Wednesday, 19 December 2007

That was a Wicked Christmas

The past few weeks have been a frenzy of activity as the Community Company prepared for Wicked Christmas 2. Rehearsals were fast, furious and a load of fun. Lines were learnt and some were forgotten, actors went off to wardrobe and returned as elves, some returned as prostitutes, Aunties Christmas jumpers had to be knitted and stage management had to wrap up the presents and make sure the pixie dust worked. It was as busy as Santa’s workshop on Christmas Eve.

By the magic of theatre everything was ready for the opening night. It was wonderful for the 19 actors to perform in front of a new audience, I had used my laughter up during rehearsals and they needed someone else to be amused by it. The Circle Studio was packed on the first night, many of the scenes received spontaneous applause and I’m sure the audience believed Katya and Sean were ice-skating in George Square. The response from the sold out audience at every performance was excellent and I’m very proud of what was achieved both by the actors and the 9 writers. They all deserve a visit from Santa this year and their stockings filled !!

Sadly all that remains of Wicked Christmas 2 is a bit of old tinsel, unopened empty presents, now spread beneath the Citizens tree, abandoned elf hats, flurries of paper snow and fond memories of Fran delivering the immortal line” I would nae mind shagging Santa !”

Have a wicked wan yersel and make sure you book early for Wicked Christmas 3…


Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Corporate Training Events

Brand new for 2008, the Citizens’ Theatre is introducing Corporate Training Events. For more info about either of the courses below, contact: Louise Brown on 0141 418 6273 /

7 February and 25 April 2008 2-5pm
This workshop shows you how to project an air of confidence even when you don’t feel it. By using a variety of physical and vocal techniques we’ll explore how to remain calm, focused and engaged in the moment. As a result you’ll not only look and sound more confident, but feel much better too.

8 February and 24 April 2008 2-5pm
What is it about an actor’s voice that makes us listen? How can we use our own voice more effectively? Whether you’re networking one to one, speaking to a group of colleagues or addressing a cast of thousands, this workshop will give you the vocal skills to make more impact.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Behind the Scenes

NAME: Suzanne Pirrie
JOB TITLE: Box Office Assistant /Front of House

Key Responsibilities: To sell and process bookings for tickets. Provide show information. Answer the phone A LOT! Also as part of the box office team we take turns on stage door where we are responsible for who is in and out of the building! Sorting mail and taking deliveries (Some Weird things go in and out this building) Best part is you get to meet all the cast and crew of all the productions not to mention a few famous faces along the way!

How long have you worked at the Citizens? 2 years. Feels longer in a good way.

Did you have to train specifically to do your job? I did train in theatre but not specifically for my job. I did a HND in Acting and Performance. I also worked in a cinema for 6 years so that is where l gained my box office and ushering expertise. As I have been involved in the arts from the age of 11 I always wanted to work in Theatre. What’s your favourite thing about your job? No 2 days are the same!!! There is always something different going on. There is always an intriguing prop going past or an actor in costume zooming by. Also booking in customers and actually seeing them enjoy the performance is always worthwhile.

What’s your least favourite thing about your job? Early mornings in the cold. Having to describe what restricted viewing seats are without making them sound dodgy!

My hero is… If I have to pick I would say Audrey Hepburn. She was an amazing actress and did so much with her children’s charity. She use her fame to help benefit others not to mention she is a style icon for many generations.

You probably don’t know this about me, but… I have a brother aged 19 and two Sisters at 9 &10. I fear my cat is secretly planning to suffocate me in my sleep! I am a front of house manager in another theatre! No rest for the wicked. I played Cinderella and a fairy sometimes in the same day in two different shows when doing schools Christmas tours! Phew it was hard work!

My first ever album was… mmm? First song I liked was Aha, Take on me! I think my first Album was probably Kylie or Jason I was born in the 80’s.

My desert island luxury would be… MP3 Player I wish I could… Play the guitars that I own! Go Travelling.

Wicked Christmas 2

Well done to everyone involved in Wicked Christmas 2 - the most recent production from the Citizens' Community Company. Five packed performances brought some wickedly festive entertainment in the run up to Christmas. Watch out for the company's next appearance in They Shoot Horses Don't They?

You can read a review of Wicked Christmas 2 on A View From the Stalls.


