Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Humbug or Humdinger?

The critics have seen A Christmas Carol directed by Dominic Hill and the verdict is in, but what did they think?
Cliff Burnett as Scrooge. Credit Tim Morozzo

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Want to Perform With the Royal Shakespeare Company?

We've begun our search to find the best of Glasgow’s untapped theatrical talent to take part in a landmark production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2016 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Citizens Theatre to mark 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death.

In Spring 2016 the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will tour the UK with a new production of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In each theatre, the professional cast will be joined by non-professional actors from the local area playing theatre’s most famous amateur company the Mechanicals, led by one of Shakespeare’s best-loved roles, Bottom. Amateur actors in Glasgow are invited to audition to join the cast for the production’s performances in the city, taking to the iconic Citizens stage as well as travelling to Stratford-Upon-Avon to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Friday, 28 November 2014

A fine Christmas tradition

Poster for the 2002 Christmas
production of Scrooge
His Majesty's Theatre and Royal Opera House (now called the Citizens Theatre) opened its doors to the public on Sat 28 Dec 1878 with a pantomime - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The Glasgow Herald reviewer who came to see the opening night commented that the theatre owner, Mr McFadyen was "at a great disadvantage" trying to finish building a theatre AND rehearse a technically difficult pantomime, but that "this being the season of pantomime" he really had "no choice in the matter", showing just how important it was, and still is, for theatres to have a strong pantomime or Christmas show.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Dickens' A Christmas Carol - "A Ghost Story of Christmas"

The Citizens Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol opens Sat 29 Nov, capturing the inventive, heart-warming and spine-tingling spirit of Dickens' original novella. Assistant Director Stephen Darcy explores the history and impact of this most enduring of Victorian tales.

Title page of the 1843 first edition.
From the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham

Have you ever heard of 'A Christmas Carol'? A book about a mean old man visited by ghosts? Why is such a story both so well known and so popular?

Friday, 21 November 2014

A Christmas Carol on Film

As we are getting ready to welcome our very own production of A Christmas Carol on to the Citizens' stage, it seems like the perfect time to explore the many screen adaptations that Dickens’ classic Christmas tale has inspired over the years.

The tale of a wicked old miser who embarks on a journey of redemption after being visited by supernatural guests has enthralled audiences for generations. As such it is a story that has proved irresistible to film-makers as they attempt to capture the original spirit of Dickens tale.

Many have felt the urge to embellish upon the original story with some very mixed results. Many illustrious actors have tackled the role of Ebenezer Scrooge over the years including Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney, Jim Carey, Michael Caine, Alastair Sim and even Marcel Marceau (also with varying degrees of credibility!).

So join us as we take a gallop through some of the more memorable screen versions of A Christmas Carol.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

#LoveTheatre? Follow us on Wed 19 Nov

On Wed 19 Nov theatres, arts companies and cultural institutions from across the UK and beyond will come together to celebrate the very first CultureThemes / Guardian Culture Professionals Network  / Twitter UK  #LoveTheatre day on Twitter. It is an opportunity for every theatre fan to share what they love about their local theatre.

The Citizens Theatre will be tweeting during the day on our history, the preparations happening for A Christmas Carol, as well as lots of the other work we do. Here's a run down of our plans for the day:

10 - 12pmOn the stage: 70 years of The Citizens Theatre
12 - 3pmOff the stage: What we do in the community
3 - 6pmBehind the stage: preparations for A Christmas Carol
7 - 9.30pmShowtime: Tweet along to live-stream of Untitled Projects’ Slope

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Stewart Laing on Filming and Theatre Making

Untitled Projects' re-conceived production of Slope opens in the Circle Studio 12 Nov. As part of the theatrical experience the performances will be streamed live by new media platform Kiltr. As Artistic Director Stewart Laing explains, this is not the first or last time Untitled Projects have used film and technology as an intergral part of their theatre making.

Slope, in the Circle Studio 12 - 22 Nov
more info - book online

Untitled Projects is a company that specialises in making theatre – but there has only been one project in 16 years that hasn’t involved a substantial element of video – and that project was the original production of Slope in 2006. There was no reason to use video – so we didn’t.

As a loose collective of practitioners we are all interested in film as a medium. Our social conversations often orbit around movies we have seen – and certainly in development sessions on specific projects film is central to our discussion – as inspiration for images, narrative, acting, character and structure – perhaps more so than theatre or other live performance.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Spring 2015 Season Now On Sale

We're turning 70 this year - I know, right? We're wearing it well. To mark the occasion, we've got a spring season that celebrates some legends of Scottish theatre, as well as new writing and shows by some of the most exciting theatre companies working the UK today. 

