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INTERVIEW: Scottish star Jayne McKenna talks The Band and coming home to Glasgow

Jayne McKenna trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has an enviable CV in theatre, TV, radio and film. She returns home to Glasgow to star in the much-anticipated The Band, when it come to The King’s in Glasgow from 26 June to 7 July 2018. I had a chance to catch up with Jayne before she arrives in town.

How does it feel coming home to Glasgow with such a hugely anticipated show?

Thrilling. I trained there so for me it’s full circle. And I’ve never played The Kings so that’s another treat.

Tell us a bit about your role in The Band.

It’s about a group of girls you meet when they’re young and then again as women, and about the changes and surprises life springs, so, while the younger me thinks her life is going to be all books and study, I turn out quite differently, but no spoilers.

What can the audience expect from the show?

Bring tissues, it gets emotional – laughing one minute and crying the next. And our musicians are stunning, not to mention the ‘boyband’ Five to Five – brilliant all-rounders a joy to work with.

Do you have any favourite moments, scenes or songs from the show that we should look out for?

The song ‘Get Ready For It’. I hadn’t heard it before and it’s become favourite. Incredibly uplifting.

The show has had an enviable amount of publicity, the main male roles being cast on the show Let It Shine, how have audiences received the production as it’s toured the country.

Tremendously. Every night on their feet. Apparently 62% of our audience have never been to the theatre before, and some have now seen it 14 times. People identify with the characters – they tell us at stage door all the time: “Thanks for being me up there”.

What’s life like on the road with a show like The Band?

Tough, especially as a mum. I’m very lucky I have my husband. FaceTiming home is a vital part of my day.

You have an impressive (and if I may say heavy weight) theatrical CV, what have been your favourite roles so far?

The show where I met my husband, of course. Playing Goneril in King Lear with Nicol Williamson is up there. We had an incredible connection as fellow Scots. I stayed in touch with him and even had the honour of singing jazz with his band.

Is there any Play/Musical you’d love to be in?

More Shakespeare would be nice: I’ve tuned into him more as I’ve got older. Not just the language, the thoughts, and being able to express things that in life only occur to us (if they do) in hindsight when the moment has passed! But more singing too: this is my first musical and I’m loving rocking it out!

Tell us a bit more about your career path from Glasgow to touring the country singing the songs of Take That to thousands of adoring fans.

I moved to London after a stint at The Lyceum with the late greats Kenny Ireland and Gerard Murphy and continued mainly in theatre. For example, Macbeth in the West End, the Peter Hall Company, National Theatre, but, TV and radio as well and even a Bollywood film in India. Now I live in Brighton with my family.

Finally, why should we come along to see the show?

Because it might change your life. The characters are real. Their journeys are your journeys and what they survive you can survive. It’s about friendship and looking forward. Plus it’s fabulously well written and produced and the music will ‘Take you back’… and the acting’s not bad either!

Catch Jayne in The Band at the King’s Theatre from 26 June to 7 July 2018

Images: Matt Crockett

NEWS: Guitar legend Duane Eddy to appear at the King’s in Glasgow

Guitar legend Duane Eddy is to perform at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow as part of a rare UK tour.

Duane, who celebrated his 80th birthday in April, will appear on stage on Sunday 28 October.

Duane is one of the original guitar heroes, who put a deep and resounding twang into Rock ‘n’ Roll – the signature sound of a string of late ‘50s and early ‘60s instrumental masterpieces. Infused with elements of country, blues, jazz and gospel, his many hits include: Rebel Rouser, Peter Gunn, Shazam, Ghost Riders In The Sky, Cannonball and The Lonely One.

Duane Eddy performing Rebel Rouser at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otaIZoW0dtg

Duane has become the most successful instrumentalist in rock history, charting 15 Top 40 singles from 1958 through 1963 and selling more than 100 million records worldwide. He has won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental, Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist from The Americana Music Association and was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

A true pioneer and living legend, Duane looks forward to returning to the UK for his three celebratory shows in October.

LISTINGS

Duane Eddy

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Sun 28 Oct 2018

www.atgtickets.com

0844 871 7648

INTERVIEW: Jonny Quinn on Snow Patrol’s Return

After seven years out in the pop wilderness, Snow Patrol are set to make triumphant return with their brand-new album, Wildness. Drummer Jonny Quinn talks chaos, the joy of live performance, and reveals just why it’s taken then so darn long.

In life, there are several milestones that swirl up an array of complex and conflicting emotions. Your first day at school, your wedding day, or the birth of your first child, and, if you’re a musician, the release of every single record throughout your career. “It’s a combination of trepidation, excitement and relief,” says Snow Patrol’s drummer Jonny Quinn, of the impending release of Wildness, the band’s seventh studio album.

Adding: “People as what you hope for the record, but the truth is that you just down know. It’s mostly just a relief to be back at it and playing gigs after five-and-a-half years. And so far, everyone seems to be really happy that we’re back.”

You might wonder why artists of such esteem would be feeling any doubts given their triumphant track record. This is the band whose major label debut, Final Straw, was certified five-time platinum in the UK and eventually sold over three million copies worldwide. Whose anthemic hits, Chasing Cars and Run, were the antidote to a generation’s glorious melancholy. Who have successfully held their own for over two decades in industry which has slowly been coming apart at the seams around them.

