Glasgow based theatre company A Little Company have been online fundraising for the last few months, which is raising money for Acting For Others and future A Little Company productions. Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities.
Made up mostly of professional actors/musicians/singers they hope, in the post-Covid world, to create work opportunities for others like themselves.
They have enlisted the help of some friends who have had to continue working throughout this pandemic: a biomedical scientist, a primary teacher and a customer assistant, to name a few.
The concert is called A Love Letter to Theatre and is essentially a compilation of some of their favourite musical theatre songs. It streams from February 14th until the 21st.
Join them as they celebrate an industry brought to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to dedicate a concert to the industry we love so dearly.
Scottish Ensemble (SE) today reveal Sally Beamish as the latest classical music star to grace its Musical Book Club guest list.
Taking place on Wednesday 24 February at 7.30pm, Sally will be joined in conversation by SE violinist Cheryl Crockett with audiences tuning in at home via Zoom.
Sally, one of the UK’s foremost living composers, is an active violist and pianist, and a regular collaborator with Scottish Ensemble – the group having commissioned and premiered many significant works. In this special discussion event, she will explore her compositional process and influences through a selection of her own works and the works that inspired them. SE violinist Cheryl Crockett, who has played in many of the premieres, will bring the performer’s perspective.
Aimed at bringing people together to discuss powerful works of music and recapture some of the post-concert spirit that would, in more normal times, be enjoyed over post-concert drinks, each Musical Book Club attendee will receive a playlist containing recordings to be discussed on the night, along with some questions and thoughts from Sally, a week before the event.
Jenny Jamison, Chief Executive of Scottish Ensemble, said: “We are thrilled to have Sally as our guest for the eighth Scottish Ensemble Musical Book Club. These events are a great way for music lovers from around the world and from a range of backgrounds to engage with each other, the ensemble and some of the UK’s most prominent musicians, while enjoying some stunning pieces of music. We all miss talking directly with people who share our interests just now, and this format allows people to do that in as intimate a setting as digital life can allow.”
Next up in the Musical Book Club calendar is BBC writer and broadcaster Tom Service and Scottish Ensemble cellist Naomi Pavri who will be discussing the legendary Hungarian composer György Kurtág on Wednesday 10 March at 7.30pm.
Of Kurtág Tom Service says: “Kurtág’s fragments are about musical and, above all, expressive intensification: maximising the effect and impact of every note, every gesture.”
The second in this newly announced Musical Book Club lineup will also take place online via Zoom and will position György Kurtág’s as one of the most unique compositional voices of the 20th century.
And finally, on Wednesday 14 April SE Artistic Director Jonathan Morton will be joined by none other than Colin Currie, a solo and chamber artist at the very peak of his powers.
Championing new music at the highest level, he is hailed as being “at the summit of percussion performance today” (Gramophone). Currie is the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers and conductors and he performs with the world’s leading orchestras.
Together, Colin and Jonathan will reflect on music written by some of the composers with whom Colin has had long professional relationships – like Steve Reich and Sir James MacMillan – as well as composers he has premiered works for more recently – Helen Grime and Andy Akiho.
The Theatre Café are proud to present Sunday Night LIVE at The Theatre Café.
A FREE virtual evening, streaming across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube & TikTok from 6pm on Sunday 7th February.
Join Jack Malin with special guests; Joshua St Clair, (Kinky Boots, Wicked, School of Rock, City of Angels), Lucy Kane (Singer/Song Writer, The Voice contestant 2017), Luspinda (Guinness World Record Holder) Gracie McGonigal (BRIT School 2020 Graduate) and Nikki Bentley (Wicked, Shrek the Musical, Ghost the Musical) for an evening full of fun and entertainment.
Each Sunday Night Live at The Theatre Café will be raising money for a different charity and the charity for 7th February is MouseTrap Theatre Projects.
So what better time to resurrect hit game show, Love Roulette? This time though, there’s a difference. Current restrictions mean the producers have moved the show online. The show is still broadcast live. The audience still decide which contestants get paired in hope of finding lifelong love. But the wannabe lovers don’t just win a weekend away. They win total freedom from all restrictions so they can kindle a romance of an un-socially distant kind.
Enjoy the nation’s raciest game show hosts, Rex and Dion, seducing our contestants into baring their souls. Meet the Valentine’s Day show contestants: saucy Saira, eccentric Eartha, hard nut Harriet, tricksy Tristen and voracious Vardo. And let Maestro set your mood for love. Who’ll be happily ever after and who’ll be hurled onto the slagheap of singledom? In Love Roulette, it’s all up to you.
