Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The grandest of ballrooms for our Cinderella

Cast from our Christmas Show were involved in a photoshoot at the newly re-named Grand Central Hotel on Monday which is in the process of being renovated back to its former glory in a £20 million refurbishment by hoteliers Principal Hayley. Cinderella and the Ugly Sisters searched for their Prince but it was the builders currently working on the stunning ballroom who got the first dance!

An iconic city centre landmark fondly remembered by Glaswegians, the hotel was keen to partner an iconic Glasgow theatre company and we were delighted to be invited along.

The hotel, when it re-opens next September, will have 240 fully refurbished bedrooms, 21 meeting rooms, a lavish champagne bar overlooking Central Station’s concourse and a new bar, restaurant and deli which will be located on Hope Street next to the entrance to Central Station.

Dating back to 1883, the Grand Central Hotel has an illustrious history of attracting high profile guests including Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Laurel and Hardy, the Queen, Sir Winston Churchill and John F Kennedy.

Cinderella runs until Sat 2 January - book tickets now.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Wicked Year

Last night I witnessed the final performances of Wicked Christmas by the Community Company and what a wonderful night it was, a chocolate box of festive delight! However as the cast took their final bow, I couldn't help but reflect on what a great 10th anniversary year it has been for the company. It all started in February with Clydeside Valentine, followed a performance at The Hilton Hotel, 5 members then visited and performed in Orebro, Sweden, the Great Hall in Edinburgh Castle was our next venue before our Swedish friends made a return visit to the Citizens, what a wonderful international exchange this turned out to be...which brings us round to last night's Wicked Christmas 4 and closure on 2009. It really has been a great year for the company, with so many highlights and I'm sure the company will reach new heights in the 2010 as it takes on it's greatest challenge yet with a main stage production of the American classic The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck..Don't miss it !

Have a Wicked festive season and may the next decade be full of theatrical delights !


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

What were your favourite Citz memories and shows of 2009?

We added a poll (see right) to try and find out what your favourite shows of 2009 were. You can vote for multiple events!

A reminder of some...not all of our shows this year.

We haven't included visiting work as the list would be massive, this is just the work that emanates from the Citizens Theatre...and just so you know Yellow Moon toured schools and internationally, so you won't have caught it at the Citz. The Sound of My Voice played at Assembly throughout the festival and I've not included This View of Life, as it wasn't on sale to the public.

As you can see this is still a huge list. As well as main stage and touring productions from the Citizens Company, it includes plays by TAG, Citizens Community Company and Young Co..

We'd also love to hear your favourite Citz memories of the year. Was it the audience reaction to the gun shot in Topdog/Underdog, the feeling of entering the foyer for Cinderella, the glamour of Bernarda Alba, the feeling of performing in Nightschool or the big back wall reveal in Museum of Dreams?

We'd love to hear from you.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

Programme Competition winner announced

Each year we have a schools competition to design the front cover of the Christmas show programme. We received hundreds of entries and this year the prize was won by Loren Beyers (Aged 6) from Knightswood Primary.

Loren not only gets her design printed on thousands of programmes, but she and her whole class got free tickets to see Cinderella. Well done Loren!

Loren (and her class along with Cinderella stars Helen McAlpine and Andrew Scott-Ramsay) being presented with a framed copy of her programme design today - signed by all the cast!

The winning entry and 5 runners up are displayed in the foyer, so check them out if you're popping by.


Monday, 7 December 2009

A Christmas No. 1?

The team from Citizens Learning have been working with women at Inglefield Hostel - a homeless unit for women on the Southside of Glasgow. Scottish singer-songwriter Carol Laula has been working with the group making music and exploring song-writing. Together they wrote and recorded two songs, which we've uploaded to AudioBoo.


A christmas number one...what do you think??


Friday, 4 December 2009

Cinderella Slideshow

Here's a wee slideshow of Cinderella pics. You can today's 5 star Herald review here.

If you've not played it yet, here's a link to our online game where you can dress up your own wicked step-sister, complete with original designs by Jason Southgate.

We were lucky enough to get time with the Director, Jeremy Raison, to chat about the show during rehearsals. You can watch our video on YouTube.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Get a look at the new brochure

It's that time of year again when we refill the website with plentiful treats from the Spring-Summer season 2010 (is it just me or does 2010 sound futuristic?). In case you don't receive a copy of our brochure through the post, or via a leaflet rack, here's a rather splendid flickable online version from Issuu.

(Just use the arrows at either side to flick pages. You can click on the brochure to view it full screen).

Search the full What's On listing on our website.


Friday, 20 November 2009

An honour for Anna!

We'd like to offer huge congratulations to Anna Stapleton, the Citizens Theatre's Administrative Director, who last night was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

This prestigious honour places Anna with an illustrious group of Fellows. Four Fellows were inducted in the ceremony that also included the conferment of degrees. The new Fellows were Anna, Richard Findlay, Andrew Hamnett and John Pitcathley.

Fellowship's are awarded in recognition of contribution to the RSAMD, and beyond that, to the cultural and educational environment of Glasgow and Scotland.

Anna has over 30 years experience of working in the arts, from her early days working as a Company Stage Manager and General Manager, to her years with the Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council of England. She has worked at the Citizens Theatre for almost 10 years.

Some Citizens staff joined Anna for the evening (...and thought they should apologise for eating so many canapes!).