Inherently humble, it’s not surprising that the Northern Irish rockers haven’t ridden back into the music scene on a gold chariot fuelled by hype and braggadocio, however much of their introspection seems to be down to the sheer amount of time that has passed since Fallen Empires (their last album). Seven years in the music industry is a long time, particularly when those years have been some of the most turbulent for labels and artists alike. However, if there was ever a time the world needed a Snow Patrol album to galvanise and uplift our spirits, it’s now, and fortunately, Wildness is fits the bill perfectly.

Emotionally complex, intelligent and bruisingly honest, the album skimps on none of Lighbody’s soaring melodies. The lead single Don’t Give Up is a straightforward call-to-arms for the lost and weary, Life on Earth is an existential triumph, and the entire record vibrates with an earnest, open rawness. “‘Wildness’ being that the world feels wilder. There feels like there is more chaos than there used to be,” explains Quinn. “A lot of the songs are also about Gary’s own depression and frustration about not being able to write songs and that fear that hits everybody at some point, in a creative sense.”

For lead singer Lightbody, the last few years have been particularly brutal as his ongoing battle with alcohol abuse and depression manifested itself in crippling writers block. Quinn reveals that the band actually were in the studio around two years ago with most of the musical aspects of the album in place, but Lightbody simply couldn’t verbalise his experience. “Maybe he was trying to write songs without having a reason to, and he’s not that kind of writer. So, there was a big gap. But it had to be right; the songs couldn’t be forced,” concludes Quinn.

Certainly, Wildness wouldn’t be the record it is had Lighbody not dug so deep, for that kind of vulnerable grace and candour cannot be faked. In his own words, the 41-year-old frontman says it is the first record he has written where he didn’t just ‘ask a bunch of questions’, adding: “I actually tried to figure out why I was unhappy, why I feel out of place, why I’m afraid.”

Now fully recovered, Lighbody and co. are eager to release the record and crack on with what is arguably the most rewarding part of the process, touring. “That’s what we’ve been doing for 20 years and we’ve all missed that part of it. We like the studio but getting to go out and play all over the world is the most thrilling part,” says Quinn.

“We also put a lot into the live aspect of it, and I want people to walk out of shows feeling like it changed their life a little bit, and they forgot about everything that was bad that day… playing live and having that experience is really special.”

But before the band leave us to traverse the world, there is one burning question that needs to be asked: Are Snow Patrol back for good this time? “Yes,” replies Quinn emphatically. “We won’t have another seven-year break this time.”

SNOW PATROL RETURN WITH THEIR NEW ALBUM WILDNESS ON MAY 25TH VIA POLYDOR RECORDS

INTERVIEW: Legendary choreographer Janis Claxton brings innovative dance to Merchant City Festival

Janis Claxton is a British/Australian Choreographer, Movement Director, Teacher and Producer based in Edinburgh where she is Artistic Director of the award winning contemporary dance company Janis Claxton Dance. The company tours in the UK and internationally, and has a reputation for bringing high quality works to new and diverse audiences.

Having attracted critical acclaim and international attention in 2016 with the premiere of POP-UP DUETS (fragments of love) her company is performing at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (USA), Singapore International Arts Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, Merchant City Festival, in Liverpool, Sweden and Glasgow School of Art and across Scotland.

POP-UP Duets is a series of 5-minute, contemporary dance duets designed to emerge from public situations to be enjoyed by invited as well as accidental audiences who find themselves passing by.

We sat down with Janis over a cup of tea to find out a little more about her life, what she has learnt along the way and where she sees the current state of Scottish dance.

What is your first memory of dance?

My first memory of dance is the earliest memory I have, lying and wiggling around on the warm Australian earth with the vast blue sky above. I also remember running wild and climbing trees and dancing at the beach. Most of my early dance memories are nature related. I begged my mother to let me join my older sister’s ballet class and on my 3rd birthday I was finally allowed. Apparently I immediately started to try to lead the class!

Can you think of a turning point in your career? Either your first professional gig or a next big step?

Oh there has been a few! My first solo performance at age 18 in Brisbane, Erick Hawkins singling me out in class and asking me to his office and to join his company and working with amazing dancers in China at Beijing Dance LDTX all stand out.

More recently, POP-UP Duets itself and being invited to legendary Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival!

What has been your proudest moment?

The entire response to POP-UP Duets and the huge buzz around it. Opening dance to so many new audiences. Sharing all that love. The 76k+ views on BBC Loop has me pretty chuffed! People genuinely love the work and get a lot of pleasure from it, and that makes me very proud.

Have you ever been terrified/what has been your daftest moment?

Often terrified! Daftest moment – probably going the wrong way on stage in an ensemble work! It was my greatest fear and it happened. I was never great at remembering all the moves! I didn’t perform in companies a lot (lucky for them!)

What are the main challenges of international touring?

Money, money and money. Exposure, having connections, being ‘known’. I have never found the actual touring so challenging – it is the getting the gigs that is the challenge. Having said that I spent 3 months in China several times with 3 or 4 dancers and cultural differences between dancers can present a challenge – usually in wonderful ways.

What are the key issues in dance today? And how do you think we can overcome them?

Well there are many. Here are some that I am affected by and that I think I can speak about and hopefully influence;

1. Gender inequality in the lack of access to high profile large-scale commissions for women. Favouritism towards male dancers across the entire spectrum from early training to institutions to the stage to choreographic opportunities. It is endemic. No other industry is so female dominated with so few top jobs being held by women. This is not a ‘moment’ or a ‘blip’, this is a serious systematic problem that courses through the entire industry from ballet to contemporary to hip hop to musical theatre.

