Tag Archives: Rapture Theatre

NEWS: Autumn-Winter Season Announced at Eastwood Park Theatre

Eastwood Park Theatre presents a packed programme as part of its forthcoming season, featuring well-loved stars, famous faces and top-class shows.

Legendary Scottish female artist Barbara Dickson features ‘In Conversation With’ journalist Graham Spiers, talking through her fifty-year musical career. Scotland’s Queen of Comedy Janey Godley will take to the stage fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe and best-loved sitcom star John Challis presents Only Fools and Boycie.  Musician Elio Pace returns to the theatre, this time with legendary lead guitarist David Brown, for The Billy Joel Songbook.

The theatre’s brand new cinema screen has a packed schedule too, with live and encore screenings of world-class theatre productions featuring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, James Corden, Lily James and Game of Throne’s Gwendoline Christie.

Anthony McReavy from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure said: “Eastwood Park Theatre has had one of its most successful years to date so far this year and the second half is set to raise the bar even higher with over thirty shows set for the stage and screen.

“We will welcome stars to our stage, including Scottish music legend Barbara Dickson, traditional musicians Phil and Aly, singer-songwriter Elio Pace and top Sottish female comedian Janey Godley.

“Several cracking comedy shows are lined up for this season with The Wedding Planners theatre show and the improvised, magical Spontaneous Potter. We welcome Elaine Miller with comedy show Laugh Don’t Leak, which is also fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, and the hilarious sequel to Des Dillon’s smash-hit comedy, Singing I’m No a Billy, He’s a Tim 2.

“NT: Live and Oscar Wilde screenings are proving extremely popular with our audience. Each broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in London’s West End, with cameras positioned around the auditorium to give you the best possible view of the action.

“Fantastic live music from top tribute bands are lined up too, including Frank Sinatra and The Beatles.

“We have drama from Rapture Theatre, bringing us razor sharp satire performance of Clybourne Park live on stage, as well as The Stornoway Way, which features original and traditional songs in Gaelic and English.

“We will be rounding off a successful year with all singing, all dancing panto, as the cast from GAMTA present magical family show, Cinderella.”

Families are catered for throughout the autumn season, with kids’ shows including Funbox’s Space Race as well as family films, The Little Mermaid and Halloween fun with a spooky storytelling event and showing of Goosebumps 2.

The theatre’s special group offer – buy ten tickets and someone can go for free- is available for many performances so get the gang together and book now:

http://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/boxoffice

WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 – Rapture Theatre presents Clybourne Park

“How many white men does it take to change a light bulb?” 

Rapture Theatre Presents: CLYBOURNE PARK by Bruce Norris 

Rapture Theatre, after its critically acclaimed productions of The Red Lion and A Streetcar Named Desire, makes a welcome return.

It’s 1959 and President Eisenhower is in the White House. Bev and Russ are moving after the tragic death of their son, and they have inadvertently sold their house to the neighbourhood’s first black family.

Fifty years later, in 2009, with the first Black President just having taken office, a young white couple buy the same house in what is now a predominantly black neighbourhood.

In both instances, racial tensions escalate, the stakes are raised and the play asks the question: have our attitudes to race really changed?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize,Tony and Olivier Award for Best Play and hailed as “shockingly entertaining” and “appallingly funny”, Clybourne Park is a razor-sharp satire about the politics of race.

The cast features Robin Kingsland (Rapture’s The Browning Version and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), popular Scottish performer Jackie Morrison, leading Royal Shakespeare Company actress Frances McNamee, Adelaide Obeng (Not Bound Within  for The Albany ), Benjamin Stratton (The 39 Steps), Jack Lord (War Horse for National Theatre), Steven Scott Fitzgerald (The Browning Version) and Vinta Morgan (The Merchant of Venice for Almedia Theatre).

