Tag Archives: What’s on OCTOBER

WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: Barry Douglas joins the Russian State Symphony Orchestra for all-Russian programme at Usher Hall

Usher Hall gets its new Sunday Classics season off to a roaring start with some of the finest Russian music from one of the nation’s standout orchestras

Tickets range from £13.50 – £35, £10 student tickets are also available and under 16s can get a free ticket when booked with an adult.

A mighty all-Russian programme from one of Russia’s foremost orchestras kicks off the Usher Hall’s 2018-19 Sunday Classics concerts in spectacular style. The Russian State Symphony Orchestra will take audiences on a spellbinding journey of heart-stopping romance; mischievous wit; and one of the most moving tales in the whole of ballet. They will be joined in part from the world-renowned Belfast pianist, Barry Douglas.

The Moscow-based orchestra has a peerless pedigree in the stirring, deeply expressive music of its homeland, with a rich, noble sound that’s matched by the players’ incisive energy. Under conductor Valentin Uryupin, one of the most exciting young talents emerging from Russia’s fiercely competitive classical world, it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Uryupin and his Orchestra open with the unforgettable melancholy of one of the world’s best-loved ballet scores: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The dancers at the ballet’s premiere in 1877 protested at the piece’s difficulty to dance to – it was too rich and extensive to complement their movement. Despite this, today the piece is adored the world-over.

The Orchestra will also be joined by the multi-award-winning Belfast-born pianist Barry Douglas, who famously won the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition back in 1986 and has forged a global career with his remarkable mix of muscular power and exquisite poetry. His musical talents also extend away from the classical music world with his work with Celtic Orbit – a group he set up to play traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany.

He’s the soloist in Shostakovich’s sunny, funny Second Piano Concerto, a touching birthday present from the composer to his 19-year-old son, which sandwiches a soulful, dreamy slow movement between two movements of sparkling wit and vivacious energy. It’s one of the composer’s standout works, and is a departure from much of his music that is often characterised by angst, fear and defiance in response to the oppression that he experienced under the communist regime. Shostakovich himself visited the Usher Hall in 1962 as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, and his music has been welcome addition to any programme in the venue ever since.

The afternoon of music closes with the overwhelming opulence of Rachmaninov’s epic Second Symphony, overflowing with outpourings of ecstatic melody, and charting a passionate journey through breath-taking romance to blazing triumph.

Listings information:

Sunday 14 Oct 2018, 3pm

Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh

Russian State Symphony Orchestra

Valentin Uryupin  Conductor

Barry Douglas  Piano

 

Tchaikovsky  Swan Lake Suite

Shostakovich  Piano Concerto No. 2

Rachmaninov  Symphony No. 2

 

Tickets available at www.usherhall.co.uk

 

Prices

£35 | £29 | £24 | £18 | £13.50

Concessions available

Full time students are entitled to tickets for £10 which can be booked in advance

Under 16s are entitled to free tickets when booked with a paying adult

**Please note a £1.50 transaction fee applies on the overall booking when purchasing online or over the phone (non-refundable)**

WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: ENDA WALSH MASTERPIECE BALLYTURK CENTREPIECE OF AUTUMN SEASON AT TRON

Tron Theatre Company has announced that the centrepiece of the autumn season will be its staging of one of the most extraordinary, hilarious and surreal plays in modern theatre: Ballyturk by Enda Walsh. This will be the first British production of this contemporary masterpiece and it will be the final work in a small but significant Irish season this autumn at the Tron.

A world is out there, imagined within the four walls of a room inhabited by two men. Will they ever escape to see it in reality? A moving meditation on the brevity of our existence, Ballyturk is the mundane village redolent of Dylan Thomas’s Llareggub in Under Milk Wood, viewed through a Truman Show style filter of confirmed artificiality. Explosions, both literal and imagined, music and exhilarating physical comedy punctuate beautifully poetic renderings of life in the type of small town we have all visited, and most likely, lived in.

Andy Arnold has assembled a stellar company and creative team to present Enda Walsh’s exuberant, funny and gut-wrenchingly sad tour de force of a production. With Simon Donaldson and Grant O’Rourke as 1 and 2 and Wendy Seager as 3, Ballyturk will be designed and lit by the same team who worked on The Lonesome West, Michael Taylor and Mark Doubleday. Danny Krass will provide sound design and Kim Beveridge the AV design.