2.Training issues – todays dancers have such pressure to be dancers who can do all styles and work with so many diverse choreographers, they no longer have a style or a system or a methodology of movement. Many dancers are all over the place and lack a coherent understanding of basic principles of movement. Dancers are expected to create a lot of a material (this is a good thing – they should, they are good at it and they can own the movement and not be puppets) however without good training they no longer have so many choices and fall into the same habits, creating the same material.

In the dance world there has been such a rebellion against what I call old school principles and such a drive to individualism that I rarely find a group who can work together in the good old fashioned way of sharing the same principles and dancing TOGETHER. My training is from the early leaders – specifically Erick Hawkins but they all shared an ethos of a company that understood the same principles.  Sharing the same principles of movement does not mean all the dancers have to look the same. It gives dancers choice. I have a lot more to say about training. I see it as in a pretty dire place.

What is your elevator pitch for POP-UP Duets?

5 minute love duets for public spaces. The work can be situated anywhere. Even in this elevator! Gorgeous dancers, glorious music and exquisite choreography for you up close and personal or viewed from afar. You will love it!  Who doesn’t relate to love?

POP-UP Duets (fragments of love)

Merchant City Festival, Glasgow – Thursday 9 & Friday 10 August 2018

Image: James Lin

NEWS: Go wild for Matt Terry in Madagascar, coming to Glasgow

Matt Terry, winner of 2016’s X-Factor is confirmed to play Alex the Lion in the brand-new stage adaptation of Madagascar – The Musical which arrives at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow from Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 August 2018.

Since winning X-Factor, Matt has been recording music around the world including Miami, LA and Scandinavia. After a top three hit with Ed Sheeran penned winner’s single When Christmas Comes Around, he released his debut album Trouble in November 2017. His first single from the album, Sucker For You has had nearly 60 million streams on Spotify. After Sucker For You, Matt went back to his Spanish childhood by featuring on Enrique Iglesias’s smash single, Subeme La Radio alongside Sean Paul.

Matt said: ‘I am so excited to be making my acting debut in the brand-new production, Madagascar – The Musical. It’s a childhood memory for all of us! I can’t wait to be playing the lead role of Alex and bringing him to life. Expect incredible costume, set and cast. And the music is immense! It will be an awesome night for everyone to enjoy. See you all there.’

Matt will be joined by cast including Antoine Murray-Straughan, Timmika Ramsay, Jamie Lee-Morgan, Shane McDaid, Laura Johnson, Jessica Niles, Victoria Boden, Matthew Pennington and Darren John.

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – The Musical  follows all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Alex the Lion is the king of the urban jungle and the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the hippo, have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public, with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.

This wacky adventure for the whole family is brought to life by Selladoor Family, the producers behind James and the Giant Peach, Seussical and The Owl and the Pussycat and Hartshorn-Hook, producers of the Olivier Award winning Rotterdam, Murder Ballad, Urinetown and American Idiot. Madagascar – The Musical is directed by award-winning Kirk Jameson with choreography from Fabian Aloise. Designed by Tom Rogers, with Lighting design by Howard Hudson, Sound Design by Chris Whybrow, Musical Supervision from Mark Crossland and Puppet Direction from Emma Brunton.

Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip, hip Hippo and those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, you’ll have no choice but to “Move It, Move It!”

LISTINGS

Madagascar

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 6-Sat 12 Aug 2018

Mon-Sat, 7.30pm

Wed, Thu & Sat matinees, 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

 

 

NEWS: Brian Ferguson cast as Cyrano de Bergerac and Pam Hogg joins as Costume Designer for Cyrano de Bergerac

Three of Scotland’s major theatre companies, the National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, and The Lyceum, are set to bring Cyrano de Bergerac back to Scotland’s stages, with a new co-production of Edwin Morgan’s celebrated Glaswegian-Scots translation of the classic Rostand play. The production, directed by Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Dominic Hill, will play in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness from 1 September to 10 November 2018.

Brian Ferguson is cast in the role of Cyrano de Bergerac, having previously worked with the National Theatre of Scotland on 2016’s Anything That Gives Off Light (The TEAM) and on the original production of Black Watch. Ferguson also starred in Dominic Hill’s 2014 production of Hamlet at the Citizens Theatre, and in A Number at The Lyceum in 2017. He will head up an ensemble cast of actors and musicians, including Jessica Hardwick as Roxane, Angus Miller as Christian, Gabriel Quigley as Ragueneau, Nalini Chetty as Le Bret, Keith Fleming as De Guiche, Maggie Bain as Valvert, and further ensemble members Isobel McArthur and Bhav Joshi.

Dominic Hill will work with a strong creative team, including legendary Scottish fashion designer and artist Pam Hogg, who joins the production as Costume Designer. She trained at the Glasgow School of Art before gaining her Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art, London. Since launching her first fashion collection in 1981 she has created clothes worn by Debbie Harry, Siouxsie Sioux, Bjork, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. She presented her first catwalk show in 1985 and continues to create, direct, produce and style her collections each season at London Fashion Week. In 2016 she designed bespoke statuettes for the thirteen winners at the Brit Awards.