All shows are now on sale, so have a browse through our Spring 2015 season and get planning the birthday celebrations. We've got a fantastic season pass on offer too when you purchase tickets for all three Citizens Theatre shows: The Slab Boys, Fever Dream: Southside and Into That Darkness and save £3 off each ticket. Add Filter's Macbeth and Absence of War and save a total of £15! That's a lot of interval ice creams....

Monday, 27 October 2014

Arts & Business Award win for On Common Ground

Our Festival 2014 event, On Common Ground received The Glasgow Life Award at the Arts & Business Scotland Awards on Friday 24 October. 

Participant Mari, co-Directors Elly and Neil and Citizens Chair Adrienne collecting the award

On Common Ground  was selected from all the events which have taken place as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme as being the event which best realised the ambitions of the programme due to the scale of the project, the quality and depth of its reach and engagement with its local community, and its close partnership with another Commonwealth culture

On Common Ground. Credit Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kill Johnny Glendenning - A Big Bowl of Ice cream

Journalist David Pollock talked to writer DC Jackson about his violent, comical new play Kill Johnny Glendenning, a co-production between Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Citizens Theatre.

Kill Johnny Glendenning, on at the Citizens Theatre,
Wed 22 Oct - Sat 8 Nov

“A big bowl of ice cream,” is how playwright DC Jackson describes Kill Johnny Glendenning, his first original commission for the Royal Lyceum following his successful adaptation of Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro in 2012. “Commissioning theatres generally want to know the nutritional content rather than the roughage aspects of the plays they produce,” he tries to elaborate with a laugh. “This is a bowl of Coco Pops and they like to see muesli. It deals with the sort of themes I wouldn’t expect a big illustrious theatre like the Lyceum to normally be involved with.”
Josh Whitelaw and David Ireland. Photo by Robbie Jack

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Here's Johnny!

Johnny "the bastard" Glendenning is setting his sights on the Citizens stage, having left Edinburgh audiences rolling in the aisles. With laughter, not through any stray bullets, mind.

David Ireland as Johnny Glendenning. Credit Robbie Jack 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hamlet Reviews

Shakespeare at the Citizens Theatre is always an occasion, and Dominic Hill's new production of Hamlet, on until 11 October, is set to go down as a classic. 

We've loved reading how much audiences and critics have enjoyed the show.

"...a version that simmers with an edgy intensity that brings all of Hamlet's demons home to roost." 

The Herald 

This is a powerful rendition of a script often dulled by familiarity, allowing Hill to stand alongside his artistic ancestors as a bold, imaginative and careful director" 
The Stage 

"Dominic Hill’s exhilarating production"
The Guardian 

“as nail-biting and oppressive as the darkest noir thriller”
The Times 

"thrilling and fascinating…[Brian] Ferguson’s brave and ground-breaking central performance” 
The Scotsman 

"by any measure a world-class production"
Sunday Herald

Monday, 15 September 2014

Feeling the excitement - Final week of Hamlet rehearsals

Gareth Nicholls, Main Stage Director in Residence and Assistant Director of Hamlet, shares his excitement with us in the final week of rehearsals for this “brooding, sleazy” play.

More info  -  Book tickets

It’s a week before we preview our production of Hamlet and there’s a fight taking place. Brain Ferguson (Hamlet) and Adam Best (Laertes) are tearing into each other with swords, fists and whatever else they can get their hands on. Luckily it’s just a rehearsal, with our fight director keeping a close eye on the safety of both actors. Even so, when they’re going at full speed, its pretty terrifying and will make a thrilling finale to this production.
Watch the trailer

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hamlet: ‘A Play Full of Quotes’

Not seen Hamlet? Maybe you know the play better than you think. Our new trainee director from Birkbeck College, Stephen Darcy, gives a brief overview to some of the themes in one of Shakespeare's most quotable plays.

Brian Ferguson in Hamlet rehearsals. Image by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Some years ago at the theatre, I overheard a disgruntled audience member discussing an unsatisfying student production of Hamlet.  When asked what she thought of the play she said:

“It’s alright.  It’s just a play full of quotes”

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Historical Hamlets at the Citz

Shakespeare at the Citz is always a special event, and Hamlet, The Bard's greatest work, has provided some of the most memorable productions over the last 40 years. 