Running time: approx.100 minutes (no interval)

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HB Dates: 4-20 October 2018 Tickets: £9-£17 Box Office: 0141 552 4267 or http://www.tron.co.uk 

WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: Caro Emerald at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Following 5 star reviews and sold out shows across the board, Caro Emerald is back with a brand new live UK tour for 2018.

Since the release of the 2010 multi-platinum debut album ‘Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor’ Caro Emerald and producers Grandmono have fashioned their own niche, blending retro jazz with sampling and modern pop, starring Caro’s exceptional vocals. The result is a truly unique signature sound.

Second album ‘The Shocking Miss Emerald’ entered the Official UK Album Chart at No. 1 in May 2013,  remaining in the chart for an entire year. With more than 2.5 million record sales, a host of awards (including an Echo, Goldene Kamera, Edison Award, EBBA & MTV Music Award), and a string of sold out tours and performances at festivals throughout Europe including Glastonbury and Isle of Wight, Caro has made her mark. Caro recently released the official video for ‘The Ghost Of You’ take from the recent Emerald Island EP along with Illusionista remix of ‘The Ghost Of You’.

The vocalist is an original pop star with the look of a Hollywood icon of yesteryear and a voice that oozes warmth and vitality. Her live performance is not to be missed – as The Daily Telegraph noted “Caro Emerald had everyone in the palm of her hand’’ and her “infectious sense of fun and vintage charm can be relied on to lift the spirits”.

This new tour follows her acclaimed Emerald Island tour earlier this year.

All ages, under 16s accompanied by an adult. 

caroemerald.com   @caroemerald  /caroemeraldofficial

 

WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: Blair Dunlop at The Hug and Pint

Blair Dunlop, the award-winning British singer, songwriter and guitarist, has now released 3 albums 2 EP’s and toured widely around the globe.  All of this in a short 4-year career is astounding alone but what sets Blair apart from his peers is the lyrical and musical maturity with which he writes.

His third album ‘Gilded’ was released in May 2016 on his own label – Gilded Wings – and was widely acclaimed gaining BBC Radio 2 Playlist status for the two single releases (‘The Egoist’ and ‘356’) both of which were remixed by Ed Harcourt.  Prior to this Blair released his acclaimed album ‘House Of Jacks’ in mid 2014 which lived up to the promise of his 2012 debut ‘Blight and Blossom’ (the quality of which contributed to his winning the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award).

Blair has now cemented his place as one of Britain’s most exciting talents to come from the folk scene and comes to Glasgow on 11th October 2018 at the Hug and Pint 171 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9AW.

More info: http://blairdunlop.com/event-category/notes-from-an-island-tour-2018/

 

INTERVIEW: Medhavi Patel star of We Are The Lions, Mr Manager! – currently touring the UK

Medhavi Patel is taking on the role of Jayaben Desai in the world premiere of We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!, which is currently touring the UK.

Patel’s previous stage work has seen her star in Tales of Birbal, Trident Moon and Fragile Land, and she has starred in TV shows including Doctors and Holby City. The role of Jayaben Desai holds particular significance to Patel after she learned she is a distant relative of the iconic leader.

The play will be at Eastwood Park Theatre on 29 October 2017.

Tell us a little bit about the play.

We Are The Lions, Mr Manager! is a beautifully written play by Neil Gore about the Grunwick strikers back in 1976. The play is based on the strong and courageous journey of Jayaben Desai, a South Asian women of Gujarati descent. Jayaben fought along with the many that supported her for the right to have a union represent them in the factory they worked for – this was due to the mistreatment of immigrant workers at the factory.

Medhavi Patel as Jayaben Desai in We Are The Lions, Mr Manager

And your role…

I will be playing Jayaben Desai. She was a woman of incredible strength, courage and determination. She fought a battle at a time where the odds were against her, simply because she was a woman and an immigrant. Many say she was ahead of her time and strived to show that Asian woman can be strong and outspoken too.