In 2017 Pam was invited to present a TED Talk in Glasgow, and that same year she received an honorary doctorate from the GSA at the Glasgow University for her contribution to fashion. Pam Hogg’s work has been displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Tate in St Ives, Pompidou Centre in Paris, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Christie’s in New York, The Barbican in London, The Winter Palace in Vienna, and the Summerhall in Edinburgh. Awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Fashion Council (2009), a Great Scot Award (2012), and an Award for Creative Excellence from the Scottish Fashion Council (2013). In June this year she will receive a Style Hall of Fame award, and in July has a solo exhibition opening in Liverpool as part of the Biennale.

The creative team reunites many of the artists who’ve collaborated on some of Dominic Hill’s most distinctive productions in recent years. Tom Piper has previously designed Long Day’s Journey Into Night, King Lear, Hamlet, Endgame, The Libertine, and Hay Fever (with The Lyceum). His recent work also includes the Lyceum’s acclaimed new version of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros by Zinnie Harris, which played at the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival, as well as the iconic poppy sculptures which toured the UK to mark the centenary of the First World War. Composer Nikola Kodjabashia (Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, A Christmas Carol, Hamlet, Crime and Punishment, and Oresteia: This Restless House co-produced with National Theatre of Scotland) and Lighting Designer Lizzie Powell (Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Endgame, The Choir, A Christmas Carol, The Libertine, and for National Theatre of Scotland Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Adam, Glasgow Girls, Knives in Hens) also join the creative team. The team is completed by Company Chordelia founder and Artistic Director Kally-Lloyd Jones (The Belle’s Stratagem for The Lyceum and The Libertine and Doctor Faustus for the Citizens Theatre) as Movement Director and Fight Director Renny Krupinski.

The swashbuckling and flamboyant Cyrano’s low self-image prevents him from revealing his love to Roxane. He lends his poetic skills instead to the outwardly handsome Christian, who wins Roxane’s heart through his passionate ghost-written letters. Throughout his adventurous life, Cyrano continues to put quill to parchment, risking his life in the process, to express his true feelings. This production will see an epic ensemble of actors and musicians use Morgan’s lyrical Scots verse to create a fresh take on the enduringly popular period piece, in a vivid and joyous celebration of theatre itself.

The National Theatre of Scotland and Citizens Theatre reunite following the success of Oresteia: This Restless House, director Dominic Hill and Zinnie Harris’ award-winning drama which played at the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival. The National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, and The Lyceum have previously collaborated as a triumvirate on Mary Stuart in 2006, and Six Characters in Search of an Author in 2008.

Originally staged by Communicado Theatre and directed by Gerry Mulgrew, Morgan’s Cyrano de Bergerac  premiered in Inverness on 6 August 1992, and went on to tour  to the Edinburgh Fringe and nationally to huge acclaim. Combining the company’s swashbuckling physicality with Morgan’s vivid, toothsome Scots translation, Communicado’s Cyrano has become one of the defining Scottish pieces of its era.

Cyrano de Bergerac Listings Info

Citizens Theatre at Tramway, Glasgow
Dates: Sat 01 to Sat 22 September 2018
Tickets:  £15 – £26.50
Box Office: www.citz.co.uk

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Dates: Fri 12 Oct to Sat 03 Nov 2018
Tickets: £14 – £32
Box Officewww.lyceum.org.uk

Eden Court, Inverness
Dates: Wed 07 to Sat 10 Nov 2018
Tickets: £15 – £24
Box Office: www.eden-court.co.uk

Join the conversation: #Cyrano

NEWS: Edinburgh’s iconic Usher Hall announces new Sunday Classics season with some of the world’s finest soloists and orchestras

Einburgh’s iconic Usher Hall has announced its 2018/19 Sunday Classics programme. A much-loved and integral part of the venue’s year-round schedule, the Sunday Classics concert season runs from 14 October 2018 until 16 June 2019.

Some of the world’s finest international orchestras and soloists will flock to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall to take part in this concert series. The season kicks off in October, with a visit from the Russian State Symphony Orchestra and pianist Barry Douglas, whose interpretations of Russian music are renowned, to perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2, while the Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestra also pay Usher Hall a visit with the dazzling Angela Hewitt later in the month for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5.

The final Sunday Classics concert in 2018 is set to be a very special afternoon of music with the War Horse: The Story in Concert – Centenary Concert. Narrated by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the concert will commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The Usher Hall welcomes in the New Year with a visit from St Petersburg Philharmonic, the oldest orchestra in Russia. They bring with them the explosive pianist Freddy Kempf for Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. In February virtuoso violinist Marat Bisengaliev will perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto alongside The Symphony Orchestra of India, while at the beginning of April London’s historic Royal Philharmonic Orchestra takes to the stage for a diverse programme of Vaughan William’s Fantasia, Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto performed by the phenomenal Pinchas Zukerman.

The Japan Philharmonic perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with John Lill, unanimously regarded one of the finest pianists in the world, on the keys as part of a varied afternoon of music on 14 April, and on 12 May YouTube pianist sensation Valentina Lisitsa makes a triumphant return to Sunday Classics with the Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk.

The final concert of the season takes place on 16 June with another special performance from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Ben Palmer. The Planets – An HD Odyssey will awe the audience as Holst’s beautiful and mystical suite The Planets is performed by the RSNO while a film – created in collaboration with NASA and award winning producer/director Duncan Copp – is shown on the big screen.

