Monday, 13 June 2016

This Restless House & Lanark each scoop a hat-trick at the CATS

After receiving an impressive 12 nominations for the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS)  we're thrilled to have won 6 awards - our biggest haul yet! 


David Greig's adaptation of of Alasdair Gray's Lanark scooped three awards as did Zinnie Harris' epic 5-star retelling of The Oresteia, This Restless House


The CATS are an opportunity for the theatre industry across Scotland to come together and celebrate some of the most successful productions, and best artists over the past 12 months. This year the awards were held in Edinburgh at the Royal Lyceum Theatre and hosted by Citz alumnus Daniela Nardini (Top Girls, 2004) and Still Game's Sanjeev Kohli


Our co-production with National Theatre of Scotland, epic trilogy This Restless House, walked away with Best New Play, Best Female Performance and our Artistic Director Dominic Hill won his 5th CATS award for Best Director - the most any director has won in the CATS' 14-year history. 


BEST NEW PLAY
Zinnie Harris - This Restless House
CATS Winner 2016: Best New Play - This Restless House - Zinnie Harris

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Pauline Knowles  - This Restless House
CATS Winner 2016: Best Female Performance - Pauline Knowles

BEST DIRECTOR
Dominic Hill - This Restless House
CATS Winner 2016: Best Director - This Restless House - Dominic Hill

Meanwhile our 2015 co-production with Edinburgh International Festival, Lanark: A Life in Three Acts was awarded Best Male Performance, Best Design and Best Technical Presentation. 

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Sandy Grierson - Lanark
CATS Winner 2016: Best Male Performance - Sandy Grierson

BEST DESIGN
Laura Hopkins, Nigel Edwards and Simon Wainwright - Lanark
CATS Winner 2016: Best Design - Lanark

BEST TECHNICAL PRESENTATION
Lanark
CATS Winner 2016: Best Technical Presentation - Lanark

We are very grateful to all the casts and creative teams that have worked with us during 2015-16 to create so many fantastic shows and congratulations to all of the artists whose work in Scotland was recognised by this year's nominations and awards.    

 We're straight on to creating next year's hopeful award-winners, with our Autumn 2016 season now on sale. From Trainspotting, and The Rivals to Hansel & Gretel and the return of Glasgow Girls there's something for everyone!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Choose Life. Choose the Citizens Theatre.

Well, we couldn't announce our exciting new season without referencing one of the most memorable film openings of all time, could we?

A new stage production of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting headlines our Autumn 2016 season, 22 years after the story first began life as a piece of drama right here at the Citizens Theatre. Read on to find out more about the fantastic shows we've got coming up at your local theatre from August 2016 - January 2017.



GLASGOW GIRLS 30 Aug - 3 Sep
A Pachamama, National Theatre of Scotland, Regular Music and Theatre Royal Stratford East production in association with Richard Jordan Productions and Citizens Theatre

The Glasgow Girls are coming home! The real life story of seven feisty teenagers from Dumchapel High was turned into a high-energy, life-affirming musical by Cora Bissett and David Greig and was first premiered at the Citizens in 2012. Since then, the show's been revived here, shared the stage with Nile Rogers at the Ryder Cup Gala Concert, and will have a run of performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer before coming home.

We are the Glasgow Girls!

TRAINSPOTTING 14 Sep - 8 Oct
A Citizens Theatre production

With a sequel to the Trainspotting film currently in production, here's a chance to experience the original coarse, intense and often hilarious story on the Citizens' stage. Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud hurtle their way through the darkest backstreets of the heroin scene of Thatcher-era Leith in the generation-defining cult phenomenon. Our Main Stage Director in Residence Gareth Nicholls will direct. We've loved his thoughtful and thought-provoking productions of Into That Darkness, Blackbird and Vanya and can't wait to see his version Trainspotting.

THE CHEVIOT, THE STAG AND THE BLACK, BLACK OIL 18 - 22 Oct
A Dundee Rep production

Dundee Rep's new production of this favourite piece of 20th-century Scottish drama by John McGrath was a sell out in 2015. They're now hitting the road with this fantastic production, and will play at the Citizens Theatre for one week only in October. There's already been huge demand for tickets, so if you fancy joining us for an evening of ceilidh, song, political history and loads of laughs, don't leave it too late to book!

