Tag Archives: Theatre Royal


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: 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.

THIS WEEKEND: Carly Paoli announced as Collabro’s Special Guest, Coming to Glasgow on Saturday

Carly Paoli has been delighting audiences throughout the world, shared stages with Andrea Bocelli, José Carreras and Elaine Paige, and can count the Pope and Prince Charles amongst her fans. Now the classical singer is coming home to the UK to tour with one of the country’s most successful musical theatre groups, Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro.

They will be appearing together this weekend Saturday 25th of November 2017 at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tickets available at www.gigsandtours.com | www.ticketmaster.co.uk

0844 811 0051 | 0844 826 2826

Collabro have said: “We are thrilled to welcome the very accomplished Carly Paoli as Special Guest on our 2017 ‘Home’ UK Tour. Her voice is stunning and we cannot wait to perform some huge songs alongside her this autumn.”

The twenty-nine date tour is coming to the Theatre Royal in Glasgow on Saturday the 25th of November.  In addition to performing a selection of songs with Collabro, Carly will be singing songs from her debut album ‘Singing My Dreams’ (released June 30th 2017).

Carly says: “I am excited to have the chance to make my UK tour debut with Collabro. Like me, they have a passion for singing; we’ve all achieved our goals on different paths, but we all share the love of performance. To be able to perform with four guys, who love the world of musical theatre as I do, is an absolute dream. I can’t wait to be on stage with them and share my music with a British audience.” 


“It’s always my pleasure to share the stage with Carly Paoli.” – Andrea Bocelli

Featuring a rare duet with José Carreras (the iconic ‘En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor’) ‘Singing My Dreams’ is an enchanting collection of classic pieces, as well as original compositions – some featuring lyrics by Carly herself. The album is the personal story of a little girl from Mansfield who fell in love with the MGM musicals; a teenager who sang in the piazzas of Puglia; a student who studied her craft at Tring Park and The Royal Northern College of Music and a rising star who is receiving recognition whenever she performs.

In between recording her album Carly has performed on international stages including Rome’s Fori Imperiali and Terme di Caracalla, as well as in Monaco, Malaysia, Florence, New York (Carnegie Hall) and London (O2 Arena), and at Windsor Castle and St James’s Palace for HRH the Prince Of Wales.

In Italy, Carly’s achievements in art and culture were recently recognised when she was awarded with the prestigious Premio Barocco award (previous recipients include Dame Helen Mirren and Luciano Pavarotti).  In 2016 Ave Maria’, a song from her album, was chosen as the official song of the Pope’s Jubilee celebrations.


Fri         24 Nov 17          Stirling Albert Halls       

Sat         25 Nov 17          Glasgow Theatre Royal 

Mon      27 Nov 17          Leicester De Montfort Hall         

Tue        28 Nov 17          Grimsby Auditorium     

Thu       30 Nov 17          Manchester Bridgewater Hall    

Fri         01 Dec 17           Sheffield City Hall          

Sat         02 Dec 17           Harrogate International Centre


0844 811 0051 | 0844 826 2826

Carly recently shared a video, filmed in London and Rome, of live performances of five of the songs from the album – a video that is a perfect introduction.

Watch ‘Introducing Caryl Paoli’ video here: YOUTUBE

Se Tu Fossi (Cinema Paradiso) at the Fori Imperiali, Rome

The Mystery Of Your Gift at The Arts Club, London

A Time For Mercy ft London Symphony Orchestra & Romano Musamarra

En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor –with José Carreras at Caracalla for Unicef, Rome

Ave Maria, at Caracalla for Unicef, Rome

Pre-order Singing My Dreams: HERE.

Carlypaoli.com Facebook  Twitter  Instagram YouTube


The King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal have launched an initiative that will reward local heroes of Glasgow and beyond.

The city centre venues, which are operated by Ambassador Theatre Group, will offer 2 for 1 tickets on selected shows and performances running in January 2018 to those working for Scottish Fire and Rescue, Scottish Ambulance, Police Scotland, RNLI, RAF and the Armed Forces. The offer will also be available to Teachers and those working in the NHS.

The move came when the two theatres, who work closely with Tickets for Troops to provide tickets for Armed Forces, wanted to extend their offer to more of Scotland’s heroes.

James Haworth, Theatre Director, at the King’s and Theatre said: “I’m extremely proud that our venues are offering this as a way of thanks to those who have dedicated their lives to helping others.

“Whether you be a nurse; a firefighter; a lifeguard; police officer; armed forces member; teacher or doctor, I hope you will take advantage of this and enjoy a fabulous trip to our theatres on your very well earned night or afternoon off.”

To claim the offer, all heroes have to do is quote LOCALHERO when booking at the box office, over the phone or online then show a valid work ID badge or payslip when collecting tickets.


The main box office is based at Theatre Royal and handles sales for both venues. The box office at Theatre Royal is open Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm while the King’s box office opens 90 minutes before a performance for collections and on-the-night sales.


Phone: 0844 871 7648



Sleeping Beauty

Sat 2 Dec 2017 – Sun 7 Jan 2018

Selected January performances, please see box office for full details.