This multimedia event features the latest high-definition planetary images from NASA’s exploration of the solar system, made more vivid alongside the orchestra’s performance of Holst’s The Planets and is preceded by other iconic classics synonymous with the theme of Space, including Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz (featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey) and John Williams’s iconic Star Wars theme.

Now a well-established and much-loved part of the Usher Hall’s year-round programming, the Sunday Classics season brings the world’s finest orchestras to Edinburgh. The 2017-18 season brought the likes of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Russian State Philharmonic and Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony with Bruckner Orchester Linz to name but a few. The series also sees distinguished international soloist accompany the ensembles, with last season’s guests including classical YouTube sensation Valentina Lisitsa and arguably the world’s greatest living violinist, Maxim Vengerov.

(From top left clockwise: Angela Hewitt, Thomas Sanderling, Yuri Temirkanov, Marat Bisengaliev)

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, said: “Where better to enjoy a live symphony than a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the Usher Hall? Designed and built with classical music in mind over 100 years ago, the tradition of concert-going at Edinburgh’s most stunning indoor venue continues as strongly as ever.

“It’s a genuine pleasure to sit back in the impressive auditorium and lose yourself in the music, and this new programme of Sunday Classics will feature first-class orchestras from around the world outside the usual Festival period. Plus, with special rates for students and those out of work, and free tickets for under 16s, the Usher Hall is helping to make classical music accessible to all.”

 

2018/19 SUNDAY CLASSICS SEASON FULL LISTINGS:

Date:               Sunday 14 October 2018, 3pm

Orchestra:      Russian State Symphony Orchestra

Conductor:     Valentin Uryupin

Soloist:            Barry Douglas (piano)

Programme:   Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake Suite

Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2

Rachmaninov – Symphony No. 2

 

Date:               Sunday 28 October 2018, 7.30pm

Orchestra:      Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra

Conductor:     Yutaka Sado

Soloist:            Angela Hewitt (piano)

Programme:   Bernstein – On the Town: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5

Sibelius – Symphony No. 5

 

Date:                Sunday 18 November 2018, 3pm

Orchestra:      Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Conductor:      David Charles Abell

Narrator:        Michael Morpurgo

Programme:   War Horse: The Story in Concert – Centenary Concert

 

Date:               Sunday 27 January 2019, 3pm

Orchestra:      St Petersburg Philharmonic

Conductor:     Yuri Temirkanov

Soloist:            Freddy Kempf (piano)

Programme:   Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 2

Mahler – Symphony No. 4

 

Date:               Sunday 24 February 2019, 3pm

Orchestra:      Symphony Orchestra of India

Conductor:     Martyn Brabbins

Soloist:            Marat Bisengaliev (violin)

Programme:   Weber – Oberon Overture

Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1 in G

Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade

 

Date:               Sunday 7 April 2019, 3pm

Orchestra:      Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Director & Soloist:     Pinchas Zukerman (conductor and violin)

Programme:   Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Elgar Enigma Variations

Beethoven Violin Concerto

 

Date:               Sunday 14 April 2019, 3pm

Orchestra:      Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor:     Pietari Inkinen

Soloist:            John Lill (piano)

Programme:   Rautavaara – Opener

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 3

Takemitsu – Requiem for Strings

Sibelius – Symphony No. 2

 

 

Date:               Sunday 12 May 2019, 3pm

Orchestra:      Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk

Conductor:     Thomas Sanderling

Soloist:            Valentina Lisitsa (piano)

Programme:   Rimsky Korsakov – Capriccio Espagnol

Rachmaninov – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Variations

Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition

 

Date:               Sunday 16 June 2019, 3pm

Orchestra:      Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Conductor:     Ben Palmer

Programme:        The Planets – An HD Odyssey:

Richard Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra (opening)

Johann Strauss II Blue Danube Waltz

J S Bach (orch. Stokowski) Toccata and Fugue in D minor

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 (2nd movement)

Williams Main Theme from Star Wars

Holst The Planets

Main and bottom image: Ian Georgeson

NEWS: Futureproof Festival Launched

The National Theatre of Scotland is marking Scotland’s Year of Young People in 2018 by staging a major radical new festival of international performing arts, created by young people working alongside renowned Scottish, British and international theatre practitioners.

Ten leading UK and international companies and artists, specialising in daring new work are embedding themselves in ten communities around the country, working with local young people and groups to co-create, design, develop and stage a piece of performance. The Festival programme has been designed for cross-generational audiences.

Ten productions and over 75 performances will take place in ten cities and locations across Scotland as part of the Futureproof festival in September and October 2018.   Tickets are now on sale.

Over one hundred young people will perform their own exciting new pieces of theatre, in diverse locations.  Young people have influenced where and how these performances will be staged. Locations include Aberdeen beach; on board a truck in Paisley; at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh; Haroldswick Hall (Unst); HMP & YOI Polmont; the Bonar Hall (Dundee) in arts spaces: Rothes Halls, the Ayr Gaiety, Eden Court Theatre, Mareel in Shetland and surprise locations to be announced in Moray.

Since February this year, young people have been participating in workshops across the country, learning theatrical engineering from Russians, (AKHE) and about their ancestors in Shetland from the Canadian experts in social-specific performance events (Mammalian Diving Reflex).  Young men in HMP & YOI Polmont are being asked questions about identity and inheritance by socially engaged Scottish practitioners (Glas(s) Performance) and teenagers are creating and performing in their own music video with Australian theatre investigators (Back to Back) in Dundee.

