Thursday, 22 December 2011

Spring Season Brochure 2012

As you may already know our Spring Season 2012 is on sale. Our season brochure is at the printers and will be on doorsteps and in leaflet racks across the city early in January.

Here's a sneaky peek - click on the preview to view full screen and flick through at your leisure.

The season starts with a schools' production of Theresa Breslin's award-winning story Divided City, a stunning piece of visual theatre from Frantic Assembly: Lovesong (trailer below) starring Siân Phillips; 6 shows from the Glasgow International Comedy Festival and The Infamous Brothers Davenport by Vox Motus.

You can see the Citizens Theatre's own productions of Betrayal, King Lear and a Beckett double-bill of Krapp's Last Tape and Footfalls using our brand new Classic Pass, or for those of you not afraid of some old-fashioned queuing - you could take the risk of going for some of our 50p tickets! You can see information on special offers on our Pricing page.

Here's to a happy and fun-filled Christmas and New Year!

Both Little Ulla and Hansel and Gretel are on until 7 January, but if we don't see you for those, we look forward to presenting some amazing theatre in 2012.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Spring Season Talks

Brand new for 2012, we will be opening up a series of fascinating workshops to the public. These will allow you to get under the bonnet of theatre-making! Designed as pre-show events, they are specially programmed to open up the creative process on stage and allow audiences, students and school groups to get closer to our productions.

With Artistic Director Dominic Hill
Ever wondered how a play is put on stage? Fascinating insights into casting, rehearsal, design, lighting and costume.

BETRAYAL | Thu 15 March, 5.30pm
KING LEAR | Thu 10 May, 5.30pm
| Wed 6 June, 5.30pm

KING LEAR | Wed 2 May, 5.30pm
An informal look at how lighting and sound are used in King Lear and why they are integral parts of every production.

KING LEAR | Fri 27 April, 5.30pm
Musical Director Paddy Cuneen discusses how he approached creating the musical landscape for this most powerful of tragedies.

All events take place in the Main Auditorium and will last approximately 40 minutes.

Cost: Individuals £2, Groups £1 (with ticket to show)
Book at Box Office: 0141 429 0022

These events above are open to the public, for a full run down of all educational workshops for schools, click the links below:

Friday, 2 December 2011

Charity previews

Each year we hold a fundraising preview of the Christmas show for a great local charity called the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.

The ticket income for the first performance of Hansel and Gretel goes to the Hospice, whilst tickets to our second preview are free to invited groups. There is the opportunity for audiences to contribute additional donations to the Hospice in the foyer.

One of the signs - here at the theatre - that Christmas is nearly upon us, is the annual call for goody-bag-stuffers. Children who attend the charity previews get free goody bags. This year, as well as Citz merchandise, we've had generous contributions from the hospice itself, Candylicious and Glencrest.

The festive stuffing session, which was this afternoon - is our first real excuse of the season to stick some Christmas tunes on, start the "what are you doing for the holidays" banter and compete over who has the most efficient goody-bag-stuffing strategy. Martin's five-at-a-time this year took it a step too far! Here's a few colourful snaps of our afternoon:


Thanks to the cast of Aladdin has a Waash at the Baths, who helped out this afternoon. Right, back to the grindstone.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

In rehearsal - a Director's-eye-view

Guy Hollands continues his photo-blogging from the Hansel and Gretel rehearsal room. It's first preview this weekend!


More photos from behind the scenes:
In rehearsal 1
In rehearsal 2

Friday, 25 November 2011

In rehearsal - more snapshots

Some more behind the scenes Hansel and Gretel snaps from Director Guy Hollands:

David Carlyle and Gemma McElhinney enjoying rehearsals

Jim Sturgeon enjoying not been trapped in a cage.
Inspired by Mr Hollands, here's my contribution. I spotted this up in wardrobe:

See more of Guy's snapshots.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Programme Design Winner!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered this year's primary schools' programme design competition - for Hansel and Gretel. Below are the 6 finalists.

The Winner - Emma Hay (from St Barbaras) was chosen by a panel made up of Guy Hollands (Director), representatives from Glasgow Dine Around (show sponsors) including Ryan James from The Buttery and Natalie Maynard from Malmaison Brassarie; as well as Cat McNaught (Marketing Manager).

Her design will grace the cover of every programme for this year's Christmas show. Well done Emma!
WINNER: Emma Hay (10) St Barbaras PS
Laila Begum (9) Ibrox PS
Anna Campbell (10) St Conrads PS
Katie McGowan (11) St Barbaras PS
Caley McGuinness (p6) Ibrox PS
Louise Paterson (10) St Bartholomews PS
Book a Glasgow Dinearound £15.95 dinner throughout November and be entered into a competition to win a VIP family day out. More info.

He hasn't forgotten about us!

OK, I admit that must be one of the cheesiest blog post titles I've ever written, but I couldn't resist. For those of you who aren't on Facebook, you'll not have seen the rather wonderful praise we received recently from none other than Simple Minds' frontman Jim Kerr.