THE GORBALS VAMPIRE 28 - 29 Oct
A Citizens Theatre Community production

We'll be welcoming 60 non-professional performers from our community to our stage to recreate the bizarre events that took place at the Southern Necropolis over 60 years ago. One night in September 1954, hundreds of children aged 4 - 14 armed themselves with whatever they could find and began a chaotic hunt through the Gorbals for the mysterious - and fictitious - Gorbals Vampire, or The Man With the Iron Teeth. Johnny McKnight's tongue-in-cheek script brings the dramatic evening back to life.

THE RIVALS 1 - 19 Nov
A Citizens Theare, Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse

Big wigs, big frocks, cheeky humour and plenty of over-the-top silliness. That's what's in store in our production of 18th-century comedy of manners The Rivals. Set in high society Bath, the play bubbles with scandal, wit and intrigue. Our Artistic Director Dominic Hill directs the co-production with Bristol Old Vic, who we last visited in 2014 with The Libertine and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse who we've previously worked with to produce Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme and Crime and Punishment.

HANSEL AND GRETEL 6 Dec - 7 Jan

Dominic Hill also turns his hand to our Christmas show this season, Hansel and Gretel. A temptingly sweet festive treat, expect plenty of the Citizens' traditional theatrical magic combined with world-class storytelling, suitable for everyone aged 6+.

What are you most excited to see in our new session? Tweet us with #CitzAutumnSeason to let us know! 


Tickets for all productions in our Autumn 2016 season are available now to book online, or by calling our box office on 0141 429 0022. 



Monday, 16 May 2016

THE CAT'S PYJAMAS

The Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) nominations have been announced and we received a whopping 12 nominations this year which must be some sort of record for us, right? Well we dusted off our old photo albums and got out our calculators to bring you the Citz' CATS nominations by numbers. Join us on a number filled trip down memory lane!




71 The number of times Citizens Theatre has been nominated since 2002




14 The number of CATS nominations, Artistic Director Dominic Hill has received 

8 The number of times Dominic Hill has won a CATS Award, the most of any director working in Scotland



12  This year Citizens Theatre has been nominated for twelve awards, the highest number of nominations in a single year in our history. Both Lanark: A Life in Three Acts and This Restless House have been nominated for five awards each including Best Production. There are also two further nominations in the Best Male Performance category for Paul Higgins who played Ray in Blackbird and Cliff Burnett who played Franz Stangl in Into That Darkness

The most successful production at the CATS Awards remains Crime and Punishment in 2013/14, which was nominated in six different categories making it the most nominated Citizens Theatre production. It went on to win four awards including Best Director, Best Ensemble, Best Production and Best Male Performance for Adam Best for his portrayal of the young student Raskolnikov.



The full list of nominations for the Citz at this year's ceremony is: 




Best Male Performance Sandy Grierson (Lanark/Duncan Thaw)
Best Design Laura Hopkins (Designer), Nigel Edwards (Lighting Designer), Simon Wainwright (Video Artist)
Best Music and Sound Nick Powell (composer/sound designer)
Best Technical Presentation
Best Production




This Restless House
Best Female Performance Pauline Knowles (Clytemnestra)
Best Director Dominic Hill
Best Music and Sound Nikola Kodjabashia
Best New Play Zinnie Harris
Best Production





Blackbird
Best Male Performance Paul Higgins (Ray) 










Best Male Performance Cliff Burnett (Franz Stangl) 









The CATS Awards are hosted by the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh this year on 12 June at 4pm.

You can read the entire nominations list on the CATS website and you can book your tickets to the ceremony through the Lyceum's website. 

We're off to dust off our glad rags for what will be an exciting celebration of theatre in Scotland and hopefully we'll get the cream! 



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Behind the Scenes with This Restless House: part two!


Olivia Morgan aka Electra is back to share another week of her adventures in rehearsals for This Restless House.

Get caught up with part one of Olivia's blog series here 

Phew, well that was the week that was. Tech week. For parts two and three. 

It was exciting to be on our stage after 7 weeks of rehearsal. It looks spectacular. An incredible set that is suitably versatile to house all three plays. And our lighting designer Ben, is having fun changing the mood for each part.  