There will be call outs throughout the summer for young people to become involved in projects in The Highlands, Ayrshire, Fife, Paisley and Moray.

Young people’s stories, experiences and views on the world will be shared in radical theatrical ways through audio headsets, the flying of kites, radio transmissions, installations, truck rides, fashion and dance.

The nationwide festival is co-curated and creatively led by Lucy Gaizely of multi-disciplinary performance company 21Common. 21Common is a multi-disciplinary performance collective that actively embraces the notion of art as a deep process of exploration and dialogue between artists, participants and audiences. For the past five years its key collaborators have been artists Lucy Gaizely and Gary Gardiner, Scotland’s leading learning-disabled artist Ian Johnston, producer Louise Irwin and the late Adrian Howells.

Echoing the HOME project, which launched the National Theatre of Scotland in 2006, Futureproof’s ten performance projects will be unique to their location, sharing the experience of their young people and celebrating the sparking creative energy of youth.

Youth Project Team

In order to encourage the next generation of theatre innovators and instigators, the National Theatre of Scotland has also recruited a core group of seven young people who are the inaugural Youth Project Team. The team of 14-24 year olds are influencing and overseeing not just the Futureproof festival, but the company as a whole throughout the year by being embedded within departments and asking provocative questions of the Company’s work and practice.

The team are creating and managing the official launch event for the festival, to be held at Rockvilla, the Company’s rehearsal and technical facility on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The seven Youth Project Team members are Sanjay Lago (24 years, from Glasgow); Cameron Downing (17 years from Edinburgh); Seona McClintock, (24 years, from Renfrewshire); Roderick Gilkison (15 years, from Maryhill); Gonca Yalcin (20 years from Glasgow); Ryan Hay (21 years from West Dunbartonshire) and Rachel-Jane Morrison (24 years, from Fife). Other young people from across Scotland are being given opportunities throughout the year to work with the National Theatre of Scotland on Futureproof within their communities.

Rachel Jane Morrison says

Being a part of YOYP has made me feel really strong and confident as a young person in 2018 and has allowed me to champion other young people to get involved with the work I am doing as part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Futureproof. It’s incredibly exciting to watch how many events are unfolding across Scotland

Sanjay Lago says

To be a member of the YOYP Team at NTS has been an incredible learning curve and a chance to feel empowered as a young person in Scotland. Seeing such great work being created, all with young people across Scotland involved is an exciting adventure. And I’m so glad to be a part of this adventure! Here’s to the rest of the YOYP and I hope it continues after this year, because young people are the people in charge of tomorrow.”

The ten Futureproof productions:

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Empathy Museum (UK) present A Mile in My Shoes in Moray from 29 September to 7 October 2018 at surprise locations to be announced. Part of Findhorn Bay Festival.

Empathy Museum are bringing their international touring hit A Mile in My Shoes to Scotland, as part of the 3rd Findhorn Bay Festival. Located at secret sites across Moray and housed in a giant shoebox, this exhibit holds a diverse collection of shoes and audio stories that explore our shared experience. Visitors will be invited to walk a mile in the shoes of a young local stranger whilst listening to their story.  The stories will be collected from local young people.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Project X & Thulani Rachia (UK) present Chronicles on 6 & 7 October at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. Supported by National Museums Scotland.

Scottish dance collective Project X and Thulani Rachia will be working with young people in Edinburgh to develop and present a new piece of dance theatre performance. An alternative audio guide and immersive performance using different dance styles, as the audience promenade through the Scottish Galleries of the National Museum of Scotland to uncover hidden and imagined histories.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Glas(s) Performance (UK) present MOTION on 9 to 11 October in HMP & YOI Polmont.   Supported by the Scottish Prison Service.

Scottish theatre company Glas(s) Performance (producers of award-winning young people’s company Junction 25) are working in residence in HMYOI Polmont. Working with young men in custody they are exploring questions of identity and inheritance in contemporary Scotland; what is the world we are living in today? What impact does it have on us? What impact can we have on it? What happens next? MOTION is about the things that affect young men in Scotland today.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Rimini Protokoll (Germany) present Do’s and Don’ts from 12 to 14 and 16 to 21 October in Paisley, in association with Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Documentary theatre specialists Rimini Protokoll will adapt their acclaimed Cargo projects for an unusual tour around in Paisley. The audience are taken on a journey in a remodelled truck, a mobile auditorium, looking out at the city through a large window. Next to the driver sits a child, who invites the audience to examine the city and the people in it: laws, rules, norms, rituals, explicit and implicit arrangements, visible and invisible codes – do’s and don’ts. A soundscape created by a local choir supports and comments on the journey.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Back to Back Theatre (Australia) present RADIAL on 17 October at the Bonar Hall, Dundee. Supported by the University of Dundee.

Playfully re-imagining video art, dance, music and fashion, RADIAL is a film made by young people and a music video portrait of a community and landscape in motion. Exploring themes of diversity and opportunity it will be filmed using a circular camera track. The young people are working closely with Scottish artist Robbie Synge and internationally renowned fashion designer and stylist Hayley Scanlan to create the final piece. The film will also be shown at screenings in arts venues and community centres across Dundee. Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere at the Bonar Hall. The evening’s entertainment will include a panel discussion, a short live performance, the screening of RADIAL and a party.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Greg Sinclair (UK) present Lots and Not Lots on 19 & 20 October at the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes. Supported by OnFife.

