Tag Archives: Maureen Beattie

WHAT’S ON OCTOBER – CITIZENS THEATRE TO STAGE TWO ONE-ACT PLAYS IN THE INTIMATE TRON

 

  • The opening production of the Tron’s new season will be the Citizens Theatre double bill of Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett and a newly commissioned play, Go On by Scottish writer Linda McLean.
  • The Citizens Theatre double bill features the world premiere of Go On, commissioned as a companion piece inspired by the iconic Beckett play.
  • Directed by Dominic Hill, the plays star two leading actors of their generation, Niall Buggy and Maureen Beattie.
  • The thought-provoking pairing explores what happens when you dare to interact with previous and future versions of yourself.
  • Together, these stripped-back and intimate productions offer a raw and emotional experience.

In Samuel Beckett’s seminal Krapp’s Last Tape, an older man reflects on his youth. Sitting alone on his 69th birthday, Krapp (Niall Buggy) listens to a recording of his younger self, rewinding through his life with humour and heartache.  It is a revival of a production directed by Dominic Hill at Leeds Playhouse, also starring Buggy, which received critical acclaim when it first reopened in October 2020.

In Go On, Jane (Maureen Beattie) considers how an AI replacement might allow her to exist in the future. Sitting in her sleek kitchen, Jane teaches Jayne the essentials of her life, and the loves and losses that have shaped her. Written by Linda McLean as a companion piece to Krapp’s Last Tape, it is a raw and personal story.

The two plays speak to our own sense of mortality with a wry, dark humour as they look back on life and consider the future.  They provide perfect platforms for the acting talents of Maureen Beattie and Niall Buggy.

Irish actor Niall Buggy has worked extensively on the stage and screen in Ireland, the UK and the US. Some of his well-known roles include the lead in Brian Friel’s Uncle Vanya, for which he won an Irish Times Theatre Award, and Brian in Dead Funny for which he won an Olivier Award. More recent plays include Penelope by Enda Walsh, Krapp’s Last Tape at the Leeds Playhouse (directed by Dominic Hill), Beckett Trilogy and On Blueberry Hill by Sebastian Barry for which he won the Origin theatre award in New York.

Maureen Beattie has appeared in a huge range of performances across stage and screen and is well-known to Citz audiences as a friend and supporter of the theatre.  She recently appeared in the National Theatre of Scotland’s Scenes for Survival: Sore Afraid which was directed by Dominic Hill.

In a challenging time when the Scottish theatre sector has worked together to recover and the Citizens Theatre building continues its redevelopment, this is the ideal opportunity to welcome back both Citz and Tron audiences to indoor performances.

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre said:

“I am a huge fan of Samuel Beckett’s work and was very keen for Glasgow to see Niall Buggy’s heart-breaking performance as Krapp. At the Citizens we aim to look forward as well as back, so I also wanted to commission a new play to sit alongside Krapp’s Last Tape. Linda McLean’s fascination with the form of drama, her poetic voice and ability to find something epic in the everyday, made her the ideal writer to accompany Beckett’s extraordinary play. I am delighted to working with the wonderful Maureen Beattie for the first time on a stage play.”

Andy Arnold, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Tron Theatre said:

“It’s such a joy that Tron Theatre will be open to the public again after so long an absence and what better way to mark this occasion than with the wonderful Citizens Theatre Company and their first ever performances on the Tron stage.  Can’t wait.”

Linda McLean, writer of Go On said:

“Krapp’s Last Tape is one of my favourite Beckett plays. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it. I love the puzzle of it, the way it loops back on itself and adjusts our understanding of then and now and what matters. It demands that you be present and involved. It’s endlessly giving. When Dominic and I talked about a companion piece I knew I had something that would answer but instead of reassessing the past, this woman is training her AI for the future. I’m extremely happy to be working with Dominic again and I have wanted to work with Maureen Beattie for years so this is very special for me.”

KRAPP’S LAST TAPE WITH GO ON

A double bill of one act plays by Samuel Beckett and Linda McLean

Everyone talks to themselves…don’t they?  This thought-provoking double bill takes things one step further and explores what happens when you dare to interact with previous and future versions of yourself.

In Samuel Beckett’s seminal Krapp’s Last Tape, an older man reflects on his youth. Sitting alone on his 69th birthday, Krapp (Niall Buggy) listens to a recording of his younger self, rewinding through his life with humour and heartache.

In Go On,  Jane (Maureen Beattie) considers how an AI replacement might allow her to exist in the future. Sitting in her sleek kitchen, Jane teaches Jayne the essentials of her life, and the loves and losses that have shaped her.

Inspired by Beckett’s iconic work, Go On is the world premiere of a new play by one of Scotland’s most important voices, Linda McLean. Together, these stripped-back and intimate productions offer a raw and emotional experience that speaks to our own sense of mortality with a wry, dark humour.

Performances will take place at the Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB.

Performance schedule (10 performances):

Thursday 30 September – 7.30pm (preview)

Friday 1 October – 7.30pm (preview)

Saturday 2 October – 7.30pm (press night)

Tuesday 5 October – 7.30pm

Wednesday 6 October – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Thursday 7 October – 7.30pm

Friday 8 October – 7.30pm

Saturday 9 October– 2.30pm (audio described and captioned) & 7.30pm

 

Tickets are priced at £19 | £16 | £14.50

Previews are £10 and a limited number of tickets are available to Gorbals Card holders at £5 on non-preview nights.

Available from citz.co.uk or by calling the Tron Box Office on 0141 552 4267.