Anna with fellow Fellows Hamish Wilson and Richard Findlay

A wonderful evening was had by all, so a big thanks to the RSAMD.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

"The personal and the political"

Starting tonight in the Circle Studio A Moment's Peace Theatre Company present The Chronicles of Irania (not one person thought!). This one woman show was a festival hit, delving into the life of Khadija, a middle-aged Iranian woman with more than a few tales to tell.

Neil Cooper met the company recently and wrote this article for the Herald.


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Dress up your very own wicked step-sister!

In case you didn't receive our special enews, we thought we should let you know about a brand new free online game for the Citizens Christmas Show this year.

Click on the image below to dress up your very own wicked step-sister. This game designed by our friends at Otago Street uses original drawings by Jason Southgate.

Be patient as it takes a wee moment to load...but it's worth the wait.

If you want to receive enewsletters, just go to our website and use the sign up box.


Thursday, 29 October 2009

"breathtakingly well performed" The Scotsman

I just added a few more images from Topdog/Underdog to Flickr. You can check out the full set here. If you've still undecided about coming along, here's a few recommendations that may help:

The Herald 4 stars
The Times 4 stars
The Scotsman 4 stars
The Guardian 3 stars
So far...

"It's surely the mark of a good play that you are still mining meaning from it days later....Two fine performances" The Times

"Directed with memorable intensity by Citizens Trainee Director Leann O'Kasi, and breathtakingly well performed by Tyronne Lewis and Nicholas Pinnock...some great rap-style poetic writing" The Scotsman

"the tale is grippingly told...a vivid portrait of hope against the odds" The Guardian

You can find out more or book online here.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009

"Making a 400-year-old play feel fresh is no small task"

Othello continues this week. Here are a few of the nice things people have been saying about the show:

“Jude Akuwudike has a powerful physical presence as Othello, especially as jealousy reduces him to a feral despair.”
The Stage

“Guy Hollands’ direction is deeply reverent to Shakespeare’s text... This is solid Shakespeare.”
The Stage

“The supporting cast are strong and Philip Cairns lends Cassio an appropriately innocent charm.”
The Stage

"Andy Clark’s Iago is potently charismatic and disarmingly jocular… he delivers his lines with a frighteningly assured tone that calls to mind Robert Carlyle’s Begbie in Trainspotting."

“The modernisation works well…Making a 400-year-old play feel fresh is no small task. The company has managed to do so without falling into the trap of the ultra-modern.”

You can see more pictures from Othello here and some absolutely gorgeous original costume designs (by Philip Witcomb) here.


Monday, 26 October 2009

"Smart as a whip. Not to be missed."

Leann's O'Kasi's professional Directorial debut with Topdog/Underdog has been receiving acclaim from both critics and public alike. A four star review in today's Herald newspaper states:

“It’s not hard to see why Parks’s play…scooped the Pulitzer Prize for drama. The chewy poetic dialogue rolls its way into life with a vivid ferocity.”

“Nicholas Pinnock and Tyronne Lewis bounce off each other with a relentlessly disciplined dynamism.”

OnStageScotland said:

"The two actors portray a damaged relationship that is completely engrossing."

A Twitter user said "Topdog Underdog @citizenstheatre is smart as a whip. Not to be missed."

If you've not already booked, find out more here.


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Chronicles of Irania on BBC

As you may know, in November we have a great show called The Chronicles of Irania coming to the Circle Studio. A Moment's Peace Theatre Company got some great coverage on the BBC from their time at this year's Edinburgh Festival. You can watch a video of British/Iranian actress Maryam Hamidi talking about the show on the BBC website: Exploring Iran Through Theatre

There's also a report in Farsi from BBC Persia:
Chronicles of Irania - report in Farsi from Edinburgh Festival.

You can find out more and book on our website.


Friday, 16 October 2009

Partnership with St Enoch Scoops Arts and Business Award

The Citizens Theatre and sponsorship partner St Enoch Centre were delighted to receive the Arts & Business Scotland ‘New or Returning Sponsor Award 2009’ last week, for the first time sponsorship of The Wizard of Oz by St Enoch Centre.

Announced at a ceremony hosted at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, the Awards are held each year to celebrate the most outstanding and creative partnerships between business and arts organisations. This year the awards were presented by Michael Russell, Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution.

(L-R) Iain Valentine - Whitespace (Award sponsor), Mandy Orr - Citizens Theatre, Ann Ledgerwood - St Enoch Centre and Michael Russell - Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution.

The Citizens Theatre and ScottishPower were also commended in the Community Award category, for the project Outspoken - an innovative piece of drama that explored the reality of stammering and the impact on the lives of young people who stammer.

The award is proudly displayed in our foyer - look out for it next time you're in!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Rehearsals begin...

Hello again!

I am completely new to this blogging malarky so have been trying to explore the website... I think somebody is going to have to give me a lesson! I've been looking at a couple of other blogs, one about cooking, and another about finding faces in everyday objects (which does entertain me for some reason), but I think I'll just stick with keeping you up to date with Othello rehearsals!

