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.