Friday, 7 December 2007

Wicked Christmas interview

The PR team (students from Caledonian University) who have been working on “Wicked Christmas 2” met up with writer Peter Arnott and director Neil Packham to get some inside information on how the production is shaping up. We talk to Neil and Peter about what went into making Wicked Christmas 2 and what makes the Community Company so special...Peter: There is only 1 professional theatre in Scotland which has a continued group of actors like the community group has. The Community Co. are performing for the 8th,9th, 10th time together which is unusual for community theatre, it's usually a one-off. The Citizens’ position in this particular part of Glasgow is that it’s very important to the building to connect very closely to the people in this area…the Community Co. does this very well. It’s different from working with professional actors because the production becomes much more about them, and it's much more about their presence on that stage - and it enriches the whole experience. Especially when it’s in their community, it’s their presence in the community. It is very much about individual presence, there is a richness of character. Part of the point of community theatre is that you remain yourself, and you become the story teller. A community theatre can talk about all the same things as a professional company can talk about but will do it in their own unique way and that’s what’s very exciting about it as a viewer.

There is a lot of different personalities, we have a great laugh but we are all working towards the one thing. Everyone has their own commitments but you can’t let people down. I think that’s one of the very positive things, is that you have to work very closely as a team, that’s good community, we don’t preach it, it just happens. It’s a great laugh, you feel like you’re just in there and you just have to get on with it, there is no complacency, you need quite a lot of energy because you are dealing with so many people it's so exciting and it's such a thrill.

And how did they come up with the concept for “Wicked Christmas”?

Peter: Well it’s all the Company’s own ideas. I met up with the Company and started talking about Christmas stories that meant something, one of the things about “Wicked Christmas 1” is it was completely black and cynical…this one isn’t just cynical, it's about what actually matters. We began talking about “It’s a Wonderful Life” and movies like that. There has always been a deliberate strategy in a gentle way of pushing things further every time, which has also been true of them as performers and of them as writers. There are about 9 different writers in this and they have all written really interesting stuff, it’s a kind of slice of the human race in George Square on Christmas Eve…some of it's funny, some of it's obscene, and some of it's sad, all human life is there, and that for me is what Christmas is. It’s a kind of celebration of humanity rather than whatever kind of religious meaning it had for others, what it definitely is, is a celebration of our humanity in all of its variety and this kind of project really lends itself to that because it does have all different kinds of people and all their different perspectives. And you just bring them all together, and that’s what this is, it’s a collective writing and I am excited about it, it’s a good script.

Neil: The participants and its writers set it apart from other productions. It is not about making money, it’s about the participants and their families and friends, I mean they have a fan base now! And what’s next for the Community Company?

Peter: I have an ambition – I think we now have a very solid basis of people who can write something for a main stage and be performed professionally. I think what i'd like to do is a full length play with 4 or 5 of them writing it. The next stage for a number of them is to really put something together for the main stage, the talent is there. And again to devise a structure where we can give each writer 5 scenes and their own characters and giving them their individual space to write and come up with their own stuff. Then put all this together, like a soap opera only much, much better.

It’s a brilliant opportunity for them to be on the main stage in front of a paying audience. A wonderful experience, I’d like that experience! I have trained as an actor and I have never performed on the main stage, it’s a privilege. Yeah I am sometimes quite envious of their position to be able to do this. And finally, they give us a real feel for the show…

Neil: It’s a cathartic experience because you walk around Braehead and I see the people fighting each other, families falling out, and that’s what happens, because it encourages people to be greedy, and that’s wrong, that’s not what the spirit of Christmas should be. I hope people might come along to Wicked Christmas having spent their day in town and they have spent too much money, they have got too many shopping bags they arrive in the theatre, it's been pouring with rain they know they should be happy about it they really want to laugh at themselves, and they are kind of quite angry at what they have just done because everyone does it! I can't believe I have just done that hopefully they can come in and see that and it can be a little reflection on themselves and they can go yeah that was me out there on the street going why am I now in debt so much in order to make people happy that I love so much, when they won't like it anyway, let's just have a bit of a laugh and have a nice dinner. That’s the kind of people who should come.

Peter: “Wicked Christmas 2” is for people who want to have fun, it’s for everyone, as long as they are not too sensitive! All human life is there, it’s for people who can take it!

Good news...we have just released some tickets for the Thursday night performance! Click here to book online.