Day one: A 'meet and greet' cup of tea in the canteen for all in involved with both productions, Othello and Topdog/ Underdog. I was quite nervous as I reached the Stage Door, but when everyone arrived it was really informal and relaxed. A quick chance to say hello, and then upstairs for the first read through. What a play! Hearing it read aloud by the cast for the first time is always quite special I think, everybody feeling a bit nervous as their first line approaches... or maybe that was just me. Anyway, all went well, and already I had my first taste of what each of the actors might bring to their characters. After this we had a discussion with the designer, Philip Witcomb about set and costumes. The set looks amazing, and costume designs very exciting. I don't want to give anything away, but don't come expecting to see the lovely Jude Akuwudike in a pair of tights!

From then on Guy wanted to start working through the play from the beginning, just to get a rough shape to start with. Because my character is not in until the second half, I wasn't called very much at the beginning of the week, but when I came in to watch a run of the first couple of acts, I was very impressed by what had been done. It really felt like a lot had been achieved in the first week.

Week two, and we kept working through the script, people are beginning to get a bit more off book now. It's actually amazing when watching rehearsals, to see the difference in performance between the scenes that people are using the script, and when they are not. I know people have different opinions on using a script in rehearsals, but I find rehearsing easier when I'm off book... in this it hasn't been too hard for me because I'm only in three scenes, but I take my hat off to some of the others who have an enormous amount to learn. Somebody said to me the other day that they think Andy Clark has more to learn as Iago than he did when he played Hamlet... I don't know how he does it!

Anyway, rehearsals are going well, and going very quickly. Can't quite believe we open in two weeks!

Will continue to keep you posted, and I'm not too sure how this blogger works, but if you want to ask me anything about rehearsals (maybe by leaving a comment!?) I'll do my best to answer in my next blog.

Mairi x

Ps. Very excited about all the Othello posters that are starting to pop up around Glasgow!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Director talks about Topdog/Underdog

I grabbed a quick chat with Leann O'Kasi, director of the Scottish premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks Pulitzer prize-winning play, Topdog/Underdog.


We totally ran out time, but I'll try to grab Leann another day to find out how rehearsals are progressing...and how the actors (Nicholas Pinnock and Tyronne Lewis) are getting on perfecting their three card monte!


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Shakespeare Shortz winners

The winners of the Othello tickets from our Shakespare Shortz project are yobkulcha and SkinheadNinja, for the following two clips:

Well done to both, and a huge thank you to everyone who took part! Although the competition is now closed, we are happy to receive additional clips on YouTube, so keep them coming.

We hope you can join us to see Lend Me Your Ears (8-10 Oct) and Othello (21 Oct-14 Nov).


NB. I've sent congratulations emails to the winners via YouTube. If you are a winner and haven't yet contacted me, please email Helen. If you posted a video response and have not yet sent me a copy of your film for inclusion in our compilation, please check your YouTube inbox.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Shakespeare Shortz - time's running out

With only just over a day left, we are hoping to see a last minute flurry of submissions for Shakespeare Shortz. We would like you to record a wee clip of you "doing some Shakespeare". Don't worry about making this a big production. It's more about the taking part.

If you are having trouble uploading, just email Helen.

Here are a few recent submissions:

To take part, go to Shakespeare Shortz and just click post video response.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Citz enewsletter Sept 09

If you are signed up to our e-mailing list you will recently have received our September enewsletter. If you're not, you can see a copy online here.

If you'd like to receive these updates each month, simply fill in your email address on our website.


Friday, 11 September 2009

Second week at the Citz

Hi, I'm Mairi, the new trainee actor at the Citizens. I just thought I'd write a wee bit about how I got here, and what I've been up to so far...

In June I was coming to the end of my third year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and I heard that the Citizens was looking for a graduating drama school student to work at the theatre for twelve months. I applied as soon as I heard, and after a couple of auditions (one in London, and one up here) I was offered the job. I was (and still am) over the moon to be given this opportunity, and after moving all my belongings back up to Scotland, and settling into my sister's flat, I am now at the end of my second week at the theatre.

I can't believe I've been here for a fortnight already, the time has flown by. In my first week I watched the Young Company rehearse for the Rosey Project, which I understand went down extremely well when they performed it last week at Hampden. I've also seen rehearsals for Lend Me Your Ears, which I loved being part of, and really can't wait to meet the rest of the cast next week.

As I'll be playing Bianca in Othello, and one of the step sisters in Cinderella, I was invited to a couple of the production meetings. It has really struck me how much work goes into the shows before the actors even have their first read through, how much careful planning goes on, and how hard everyone has to work together to ensure everything runs smoothly.

I've just had a call from Elaine in Wardrobe about measurements , so I'm going to have to nip up and see her now, will write again once rehearsals have begun for Othello...

Cheers, Mairi x

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Fringe fun comes to an end....

August… one month, two awards and seven 4 and 5 star reviews - not bad going!

On Sunday our Edinburgh fringe run of acclaimed show The Sound of my Voice came to a close, but it ended on a high with Billy Mack scooping the Best Actor award from The Stage for his moving portrayal of Morris Magellan.

This followed hot on the heels of Michele Gallagher picking up a Little Devil at the previous weekend's The Herald Angels award ceremony, awarded for demonstrating the true spirit of the old adage 'the show must go on' when she stepped into the role only six days before the show previewed! (Read her blog below).

Michele and Billy at the Angels' ceremony.

During the run we were delighted to receive a gaggle of 5 star reviews from Three Weeks, Onstage Scotland and the British Theatre Guide as well as 4 star reviews from Edinburgh Guide, AlltheFestivals, Fest and The List.

