On Sunday 20 September, the Citizens Theatre
Company celebrated 70 years in its Gorbals home in Glasgow with an invited
audience of actors, current and former staff and friends of the company.
Former and current stars of the Citizens Theatre stage including Celia Imrie, Rupert Everett, Miles Jupp, Maureen Beattie, Ron Donachie, Ann Mitchell and Fidelis Morgan took the stage to perform extracts of some of the plays which have made the Citizens Theatre famous and share their memories of the theatre.
Giles Havergal, one of the three artistic leaders of the Citizens Theatre alongside Robert David Macdonald and Philip Prowse under whose leadership the Citizens Theatre flourished, performed extracts from his adaptation of Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene. Havergal described the production from 1989 as ‘truly among the happiest days of my life.’
|Former Artistic Director Giles Havergal|
Some of the Citizens’ most notorious productions have been performances of Hamlet, and the audience were treated to performances by Brian Ferguson (Hamlet, 2014), Peter Guinness (Claudius, 2014), Andy Clark (Hamlet, 2007), Cal MacAninch (Hamlet, 1996), video contributions from Henry Ian Cusick (Hamlet, 1993) and David Hayman (Hamlet, 1975 & 1970), and a live appearance by John Cairney, the Citizens’ first Hamlet in 1960, and as a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the first Scottish-trained actor to perform the role.
|A trio of Hamlets: Cal MacAninch, John Cairney, Andy Clark|
The Citizens’ current Artistic Director Dominic Hill thanked the audience for attending, and appealed for support for the theatre’s planned redevelopment, scheduled to begin work in 2017.
|Artistic Director Dominic Hill|
The audience also heard an exclusive first performance of ‘Us Two’, one of the brand new songs by Deacon Blue front man Ricky Ross written for new Scottish musical The Choir, book by Paul Higgins, opening at the Citizens Theatre on Thu 29 October 2015.
The evening closed with an appearance by Ida Schuster, 96, performing an incredibly spirited extract of Jean Genet’s The Balcony, performed under a screen projection of production images from her appearance in the play in 1982.
|Sarah Tansey and Miles Jupp|
Founded in 1943 by James Bridie, the Citizens Theatre Company moved into the 1878-built theatre at 119 Gorbals Street formerly known as The Royal Princesses’ Theatre. Since then, the Citizens has gained a reputation around the world for bold, innovative, provocative and challenging interpretations of classic texts, as well as productions that celebrate the Citizens’ role in Glasgow’s cultural life.
|Citizens Theatre 70th anniversary celebrations Sunday 20 September 2015. Images by Tommy Ga Ken Wan|
To see a full set of images from our celebrations, visit our Flickr page.
Do you have memories of the Citizens Theatre 70 year history? Share them with us!