Written by Claire Wood (skirt, beauty) and directed by Ross Hope (Jerusalem, All About My Mother), roulette is a new play, written specifically in response to theatre being performed online. The production makes the most of the digital format, using the interactive capabilities of a Zoom meeting to give the audience the power to shape the action.
Claire Wood is enthusiastic about the possibilities the technology presents.
“While we can’t make theatre in person, I’m interested in exploring how digital technology can be used to involve the audience more directly in the show. Streamed theatre hasn’t been able to elicit the same connection to the performance that we feel sat in a theatre, but I think the potential is there to make the audience feel more involved. In roulette, the audience get to choose what they see next – and ultimately, decide on the shows outcome. They’re as close to the action as they can be, with a direct influence on the story being told. It’s exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.”
Director Ross Hope adds:
“The latest series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing got the highest viewing figures producers had seen in years. Amidst the pandemic and all the restrictions, it was glorious escapism. You won’t catch our contestants dancing but we can’t wait to see our audiences put them through their paces. roulette is frivolous, fun and frothy and delivers its message by stealth. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.”
Established in 2016 by Wood, Production Lines creates “theatre that makes a statement”. Its first production was #likes in 2016. Since the closure of theatres due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Production Lines has turned its attention to producing theatre written to be performed using the digital mediums that now connect us in our day to day lives. Their most recent production, shrapnel, used the all too familiar Zoom format to take an insightful look at loneliness during the pandemic and all the forms it takes. roulette will be the company’s second piece performed live online.
Tickets for roulette are free, although Production Lines has asked for its viewers to consider making a donation to the Equity Benevolent Fund, which contributes to the performing arts unions subscription solidarity drive, to keep its members under the protection of the union during these difficult times for the industry.
Scottish Opera premieres Humperdinck’s enchanting Hansel and Gretel in the latest Scottish Opera: On Screen, filmed at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 19 December. The whole family can immerse themselves in this modern adaptation of the classic fairy tale from Wednesday 10February at 6pm, via the Scottish Opera website. Before then, BBC Radio Scotland will feature audio excerpts from the performance as part of Classics Unwrapped, presented by Jamie MacDougall, on 7 February.
Sung in English, with staging by Daisy Evans, this vivid and joyful reimagining of Humperdinck’s opera tells the heart-warming story of two children and their journey from an impoverished home, into the mystery and danger of the woods. Brought to life by Daisy’s unique staging, with a Christmas-crazed witch and a shopping trolley full of sugary sweets and garish goodies, Hansel and Gretel seem a long way from their simple family life. Packed full of charm and sparkle this production is an ideal anytime treat for children and adults alike, sure to lift spirits and transport audiences from behind the screen to a world of hope and wonder. Although Hansel and Gretel is an opera traditionally associated with Christmas, Daisy’s new production celebrates the opera’s joy and hope that are just as powerful and relevant whatever the season.
David Parry conducts a cast including Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner Kitty Whately as Hansel, Rhian Lois (La bohème 2020) as Gretel, ENO Harewood Artist Nadine Benjamin as Mother and The Witch, Phillip Rhodes as Father and former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Charlie Drummond (Così fan tutte, 2020) as The Sandman and The Dew Fairy, in a translation by David Pountney and with a reduced orchestration by Derek Clark. Humperdinck’s chorus of gingerbread children is performed by a chorus of four adults.
Daisy Evans said: ‘This show is fun for all the family, bright colours, big energy and plenty of glitter! With the current pandemic, everybody has had a difficult Christmas, so I wanted it to be about finding joy where we can, and about families celebrating together. And I also want it to encourage people to come back to the theatre, and to bring their children with them – to make them want to be part of this experience, and to invest in it as part of our culture.’
Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark said: ‘Despite a prolific composing career, Humperdinck’s reputation rests solely on this one opera. The combination of a straightforward fairy tale with a musical language which owes a heavy debt to Wagner may seem an unlikely one, but in Hansel and Gretel, the mixture of simple tunes, like the famous Dance duet, thrilling orchestral passages such as the Witch’s Ride and the Dream pantomime, and the tender emotion of the children’s Evening Prayer produces a masterpiece which has kept its popularity for well over a century.’