The cast and crew have all had a fantastic time and are now enjoying a well earned rest. Thankyou to everyone who came along to support us through in ‘the other city' - if you saw the show we'd really love to know what you thought, to tell us just click here.


Monday, 17 August 2009

"The show must go on..."

Less than a week before our Festival 2009 show opened at the Assembly Rooms, our lead actress had to step down due to family illness. Her brave replacement, Michele Gallagher blogged for the Scotsman, this weekend, about the whirlwind journey that brought her to The Sound of My Voice:

“August 2009, I had planned to paint my spare room, sort out my taxes, catch up with friends and maybe cycle around Millport (I've always wanted to do that!). Performing in the Citizens Theatre's production of 'The Sound of My Voice' at The Assembly Rooms as part of this years Edinburgh Fringe was not on my agenda. Yet here I am!

On the 31st of July, my painting plans where shelved when my agent called, 'What time can you be at The Citz?'

'Eh, can you give me an hour?.' By 1 o'clock, I'm with Jeremy Raison, the director, reading from his adaptation of Ron Butlin's brilliant novel. By 2 o'clock Jeremy had offered me the part, by 3 I was handed a script, introduced to my other cast member, the wonderful Billy Mack, and the countdown began.

'The Sound of My Voice' had a very successful run last year at The Citizens Theatre. Unfortunately, the original actress had to leave the production, but in true showbiz style, 'the show must go on' and so did I.

The rehearsal process was....quick! Usually, you have three weeks to get to know your fellow cast members, create characters and learn lines. All the while the nerves and excitement build as you approach opening night. I had 5 days, there was no time for nerves.

The piece is based on an alcoholic business executive played by Billy and the complex and strained relationships he has with the people in his life. These characters, all of which I play, range from an innocent 5 year old girl to a 'gallus' 45 year old business man with many more popping up along the way.
For the few days leading up to the Fringe, I lived and breathed the script. Tearing my eyes away only to eat or sleep. My poor boyfriend patiently read each scene with me over and over again, until the characters began to find their voice and the words were committed to memory.

Now, one week into our run and those first frantic days seem like a distant memory. I am finally performing in a Citizens Theatre production, (something I have longed to do since my ushering days there, while at drama school) in an amazing play, which is part of one of the biggest and best festivals in the world and I am having the time of my life. The spare room can wait!

September 2009, Millport anyone??

Michele Gallagher”


Thursday, 6 August 2009

And so it begins...

Cat and I travelled through to Edinburgh last night to attend the Assembly Festival Gala launch at Assembly on the Mound. The venue was packed for a brilliant evening of varied acts from the Assembly venues.

Our show, The Sound of My Voice got a good mention amongst other theatre productions in the opening speech. There was no theatre in the launch programme, as this doesn't really lend itself to the format of the evening. Although slightly disappointing, I can totally see why, as it'd be hard to find a scene that worked.

The revellers outside Assembly on the Mound last night.

My favourite performances of the night were from Tao, The Soweto Gospel Choir and event host Jason Byrne, who was utterly hilarious. I've even been inspired to buy a ticket for his show.

Thanks to Jayne and all the team at Assembly for a brilliant night!

Alison and Cat headed back through this morning to meet our street team, Fin and Maria, who will be braving the busy/tram obstructed streets of the capital to let folk know about the show. Please say hi if you see them.

Our first preview kicks off at 3.20pm today. A crew from the theatre are heading through tomorrow to provide support. Good to luck to everyone, can't wait to see it again!


P.S. We have just added brand new functionality to the site, which allows you to add your rating and comments to each show, so please let us know your thoughts.

Monday, 13 July 2009

A Good Samaritan

It's good to start the week with a nice story. Some good souls on holiday in Spain found the wallet of an actress who works at the theatre. Presumably after a Google search, they contacted us at the Citz, via our website, to say that they'd brought it home to England and were keen to return it.

After a couple of phone calls, the wallet will be winging it's way back to its very grateful owner.

Thanks to the good Samaritans who went to the trouble of doing some detective work.

...Restores your faith in humanity.


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Website Review

I came across this review of our new website (we're featured in the second half).

We'd love to know what you think of the new site. All feedback is welcomed.


Monday, 29 June 2009

Audience Insight Award

Here's a wee clip of Alison talking about our Personas project which recently won an Audience Insight Award at the GaGAs.

Audience Insight from GGA on Vimeo.

Photo © Marius Alexander

Thanks to GGA for organising a great day...and Mark Boulton Design for leading us through our Persona Generation.


Thursday, 25 June 2009

Getting to Know: Leann O'Kasi - Trainee Director

From September 2008 – August 2009, Leann O’Kasi was the first Trainee Director of a new scheme generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We asked her to share a little bit of her experience over the past year!

"I found out I got the job at the Citz one sunny Monday evening back in August 2008. A few rain storms and a week later I had moved to Glasgow and was working at the theatre on the first production of that season!

"I’ve been faced with so many different challenges that have thrown me head first into the deep end (and I can’t actually swim) but thankfully I’ve always surfaced feeling more at ease and theatrically energised. Highlights have been seeing the Circle Studio transformed into an 80s -esque underground night club for Citizen Y, being blown away by the pure visual spectacle that was Don Juan and crying like a baby at the end of the first act of the Wizard of Oz.