As we prepare for Artistic Director Dominic Hill's new production starring Brian Ferguson as the Dane opening on 19 September, we're taking a look at some of the productions that have made Citizens history. 
Brian Ferguson and Dominic Hill in rehearsals for Hamlet. Credit Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

“Big Brother is Watching You”

Interview with Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan (co-creators and directors of Headlong's 1984)


 by Giles Woodforde

Find out more

Now that Edward Snowden has made his allegations about the murky world of widespread electronic surveillance carried out by government agencies, never have these words seemed more scary. Yet the phrase goes way back: it was coined by George Orwell in his novel 1984, first published in 1949.

Monday, 28 July 2014

On Common Ground Reviews

The first performances of our Festival 2014 event On Common Ground took place on Friday and Saturday this week, and the reviews have appeared in the press this morning.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Arriving On Common Ground

After months of preparation, planning, emails and Skype calls,  Debajehmujig Storytellers finally arrived in Glasgow last week to begin the rehearsals for our Festival 2014 event, On Common Ground, a free, outdoor spectacle celebrating life in the Gorbals and First Nation traditions and customs.
Debajehmujig Storyteller Bruce Naokwegijig making an offering to the Clyde

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Seat Sale Saturday

Bag a piece of history with your very own Citizens seat by coming along to our seat sale. 

Last summer, dozens of bargain-hunters took the chance to own their very own piece of Citizens history when we replaced the seats in the stalls and offered the old seats for sale.
Happy man holding a Citizens Theatre seat
A happy customer with his bargain souvenir. Check our more pics from the 2013 sale on Flickr

Friday, 30 May 2014

Sports Day memories

We asked some of the people involved in Sports Day to share some of their sporting opinions with us. School sports teachers seem to have a lot to answer for - both good and bad!

 Find out more information about Sports Day on our website, and book tickets online.

Extracts from Sports Day

Sports Day is a collection of stories jointly penned by some of Scotland's finest writers. Here are two extracts from the play.

Find out more information on our website, or book tickets online.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Crime and Punishment most nominated show at 2014 Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland

We are so pleased to be hosting the 2014 Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS), which are taking place in the Citizens Theatre’s beautiful Main House on 8 June.

We are even more delighted that last year’s production of Crime and Punishment, produced in partnership with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, has received 6 nominations. This makes Crime and Punishment the most nominated production in this year’s Awards!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Don't Put Your Mother on the Stage Mrs Worthington...

Loretta Scott is one of the 'supernumeries' in The Libertine, commonly called an 'extra'. Loretta had never acted on a professional stage before the opening night on Saturday 3 May, and as she says in her blog here, it is not something she will forget in a hurry!

See Loretta and the rest of the cast in The Libertine until Sat 24 May. Find out more about the play and book online.

Sunday 4th May

When my daughter Mary-Claire gave me classes at the Citizens Theatre Nightschool for my 60th birthday, neither of us could have anticipated this moment – my first night in front of an audience, performing in The Libertine. To have this fantastic opportunity to be involved in a Citizens performance with professional actors, and to build on the acting skills developed at Nightschool by working with Dominic Hill (Director) and Danielle McIlven (Assistant Director), well, it’s a bit of a dream come true...!

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Writer's Diary of His Journey with The Libertine

From a curious introduction to the Earl of Rochester, Stephen Jeffreys has lived with this larger-than-life character for nearly 40 years. The Libertine first swaggered on to stage in 1994 and since then he has been to the New World, been played by Johnny Depp, and has finally arrived at the Citizens Theatre in a re-write that Jeffreys is calling 'The definitive version'.

Read Stephen's 'intermittent' diary below, and see the Earl on stage here.

A visit to my dentist Gerald Lightman provides me with a surprise present. Gerald, a cultivated chap with interests in music and literature, is clearing his bookshelves of any matter unsuitable for his inquisitive thirteen year old daughter. One item up for relocation is a green Olympia press edition of Sodom, a play by John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester. Working through his list of patients, Gerald concludes that I would be the most appropriate recipient for the book and hands it over. On reading Sodom, I realise that, despite an early exposure to the work of the Pip Simmons Theatre Company and Michael McClure, this is quite the filthiest play I have ever read, featuring extensive bouts of buggery, fornication and other practices (including, at one point, some pornographic topiary). The volume features a skeletal biography of Rochester which gives an account of the Earl’s short, restless life, his poetry and his battles with Charles II. I add Wilmot to my mental inventory of approved people and resume my life as a supply teacher in Hackney.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Citizens Theatre Services & Hires



We have three rehearsal rooms available for hire:
Main rehearsal room 15m x 12m
Circle rehearsal room 10m x 9m
Stalls rehearsal room 9m x 7m.
Please contact Lesley Davidson, Head of Operations for availability and prices, email or phone 0141 418 6231.