Available to watch via Scottish Opera’s website www.scottishopera.org.uk. Scottish Opera has also produced an Audio Described version of the film, also available to watch via the Company’s website. This is the latest in Scottish Opera’s Audio Described opera films, all of which have proved extremely popular with viewers.
Actor and playwright Kenny Boyle’s newest work starts this week.
An Isolated Incident is a new play presented digitally in six parts. Through six interconnected monologues, each delivered by up and coming or well established actors from the world of Scottish theatre, An Isolated Incident explores how people deal with isolation and the removal of our comforts and coping mechanisms. The play explores the mental health repercussions of fear and loneliness, the impact on the very young and on the elderly of being cut off from social interaction, and the terrible emotional cost for those with no one to reach out to. It also explores the various techniques–be those exercise, TV, or escaping into an inner fantasy world –that we use to help us adapt to this new normal. Each monologue has a strong focus on mental health and mental wellbeing. Each also has an unwavering dedication to the importance of speaking out, reaching out and destroying stigma. Most crucially each revolves around an incident of human kindness and connection and contains that most valuable of things: hope.
Kenny Boyle said: “2020 and the start of 2021 have been different for everyone, but it they have been unanimously hard. We truly believe that this shared worldwide hardship has given us all more empathy. If we manage to reach even one person who’s struggling with the mental health implications of loneliness and make them feel less alone then we feel as though we’ll have achieved something immeasurable.
This is only possible thanks to the support of Creative Scotland and we are delighted that they have afforded us this opportunity to tell these stories and to do something that, in some small way, makes people feel less isolated, and more connected.
As is the case with most theatre during this unusual time An Isolated Incident is filmed entirely on iPhones, edited on a free software on a home PC’s that valiantly do their best to rise to the challenge of video editing, and the performances are all captured remotely from actors hiding under blankets to improve audio quality. At its heart, it’s a lockdown iPhone project… but we hope it’s a really good iPhone lockdown project.
We are proud to be collaborating with Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline to raise awareness of domestic abuse during lockdown – particularly in the episode named “werewolf”
With permission, we provide the details of SAMH on all of the episodes so that anyone affected by the mental health issues we discuss knows there is somewhere to turn. SAMH have no direct involvement with the project other than permitting us to signpost them.” Episode 1 is written and performed by Kenny Boyle an actor and playwright from the Isle of Lewis. Kenny trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is a recipient of Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland’s New Playwrights’ award 2021. Kenny plays the lead role of Rob in feature film Lost at Christmas. Episode 2 is performed by Karen Bartke an actress and voiceover artist based in Glasgow. On screen she is best known as Officer Karen in the BAFTA winning mockumentary Scot Squad, audio credits include Alien: River of Pain and Sandman for Audible UK. She’s the winner of the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Debut Performance in 2016 (My Name Is, dir. Philip Osment), and winner of the Norman Beaton Fellowship 2016 Episode 3 is performed by Natalie Clark a Glasgow based actress who most recently completed a tour of Scotland with Rapture Theatre in The Browning Version. TV credits include Still Game and Royal History’s Biggest Fibs for the BBC. Feature film credits include Love Bite, Lost at Christmas, and the upcoming film The Last Bus. Episode 4 is performed by Gillian Massey a Glasgow based actor with a diverse background in both live and on-screen performances. She made her Edinburgh Fringe debut in the three-hander comedy Irrelevant, which was shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award, and returned to the Fringe in the one-woman play The Lament of Dorothy Wordsworth, which also ran at Glasgow’s West End Festival. More recently, she has appeared in online shows for Short Attention Span Theatre and The Gaiety Theatre. Episode 5 is performed by John Michael-Love who featured in Series 1 of popular TV Show Outlander, and recently featured in Police Scotland’s 2020 campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of online grooming. His stage roles include Polonius in Bard in the Botanics’ 2014 production of ‘Hamlet’ and Jack Jarvis in Sonic Boom Theatre Company’s 2012/2013 reboot of the original ‘Still Game’ stage show.”
Episode 6 is performed by the entire ensemble working remotely across Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to the Borders and in between.
Alexandra Burke is to star as Julianne Potter in the UK and Ireland tour of My Best Friend’s Wedding which is now to play at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow from 31 January – 19 February 2022 following a postponement of the tour due to theatre closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
My Best Friend’s Wedding is based on the film of the same name and features some of the most iconic pop anthems ever written by the legendary Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, Walk on By, I Say A Little Prayer and What’s New Pussycat.