"But of course it’s seeing my own work being performed that has given me that extra bit of satisfaction."(Ed note: Leann adapted and directed her own version of Hans Christian Anderson's The Red Shoes in May).

"I’m really looking forward to coming back to direct Suzan Lori-Park’s Pulitzer Prize winning Topdog/Underdog this autumn. Even though it transports us to a seedily furnished room in New York it could be set in many living rooms throughout the world.

"I hope the next Trainee Director enjoys this experience as much as I did and makes it their own. As for me, I’m so excited about the next phase in my development and the endless possibilities that the Citz has opened up to me."

Thanks Leann - we've really enjoyed having you here at the Citizens as part of our team!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Autumn season now on sale

The Citizens autumn season is now on sale! Highlights include the great Shakespeare tragedy Othello, a new version by the National Theatre of Scotland of Lorca's The House Of Bernarda Alba, the Pulitzer prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog and an exclusive Glasgow preview of the Edinburgh International Festival show, The Last Witch.

Book now or visit the what's on section of our website.

Or flick through this virtual version of our brochure:

Click the preview to view full size.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

New Site Launched

It's official, the brand new Citizens Theatre website is live.

We are still working on pointing the TAG domain to this site, but in the meantime you can check out loads of new content for the Autumn Season 2009, which goes on sale officially tomorrow!


Friday, 19 June 2009

Web disruption

We are in the process of launching a brand new website for both Citizens and TAG work together. This means that botn of our current websites are likely to go offline today. We aim to have a fully functioning new website for you by Monday 22nd.

I'll post again when it's ready for action, then you can let us know what you think.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

What A Braw Partnership!

Well, the party is over! Our 6 visitors from Sweden have just left after a fantastic week of shared activity. We've shown them all over Glasgow, relished Rena's reminiscence in the Peoples Palace, had a feast at the Hidden Gardens, sung our hearts out at Bridging the Gap, taken part in inspirational drama workshops led by 2 more international visitors from Chicago, applauded the Hot Mikado (performed by Scotland School of Dance) in the main auditorium, caroused at a party and finally, at the farewell lunch in the canteen, we were delighted by a visit from a member of St Francis Pipe Band, who gave us four tunes, whilst someone performed an impromptu a highland fling...braw or what?!!

This partnership between the group from Lansteatern, Orebro and the Citizens Community Company has been an amazing experience for all concerned. We have shared and learnt, uncovering so much that we have in common. Some excellent moments of drama have been created as well as some great international friendships born. I don't think anyone of us that took part will forget our week in Orebro or the week in Glasgow. Tears were shed as our visitors left on Friday afternoon but we all hope this will not be the end.


Thursday, 28 May 2009

Praise for Ghosts keeps pouring in...

We're delighted to have received another 4* review for Ghosts in today's The List, as well as a highly complimentary review in the Sunday Herald. See below what they had to say:

'Jason Southgate's picture-perfect drawing room set, naturalistic lighting and period costumes lure us into a false sense of security, but we are quickly jolted out of our complacency by the intensity of the play, whose bleak conclusions still have the power to unsettle.

...the energy with which the cast attack their roles is infectious. There's a strong turn from Billy Mack as Engstrand... but it is from the intense central relationship between Mrs Alving and her son Oswald that this production derives its power. Maureen Beattie and Steven Robertson are compelling in those roles, the partnership deelivering a conclusion that is as moving as it is harrowing.' THE LIST ****

'In the opening stages of Raison's production (which enjoys a splendid, lively translation by Amelia Bullmore and a beautifully naturalistic set by Jason Southgate), the sense of lethargy is almost irritating. It is, however, entirely in keeping with Ibsen's intent, all the better for the cataclysm to come.

'Maureen Beattie is magnificent. Her Mrs Alving turns from respectable stoic to awesome truth teller, pulling down the entire Alving family myth as if she were some great, female Samson. Her nuanced, emotionally explosive playing never overshadows the other actors. Rather, Beattie's acting enhances the contributions of a universally fine cast; Kevin McMonagle is perfect as the appalled and outraged priest, whilst Elspeth Brodie impresses as the coquettish and indignant Regine.' SUNDAY HERALD ****

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Ghosts - 4 stars in today's Scotsman

Joyce McMillan gave Ghosts a 4 star review in today's The Scotsman:

'Jeremy Raison's production of Ghosts for the Citizens Theatre... treats the play not as a sombre slide into tragedy but as a fierce comic satire against the prudery, misogyny and hyposcrisy of provincial Norwegian life.

'Raison's irreverant approach to the play... generates a fierce and questioning energy, not least through Maureen Beattie's towering performance as Mrs Alving, a woman still bursting with inconvenient sensual life and intellectual restlessness. Jason Southgate's set... beautifully lit by Charles Balfour to conjure up fierce Nordic alrterations between radiant sunlight and rain-drenched gloom; Elspeth Brodie and Steven Roertson light up the stage, as the young people so closely bound together.'

The Guardian **** Metro *** The Herald ***

Monday, 18 May 2009

Ghosts audience reaction

Here are some of the comments we received from audience members post show (N.B. We don't think any of these are from Kim Cattrall, who was apparently here seeing the show on Saturday!!):

"An interesting production - Very gripping - well acted."
"Powerful story. Very well acted by everyone."
"Well worth coming out in the rain for."
"Amazing set and costumes."
"A superb production of a great play."