Lighting Designer Ben Ormerod surveys lighting. Image by Alex Brady

It's joyous to play on this stage but you can also feel like a clumsy oaf as, like all productions, there are always things to get used to. No matter how good a mark up is in a rehearsal room, things just feel different on the actual stage. So, sometimes we change our entrances, our exits, our positioning in order to make sense of it all.  And sometimes aspects of the set are such fun to use that they begin to have a lot more prominence in the show.  I'm not going to reveal what these will be ;)  The Citizens has a raked stage which definitely takes a bit of getting used to, especially in the spectacular DM's that Electra shall be sporting.  
This Restless House at the Citizens Theatre, 2016 citz.co.uk
Photos: Tim Morozzo
As the week progresses our dressing room seems to accrue more biscuits and snacks in a bid to combat the long hours.  And everyone seems most thankful to the learning department and Young Co. who provide the tea and cakes for the Citizens' weekly tradition...  Homemade Scones!  Nice.


This Restless House at the Citizens Theatre, 2016 citz.co.uk
Photos: Tim Morozzo

We have the morning off on Saturday to prepare for a dress of part two and then a dress of both part two and three.  It is the first time we have run the two in consecutive order.  It is so useful to see how the two plays bleed into each other.  Literally.  

Next week, tech part one....!

22 April - 14 May

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Behind the Scenes with This Restless House

Olivia Morgan takes on the fascinating role of Electra in Zinnie Harris' new trilogy This Restless House based on Greek tragedy The Oresteia. Here she gives us an insight into the day-to-day life of rehearsing a show at the Citz. 

Thursday 7th April

This Restless House.  Three parts.  Seven weeks rehearsal and we are into our penultimate week. 
It's high stakes, relentless, full-on action. There is no escape and not much pause for rest. Restless indeed!




We are in the knitting-together week and it is so enjoyable to watch scenes I'm not involved with run into one another and simultaneously be able to grasp a better understanding of Electra's journey over the whole of the three parts.

Today was full on.  

In for ten and working through till half eight in the evening. I'm being used quite a lot and it is quite technical. There are a lot of scene changes that will reach their full potential when lighting and scenery comes flying in so I have to imagine a fair bit of what the eventual stage picture will look like.  


Meanwhile the stage is being dressed for tech rehearsals next week

Everyone is contributing all the time in these plays, whether you are the one with all the lines, thrashing and flailing about on a bed (me) or the one who is providing the terrifying noises as a soundtrack.  It makes for a lovely feeling of collaboration in the room.

We have a couple of hours rehearsal with the girls playing young Electra and young Iphigenia in the evening so we jump from rehearsing part three back to part one then onto part three again. It's incredible watching these young girls work and it is always a breath of fresh air when they come in.  After dinner we look at a dance number.  Drums are banged, guitars are twanged and I'm counting 1-8 so intently I might actually be in time...  



By the end,  I'm knackered, and I am one hundred percent certain that the Easter egg waiting at home will be devoured tonight...

Read Part Two here 


22 April - 14 May

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Meet the House of Atreus

This Restless House is a contemporary adaptation of Aeschylus' Greek drama The Oresteia. It's got a rich backstory that could easily rival Game of Thrones, so we've put together this handy graphic to introduce you to the House of Atreus and shed some light on their deep, dark secrets. 

Simply hover over the characters in the image below to find out more. 




This exhilarating three-part saga runs from 15 April - 14 May and is presented in two instalments. You can even make a day of it with our Trilogy Saturdays, where Director Dominic Hill will be discussing the intricacies of staging this ambitious modern adaptation of the ancient drama between performances.

15 April - 14 May

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Emma Tracey gives us an insight into #Dream2016

In each city that the Royal Shakespeare Company's new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream tours to, local amateur actors will appear onstage alongside the professional RSC actors. Citizens Dream Player Emma Tracey gives us her insight into joining #Dream16 and performing in  at the Citizens this March. 

In March 2011 I was 14. My mum took me to see Headlong Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow,  My only experience with the play before this had been in school, so I trudged along thinking “I’m not going to know what’s going on”. I couldn’t have been more wrong; the show was stunning, magical, hilarious, and it absolutely enthralled me. From there, a love of Shakespeare grew to be a love of being on stage, acting, words, and storytelling. 