"In Glasgow I always try to get to the Gorbals and the Citizen's Theatre. During my teenage years I was almost as passionate about the "The Citz" as I was about going to rock concerts. Good to see that the great work continues and the present "A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg" is testimony to that. The building has much charm and an atmosphere of the type that I miss. Small venues? Hmmm. Now there is a thought?"

Jim Kerr
Simple Minds Official Facebook Page

Thanks Jim!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

In rehearsal - snapshots

A theatre is a fascinating place to work. We are privileged to see lots of interesting and often, quite strange things in the course of our daily lives. Throughout the year, it's not unusual to walk past giant sweeties, suits of armour, a hot air balloon basket, a jalopy, a fat suit or any number of crazy props and costumes backstage.

During rehearsals for Hansel and Gretel, Director Guy Hollands will be snapping some of the things that catch his eye.

Inpired by this rich creative environment and armed with our favourite photographic app Hipstamatic, we'll be posting some random backstage shots to give you a flavour of what we see behind the scenes.

We hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Opening night is over...but the work has just begun

Ever wondered what happens once a show opens? We don't just sit back and put the feet up (that goes for marketing & production). Assistant Director Richard Lavery blogs about the show from his perspective behind the scenes: 

The play has opened. Audiences have poured in and poured back out. Reviewers have scribbled notes and typed up opinions. Congratulatory glasses have been toasted, clinked and downed. A Day in the Death of Joe Egg has opened to a fantastic wave of press and intense audience debate. As it did in 1967, right here in the Citz.

 As you can imagine the work doesn’t stop on press night. The team go from the spread out and relaxed in comparison work of rehearsals to the concentrated and pressured work of performance. With everyone from stage management, lighting, flying, sound and the actors now arranging their days to a very specific deadline. With each day no longer having any margin for error, as there is only one chance a day to get the job right or all the prep has gone for nothing.

During the run it is a difficult and finely balanced thing to keep the performance exciting and fresh for each new audience every night. So for the actors there is a constant reappraisal of the work that has been done, going on every night. At the same time the director or assistant director is watching and tweaking the show to refine it, making it stronger the further into the run the show goes.
And as you may imagine tweaking a solid show can be very difficult and dangerous. As you constantly risk ruining the show with the wrong suggestion at the wrong time and throwing the whole show off-kilter. By changing the smallest thing one actor does, it can ripple out and either throw the other actors off or change the meaning of a whole section of the play. It’s the most exciting and infuriating thing about theatre, it’s always live, always changing and always teetering on the edge of disaster! That’s of course were the skills of the team come in to keep the show getting better.

We’re now in the last week of the show and the pressure is on for us to make the audiences last chance to see A Day in the Death of Joe Egg here as fantastic as we can. I’ve no doubt that it will be.

Assistant Director

Until 12 November
This is the very last week of Joe Egg, so there's only 5 more chances to see the show. Call 0141 429 0022 or book online.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


It's that time of year again, when Glasgay! hits the Citz. This year we have two shows from the festival that celebrates queer culture.

You can't run away from your problems...but you can take them to nicer places.
Spain tells the story of an ex-pat Scot, thrown into an existentialist crisis, after 20 years living it up in Gran Canaria. He finds a small memento that commences a long journey home.
More info


Just gonna have to be a different man...
Herald Angel Award Winner 2010 Grant Smeaton transmutes into a spectrum of multi coloured sexuality as seen through the eyes of five characters in mid-life in this intimate, compelling and provocative new one man show.
More info

Both shows previewed last night, open tonight and run until 12 November!


"So Spain at @citizenstheatre was fantastic! Mark Kydd gives a brilliant performance. So funny and so moving!" @jonnyley

"Ch Ch Changes was outstanding tonight. A must see." @lorrainecleaver

"Saw Spain last night. Fab! Lookin fwd 2 Ch ch changes. So much good stuff. Go Citz!" @scotsguy_61

If you see the shows, let us know what you think on FB, Twitter or by leaving your rating/comment on our website.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Your reactions to Joe Egg previews

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Five sessions to go...but don't forget the cats!

Rehearsals are hard but techs are art. It's the moment that a director and the creative team really get to play. It's the time when a script actually becomes a play, a piece of theatre. It's also one of the most chaotic and stressful times there can be for any show. Lights getting rigged, focused and the refocused. The set getting painted and tweaked on every break. A constant demand for excellence, quality and professionalism up against the most stressful of time pressures. The opening night [Ed. Fri 21 Oct].

The "New" Prompt Box, off stage left
It's a marvel to watch a tech, it's like a film set without cameras. The director scrutinising every detail, technicians under pressure to change everything they've been working on because it's no longer right with only five minutes to change it or we'll be behind. And once you get behind it means less time for the actors to perfect their performance on the actual stage. A tech is a constant negotiation between time and quality. With a small army of theatre professionals all working to get a show ready for a demanding public. It's fantastic!