REVIEW: Yer Granny – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Were you a cynic, you could accuse the National Theatre of Scotland of cashing in on the rising tide of nationalism and the appetite for locally sourced produce in its choice of Yer Granny, a Glaswegian version of Roberto Cossa’s 1977 Argentinian hit comedy La Nona. Rolling out a cast of homegrown TV comedy favourites and capitalising on the seemingly never ending appeal of farce, certainly wouldn’t seem to do Douglas Maxwell’s adaptation any harm either.

Be it cynical or clever, Yer Granny plays to its audience: it’s still 1977, but now reset to a flat above the family’s Glasgow chip shop, it explores how far a family on the financial brink will go to rid itself of its problems.

Gregor Fisher goes for the grotesque as the titular granny who’s eating the family out of house and home and there is strong support from Jonathan Watson as patriarch Cammy and Paul Riley as the wannabe composer and full time shirker Charlie,  but it’s Barbara Rafferty’s hysterical transformation from mild mannered Aunt Angela to gun-toting drug dealer, that stays in the memory.

Undoubtedly laugh out loud funny, there’s a darker heart that the surface laughs mask, but one can’t help feeling opportunities were missed and a descent into crudity in the second half robs the piece of potential depth.

Undeniably watchable, laugh-out-loud funny in parts, but the descent into easy stereotypes and Mrs. Brown’s Boys territory, render it a two, rather than three dimensional production.

reviewed at Glasgow King’s Theatre 27 May now touring Scotland and Northern Ireland

This review was originally written for and published by http://www.thepublicreviews.com at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/yer-granny-kings-theatre-glasgow/

Image credit: Manuel Harlan

REVIEW: Dark Road – The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

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This article was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

Writers: Ian Rankin & Mark Thomson

Director: Mark Thomson

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★☆

Crime fiction may be the biggest selling literary genre in the UK but excepting the output of the late ‘Queen of Crime’ Agatha Christie, it hasn’t exactly figured large on the theatrical stage. Britain’s biggest selling crime novelist Ian Rankin and Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson have set about redressing the balance in their psychological crime thriller Dark Road.

Isobel McArthur (Maureen Beattie) is a thirty year police veteran, Scotland’s first female Chief Constable, mother to a challenging 18 year old daughter and fast approaching retirement with a nagging doubt that just won’t go away. Was the conviction of Alfred Chalmers (Philip Whitchurch), on the basis of a single piece of flimsy forensic evidence, for the murder of four young Edinburgh women, sound? 25 years on Isobel decides to revisit the case to the horror of both her fellow officers and her daughter. The doubts escalate to the point where Isobel questions everything and everyone she knows.

If the measure of a play’s success is the quietness of its audience, coupled with unwavering gazes and complete stillness for the duration of a performance, then Dark Road is unquestionably a winner. Save for occasional gasps, some collective jaw-dropping and one lonely cough, the audience sat enthralled for the entirety of its two and a half hour running time. Dark Road retains the complexities and gritty realism of Rankin’s books and like any good crime novel provides enough twists and turns to keep the audience guessing until the very last scene. The only criticism that could be levelled at the piece is that there are a couple of scenes of slightly unnatural and at times, clunky dialogue but these are entirely understandable and necessary due to the theatrical constraints; everything has to be played out and stated on stage for the story to be established. That said, they don’t in anyway detract from the overall quality or pace of the piece. The second act is a masterclass in psychological drama, ramping up both the thrills and tension at a head-spinning pace.

The central performances are of such a universally high quality that it seems churlish to single anyone out but Beattie’s strength and authority shines through in her highly convincing portrayal of Isobel. Ron Donachie, as ever, brings a gravelly gravitas to the role of retired Inspector McLintock and Philip Whitchurch, is in turn chilling and convincingly innocent as Chalmers.

The set design by Francis O’Connor, is a marvel, rotating and transforming, twisting and turning to reflect the plot and coupled with an almost subliminal sound design by composer Philip Pinsky is significant  in helping establish the unsettling atmosphere that pervades throughout.

To say that Ian Rankin’s debut play has been much anticipated is an understatement and there is no doubt that this is an audience pleaser. Utterly gripping, gritty and great entertainment, this is a welcome and long overdue addition to the theatrical thriller genre.

Runs until 19 October

REVIEW: Noises Off – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

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Farce seems to be making something of a comeback, starting with the worldwide success of One Man Two Guv’nors – and now, following its successful revival at the Old Vic, Michael Frayn’s 1983 play Noises Off has arrived in Glasgow on its national tour.

The show follows the antics of a touring theatre company, from chaotic rehearsals to a shambolic matinee and finishing with a disastrous performance in Stockton-on-Tees.

The production flashes between the company’s ill-fated play Nothing On and the manic backstage shenanigans. It contains all the classic elements of farce: people running around in their underwear, men dropping their trousers, actors forgetting their lines, characters who miss their cues and doors opening and slamming shut all over the place.

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The success of this show rests in the hands of its cast – and boy is this a cast: familiar face Neil Pearson is the demented director Lloyd, grappling with the band of misfits he has to call a cast as well as with Brooke (Thomasin Rand) and Poppy (Danielle Flett) the young starlet and besotted stage manager who he’s having affairs with; Maureen Beattie turns in a fine comic turn as the literally dotty Dotty, who, not to be out-done is having an affair with much younger leading man Garry (an astonishing masterclass of physical comedy from David Bark-Jones). Chris Larkin and Sasha Waddell perfectly encapsulate that particular type of middle-class stage luvvie and Geoffrey Freshwater as doddery old thesp Selsdon Mowbray and Simon Bubb as put-upon Tim round out a stellar cast.

The first act takes a while to warm up but it is the necessary build up to the chaos that follows. The second and third acts are a masterclass in comic acting – eliciting genuine bellows of laughter from the audience.

If it’s belly-laughs you’re after then there’s no better place to get them than here – genuine five star fun.