Now, in March 2016 I am 19. My mum’s coming to the RSC's production of the show she took me to five years ago but there is one big difference: I’m not going with her to see it -  I’m going to be in it.

I never thought in a million years I would actually get the part, but in true Midsummer’s style, magical things began to happen and I was cast.

The Citizens Dream Players take the stage 
120 amateur actors came along to an open audition weekend with the RSC selecting a team especially for this project. The first time all six of us met was the day we were photographed as a group - hence the slightly awkward smiles in the photo above! The next thing after a cup of tea and introductions, was the brutal four month wait until “Shakespeare Bootcamp”
The Citizens Dream Players - Emma Tracey

Come September we were thrown in to the deep end. “Shakespeare Bootcamp” consisted of three tasks. The first was individually chosen monologues and duologues. I was paired with Bill (Whiland, playing Snug) and given a duologue from Much Ado About Nothing. We both found this hilarious as he is the oldest of the group and I am the youngest. Come task two, the awkward smiles had been replaced by a warm friendship that had developed within the team. Again, we were chucked into the deep end and instructed to create a dance. We picked the classic 1940s “Sing Sing”, and threw in some Charleston steps to match. Task three came and went extremely quickly; Pyramus and Thisbe was given a new spin as a radio play, which was exciting, nerve racking, and hilarious to record. 
Amongst this, we tuned into live broadcasting sessions directly from the RSC, to share with the other groups. Being the youngest, and having experience with google hangout, I was quickly designated the “Glasgow Techie”. Again, in true #dream16 style, magical powers with computers were awoken, and when the broadcast stopped working, I only had to talk to it to get it working again. 


Glasgow Techie Emma Tracey in action
Suddenly we were in rehearsals. As quickly as January came, February galloped in. We knew each scene like the back of our hand, and our characters felt like an alter ego we returned to three times a week. Abruptly it’s March. In two weeks time I’ll be racked with nerves, buzzing with excitement, and lost in the magic of it all, as The Citizens Dream Players prepare to take the stage.

The whole process has been something out of my wildest dreams. I’ve met some of the best people you could ever hope to meet and I’ve studied Shakespeare with Royal Shakespeare Company professionals. As a young aspiring actress, I could not have wished for a better experience. On 29 March, I will step onto one of the most renowned stages in the UK, in a production by one of the most renowned companys ever, as the youngest amateur actor in this crazy adventure. The lantern above my head will not only be lit by being moonshine. It’ll be the pure excitement and joy of this adventure.


29 March - 2 April

Friday, 4 March 2016

Q+A with Get Carter writer Torben Betts

Get Carter has been adapted into a new stage play by Berwick-Upon-Tweed based writer Torben Betts. 


Get Carter writer Torben Betts. Credit Northern News.

Based on Ted Lewis' novel Jack's Return Home, Torben's version is less of the gangster caper of the 1971 film version starring Michael Caine, and more a psychological thriller getting into the mind of a criminal set against the backdrop of a decaying post-industrial city.

"Where the film is all surface gloss, the novel and Betts’s script immerse us in the point of view of a man whose mind is increasingly unhinged by what he discovers grubbing around in the seedy underbelly of his home town" The Times ★★★★
"a production that operates on numerous different levels" The Guardian ★★★★
Kevin Wathen as Jack Carter. Credit Topher McGill. 
Before the play opened at Newcastle's Northern Stage, Torben answered some questions about his new work.

Were you were already familiar with the book Jack’s Return Home?
I have to admit I came to the whole project with very little knowledge of either the book or the film. My adaptation is very much a reaction to the novel, upon which the film was based and I think perhaps having no preconceptions may have freed me up creatively.