Musical artist Greg Sinclair will curate Lots and Not Lots: a concert of voice and movement performed by 12 local teenagers. The 12 young performers will act as a choral unit with occasional improvised vocal outbursts and flashes of absurdity that will dispel the illusion of perfection and give glimpses of the personalities within the ensemble.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and Touretteshero (UK) present Hacks for the Future on 20 October at Eden Court, Inverness.  Supported by Eden Court Theatre.

Jess Thom is a theatre-maker, comedian, and disability rights activist, and co-founder of Touretteshero, who will bring their project to the Highlands. Entitled Hacks for the Future she will collaborate with a selected group of disabled young people across Scotland to produce an inclusive extravaganza of installations, performances, discussions and workshops for disabled young people looking at history and how to creatively shape the future.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and AKHE (Russia) present reWIND Perspective in Aberdeen on 20 & 21 October on Aberdeen Beach.

AKHE, the celebrated ‘Russian engineering theatre’ company from St Petersburg, are famed for their intricate, sinister, and wickedly stylish alternative worlds. They are working with young people in Aberdeen to weave together a humorous and energetic piece exploring life as a young person in Scotland’s north-east. They will work together to create a new piece of exciting, site-specific theatre inspired by the inventions of Alexander Bell. Set on Aberdeen Beach, expect to see pyramidal kites flying over the city, illusions made with light, sound and speed and an opportunity for you to ‘rewind perspective’.

●                    The National Theatre of Scotland and Mammalian Diving Reflex (Canada) present The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life in Shetland on 25 & 26 October at Mareel, Lerwick and on 28 October at Haroldswick Hall, Unst, Shetland. Supported by Shetland Arts.

In 1948, Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman came to Unst, told everyone he was there to study the economy but, instead, studied everyone there. His research ended up in his massive bestseller The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, changing the game for sociology. Seventy years later, a cast of Shetland youth have teamed up with performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex to apply Goffman’s insights to Unstfest, UK’s most northerly festival. The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life presents their findings, with a song or two.  The show will be performed in two locations in Shetland.

●        The National Theatre of Scotland and CAMPO (Belgium) present Wild Life FM on 27 & 28 October at the Ayr Gaiety, in association with the Ayr Gaiety.

CAMPO are enlisting the help of local young people from South Ayrshire to set up Wild Life FM: a staged live radio show on how to discover yourself through music, a raw exposition of what it’s like being young in Scotland today, and a chance for the voices of the young people of South Ayrshire to be heard. This show asks the young people to define landmark moments in their life through music. Led by musician and composer Scott Twynholm, renowned director Pol Heyvaert, performance artist Kim Noble and co-curated by the young people themselves. The young Ayrshire cast will be joined by members of the previous Wild Life FM cast from the Unicorn Theatre, London.

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said

Futureproof will unleash young Scottish creative energy across the nation.  This international festival places radical participatory theatre practice at the forefront of theatre-making in Scotland whilst celebrating young people’s place in our society and at the heart of cultural life. We want to open up the possibility of what the future of theatre could look like whilst offering audiences a nationwide festival of unbridled exuberance and talent. We are delighted to be part of Year of Young People 2018 and this commitment to Scotland’s youth is carried through our 2018 programme of work.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:               

We are delighted to be supporting the National Theatre of Scotland in 2018 as part of Scotland’                                                                

Year of Young People celebrations.  Futureproof is really taking the ethos of the year to heart by ensuring young people are front and central to the development of what’s set to be an innovative and thought-provoking festival of theatre.”

 “Events such as Futureproof further reinforce Scotland’s capability in staging inventive, multi-art form programmes of this calibre across a variety of locations, and I’m certain the spotlight will shine on young people’s talents and contributions throughout this wide-ranging activity.”

Ann McKechin, Trustee and Executive Officer of the ScottishPower Foundation said:

Futureproof is an exciting festival for Scotland, celebrating the talent, creativity and innovation of our young people. It is fantastic to see the range of performances developing from this collaborative, international initiative. The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to funding projects like this which challenge, develop, and inspire future generations to fulfil their potential.

Futureproof Passport

As part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s commitment to engaging with young audiences, the Company is piloting a new membership scheme for 14-24 year olds in 2018. The Futureproof Passport gives young people access to £5 tickets to selected performances across National Theatre of Scotland’s 2018 season.  Nationaltheatrescotland/futureproof-passport

Listings Information

A Mile in My Shoes

29 September to 7 October 11am-4pm at secret locations in Moray to be announced.

Ticket prices: £1 on the door

Chronicles –  6 & 7 October at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh at 12pm, 2pm & 3.30pm

Ticket price: £5

Motion – 9 to 11 October at HMP & YOI Polmont at 2pm

Ticket price: £1 – due to the nature of this event the audience will be by invitation only

Do’s & Don’ts – 12 to 14 & 16 to 21 Oct in Paisley (meet at Paisley Town Hall) at 12.30pm & 5pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Radial on 17 October at the Bonar Hall, Dundee at 7pm and then at various screening across Dundee

Ticket prices: Pay What You can (£1 minimum)

Lots & Not Lots

19 October at 7.30pm & 20 October at 2.30pm & 7.30pm at Rothes Hall, Glenrothes

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Hacks for the Future –  20 October at Eden Court, Inverness from 1-4pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

reWIND Perspective 20 & 21 October, on Aberdeen Beach at 7pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Meet at Transition Extreme Sports Ltd, Links Road, Aberdeen, to collect tickets & audio headsets

The Presentation of Unst in Everyday Life

25 & 26 October Mareel, Lerwick and 28 October, Haroldswick Hall, Unst, Shetland at 7.30pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

Wildlife FM on 27 & 28 October at the Ayr Gaiety, Ayr at 7.30pm

Ticket prices: £10/ £8/ £5 (Futureproof Passport)

ACCESS

A number of performances across the Futureproof festival will be made fully accessible through BSL interpretation and audio description. Touch tours will also be on offer. Other performances will be autism friendly through the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2018 partnership with the National Autistic Society Scotland. Nine of the productions are wheelchair accessible, in Paisley, an alternative experience will be available to wheelchair users.