See Technical homepage for information on the Main Stage and Circle Studio. Please note that due to limited equipment, we do not actively promote the hire of the Stalls Studio. Contact Lesley (as above) for more information.


Items are available for hire from both a furniture and a props store, with pieces collected from over 50 years worth of Citizens Theatre productions. Please contact Natalia Cortes, Company Stage Manager for availability and prices, email.


A large selection of costumes are available for hire, along with fitting rooms and wardrobe workshop facilities. (Conditions apply to workshop hire). Please contact Elaine Coyle, Head of Wardrobe for more details, email or phone 0141 418 6254.


We can build and paint your set, alternatively you can just hire the space and ‘Do it yourself’. We have both carpentry and metalwork equipment, and two moving paint frames: 10m x 6m and 6m x 6m. (Conditions apply to Workshop/metalwork hire). Please contact Graham Sutherland, Head of Production for more details, email or phone 0141 418 6247.


A large selection of lighting, sound and AV equipment is available for hire, see below. Please contact Stuart Jenkins, Head of Lighting & Sound for an inventory, to check availability and for prices, email or phone 0141 418 6257.


Our beautiful Victorian theatre and iconic foyer are the perfect locations to host a memorable event. Our auditorium can seat up to 500, while events in the foyer can hold up to 200 or you can host 60 in the Dress Circle Bar. Please contact Lesley Davidson, Head of Operations for availability and prices, email or phone 0141 418 6231.

Citizens Theatre Technical Information & Services


We offer theatrical venues, rehearsal rooms services and hires; including performance spaces, equipment, props and costumes.


Main Auditorium from the stage. 
We have a 130 year old Victorian proscenium arch theatre with 454 seats on two main levels. The stage is raked to 1:17. The main stage dimensions are 11m deep x 16m wide. The proscenium is 6.1m high x 7.75m wide and the stage has 39 counterweight flying bars (200kg max).

For space and venue hire or event planning contact Lesley Davidsons, General Manager: email or phone 0141 418 6231.
For technical information, please contact Graham Sutherland, Head of Production: email or phone 0141 418 6247.
Technical specifications, a technical questionnaire and risk assessment form are available below.
A0 Main Stage plan and section scale 1:25 (PDF) 02-05-14.pdf
Citizens Theatre Main Stage Section
Main Stage plan and section (Autocad ZIP) 02-05-14.zip
Main Stage plan and section (Vectorworks ZIP) 02-05-14.zip
Main Stage Technical Questionnaire.doc
Risk Assessment Template.doc
Current Main House Stock List 2016.docx


We have a 60 seat ‘In the round’ black box studio. The venue has fixed three level block seating on four sides, with a mixture of beams and scaff bars overhead to service lighting positions.
You can download the Main Stage technical specification a technical questionnaire, risk assessment form and drawings (of the “ground plan”, “section 1” and “section 2”) below.

Contact Graham Sutherland, Head of Production for more details,
email or phone 0141 418 6247.


The document below contains a comprehensive spec sheet of all the lanterns available at the Citizens Theatre.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler - Who Is Ivor Cutler?

Who is Ivor Cutler?

By Fiona Shepherd
From National Theatre Of Scotland

"It is up to you whether you read this...my advice is just to ignore it" 
– Ivor Cutler

Some know him as the lugubrious bus conductor Buster Bloodvessel in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour; others as the self-styled “stupid genius” who recorded more John Peel sessions than any other act, bar The Fall. It is reckoned that he was the only artist to have featured on Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4 – a renaissance man, but with cult appeal.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Volunteers Wanted for On Common Ground

On Common Ground is one of our biggest projects ever – and we'd like YOU to be part of it!

Global Savage at Citizens Theatre. Image by Ron Berti
On Saturday 22 March from 11am - 12.30pm and Monday 24 March from 6.30 - 8pm, you can come along to one of our FREE information sessions to find out more about how you can get involved in our Festival 2014 event On Common Ground

Friday, 28 February 2014

Benjamin Zephaniah - Refugee Boy

Benjamin Zephaniah wrote Refugee Boy in 2001, but that wasn’t the end by any means. It is now a key text in schools all over the country, and has achieved world-renowned acclaim. The novel was adapted for the stage by poet Lemn Sissay, whose own life-story gave a powerful insight into the play.