Behind the Scenes

NAME: Martin Travers
JOB TITLE: Head of Citizens Learning & TAG

Key Responsibilities: Planning, Budgeting & Managing Projects

How long have you worked at the Citizens? Since 1999 (on and off)

Did you have to train specifically to do your job? Nope (Ed. He's shy!)

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Helping children, young people and adults to develop new skills and understand and take ownership of the theatre experiences we offer.

What’s your least favourite thing about your job? The bus getting here

My hero is…
Bob Dylan (this week)

You probably don’t know this about me, but…
There’s no point telling you as you wouldn’t believe me

My first ever album was… Are You Experienced? by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

My desert island luxury would be… Brewer’s Yeast

I wish I could… Dance the Charleston

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Spring Season on sale now!

Our spring season 2008 is on sale now! Highlights of Citizens' work includes: the classic Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett; Six Characters in Search of An Author, a co-production with the Lyceum and the National Theatre of Scotland; They Shoot Horses Don't They - the latest offering from the Citizens' Community Company with Turning Point Scotland and YOUNG Co.; and a wonderful studio piece The Sound of My Voice based on a novel by Ron Butlin.
Alongside this work we will also have Wee Fairy Tales and Liar from TAG.

With a packed programme of visiting productions and drama classes, you can view the full lisitings HERE.


Monday, 3 December 2007

Nightschool - sell out

Fantastically we can report that all of the places for our new Citizens' NIGHTSCHOOL are now sold out!!

We are keeping a waiting list, so if you want to be the first to know about any available spots, you can call and add your details. Keep reading this blog and we'll let you know if any more classes become available.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up. We're really looking forward to classes starting in January.


Sunday, 2 December 2007

Shiver me timbers!

Hi folks,

Last night was our first public performance of PETER PAN and it was a great night. The audiences were boo-ing and cheering in all the right places and on the whole everything went smoothly!! The performance was in aid of the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, so one of my jobs yesterday was to blow up 100 balloons to decorate the foyer which made it look extra special and every child who attended got a goody bag to take home - it was a lovely night and there was a real buzz in the theatre.

Here are the first production pictures - hot off the press!!!

Peter Pan and Wendy.....
Captian Hook - boo!!!!
And his motley crew!!!!!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Nightschool - adult drama classes

The Citizens' Theatre is starting a brand new series of drama classes for ADULTS only (suitable for those aged 22+).

NIGHTSCHOOL will run weekly on Monday nights for 9 sessions. The term commences on Mon 21 January and runs right through until 17 March. The sessions will provide a fun and informal introduction to performance skills.

There are only 16 places available for this class, so if you're interested in booking, please call the box office on 0141 429 0022.

9 sessions cost a very reasonable £60 (£40 conc). This is payable in advance. So if you're short of an idea for a Christmas present and know someone who'd enjoy and be able to commit to something're sorted!


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Behind the Scenes

NAME: Lesley Davidson
JOB TITLE: Operations Manager

Key Responsibilities: Responsible for 30 casual FoH and bar staff, 2 duty Managers and Building Manager/Responsible for setting and monitoring FoH, bar and all Building Budgets/Responsible for the booking and management of the rehearsal rooms/Insurances and Licenses for the building/Smooth running of all Front of House and bars including all stock ordering, monitoring and stocktaking/Rotas and wages.

How long have you worked at the Citizens? 7 years

Did you have to train specifically to do your job? No, however you do need to be very organised have good communication skills, And lots of common sense! What’s your favourite thing about your job? The buzz of an opening night. All the different types of people you encounter…and of course my office buddy Denise.

What’s your least favourite thing about your job? Not having the time to see all the shows on offer at the Citizens.

My hero is… Don’t have a hero although there are people I admire.

You probably don’t know this about me, but… I was a professional actress for ten years and I have a qualification in woodwork!

My first ever album was… Depeche Mode “A Broken Frame”

My desert island luxury would be… Red lipstick

I wish I could… Have more hours in the day.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Peter Pan-tastic!!

As Helen mentioned in her entry below, the Citz is slowly but surely being turned into our very own Neverland! But it's not just the sets coming together, but the most fantastic bright, and sometimes a little bit quirky, costumes too! We wanted to give you a sneaky preview of what some of they will look like (but not all of them, we dont want to give too much away!!) so we managed to get hold of some of the original drawings from our designer, Jason Southgate. Pictured here are a motley selection of pirates and Lost Boys!