Front door of the house from off stage left
The A Day in the Death of Joe Egg tech is just the same as every other one. Hard work! With tireless professionals all working together to get this gorgeous play ready. On Saturday (15/10) after the final rehearsal in the morning the technical and creative teams work on to start the lighting prep for the tech. The tech is the last stage of all the technical work, the technical teams having been working in the theatre ever since the last show closed over a week ago. There is a lot of prep that must happen before the actors and rehearsal team get onstage. The set is constructed in sections onstage after moving from the workshop. Lights are rigged per the lighting designers exact specifications and the show's needs. Once lights are up, work on the stage can get properly under way. After the basic set is ready then the painters and set dressers can get under way. The painters having to work overnight to get the set ready for the next day, and because it's the only time it's clear to let the paint dry! Meanwhile the costumes and props are being prepped and checked to see if it's what the designer needs. Each of these pieces having to be in place for the tech. When the director (Phillip Breen), designer (Max Jones) and lighting designer (Tina MacHugh) get to play with them and bring them all together. And that's when the stress sets in.

Stage right
Top of the stairs on the set
Having to get this all right, quickly, is a difficult skill. A tech is simply working through the play scene-by-scene making sure that all the lighting, sound and all the technical moments are right. And it can be an incredibly frustrating time. Spending hours on one scene because it's just not working right whilst flying through others because everything just fits into place. Every time something happens onstage it's been thought about, scrutinised, argued over to get it ready. That's what can be very exciting about theatre, it's real and right in-front if you. Every time something happens a person has either pulled a lever or pressed a button.

Pre-Tech prep onstage
There are a massive amount of people having to work together to get this show ready, this blog post does focus on the creative team. When you come to see A Day in the Death of Joe Egg have a look at the names away from the actors and the creatives. There are an awful lot of them and they are fantastic! I've only been at the Citz for a short time and this is my first show here but I have been constantly impressed by the skill and joy with which the team here do their jobs and make the Citz a home.

Stage left
We've just finished the tech now and we're hurtling towards the dress! Can't wait!

If you're wondering what the cats are in the title mean, come and see the show

Assistant Director

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Origins of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

We delved into the Citizens archive and the treasure trove that is the Scottish Theatre Archive to find out more about A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which was considered by many to be ground-breaking at the time. Original cast member Joe Melia described the production:

"like playing West End Comedy and Ibsen at the same time"

The Times in 1967 said:

"This is one of the rare occasions on which audiences can feel the earth moving under their feet...treating an intensely painful taboo subject with absolute truthfulness and yet without alienating the public...Peter Nichols and a dazzling cast have significantly shifted our boundaries of taste."

You can flick through our compendium of 'Joe Egg' facts on Issuu, which features letters between Nichols and Blakemore, 1967 press cuttings, company info and behind-the-scenes insights on the Joe Egg 'controversy'.

We open this week and are delighted to have Peter Nichols and the original director Michael Blakemore with us for the grand opening on Friday night. They will take part in a fascinating (free) post show discussion. You can still get tickets here.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Singing for our Supper

We're deep into the last week of rehearsals for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and it's all coming together now, with all the little details and touches slotting into place. We've had a fantastic time on this hilarious play, having such good times in rehearsals that it'll be sad when we finally open. Though we're getting to that stage when the excitement and nerves really set in, having only 4 full days of rehearsals left before the tech begins. Nerve wrecking to think that!

Wednesday was an unusual day, as after a long hunt with several departments of the Citz scouring Glasgow. Today a small crack team of Citz Sound Commandos (working title for an upcoming mini-series, CSC) headed to a local school to record some gorgeous angelic singing. This was for a particular key and lovely moment in the play that needed the singing talents of a young choir to get it right. And luckily the Hyndland Secondary 3rd Year Chamber Choir were kind enough to volunteer their time and talent to our cause.

So I went along with Laura and Paul on a grey and windy day from the Citz to Hyndland Secondary and were guided through the labyrinthine corridors until we arrived at one of the drama rooms and awaited the choir. A really talented group of singers who sung fantastic versions of Once in Royal David's City and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. So good were they that we got them in two takes each. The first takes only stopping for a mysterious hammering sound coming from the heart of the school.

With a few great recordings under our belt we quick footed it back to the Citz for more rehearsals and a cuppa tea. You can hear the efforts of the Hyndland Secondary 3rd Year Chamber Choir deep in the second act, worth coming along just for that! That and the fantastic acting!

Hope you enjoy the show.

Assistant Director

[Ed. I'm liking the sound of "Citz Sound Commandos" I think we should approach Channel 4!]

In case you hadn't spotted it, we have a brand new trailer: "Conversations with the Cast of 'Joe Egg'". We preview from 19 October and opening fully from Fri 21 October. Book tickets at