Why were you particularly drawn to the story?
The story of Get Carter/Jack’s Return Home is in itself quite simple. A gangster goes back to his home town to bury his older brother and he suspects foul play. He trawls around the town’s underworld, making enquiries (with increasing brutality) until he discovers his suspicions are well-founded. He then takes his revenge, destroying himself in the process. What was more interesting to Lorne Campbell, Artistic Director of Northern Stage and Director of Get Carter, and myself was to look at how we could re-imagine this very well-known narrative. To look at Jack’s environment growing up as he did in a brutalised post-war world. The sense of landscape is very much a feature of the novel and clearly we are allowed much more insight into Jack’s thought processes in the novel than we are in the film. I wanted to look at the kind of man Jack Carter is, why he became the way he did. He is a sick (insane) man in a sick (insane) society and the play is like a journey for him as he gradually discovers this fact.

Credit Leo Warner

How have you found the creative process? 
If you ask any writer what they want most of all when they are making stuff up then it’s freedom. And I’ve been granted that. It’s been very liberating. Lorne has allowed me free rein to go wherever I want with this adaptation. Originally I had the idea of re-imagining the story as a Greek drama, with masks and a chorus and so on and indeed I wrote quite a lot in this way before abandoning it. This is the first time I have adapted a novel for the stage (I adapted The Seagull for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre last summer but that’s another thing entirely) and it’s been hard but enjoyable work. Though of course I have done all the writing, Lorne has been very much involved structurally and concept-wise and so it’s been very much a collaboration. I’m not really used to working in this way but we get on well and respect each other’s instincts so there haven’t (so far) been any clashes!


Get Carter


Don't miss this dark and stylish crime thriller when it moves into the Citizens from next Tuesday 8 - Saturday 12 March only.


8 - 12 March

Monday, 29 February 2016

Blackbird Comes Home to Roost

David Harrower's 21st-century Scottish classic Blackbird came home to roost this week in a new production directed by our Main Stage Director in Residence Gareth Nicholls.
Paul Higgins and Camrie Palmer in Blackbird. Image by Tim Morozzo
Audiences and critics have been gripped by this ("immaculate production" The Scotsman ★★★★) which only runs until this Saturday 5 March. 
"brutal, exacting and emotionally fraught" The Stage ★★★★ 
          "Nicholls’ production does exert the icy grip of a ghost story"
           The Times ★★★★ 
"a thrilling but gruelling ride" The Reviews Hub  ★★★★ 
       


Paul Higgins has been winning praise for his role as Ray, the man who at the age of 40 entered into a sexual relationship with a twelve-year-old girl. Paul's TV roles include Michael Dugdale, the senior civil servant in Utopia who finds himself the victim of blackmail on an epic scale thanks in part to his own marital infidelity.
"Higgins’s Ray (known in his new life as 'Peter'), is a remarkably nuanced picture of barely sustained indignation mixed with regret, affection and fear. At times, his body language suggests that he is shrinking, as if he wants to disappear." The Telegraph ★★★★ 
"Paul Higgins is a haunted bag of neuroses who flits between humility and resentment at what he's lost" The Herald ★★★★ 
          "richly ambiguous two-hander, with Paul Higgins and Camrie Palmer excellent as the tortured pair" The Guardian ★★★★ 



Blackbird deals with a subject that continues to make headline news. There's no simple answers, but plenty of complicated and sometimes uncomfortable questions about morality and judgement that have been provoking long post-show chats in our bar.


UNTIL 5 MARCH

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Checkmate! "A Clear Win" for Endgame

We've blown open the bunker and shared the shuffling machinations of Clov, Hamm, Nagg and Nell with audiences and critics. They've jumped into Beckett's absurd, strange and at times confusing world of Endgame with both feet - here's what they've had to say:

“a meticulously delineated stage world that never loosens its grip for an enthralling hour and a half” ★★★★★ The Herald

 "Hill, the Citz’s artistic director, has chalked up a clear win for them here" ★★★★★ What's On Stage
 
David Neilson as Hamm and Chris Gascoyne as Clov. Production images by Tim Morozzo
"hits home with nihilistic force" ★★★★ The Guardian 

"Hill’s production creates a haunting sense of the world beyond these bare walls"  ★★★★The Times (£) 





"There's a tremendous purity of bleakness about Dominic Hill’s masterly production.”  ★★★★ The Scotsman 

 "a suitably reverential treatment" ★★★★½ Reviews Hub


You've got until next Saturday 20 February to catch the play at the Citizens, before the production transfers to our co-producers HOME, Manchester  from 25 February - 12 March.



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