The real Jayaben Desai

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

Many are excited at the prospects of such a strong play based on real-life experiences which are still a struggle for many in today’s society. I believe it will be received strongly everywhere we go, as we have kept the energy levels high and used elements of humour and emotion at the right balance.

What is life like backstage on tour?

Rehearsals are fun but gruelling and trying to get the right tone of the play and characters is important. Louise Townsend (Director) and Neil Gore (Playwright and Actor) have gone to great lengths to ensure the production is as close to real life events as possible. There have been many moments of laughter but equally many moments of discussion and thought about why the play is so important right now. Life backstage can be tiring but when you love what you do, that feeling takes second place.

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 try to be as active as possible on a regular basis, whether this means walking, going to gym, for a gentle run, dancing in my room, practicing yoga and even getting enough shut eye. I also make sure I drink plenty of water and keep healthy snacks to hand. I warm up before performances and ensure I have time to silence the world from my thoughts before the show in order to go on sharp, focused and energised. Rest and play should be in the right balance and looking after oneself is essential to any performer as we are our tools.

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 chose this path as I always loved performing from a young age. I didn’t see it as something particularly unique or special, as it feels like home when I’m performing – it really feels like I’m doing what makes me happy and that is my life’s mantra.

People spend so much time working and worrying that they forget about feeling, whether it’s happy or sad. When you incite feelings in your audience and bring them into your world it is the most amazing feeling. When you are able to touch people and make them aware of these feelings, it’s a job well done. I love the physical, mental and emotional challenges, the creativity, the people and the experiences that being a performer brings.

Any advice for aspiring performers?

Keep learning and be open to new challenges, don’t let yourself fit in just one category as you’ll never know your true potential.

Know your value and never be scared to question if you don’t understand or you don’t agree with something. An actor never stops learning and developing as their environment and life is their inspiration. Keep your craft alive through moments of quiet through attending workshops, shows or even trying to learn a new skill. You’ll never regret it.

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

I think it will touch anyone who has ever had to fight for something important. It shows that together any difficulty can be faced and overcome. To see and know the story of a strong South Asian woman who has fought so valiantly for the rights we have today, to understand that we can question the systems in place and strive to make changes not just for ourselves but also for the people around us.

The play will also be on tour UK-wide and comes to Glasgow’s Eastwood Park Theatre on 29 October. Tickets are on sale now, priced £15 standard and concession £12 from: http://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/boxoffice .

Further dates and show locations on can be found: www.townsendproductions.org.uk

 

INTERVIEW: Robert Softley Gale talks about Blanche and Butch

Robert Softley Gale is an established figure in the Scottish arts scene, with over sixteen years of experience in diverse and varied roles – including actor and performer, director, writer and advocate of equality within the arts.

Robert’s professional acting debut was in 2002 and since then he has appeared in many productions – including co-writing and performing in ‘Girl X’ for National Theatre of Scotland. His award-winning solo performance – ‘If These Spasms Could Speak’ – was a hit of the 2013 Made in Scotland programme and has subsequently toured internationally to countries including Brazil, Estonia, the USA, Ireland and India.
A graduate of Glasgow University, Robert is an Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise Theatre Company.

For BOP (Birds of Paradise) he has directed the smash-hit sex comedy Wendy Hoose and Purposeless Movements, for which he was nominated for a CATS Best Director award. Glasgow Theatre Blog had the pleasure of talking to Robert about his play Blanche and Butch which is at Eastwood Park Theatre on 7th October.

Tell us a little bit about the play.

Blanche & Butch is set backstage at a touring performance of the iconic 1960s film ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’. The film starred Bette Davies and Joan Crawford, with Joan playing Blanche, who is a wheelchair user – the three drag queens in Blanche & Butch are presenting the first stage version of Baby Jane to star an ‘actually disabled’ Blanche. There’s a lot of bitchiness and power struggles, camp show tunes and touching ballads – something for everyone!

And your role…

I play Blanche, the youngest of the three drag queens we meet. Blanche wants to make it big – wants to get his name in lights and be a star. But everyone else keeps reminding him that there are limits to what he can achieve.