If you want to see how they look on stage, you can book your tickets here

More Behind the Scenes

To kick things off, I'm going to add another couple of Behind the Scenes features:

NAME: Iain Farrell
JOB TITLE: Building Manager

Key Responsibilities: Maintenance and running of all aspects of the building, from fixing leaky roofs to broken computers, and everything in between.

How long have you worked at the Citizens? About two and a half years in total; previously as Marketing Information Manager and now as Building Manager.

Did you have to train specifically to do your job? No, but it would have been a great help and I would have avoided many mistakes. It is one of these jobs where the best way to learn is by doing. You just have to be prepared to tackle anything that’s thrown at you.
What’s your favourite thing about your job? It’s interesting, varied and downright weird.

What’s your least favourite thing about your job? When the sewers under the building get blocked!

My hero is… Sir Richard Francis Burton (not the Welsh actor), who was something of a Renaissance man. He was an African explorer, a prolific travel write, fluent in 47 languages, the third best swordsman in 19th century Europe, the first westerner to visit Mecca (in disguise – if he had been discovered he would have been beheaded on the spot) and the man who first translated the Kama Sutra and the Tales of the Arabian Nights (the adult version), bringing them to a Victorian Britain which was not ready for either!

You probably don’t know this about me, but… I’ve put on three photography exhibitions in the past four years; one at the Burrell Collection, no less.

My first ever album was… The Point by Harry Nilsson: “A point in every direction is the same as no point at all”

My desert island luxury would be… Nicole Kidman

I wish I could… Learn to fly, so I could do aerial photography, and search for that desert island.

NAME: Angela Smith
JOB TITLE: Education Officer

Key Responsibilities: Co-ordinating and delivering educational drama programmes in schools and with community groups. I also run our weekly drama class programme at the Citizens’ Theatre.

How long have you worked at the Citizens? I have worked here for about a year and a half.

Did you have to train specifically to do your job? I did drama at school up to Higher level. Then I went to the RSAMD in Glasgow and completed a degree course. I subsequently worked on a freelance basis for a couple of years with various arts organisations and local authorities to develop my experience. After that I worked in the East End of Glasgow for a Community Arts organisation and finally ended up here!

Over the past few years I have gained experience in workshop delivery, theatre directing, project co-ordination and arts administration. What’s your favourite thing about your job? I enjoy planning projects and then seeing them come to fruition. One of the projects I am particularly happy about is our weekly drama class programme. Literally hundreds of children and their parents come into the theatre each weekend now and it really brings the place to life.

What’s your least favourite thing about your job? The hours can be quite anti-social at times. If it is a really busy time, with lots of projects on the go, I can be in here until 8 or 9pm trying to catch up. It has peaks and troughs though and there are also times when it can be really quiet, which is great because I can then catch up with all the admin that needs done!

My hero is… don’t have one

You probably don’t know this about me, but… I once blew my head up in an oven.

My first ever album was… Now 13 cassette tape

My desert island luxury would be… oil paints and canvases to paint on

I wish I could… have a really cool superhero power. I’d want the ability to fly I think.

Behind the Scenes

We are starting a regular Behind the Scenes feature were we will get to know some of the staff who work at the Citizens' Theatre. There are a vast number of greatly varied jobs in theatre. We hope you'll enjoy finding out more about them...

NAME: Kathryn Tetlow
JOB TITLE: Cutter (Wardrobe)

Key Responsibilities: Cutting patterns for costumes to be made “in-house”, fitting them and organising their manufacture.

How long have you worked at the Citizens? Almost 7 and a half years.

Did you have to train specifically to do your job? I did Fashion and Art at A Level and a HND in Theatre Wardrobe at Mabel Fletcher College in Liverpool.
What’s your favourite thing about your job? Cutting “pukka” period costumes (doesn’t happen very often!) and drinking Lin’s tea. Lin has worked at the Citz as a costume maker for 8 years. That’s approx 14,400 cups of tea she has made.

What’s your least favourite thing about your job? Linn getting the huff and refusing to make tea! Putting in invisible zips, working with nasty, difficult fabrics and doing fittings with demanding actors/designers. Luckily most actors and designers are pleasant to work with.

