CITIZENS CELEBRATES 70 YEARS OF THEATRE IN THE GORBALS

28 October 2014
For immediate release

In 2015, the Citizens Theatre celebrates 70 years in its historic Gorbals home in Glasgow. Today, the theatre announces details of its Spring 2015 season which celebrates the work of some legendary figures in Scottish theatre, while providing a platform for new writing and some of the most exciting touring companies working in the UK today. 

• A new production of classic twentieth-century Scottish favourite The Slab Boys, written and designed by John Byrne and directed by and featuring David Hayman in the cast
• A major new play by Douglas Maxwell, Fever Dream: Southside, a hallucinatory comic thriller set in Glasgow’s Southside,
Into That Darkness, an adaptation by former Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Robert David MacDonald of Gitta Sereny’s interviews with SS-Obersturmführer Franz Stangl,
• Return visit by theatre company Headlong with The Absence of War, David Hare’s state of the nation play focusing on the Labour party,
• A radical re-imagining of Macbeth by Filter,
• Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 hit Lippy by young Irish theatre company Dead Centre,
The Garden, an opera by Zinnie and John Harris and David Leddy’s Long Live the Little Knife in the theatre’s Circle Studio.
• Top names on the UK comedy circuit including John Shuttleworth, Henning Wehn, Simon Amstell, Jon Ronson, Susan Calman and Des Clarke as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival

Announcing the new season Artistic Director Dominic Hill said
“This season honours the Citizens’ long-standing tradition of bold and daring work that speaks to Glasgow audiences. As well as welcoming back old friends and showcasing some exciting new talent, I’m particularly looking forward to directing Douglas Maxwell’s new work, set in the Southside of Glasgow and exploring universal themes of parenthood, community and belonging.

That the Citizens Theatre is considered as much a vital asset to Scotland’s cultural life today as we have been throughout our 70 year history in the Gorbals, is testament to the talent and commitment of the many actors, writers, theatre practitioners and participants who have worked with the company over seven decades. But most of all, it’s down to our audiences who over and over again come to enjoy the exciting, accessible and relevant work that we strive to produce.”

I feel very privileged to be working at the Citizens in a landmark year in the theatre’s history and I’m looking forward to celebrating 70 years in our home and the beginning of a whole year of world-class theatre in Glasgow.”

John Byrne and David Hayman, the original creators of The Slab Boys reunite to present a new production for the Citizens which will tour to King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Glasgow-based writer Douglas Maxwell’s new play brings the streets of the city’s Southside on to the stage in Fever Dream: Southside. Into That Darkness revives a stage adaptation by former Citizens Artistic Director Robert David MacDonald of a harrowing but vital work by Gitta Sereny.

Productions by Headlong, Filter Theatre, David Leddy, Irish theatre company Dead Centre programmed as part of The Arches’ Behaviour Festival, John and Zinnie Harris, as well as two weeks of Glasgow International Comedy Festival gigs complete the season. 

Founded in 1943 by James Bridie, the Citizens moved to its current home on Gorbals Street in September 1945. 2016 will see the beginning of a major re-development of the building, the most comprehensive since it was constructed. Plans cover a range of improvements to the public facilities including renovation of the Victorian auditorium and new bar and cafe facilities as well as new rehearsal, learning and studio spaces that are accessible to all. This project will transform the experiences of audiences, performers and staff and secure the future of one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings.

FILTER’S MACBETH (20 – 31 January)
Filter, one of the most dynamic young theatre companies touring the UK, return to the Citizens Theatre with another entirely fresh approach to Shakespeare following their irreverent and contemporary recreation of Twelfth Night in 2014.

Playful, kaleidoscopic and horrific, Filter’s radical version of Macbeth fuses Shakespeare’s corrosive, psychological thriller of ambition, power, witchcraft and sanity with innovative sound and music to take a strange, funny and scintillating journey to the epicentre of The Scottish Play.

Founded in 2001, Filter are actors Oliver Dimsdale, Ferdy Roberts and musician Tim Phillips who work with a trademark fusion of performance with integrated live music and sound.

THE SLAB BOYS (12 February – 7 March)
Written by playwright and artist John Byrne in 1978 as the first installment of a trilogy, The Slab Boys is a semi-autobiographical play set in the claustrophobic slab room of a Paisley carpet factory in 1957.

Focusing on a day in the life of a bantering pair of adolescent factory workers, Byrne’s realistic depiction of working-class youth culture in post-war industrial Scotland is regarded as a landmark play in Scottish theatre, and was named by the National Library of Scotland as one of the 12 key plays of the last 40 years.

As with the original, this new production designed by Byrne will be directed by actor and director David Hayman. Hayman has a long association with the Citizens Theatre, appearing as a regular member of the company during the 1970s and recently returned to the Citizens’ stage as King Lear in 2012. Hayman will also join the cast as Mr Currie, the gaffer of the slab room.

THE ABSENCE OF WAR (31 March – 4 April)
In the weeks leading up to the UK general election, Headlong return to the Citizens Theatre with a new production of David Hare’s political commentary The Absence of War.

Hare, whose screenplays for The Hours and The Reader have earned him two Academy Award nominations, created The Absence of War in 1993 having been granted access to the inner councils of the Labour Party in the run-up to the 1992 general election. As the UK prepares to elect a Westminster government at a time of huge political uncertainty,

Headlong’s new production of Hare’s witty and stinging drama examines Labour’s recent history and the politics of style over substance.