Someone Like You: The Adele Songbook

Tue 9 Jan 2018, 7.30pm


Vampire Rock: The Ghost Train

Thu 11 Jan 2018, 7.30pm


Queen of the Night

Fri 12 Jan 2018, 7.30pm


Tango Moderno

Tue 16 – Sat 20 Jan 2018

Local Hero available on Wed and Thu performances


The Sound of Music (tbc)

Tue 23 –Sat 27 Jan 2018

Local Hero available on Wed and Thu performances



Phone:  0844 871 7647


Scottish Ballet: The Nutcracker (tbc)

Thu 4 – Sat 13 Jan 2018


Hedda Gabler

Mon 15 – Sat 20 Jan 2018

Local Hero available on Tue, Wed and Thu performances


Strangers on a Train

Mon 22 – Sat 27 Jan 2018

Local Hero available on Tue, Wed and Thu performances


The Last Ship – the acclaimed musical by the internationally renowned musician Sting – is to play in Glasgow next summer.

The production, which will star British singer-songwriter Jimmy Nail, has a TONY-nominated original score and lyrics composed by Sting. It will run at Theatre Royal from Monday 18 until Saturday 23 June.

Tickets are on sale to ATG Theatre Card holders now and go on general sale this Friday (3 November).

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.

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.

The show is directed by Lorne Campbell, the artistic director of Northern Stage, with set design by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions.

One of the country’s most exciting and acclaimed theatre directors, Edinburgh-born Lorne Campbell had his first professional job as an assistant director at Northern Stage, before returning as artistic director in 2013. A graduate of Channel 4’s Young Theatre Director scheme, he has previously worked with the Liverpool Everyman Playhouse, Bath Theatre Royal, Traverse Theatre and Greyscale theatre company, which he co-founded. Productions for Northern Stage include Get Carter, Dr Frankenstein and A Song For Ella Grey

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 a few of his best-loved songs Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.

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


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

SEAT REVIEWS: Theatre Royal, Glasgow


The Theatre Royal is the oldest theatre in Glasgow, originally opening in 1867, the name changing to the Theatre Royal in 1869. It is the longest running theatre in Scotland. The theatre was spectacularly expanded and the new foyer/ lifts/ public spaces were opened in December 2014.

The theatre is owned by and is the home of Scottish Opera. It is also a major receiving house.

The auditorium has 1541 seats arranged over 4 levels, from bottom to top: Stalls, Dress Circle, Upper Circle and Balcony.

The theatre has a number of structurally essential pillars within the auditorium. These are clearly marked on the official theatre plan and are discounted in price.


STALLS: The stalls can be configured in a number of ways depending if the full opera orchestra pit is needed, or not. There are structural pillars situated within the space.


DRESS CIRCLE: Structural pillars are situated into the space. The upper circle overhangs the back few rows – cutting off the view of the top of the stage. There are only intermittent handrails to help you down to your seat.

B 7/8 – On the aisle on right hand side as you face the stage. Very good view of stage if a tiny bit side on. Leg room good.
C 2 – Poor view, parts of stage obstructed, even behind a small woman in front – view awful.

3 – Very bad view, could only see a tiny part of stage. Had to sit on an angle to see one small part of stage. At no time could see the whole of the stage. Completely affected enjoyment of the production.

4 – Not ideal, but better than C3, very small person sat in front, their head obstructed the view (and I am tall) could only see because seat next to me was empty and could lean into that space to see.

21/22 – very tight legroom even if you are small.

35/36/37 – on left hand side facing stage. Leg room good, view slightly to side, little bit of back ache/ neck ache turning slightly to face stage but good panoramic view of set/stage.

D 7/8 – On the aisle on right hand side as you face the stage. Very good slightly side-on view. Can get legs into aisle in seat 8.
E 12/13 – Good central view, excellent leg room
F 16/17 – Central view
G 9/10 – End of aisle. Good view.
K 15/16 – View of stage restricted by the overhang of the upper circle. Felt restricted for space.

UPPER CIRCLE: Again, structural pillars protrude into the area.


BALCONY: There is lift access to the top (and all other levels) of the theatre, the rows are very, very steeply raked with up to 35 steps to access them. There are intermittent hand rails. 


IF YOU HAVE A REVIEW OF A SEAT IN THIS THEATRE PLEASE CONTACT glasgowtheatreblog@gmail.com or on Twitter @LaurenHumphreyz for your review to be added.


NEWS: Cast announced for the only Scottish date of Strangers on a Train

Christopher Harper (Coronation Street), John Middleton (Emmerdale), Jack Ashton (Call The Midwife) and Hannah Tointon (Mr Selfridge) lead the cast in a brand-new production of the spellbinding thriller Strangers on a Train.

Based on the world renowned 1950 novel by Patricia Highsmith made universally famous by the classic Oscar-Winning Alfred Hitchcock film. In the great tradition of Hitchcock, this spine-chilling tale aims to delight you with its dark wit while having you on the edge of your seat from the start.

A fateful encounter takes place between two men in the dining carriage of a train crossing America. Guy is the successful businessman with a nagging jealousy; Charles is the cold, calculating chancer with a dark secret. A daring and dangerous plan develops from this casual conversation setting in motion a chain of events that will change the two men’s lives forever.

Mon 22 – Sat 27 Jan 2018 at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow 

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