 

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

So far we’ve opened at the Tron in Glasgow and toured to Greenock and Stirling – audiences have been loving the show so far. There are a lot of funny one-liners and much crudeness but there are also songs about trying to be the best dad you can be and a very funny number about intersectionality. Like I said, something for everyone.

What is life like backstage on tour?

I feel like I should write something cruel and bitchy about how difficult they all are the work alongside, but honestly we all get on really well and have a great laugh. The hardest bit to being backstage is putting on tights every night when you’re a guy who has cerebral palsy!

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?

It is pretty knackering – you learn a lot of tricks over the years to make things easier. Grabbing food whenever you can is important, as it isn’t always easy to find your next meal between shows and travelling. Keeping each performance fresh is about remembering that for every audience tonight is their first night – ever show is a unique event between us and that audience. It sounds cliché but no two shows are the same, we’re always finding new things within the show.

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

You can read quite a bit about this here http://www.softley.co.uk/biography.htm#22 – but the short answer is that I was studying Management at Glasgow Uni – thinking that a disabled guy could never be an actor – when I got a call from a theatre company in Edinburgh asking me to audition for them. I thought I had no chance – but what the heck! Long story short I got the job and 15 years later I’m still here!

Any advice for aspiring performers?

Be nice to work with – you could be the best actor in the world but if you’re difficult to work with then directors will find someone else. And have fun – it’s called a  ‘play’ for a reason.

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

If you want to have a really good night out – with a lot of laughs and moments of “They didn’t just say THAT, did they?”, then this is the show for you.

You can see it at Eastwood Park Theatre in Glasgow on Saturday 7 October and buy tickets from https://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/article/9098/Blanche–Butch

The rest of the tour dates are available: www.boptheatre.co.uk/blanche-butch/

Header image of Robert Softley Gale by Eoin Carey

INTERVIEW: Keith Jack talks about his tour and album Movie Nights

Keith Jack is probably best-known for finishing second on BBC 1’s Any Dream Will Do but his theatre credits since leaving the show are impressive: The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour); Charlie in Only The Brave (Edinburgh Festival); Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour); Alistair in Sincerely, Mr Toad (Edinburgh/Greenwich); Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore (UK Tour) and Sparky in Forever Plaid (St James Theatre, London).

No stranger to pantomime, Keith’s credits include: the title role in Aladdin (King’s Theatre, Glasgow); the Prince in Sleeping Beauty (Ipswich Regent); the title role in Peter Pan (His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen), Prince Charming in Cinderella (Whitley Bay/Horsham/Newark) and the title role in Dick Whittington (Maidstone). This season he will be starring as The Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks).

Keith’s newly-released fourth album, Movie Nights, features classic songs from iconic movies, here he talks about the inspiration for the album and the tour to promote it and answers some questions about his career.

This album, and the forthcoming tour, has come from my massive love of films from a young age. I wanted to find a good mix of songs – both young and old – with all different styles and have them led by strings, giving a different feel to all other movie albums. I feel like we have really achieved this, making it more my own style without losing why people fell in love with the song in the first place.

I couldn’t have done it without my lovely friend and MD, Scott Morgan, who did all the arrangements on the album and played the piano beautifully! He was supported by fantastic string players in January Tewson, Jade Cuthburt, James Greenfield and Naomi Wright; thank you for your lovely playing on this album.

A big thank you to Kristian Polly for recording the album and for a fun day in the church recording the strings and also to Istage Studio for letting me use their fantastic facilities to record in. A special thank you to Jim Lang who Mixed and Mastered the whole album, making it sound exactly how I imagined it would be. Also, a special mention to Ian Fraser for all the pictures and the album artwork. I have been lucky enough to have a fantastic team around me to do this album and I couldn’t have done it without them all.

My last mention goes to my family and friends for their help and support in creating this album. And, of course, not forgetting you – my amazing fans. Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey over the last 10 years. From coming to concerts, buying albums and your support on social media, I can’t thank you enough! I hope you enjoy this album just as much as my others. This tour is the most perfect way to celebrate its release! So, sit back, grab your popcorn and enjoy!

Q & A Interview

Some former talent show contestants claim that the process leaves them feeling manipulated and exploited. Did your experience in Any Dream Will Do make you feel that way?

