involve audiences in all aspects of the theatre, families are welcome at the explorative Family-Friendly Tours, and thrill seekers can come along at the After Dark Tours taking place after performances.


Audiences, employees and performers are encouraged to share their memories of Theatre Royal in the form of stories and pictures of the theatre. An online campaign will run throughout the celebratory year to give everyone a chance to contribute to and enjoy the stories at the theatre.

James Haworth, theatre director at Theatre Royal, said: “Over the last 150 years, Theatre Royal has become strongly rooted in the city of Glasgow and plays an important role in its culture.

“We are proud to host the high quality productions that tour with us as well as the vast range of community and educational activities that are held at the theatre. I look forward to celebrating this milestone together with our audiences over the course of the anniversary year”


The first theatre on the present site at the top of Glasgow’s Hope Street was designed by architect George Bell.  Called Bayliss’ Coliseum Theatre and Opera House.  It was opened on Thursday 28th November 1867. The name was changed to the Theatre Royal by charter granted by Queen Victoria.

On 2nd February 1879 the Theatre Royal was completely destroyed by fire and rebuilt shortly afterwards to the design of London architect, Charles John Phipps.

The rebuilt Theatre Royal was opened on 26 October 1880 under the management of Miss Marie Litton until Messrs. Howard & Wyndham took possession in July 1888.  The Theatre Royal reopened yet again in September 1888 with Mr. Henry Irving and The Lyceum Company in Faust.

On 1st March 1895 the Theatre was again destroyed by fire and reopened in September beginning the long and successful association of the Theatre Royal with the best in the world of entertainment.

In 1956 the Theatre Royal was sold to Scottish Television for conversion into a studio complex.

In 1975 the Theatre Royal became the permanent home of Scottish Opera.

In 2005 the Theatre Royal underwent another change of ownership when Scottish Opera signed over the theatre to the Ambassador Theatre Group on a 25 year lease. Scottish Opera continues to own the building with ATG assuming operating its management.

In 2014 Theatre Royal underwent an extensive refurbishment – its spiral staircase a prominent feature in the city centre. The new first-class education and event space hold a number of activities including choirs, award ceremony, youth theatre classes and summer schools.

REVIEW: An Evening with Collabro with special guest Carly Paoli – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

2014 Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro have had an enviable career since the TV talent show. Unlike some of their fellow winners, they have scored three top-20 albums including the number one Stars, have completed worldwide tours, appeared at Proms in the Park and performed at exclusive engagements around the world.

Tonight their Home tour arrives in Glasgow with support act Country/Christian/pop act Philippa Hanna and a guest appearance from classical/crossover singer, Carly Paoli.

Collabro are undoubtedly a class act and the quality of the set/stage presentation reflects this, though the video intro with BGT/X-Factor style voice over is unnecessarily cheesy, the lighting design, video projections and the quadruple staircase staging are all visually pleasing.

The set comprises the great and good of musical theatre as reflected in their current album Home. There’s a pleasing variety in tone throughout the night, but it’s the big-hitting Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera medleys that have the fans in raptures. They are at their best when singing as one, their harmonies are incredibly impressive, though the solo vocals are largely of a high quality, it is Jamie Lambert who has the most original voice.

Special guest vocalist and rising star of the classical/crossover world Carly Paoli is an impressive talent. She, like headliners Collabro, is a class act and her beautifully toned voice soars in the Theatre Royal (fittingly owned by and the home to, Scottish Opera), she is the perfect fit for the vocal quartet. As well as showcasing songs from her debut album Singing My Dreams she performs a beautiful duet on Over The Rainbow.

This is an evening of quality throughout, from the choice of songs, the production value and the superb quality vocals – it’s hard to fault.*

The Collabro Home tour continues until 2 December 2017.

*The only gripes about the evening would be the excessive promotion of merchandise which permeated the entire evening from the support act Philippa Hanna, guest star Carly Paoli to Collabro themselves. Each one interrupted their set to push product. That, and the incongruous Country/Christian pop support act Philippa Hanna, who while a gifted singer was an odd musical choice for the headline act.


REVIEW: Philippa Hanna – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

As the opening act for audience favourites Collabro you will always have a hard job of winning over the band’s loyal following, even if you are currently the No.1 selling UK Country Chart act. On paper, Philipa Hanna, seems like an unusual musical fit for the musical theatre/crossover classical singing group.

Hanna is warmly received by the audience and as with any Glasgow crowd, is accompanied with gusto on the many occasions for audience participation, both vocally and percussively.

Hanna is a gifted singer with a crystal clear country voice and her output is very firmly placed in the current pop-country world (she is also a proponent of Contemporary Christian pop). The problem is that while entirely pleasant to the ear, the music is a tad similar-sounding. Another, more concerning aspect of the performance is the highly detailed introductions to the songs. Each appears to have been inspired by the knocks in life that Hanna has experienced and she explains each at length, along with her belief in the support network around her and her faith in God. While, undoubtedly the intention is to inspire – indeed the title of her current album is Come Back Fighting and another song I Am Amazing, unfortunately the audience interaction, coupled with the lengthy interlude to promote the sale of her current album and book, pressed all this reviewers cynicism buttons (indeed, the merchandise plugging was a device used throughout the evening with all acts on the bill trying to sell something). I am a great believer in letting the music do the talking, if it, and you, are good enough, then they alone will win any audience over.

While undoubtedly a talented singer and a competent songwriter, Hanna has huge potential in her chosen genre(s), there are more suitable tours for an artist of this genre. While this will garner her huge exposure on Collabro’s almost sell-out tour, it’s an odd choice and an uncomfortable fit with the acts to come.

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