THE VILLAGE THEATRE East Kilbride 07 Sep
THEATRE ROYAL DUMFRIES  Dumfries 10 Sep
BEACON ARTS CENTRE  Greenock 12 Sep
LANARK MEMORIAL HALL  Lanark 13 Sep
 FTH
 Falkirk 17 Sep
 MOTHERWELL THEATRE
 Motherwell  18 Sep
 THE BRUNTON
Musselburgh 20 Sep
 HOWDEN ARTS CENTRE
 Livingston 24 Sep
EASTWOOD PARK THEATRE Giffnock 25 Sep
 ADAM SMITH THEATRE Kirkcaldy 27 Sep
MACROBERT ARTS CENTRE Stirling 28 Sep
EDEN COURT Inverness 01 Oct
TRAVERSE  Edinburgh 03 – 05 Oct
CORRAN HALLS Oban 07 Oct
BYRE THEATRE  St Andrews 10 – 11 Oct
PALACE THEATRE Kilmarnock 12 Oct

REVIEW: The Twelve Pound Look – East Kilbride Arts Centre

Published in 1910, in the midst of the suffragette movement, J.M. Barrie’s The Twelve Pound Look, is an astonishingly relevant, early feminist drama, rightly regarded as one of the most perfect examples of a one-act play in contemporary drama.

Rapture Theatre are to be lauded for their decision to stage the play as part of their inaugural Rapture Bites lunchtime classics, theatre season, which is being presented here at East Kilbride Arts Centre and in slightly different forms at: The Byre Theatre, St. Andrews; Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock; Eastgate Theatre, Peebles; Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkaldy; Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine and CatStrand, New Galloway. The afternoon includes a light lunch, tea, coffee or soft drink as well as a top-quality play from Scotland’s premier touring theatre company.

Harry Sims is the classic example of a man of his time: a pompous, upper class, status-obsessed chauvinist. On the eve of his Knighthood, Harry has enlisted the help of his simpering, supportive, younger, second ‘trophy’ wife to help him practise for the ceremony. Such is his blind self-belief, that he hires a secretary from an agency to respond to the avalanche of correspondence that he expects on the announcement of his award. The secretary turns out to be Kate, the first Mrs. Sims who left him unceremoniously in the middle of the night years before, leaving behind only a note. Harry knows no reason why any sane woman would leave him. The first Mrs. Sims eloquently avails him of the precise reasons why and how she came to secure her freedom.

That such serious subject matter is doused in such humour, shows the adroitness of Barrie. The script is sharp and astute and exquisitely written. While on the surface it all seems like a perfectly palatable piece of fluff for an Edwardian audience, it carries a much deeper message. Who knew that Barrie was such a supporter of the equality of the sexes?

Much of the success of the production is the clarity of direction of Michael Emans and the attractive yet uncomplicated production design, but it is the central performance of Julia Watson as Kate that seals the deal as a polished jewel of a production. Watson is captivating, the elegant fluency and calm assurance with which she skilfully takes Harry down more than a peg or two, is an utter delight to witness.

Rapture Bites, is a welcome addition to the lunchtime theatre movement and with quality such as this, an entertaining time seems assured.

Next up in the series is Terrence Rattigan’s classic The Browning Version on 10th March and Harold Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska on 31 March.

*Please note that this writer has no affiliations with the venues, playwrights or theatre companies whose productions are reviewed on the blog. 

INTERVIEW: Gina Isaac star of Rapture Theatre’s Streetcar Named Desire

Gina Isaac is currently starring in Rapture Theatre Company’s new production of A Streetcar Named Desire as Stella. I caught up with Gina just before the final week of the production at Edinburgh King’s Theatre.

A Streetcar Named Desire is an American classic, for those who are less familiar with it could you tell us a little bit about the play. 

It’s a story full of the heat and vibrancy of the city where it is set, in New Orleans. Blanche and her sister Stella, who is married to the brutish Stanley, find themselves thrown together and the story unfolds from there. You see the old world and the new clashing up against each other in the various characters in the play. There are too many spoilers in there to go into detail but it’s a wonderful story.

And your role…

Blanche is a fading Southern Belle who is desperately trying to hold onto a world that no longer exists. Like all of Tennessee Williams characters she is deeply flawed and yet striving with hope for something more.

How much preparation and rehearsal time did you get before the tour started? 

The rehearsal period was four weeks, with a week of sitting around a table discussing and then ‘getting it on it’s feet’. Streetcar is a very complex play with layers upon layers for the actors to discover. It was a very intense but satisfying process.

How has the play been received so far, has it been different in different locations? 