“Fiery food critic Julianne Potter has always turned her nose up at romance. It’s the reason she broke up with her sweetheart Michael O’Neal. When she hears he’s about to be married, she vows to win him back for good, but with perfect Kimmy in the way, it’s not as easy as she first thought. Can she derail her best friend’s wedding in time and keep Michael all for herself?”
The musical will have a book by Ronald Bass (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Rain Man, The Joy Luck Club) and Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Coronation Street).
31 January – 19 February 2022 King’s Theatre, GLASGOW
Peppa Pig: My First Concert is a fun and interactive introduction to a live orchestra will take Peppa Pig fans on a magical musical journey. Peppa visits Glasgow on the 9th and 10th of February.
This production is based on Entertainment One’s popular animated television series, Peppa Pig, and gives children a chance to experience their first concert in a way that is truly meaningful to them. Specially designed for the youngest audience members, this allows them, together with Peppa, to discover an orchestra for the first time. Perfect for little ones, to capture their imagination and introduce them to a whole new world of music.
We talk to our favourite little piggy, Peppa Pig, before she goes back on the road with the second leg of her first ever concert.
The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo arrives at The SEC Armadillo from 15 January – 2 February 2019 as part of a national tour.
Joey, the life-size equine puppet from War Horse made a special early appearance in Glasgow next to The Duke of Wellington Statue last week as well as his home for January – The SEC Armadillo. The event also included a talk about the history of the show from War Horse’s Assistant Puppetry Director, Matthew Forbes.
The puppeteers operating Joey in Glasgow are: Gareth Aled (Head), Michael Taibi (Heart) and Antony Antunes (Hind).
Classic kids’ tale with a modern twist, Little Red Riding Hood is coming to Eastwood Park Theatre on Saturday 13 February at 3pm.
From the creative team behind the hugely popular Hairy Maclary Show, Little Red Riding Hood is a fun, original musical for children, with live music and loveable characters.
The show has toured from Edinburgh to Hong Kong and Singapore and comes to Eastwood Park Theatre as part of its 45th anniversary programme.
Recommended for pre-school children, the show features a forest full of family fun as Scarlet and her side-kick Stanley the Squirrel try to outwit Walter the Wolf.
Zoe Halliday, from Milton on Campsie, studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s musical theatre course. She will play the lead role of Scarlet and Glasgow Theatre Blog caught up with Zoe to find out about the show.
Tell us a little bit about the play.
The play follows the story of 16yr old Scarlet who is lives in the woods with her father. Not having many friends and feeling a bit alone has left Scarlet longing for an adventure which falls into her lap (literally) in the form of letter from her grandfather. After some indecision about her own bravery Scarlet embarks on the quest her grandfather has sent her. Along the way she meets some wonderful forest friends including Stanley the Squirrel but also faces someone hairy not so nice enemies! The story is a whirl wind of adventure with catchy tunes all the way!
And your role…
I play the fearless “Scarlet”
How has the play been received so far, has it been different in different locations?
The play did a run over Christmas at Roxy Assembly in Edinburgh. The audiences were fantastic and got right into the spirit of the show by singing along and joining in the madness.
What is life like backstage on tour?
It is exciting! Every day we are in a different theatre/venue and face whatever challenges that presents. Whilst it can be hard going being away from family and friends we have become really close as a cast and always manage to have a laugh! Bringing the show to new audiences every day is really special and even better when you have a strong, fun filled cast.
Touring can be demanding, how do you keep your performance fresh/look after yourself when you’re having to travel as well as perform on stage at night?
I wish I could say I eat lots of vegetables and exercise regularly but that would be a lie. The performance is fresh every day because it’s my job and I love doing it. That and some orange Lucozade and we are laughing.
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 decided I wanted to become an actor very early on. I loved dancing as a young child and was inspired by my mum who had her own dance school. I had grown up with old school musicals and dance films. I think I watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers so many times the video broke!
When my parents put me in stage school at 10 it just all made sense.
At the age of 13 I was one the first cohort of the Preparatory Musical Theatre programme at the Dance School of Scotland were I studied all through my high school years. I then went onto study a BA in Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at just 17yrs old.
Any advice for aspiring performers?
If you really want it, it is worth waiting for. The performing arts is an extremely hard industry but worth every ounce of effort!
Finally, why should people come along to see the play? and where else can we see it?
You should come and see Little Red Riding Hood for some exciting, fun and catchy enjoyment! Life isn’t as fun without a little adventure!