Friday, 15 May 2009

Ghosts - Production Images

Here are some shots of Ghosts, which previewed Wednesday/ Thursday this week and opens officially tonight! You can also see them on Flickr.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

The show runs until 30th May! Cx

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Clydeside Adventure

Our great “My Clydeside Valentine Adventure” “Gone Like the Wind” and our dear sisters and brothers went back home. But we still have the warm feeling that they left in our hearts. It was more than a theatre production that two countries have been involved... It was more than a cooperation and Braw Partnership. 20 people from Glasgow and Örebro did an amazing work in 3 days. Yes in just 3 days! It is hard to believe.

They all did it with love, with theatre love. Love was in the air during the rehearsal time. The group felt like they had been working together for a long time. Dear Neil, Elly and I were surprised. Are you Dancin'? and The Rollerettes scenes were the first ones to try in front of the journalists under the flash lights. These people had never met and rehearsed before but they played those scenes perfectly at their first try. I remember the night when my inspiration angels woke me up and came with this idea. How could it be to play in the same production with Glaswegian and Swedish actors on the same stage? I told my crazy idea to Tomas and Neil. They are crazy like me and said yes! Different languages, different countries… The actors will rehearse away from eachother and then will meet and do all the work just in 3 days. Thanks Dear Neil, Elly and all friends in Citizens Theatre and 14* Teater Projekt of Länsteatern!

All of us have had the most exciting theatre experience in our life. We did a great performance that I still get feedbacks and compliments. We saw and showed how “Theatre Love” can connect the people in the world. We are looking forward to meet you for our second adventure in Glasgow at Citizens Theatre soon. Thanks for being here and sharing this adventure with us, see you very soon …

Nurten Eriksson

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A Fond Farewell to Sweden

Our Swedish adventures are over. Seven tired but exhilarated people returned to the Gorbals late Sunday evening. It's only Wednesday but it already seems along time ago that we waved farewell to our new artistic collaborators and friends in the sunshine of Örebro. Of course five of them will be heading our way come June 7th and I only hope we can give them as good a time in Glasgow and the weather is better than it is now!

My last blog, I wrote during the final throws of rehearsal and at that point we had no idea what the response would be to the show. However at 4pm on a baking hot afternoon, around 70 people packed into Länsteatern's small studio space and begged for more, after a wonderful show that completely captured everything we had achieved.

Kathleen Harrison's 'Reer Fleer' set the show up nicely and the Swedish cast found their way around the Glasgow dialect. Marianne was charming in our Rena's 'Looking Back', referring to the Dennistoun Palais as if she'd danced there herself . Fran sang her heart out for the loss of her wee Shuggie McGlone. 'On the Spot' came has a big surprise when a young African man got up out of the audience and proposed to another audience member in Swedish. 'Elvis in Ladies' was a always. The totally Swedish creation was hysterical...even to us, who only grasped a couple of words! Theresa's poem had more 'Shadowy Depths' than ever before and we all raised our tarten scarves 'as we sang shang a lang with the gang'...then we had some party and bid our fond farewells.

It was a privilege to be part of this collaboration between the two community companies, rehearsing independently, thousands of miles apart and somehow coming together to create this unique performance in three and a half days. Certainly an experience I'll never forget and I don't think the others will either.

If you didn't manage to catch 'My Clydeside Valentine' back in February at the Citizens or indeed weren't part of our international audience, or have yet to see the illustrious Community Company in action, ...never fear, just make sure you get your tickets booked early for 'Wicked Christmas - Cinders Revenge' to avoid even more disappointment!! (Ed. This show goes on sale in late June)

We can't wait for our international friends to arrive for even more adventures...


Friday, 1 May 2009

News from Sweden

Hi from Örebro, Sweden

We are right in the middle of our final day of rehearsals in Länsteatern, working on It Must Be Love, an accordion is being played in the background by Alena, along with Björn and Anna Körin on guitar. There is a wonderful spirit of friendship and collaboration in the room. The Community Company from the Citizens are totally embracing the opportunity, there have been so many adventures and now we are building to our ultimate moment of this marvellous experience with the sold out performance tomorrow at 4pm. Let's hope there will be fireworks like we saw last night in front of the castle to celebrate spring.

It was Patricia's birthday yesterday and she was overwhelmed by the group singing, flowers and cake, it was an amazing moment, one I'm sure she will never forget along with the rest.

We have now moved onto to rehearsing Looking Back, a scene written by the senior member of our company Rena Hood, if only she could be here to see Marianne perform it, but then I also want Catherine Chan and Theresa to see their pieces performed in Swedish!

It will be so sad when our journey comes to an end here in Örebro, we have all been treated so well...Oh I have to go and organise lunch, it is a public holiday celebrating May Day and everything is closed but the sun is out so who cares.

Neil and Elly

Monday, 27 April 2009

Maureen Beattie - Sunday Times Interview

Maureen Beattie spoke to Gillian Bowditch for The Sunday Times, where she talks about coming from a Glasgow entertainment dynasty, the role that she desperately hopes she will get to reprive and what attracted her to Ibsen's Ghosts.

If you missed it in yesterday's paper then click here to read the full article.