Full details of accessibility of all Futureproof shows will be released at a later date.

BOX OFFICE

Tickets for all production will be sold via the National Theatre of Scotland’s new online box office facility.  Bookings can be made via nationaltheatrescotland.com/futureproof

Join the conversation:  #NTSFutureproof            #YOYP2018

Images: Colin Hattersley

NEWS: Mugstock acts revealed

Mugdock Country Park will once again be hosting Mugstock Festival for it’s fourth year in a row. During the last weekend of July (27-30th) an exciting and eclectic mix of over 100 artists will entertain festival goers of all tastes.

Over 150 acts have been announced and will grace Mugstock’s 7 stages this summer. Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 and The Girobabies are among acts returning to the stage adding to the diverse but popular crowd pleasing line-up.

We are excited to announce a third wave of acts including Kid Canaveral, Roddy Woomble and Trongate Rum Riots who will be joining the likes of Glamour & The Baybes, Busker Rhymes and 100 Fables. With an array of genres including indie, folk, reggae, pop, dub and soul there will definitely something for everyone to revel in.

During the live music, festival goers can enjoy a variety of entertainment in the form of theatre, art, comedy, performance, crafts and food & drink.

This intimate festival is only 8 miles from Glasgow and is set in a charming, natural location. With an array of natural and built heritage onsite, patrons can take a break from the music and enjoy other parts of Mugdock Country Park.

What makes MugStock so remarkable is the fact that it is run by a team of enthusiastic volunteers, on a not-for-profit basis. The festival receives support from funders allowing the organisers to keep ticket prices fair. Mugstock’s volunteers say they are motivated by the ‘sheer love of bringing lovely people together to have a great time in a beautiful place’.

‘We pride ourselves on being as inclusive, accessible and family friendly as possible’ said programming director Nelson. ‘Whether you have never been to a festival before or are a seasoned festival goer you will feel right at home at Mugstock’.

Colonel John Thomas McMustard from headliners Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 has said ‘It’s great to be back at MugStock! We played the first two and we and The 6th Dijon loved them! It’s great to see such a unique boutique festival growing. We missed last years, so we’re really happy to get back this year. There’s lots of cool things happening for families throughout the site as well as all the great bands playing. We know the organisers put a lot of love and attention to detail into it. We’re headlining the Friday night which is an amazing slot to have. We will get the party going and guarantee fun, laughter , banging tunes and lots of dancing! Peace, love and Mustard.’

Full adult weekend tickets for MugStock 2018 are only £65 and only £32.50 for Teens and Over 60s. Under 12s go FREE. For full ticket details, please visit www.mugstock.org/tickets.

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA PELLÉAS AND MÉLISANDE NOMINATED FOR THE SOUTH BANK SKY ARTS OPERA AWARD

Scottish Opera’s production of Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande has been nominated for The South Bank Sky Arts Award for Opera.

Sir David McVicar made a return to Scottish Opera to direct Claude Debussy’s iconic opera for the first time in his career. He was joined by Rae Smith and Paule Constable, the design team behind the hit show War Horse, creating a production inspired by the paintings of Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi that brought to life this enigmatic tale of love, honour, jealousy and loss.

Pelléas and Mélisande delighted critics and audiences alike in February 2017, as part of the Company’s 2016/17 Season. The production went on to win the UK Theatre Award 2017 for Achievement in Opera, and was also shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award.

Scottish Opera’s Music Director, Stuart Stratford, conducted The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and an outstanding cast including soprano Carolyn Sampson (The Rake’s Progress 2012) as Mélisande, Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize winner Andrei Bondarenko as Pelléas, Roland Wood (Il trovatore 2015) as Golaud, Alastair Miles as Arkel, Anne Mason (Il trovatore 2015) as Geneviève, and Jonathan May as the Doctor.

Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera General Director said: ‘We are delighted that Pélleas and Mélisande has been nominated for The South Bank Sky Arts Award for Opera. Having previously won the UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Opera and been shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, I am extremely proud of Scottish Opera and everyone involved in making this fantastic production including the wonderful cast and the superb playing by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. Sir David McVicar’s superb creative energies and Stuart Stratford’s musical insight came together to create a production that spoke to audiences and critics alike.’

Also shortlisted alongside Pelléas and Mélisande are Glyndebourne’s Hamlet and The Grange Festival’s Albert Herring.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards is the only awards ceremony in the world to celebrate every area of the arts, with awards for Literature, Dance, TV Drama, Film, Classical Music, Comedy, Pop, Opera, Visual Art and Theatre. Presented by Lord Melvin Bragg and now in its 22nd year, the awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 1 July at the Savoy Hotel in London, and will be televised on Sky Arts the following week.

 

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