No, not at all. We were kind of moulded and helped and nurtured to be the kind of performer that Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted. I never felt as though I was just a cog in a money-making wheel.

An amazing 21 million viewers tuned into the final of the series, in June 2007, and Lee Mead went on to wow the West End critics as Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s magical musical. But you couldn’t even console yourself with the prospect of performing the role in the touring production of the show. That opportunity had already been offered to Craig Chalmers, who finished fifth in the competition. Surely, you must have been gutted and, perhaps, even a little resentful?

Not at all. I was actually still competing in the programme when Craig was eliminated and Bill Kenwright offered him the part of Joseph.

To prove that you held no hard feelings, you accepted the role of Narrator in the touring version, alongside Craig Chalmers, as Joseph, and fellow competitor Chris Barton, who finished in eighth place, as Benjamin. Tell me about that?

I loved it. And, actually, it’s a bigger singing role than Joseph.

They say, though, that everything comes to he who waits and, eventually, you got to actually play the role that you competed for. How did that feel?

It was just a really nice feeling to finally get to do it. I was able to relax and settle into it a lot easier than I would have done if I’d come to it straight from the show. We had some great audiences on the tour and it was nice to see all different parts of the country.

Was it difficult learning to cope with the instant fame that is often the result of such shows.

At first it was strange. You don’t change as a person but everyone else changes around you. It’s very strange to walk down the street and have people following you and trying to take your picture.

Your boy-next-door good looks have ensured that you have a loyal fan following and not just from girls…tell me more?

I was very proud to be featured on the front of a gay magazine. When I first went on to Any Dream Will Do, John Barrowman told me: ‘You haven’t made it until you have a gay fan base’, so to be the cover boy on such a magazine made me very happy.

Tell me what has been happening in your career lately?

I have just finished touring with Joe McElderry in the Saturday Night at the Movies tour and have also completed my brand new album Movie Nights. Right now, I’m enjoying being busy preparing for the forthcoming tour to promote the album.

What are your favourite tracks on the new album and why did you select them?

I love ‘So Close’ from Disney’s Enchanted. That song comes at such a lovely moment in the film and it’s such a beautiful song. It’s not the bestknown song from the movie, but I performed it on the Saturday Night at the Movies tour and everyone seemed to love it. It’s strange that people recognise the song but don’t know where from. I also really like the arrangement that my MD, Scott Morgan, came up with for ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’. Stevie Wonder’s original version has a happy, upbeat feel to it. I have chosen to perform it as a more melancholic ballad – it almost sounds as though it could be a sad lullaby. I think it’s nice to change the arrangement when performing a cover version, rather than just trying to replicate the original.

How do you feel you have matured, musically, in the past decade?

I’m partly the same performer as I was. However, I feel that my voice and, indeed, my performances are more structured and mature. People tell me that I’ve not lost any of the charm, fun and vibrancy of my younger years. I think I have just grown up, that’s all. I now think that I know myself inside out as a performer.

Does it make a lot of difference to be able to choose your own material now, rather than having songs and themes chosen for you?

It makes a massive difference. A lot of the stuff I performed in Any Dream Will Do, I would not have chosen for myself. That said, it taught me to experiment with different styles and to take chances and stretch my boundaries. It’s liberating not to have to pick songs with the sole intention of pleasing the public. That has pushed me on so far.

A selection of the possible songs for Keith’s tour (subject to change) follows:

A Thousand Years: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Everything I Do (I Do It For You): Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Staying Alive: Saturday Night Fever

I Just Called To Say I Love You: The Woman In Red

So Close: Enchanted

You’ve Got A Friend In Me: Toy Story

She’s Like The Wind: Dirty Dancing

Kiss From A Rose: Batman Forever

Jailhouse Rock: Jailhouse Rock

Beauty and the Beast: Beauty and the Beast

Run To You: The Bodyguard

KEITH JACK – MOVIE NIGHTS, WILD CABARET GLASGOW 22 OCTOBER 2017

TICKETS – 0141 552 6165

For more information and to keep up to date with future projects, visit: Officialkeithjack.co.uk or @keithjack on Twitter.