To book tickets call 0141 429 0022 or go online at

Ghosts - High jinks in rehearsal

It's now entering the third week of rehearsals for Ghosts and the cast are on great form! I always marvel at the privileged position I'm in, being able to stick my head into reheasals and seeing snippets of the journey that the play takes - from it's first read through to rehearsals and then finally, opening night and its first public performance.

(Kevin as Pastor Manders and Elspeth as Regine)

From what little I've seen so far, I'm already really excited about seeing Ghosts onstage. Some of the cast are familiar to us here at the Citz - Elspeth Brodie (Don Juan), Billy Mack (The Sound of My Voice/ Peter Pan/ The Bevellers and Wee Fairy Tales to name but a few) and Kevin McMonagle (Waiting for Godot).

(Elspeth and Kevin)

We're delighted to welcome two new faces - Maureen Beattie and Steven Robertson. Maureen you will know from numerous TV appearances, including long-term stints in Holby City and Bramwell, as well as stage performances in Theatre Babel's Medea and more recently acclaimed performances in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 'Histories Company (which won an Olivier Award for Best Company 2009).

(Steven and Maureen, taking a well earned break)

Steven played joint lead role alongside James McAvoy in Inside I'm Dancing and has had smaller roles in other feature films including Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott) and Elizabeth: The Goldon Age. Theatre work includes The Tempest, The Seagull and Anthony and Cleopatra at Manchester's Royal Exchange, as well as King Lear for the RSC.

(Steven and Maureen ambush an unsuspecting Elspeth)

These images are the result of a photoshoot we did on Friday - I guess that you could look on the bottom two as the 'out-takes'! Anyone who thinks that Ibsen is dull should spend five minutes with this bunch - they're having a blast!


Photos: Eamonn McGoldrick

Friday, 24 April 2009

Our actors take to the airwaves!

If anyone happened to tune into Awaz Fm yesterday morning you would have caught Gary Pillai from the cast of Wuthering Heights on the breakfast show, with Shez and Daniel. There was plenty of banter - including the all important sales pitch for the show - as well as Gary sharing some of his experiences working on films such as Far North, Franklyn and the tv series The Passion for BBC.
(Strangely, he seemed less keen to talk about his role in FamilyAffairs... remember that one?)

(Shez, Gary and Daniel)

Shez probed a bit deeper and Gary revealed that his most expensive purchase was a ring for himself from the world famous Tiffany's and that the thing he most disliked about himself was his patience (there are surely worse character traits!).

This is the boys first week in the breakfast slot, so Gary was delighted to be one of their first guests! Thanks to everyone there for making us feel so welcome.

If you fancy catching a bit of bollywood glamour then Wuthering Heights runs until Saturday and you can get tickets by calling 0141 429 0022 or online at

Braw Partnership

On Monday Elly, Neil and 5 members of the Community Company head to Sweden for a theatre exchange with our friends at Lansteatern in Örebro.

Although practitioners from the Citizens and Lansteatern have worked together before, this is the first time our company members have had the chance to travel. Taking extracts from their recent show "My Clydeside Valentine", the group will perform alongside local community actors at the end of an intense week of rehearsals and collaboration.

A photo of Lansteatern taken by Neil in Örebro.

Unikt teatersamarbete i Örebro
Swedish radio feature about the project (NB. You need to understand Swedish!!):

I'll not say much more, as I'll let Neil and Elly update you...if Neil can ever find his Blogger password!!


P.S. The Swedish word "Bra" pronounced "Braw" has pretty much the same meaning as our Scottish word, hence the name of our project. I recently watch "Let The Right One It" - a Swedish horror currently in cinemas, which I can't recommend highly enough. I was delighted to hear the little boy at one point say "bra" and the subtitle appear "good". The simple pleasures...

P.P.S. The observant of you will have spotted that the photo in this post changed. Neil pointed out that I'd used a Stockholm shot! Oops

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Wuthering Heights - new video footage

Tamasha's production of Wuthering Heights has been touring in England for the past couple of weeks and going down a storm -

"Verma might well have struck gold with his idea of relocating the tale of doomed passion and poetic grand vision to Rajasthan…it's an imaginative perspective on a great classic and one that could surely transfer to the big screen with the same success as Tamasha's East is East" The Independent

Here's some new video footage of the show, produced by film students at University of Huddersfield:

Dont miss out on this great Bollywood night out, tickets are available on 0141 429 0022 or online

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Spoonface Steinberg - praise for this show

Spponface Steinberg has made a few stops on her travels before she reaches the Citizens in a few weeks time and so the first reviews are out. Here's what people had to say:

"It is genuinely extraordinary acting in that I truly never saw it as acting, just as I never saw any of her movements or handling of props as business, simply as Spoonface’s behaviour. In fact, as someone commented on the way out, there weren’t any props, just things lying around Spoonface’s bedroom.