We’ve had a really terrific reception from all of our audiences, and every audience is different of course. The play is quite ‘light’ in the first act, and the story is very engaging, which seems to invite the audience in and they are really with us. Come the second act, things get dark pretty quickly but by then the audience seem to have really invested in the characters and you can hear a pin drop…with the occasional rustle of sweet packets.

What is life like backstage on tour? 

I wouldn’t know on this job as I never leave the stage or the wings. I’m pretty sure they’re having a good time though. It’s normally a strange mixture of high and lows on any tour – it can be quite an intense experience working in such a bubble for months at a time.

Touring can be demanding, how do you keep your performance fresh and look after yourself when you’re having to travel as well as perform on stage at night? 

Touring actually really helps to keep a performance/play feeling fresh. Every venue and auditorium is different with it’s own set of challenges, so you never really ‘settle’, which is great. You learn to listen to your body as an actor, as it will always let you know if you’re burning the candle too much. Some parts that you play will demand you look after yourself more than others…it’s a delicate balancing act but common sense really.

Can we go back a bit and talk about what inspired you to become an actor and the path you took to become one? 

I used to watch a lot of the old MGM movies when I was a kid and I guess that’s what sparked things for me. I was lucky, in that I never wanted to do anything else so I was quite a clear about the path I wanted to take. I studied drama at school and attended a group at weekends. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to go to a drama school as opposed to university and I spent three years at the Central school of Speech and Drama and then entered the industry from there. The hardest part about being an actor is once you’ve graduated and become part of a very big, very competitive industry. You learn quite quickly if the life of an actor is for you.

Any advice for aspiring performers?

Gosh, that’s a tricky one. I guess one of the main things I have realised, is that every job you do informs and moulds you as an actor. You are constantly learning as an actor, always. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it for. You take something from every job, the good ones and the ‘not so good’ ones. Also, always brush your teeth and if you’re on an OK wage, get a round in now and then.

Finally, why should people come along to see the play? and where can we see it?

Because ‘Streetcar‘ is the most brilliant story…and everyone loves a good story. It’s totally engaging from the off and I think you really care about the characters and what happens to them. This is our final week at The Kings, Edinburgh, so do yourself a favour and come see it.

Gina will be appearing in Rapture Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the King’s, Edinburgh from 3 – 7 October 2017.

TRAILER:

REVIEW: The Collection – Motherwell Theatre, Motherwell

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This article was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-collection-motherwell-theatre-motherwell/

Writer: Mike Cullen

Director: Michael Emans

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★½☆

Mike Cullen’s The Collection is a tale of desperation, conscience, poverty, avarice, inevitable tragedy and depressing relevance and resonance, despite being written almost twenty years ago. After ten years, Bob Lawson (Jimmy Chisholm) is at the top of his “profession”, something to be proud of you would think, well it would be, were it not for the fact that his “profession” is debt collection. But Lawson’s life is shattered forever when one of his female clients commits suicide. Charting the sordid dealings and the financially, morally and spiritually bankrupt characters who pass through the collection agency’s doors, this is a grim tale for our grim times.

The smell of testosterone and desperation hangs heavy in the air and Cullen’s work wears its influences on its sleeve: the gritty dialogue, grim humour and male egos at their worst, particularly in the interactions between the wholly repellent hard man Joe played with chilling detachment by David Tarkenter and naive new boy Billy (Tam Dean Burn) can’t help but remind one of the work of David Mamet.

The dialogue is, as expected raw, the humour black and the drama intense, however, there is an overwhelming sense of inevitability and predictability about the whole affair. The storyline, whilst compelling never fully develops: it makes no comment on the causes of debt nor does it offer any solutions or judgements, and the portrayal of women as easy victims, willing to sell themselves for “a mutually beneficial business agreement” is quite frankly, offensive.

The small cast of actors more than makes up for its faults though, and Jimmy Chisholm’s central performance as Lawson is flawless. Tam Dean Burn too, turns in a convincing portrayal of the eager to impress new employee Billy who, despite initial reservations, throws the conscience he once had to the wind, in order to impress his boss.

Nearing the end of a national tour, this company is a well-oiled machine, both the scene changes and the interactions between the actors are seamless, slick and well-honed. Entertainment it is not, rather it is an often bleak but utterly compelling portrayal of an all too real and hellishly common problem enacted by a hugely talented cast.