My hero is…
It was Grace Darling and William Boothe when I was a nipper, but really anyone who sticks their neck out to change things for the better.

You probably don’t know this about me, but… I like Brussel Sprouts and think Herbert Lom is sexy. (Ed. I totally agree)

My first ever album was… I’d like to say something by Velvet Underground or Black Sabbath, but it was Showaddywaddy – Greatest Hits 76/78. I didn’t fancy Dave Bartram though.

My desert island luxury would be… a samovar

I wish I could… Speak another language fluently and dance the tango (not necessarily at the same time).

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Getting festive

You'd be forgiven for thinking it's been snowing inside the Citz! There appears to be little snow trails throughout the offices, which on closer inspection are actually polystyrene shavings. That gives away a little of the magic behind the fantastic set for Peter Pan, which is currently being built in "the run".

We have had record numbers of advance bookings for Peter Pan and are looking forward to welcoming lots of families into the theatre when it all begins on 1 December. This year we are also running through into the new year, so if you fancy a good night out, before the schools start back, you will be able to see Peter Pan right up until 5 January. Click Peter Pan to find out more.

Here at the Citz, we have regular little tea parties to wish staff members happy birthday. Today was the biggest turn out I have ever seen for a tea party! I'll not embarrass anyone by mentioning ages...but I thought it would be nice to wish Ribbie a very happy birthday from everyone at the theatre!


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Desire Under the Elms

Jeremy Raison's latest production of Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O'Neill kicks off this weekend and runs until 17 November.

As a tantalising preview we have some exclusive photos direct from the rehearsal room. The cast are currently working on Jason Southgate's impressive two-story set on stage. O'Neill's passionate play is certainly causing sparks in rehearsals and we hope that you'll be able to join us for an evening of Desire!You can view more photos on our new Citz Flickr site.
Book tickets for Desire Under the Elms.


Monday, 22 October 2007

Evening Times Video Clip

The Evening Times brought a video journalist to the recent press call for Peter Pan at the Tall Ship. Click on the link to watch Billy and Andy getting into character as pirates.


Yellow Moon wins at TMA Awards

The Citizens' Theatre's touring company producing work for Children and Young People - TAG - was the recipient of a TMA Award in London last night for its production of Yellow Moon by David Greig. Click on awards for the full story.


Saturday, 20 October 2007

Up, up and away!!

Hi folks, I took a couple of the actors from this year’s Christmas show PETER PAN, down to The Tall Ship last week. Captain Hook (Andrew Clark) and sidekick Smee (Billy Mack) were there along with Stephen Dunn, Corporate Services Director from ScottishPower, the sponsors of PETER PAN, to officially launch the show.

Andy and Billy really got into the spirit of things with plenty of cries of ‘ooh-arr’, ‘shiver me timbers’ and ‘ahoy there me hearties’!!

Here is a picture of what we got up to – including Hook and Smee trying to wrest those shiny gold sovereigns from Stephen Dunn’s treasure chest!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Is blogging changing theatre criticism?

I just received an email to tell me that Mark Fisher's blog has been updated. I read his latest entry and discovered a couple of links to some other really interesting articles.

Ben Harrison from Grid Iron is currently blogging in Lebanon, and Michael Billington from The Guardian asks the question, "Is blogging changing theatre criticism?".

Given our recent move to blogging, here at the Citizens', I thought this might be of interest.


Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Exclusive design preview

We had a very exciting meeting last week with Jeremy Raison (Director) and Jason Southgate (Designer) to look at some of the designs for Peter Pan - the Citizens' Christmas Show 2007. Below is an exclusive look at some of Jason's drawings. You can see lots more here.


Friday, 21 September 2007

How was it for you? Text us!

Our hotly anticipated production of HAMLET opened last night to a packed preview house. It seemed to go down well with the audience and we are eagerly awaiting reviews in the press following tonight's performance. But it isn't just critics we want to hear from. If you've seen the show, tell us what you think. Just text CITZ and your comments to 61211 (usual text charges apply). Ax

First steps

Welcome to the brand new blog from the Citizens' Theatre. We are planning to provide lots of news and behind-the-scenes insights into the diverse work that goes on in our wonderful building in the heart of the Gorbals.

Until we get going, you can read TAG's blog here - TAG runs our work for children and young people.