"See this moving, funny, sad yet optimistic production if you can. You’ll not regret an hour spent with Spoonface and her self-effacing alter ego Zoe Thorne." THE STAGE

"It is therefore a measure of Zoe Thorne’s performance in the title role (and for most of the time she’s the only person on stage) that she not only holds the audience’s attention throughout but involves it fully in her character’s odd world. She’s entirely credible as this very young girl with a brain for which her body is not fit... As with autism itself, there are no real answers, partial or otherwise. But there is a heart in the matter, and Thorne’s performance is it." ****

"Zoe held us enthralled - we hung on every word. Funny, sad and thought provoking...a gift to anyone who is lucky enough to experience this and take away something of it in their hearts." Wikipedia

If you want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself, tickets ar available by calling 0141 429 0022 or book online at


Spoonface Steinberg: Award-winning play comes to the Citz

Spoonface Steinberg, from the writer of Billy Elliott- Lee Hall, was first broadcast as a radio play but has since gone on to win awards and be adapted for both TV and the stage.

Beggars and Kings productions are bringing the show to the Citizens this April and we grabbed a quick word with the director, Michael Fentiman, to find out what he thinks is so important about this play:

“Awareness of Autism having the possibility to be an active ability as opposed to a life hindering disability is very important to us. For any parent, teacher or family member who is involved in the life of a child with autism there are everyday challenges and rewards that a child on the spectrum can present. This production aims to explore both. I suppose what Spoonface’s autism empowers the audience with is an ability to see our responses to the hardship life throws at us. Autism is a world of logic. The world we live in is one of many contradictions, confusion and chaos. Spoonface, through a piercing ability to strip emotion and metaphor away, stumbles upon a genius’s insight into life’s struggles. Her ability is to help us see clearly, her Autism being a gift of perception that illuminates hidden truths in things.”

Zoe Thorne in the title role of Spoonface Steinberg.

Spoonface Steinberg runs from Tues 21 - Sat 25 April, 7.30pm. To book call 0141 429 0022 or go online at

Monday, 30 March 2009

What did you think? - Be Near Me

I came across one audience member's review of Be Near Me on YouTube. I must warn you not to watch it if you don't know what happens (contains plot spoilers - click here to watch). However as just one person's reaction, I wondered if any of you saw NTS's play. Do you agree with this view?

Be Near Me starring Blythe Duff and Ian McDiarmid is at the Citz until this Saturday night (4th April). Click Be Near Me for details.


New video of Community Company

We are delighted to finally launch a Citz YouTube channel. TAG has had one for ages, but it's taken us slightly longer to start this one. We have already added the Shooting Horses Documentary by Ania Winiarska, which was created last year, along with a brand new film by Ickleflix celebrating 10 years of the Community Company.

As well as our own videos, we will be linking to video content about visiting shows. You can check out the Be Near Me trailer (at the Citz til Sat 4th April) and Wuthering Heights videos from the Tamasha blog.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

FeltusFeltus Exhibition

A photographic exhibition opens in the foyer of the theatre today. The Feltus brothers, Tobias and Joseph have created a collection of portraits entitled Domestic Zirkus. Alongside the brothers, the exhibition features Elizabeth Krause (Don Juan costume designer) and Caroline Bliemel in still images showing "theatre of the absurd".

The exhibition runs from 18 March - 11 April 2009.
Free entry. All works are for sale.


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Edward Gant... the reviews are in!

Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness opened this week at The Nuffield, Southampton, and the critics verdicts are in:

Performed by a nimble quartet led by Simon Kunz's mesmeric Gant...the play oozes dark imagination. Neilson holds up a fairground mirror that reveals the sadness and ugliness, the unlovely, fearful inner self that each of us struggles to keep hidden... it's uncannily hard to look away. The Times ***

Imagine Shockheaded Peter crossed with a Carry On film, and you have something of the flavour of this 90-minute show.... Beautifully designed by Tom Scutt to look like a magical pop-up Victorian theatre, Steve Marmion's production is full of gusto... The Guardian ***

The show opens here on Tuesday (17th) and runs for a week so if this sounds like your cup of tea, give our box office a call on 0141 429 0022 or book online at

And the winner is....

Firstly, we'd like to say a huge thankyou to everyone who helped us by completing a feedback survey for our Christmas show. It's really helpful for us to know what you all thought about the show - what we're doing well and what we can improve for you!

Secondly, everyone who completed the survey was entered into a prize draw to win a £40 gift voucher and two tickets to a show of their choice. We're delighted to announce here that the lucky winner was Lynette from Kirkintilloch.

Congratulations Lynette!


Monday, 9 March 2009

Wuthering Heights: The Sun Will Rise

We've managed to get a sneak preview of one of the original songs from Wuthering Heights and I think it's great!

Tamasha - the producing company - have created their own blog where you can see more musical snippets, choreography and rehearsal footage. Click here.

Friday, 6 March 2009

My Clydeside Valentine Photos

I have just posted some more photos of My Clydeside Valentine, the Citizens Community Company's most recent production. Tim's terrific production shots really show the fantastic range of performances and Neil Hayne's gorgeous set design.

Here's a taster:

You can see the rest on Flickr.


Friday, 27 February 2009

Only When I laugh...

Hot on the heels of Charlie Lawson and Emma Cunniffe, we will have yet more telly faces gracing our boards this month, as Jack Shepherd, from TV's Wycliffe and more recently the feature film The Golden Compass, brings his wry new comedy to the Citz.

A fond homage to the variety acts that Shepherd remembers from his childhood, it also features Nicky Henson (fresh from a stint in Eastenders as Jack Edwards) and Jim Bywater (best known as Mr Trimble).

For a full interview with Jack Shepherd on his first experiences of the music hall click here .

To book call 0141 429 0022 or online at