Here, Benjamin talks about the novel and why the play adaptation is equally important.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

They're Back - Glasgow Girls Return Home

Glasgow Girls 2012
Photo: Robert Day
An inspirational true story with a huge beating heart! 

It wowed audiences at its world premiere here at the Citizens in Autumn 2012, then won the hearts of London audiences in Spring 2013, picking up a nomination for Best Musical Production’ in the Theatrical Management Association, 2013 UK Theatre Awards. Now Glasgow Girls is back as an official Culture 2014 event, part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Here's Cora Bissett, who conceived the production for the stage and directed the show, on how the show came about, and what the real-life Glasgow Girls are up to now:

Monday, 10 February 2014

Miss Julie - The critics' verdict? Catch it while you can!

Keith Fleming as John and Louise Brealey as Julie
Photo by Tim Morozzo
“a tightly wrought drama of transgression, bitter antagonism and cataclysmic seduction” ★★★★ (The Telegraph)

There has been a deluge of glowing reviews for Miss Julie, inspiring critics and audience alike to pretty strong hyperbole! Here are some of the highlights from the papers:

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Miss Julie Blog - On to the stage we go!

Nearly time to raise the curtain on Miss Julie at the Citz. Actor/Intern Jess Hardwick shows us the final sneak peak from the rehearsal room before Technical and Dress Rehearsals start.

Well, we had a very busy week of rehearsals last week - We finished reworking the show, and yesterday was the last day in the rehearsal space before moving to the Main Stage for Technical Rehearsals today.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Miss Julie Blog - Walking in your character's shoes

In her second blog, Jessica Hardwick talks about adding colour and detail to Miss Julie - both through acting and costume. 

So we've just finished week 2 of rehearsals and have stumbled our way through the whole play creating an overall shape. We then re-worked the first half, adding more colour and detail and finished the week with a run of the first half.

It really helped being more familiar with my lines this week. I struggle a lot when carrying around a script as it really gets in the way of playing and it's a huge relief being able to put the book down and free up your hands. In the early stages of rehearsal it's a horrible feeling when you can't quite remember your line, or you blank in the middle of a scene because the lines haven't quite sunk in yet. I like to call this a brain fart! Hopefully by next week the text will be second nature and there will be less chance of spontaneous brain farting!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Miss Julie - The Odd Dance of Strindberg and Harris

Writer Zinnie Harris
Writer Zinnie Harris talks about the strange dance of adapting a classic work like August Strindberg's Miss Julie:

“People of today are most interested in the psychological process. Our inquisitive souls are not satisfied to see something happen: we want to know how it happened. We want to see the strings, the machinery, examine the double-bottomed box, feel for the seam in the magic ring, look at the cards to see how they are marked."
- August Strindberg 1888

In his Preface to Miss Julie, Strindberg announces a new kind of theatre, a theatre that moves away from the traditional well-made play with its archetypal characters to a theatre where the actions of characters are understood in terms of the influences and experiences that have altered them. In his words: ‘My souls (characters) are conglomerates of past and present cultural phases, bits from books and newspapers, scraps of humanity, pieces torn from fine clothes and become rags, patched together as is the human soul.’ It seems obvious to us now, but at the time this was a radical thought and set the stage not just for the new naturalism but all the great theatre experiments of the 20th century, absurdism, expressionism and everything that came after it.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Miss Julie Blog - Starting Out

Our actor intern, Jessica Hardwick, lets us into some trade secrets from the Miss Julie rehearsal room. Jess plays Christine in Zinnie Harris' adaptation of Strindberg's play and posed for our print campaign for the show. 
Photo by Eoin Carey

"The first day of rehearsals is always an exciting time. Our morning began with a quick meet-and greet, welcoming the new cast and being introduced to the Citizens family (I was delighted that chocolate biscuits and tea were on the go to get stuck into as well). It was also great meeting my other two cast members - Keith Fleming who plays 'John' and Louise Brealey who plays 'Julie'.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Curtain's Up on Spring 2014!

With 2014 set to be a landmark year for Glasgow and Scotland, our Spring 2014 season is full of bold and exciting entertainment headlined by a new production directed by Dominic Hill of Stephen Jeffreys' The Libertine. Read on for more info about our new season