Headlong are regular visitors to the Citizens Theatre, bringing productions of 1984, The Seagull and co-producing Medea in recent years.

LIPPY (8 – 11 April)
A hit at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Lippy by young Irish theatre company Dead Centre, is a compelling, powerful and haunting piece of interpretative theatre based on real events.

In 2001 in County Kildare, the bodies of four female relatives were discovered at their home, having apparently died in a starvation pact. Lippy asks why we tell stories in the face of tragedy, while leaving explanations as ambiguous and mysterious as the women’s deaths.

Lippy premiered at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013 where it was awarded the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Production and was widely acknowledged as the most extraordinary piece of theatre to emerge from Ireland in 2013. The play was first presented in the UK in 2014 as part of the Traverse Theatre’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme, winning Fringe First, Herald Angel and Total Theatre awards

FEVER DREAM: SOUTHSIDE (23 April – 9 May)
Set in Glasgow’s Southside, the play follows a hallucinatory journey to unravel the tangled lives of a disparate group of recognisable Glaswegian characters. As fantasy and reality become blurred, the community is forced to confront its monsters.

Imagining a colourful, larger-than-life version of the Citizens’ own neighbourhood, Fever Dream: Southside gives an account of the trials of bringing up children today and the tensions, conflicts and community spirit that come from living in a city. Directed by Dominic Hill, Fever Dream: Southside is a surreal comic thriller and major new production by Glasgow-based writer Douglas Maxwell, best known for the award-winning Decky Does A Bronco.

INTO THAT DARKNESS (18 – 29 May)
SS-Obersturmführer Franz Stangl was convicted in 1970 of the deaths of nearly 1 million people in Nazi extermination camps. Historian, biographer and journalist Gitta Sereny interviewed Stangl in prison to understand how an individual rationalises their actions in the face of a crime of such magnitude.

Into That Darkness is a shocking and at times uncomfortable look into the very heart of evil and asks the essential question, how, 70 years after the end of the Second World War, we can prevent atrocities of this scale from happening again.

Sereny’s account was adapted for the stage by Robert David MacDonald, one of the three artistic leaders of the Citizens Theatre from 1971 – 2003 during the period when the Citizens first became famous around the world for innovative productions of classic texts and challenging new works.

Gareth Nicholls, Main Stage Director in Residence, directs his first work on the main stage as part of his two-year residency with Citizens Theatre and Untitled Projects.

THE GARDEN (22 – 24 January)

Husband and wife collaborators composer John Harris and writer Zinnie Harris bring their opera The Garden, based on Zinnie’s Fringe First Award-winning short play of the same name, to the Citizens Theatre Circle Studio in January.

Originally commissioned by the sound festival of new music in Aberdeen, and performed at the Tête à Tête opera festival and NeuKöllner Oper, Berlin, The Garden is a gentle tale of love and hope set in a high rise flat in the last days of the world. A dysfunctional couple discover a strange plant growing through the floor of their kitchen. The more they pull up its roots the more it grows back, its soft insistence reminding them of emotions long-forgotten.

John Harris is Chief Executive and Artistic Co-Director of Red Note Ensemble which specialises in finding new spaces and new ways of performing contemporary music to new audiences. Zinnie Harris’ writing credits include the acclaimed The Wheel, Further than the Furthest Thing, Midwinter, Fall, an adaptation of Miss Julie, which was directed by Dominic Hill at the Citizens in 2014, and the BBC’s Spooks. Amongst other projects, John and Zinnie have previously collaborated on Death of a Scientist, presented as part of Scottish Opera’s Five:15 project.

LONG LIVE THE LITTLE KNIFE (24 – 28 February)
Long Live The Little Knife is a dynamic, absurd and uplifting theatre piece about forgery, castration and blind drunkenness by multi award-winning writer, director and performer David Leddy.

The play follows the fortunes of small-time con artists Liz and Jim and their attempts to raise £250,000 by becoming the world’s greatest counterfeiters in the face of their lack of painting skills. Developed with support from Royal Shakespeare Company and British Museum and having won critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, the play has played at Brighton and Norfolk and Norwich Festivals and now comes to the Citizens Theatre’s Circle Studio as part of a UK tour.

-ENDS-

For more information, interviews and images, or to request tickets, please contact Keren Nicol, Marketing & Communications Manager .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 0141 418 6233.

NOTES TO EDITORS
70 years of the Citizens Theatre on Gorbals Street
Founded in 1943 by James Bridie, the Citizens moved to its current home on Gorbals Street in 1945. The Citizens Theatre officially opened on September 11th 1945 with the company’s own production of JB Priestley’s Johnson Over Jordan.

Opened as His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878, the theatre operated as The Royal Princesses until it was renamed the Citizens Theatre in 1945. The Close Theatre Club, established in 1965 to circumvent the censor paved the way for the programming style of the three artistic leaders known as the triumvirate: Robert David MacDonald, Philip Prowse and Giles Havergal. Under their leadership from 1969 until 2003, the Citizens Theatre became famous around the world for bold, provocative and at times controversial stagings of classic European texts.

Accessible ticket pricing and free programmes were a core part of the founding vision for the Citizens Theatre, a tradition that is maintained today through competitive pricing, a comprehensive range of concession tickets and the theatre’s popular 50p ticket sales, introduced by Dominic Hill in his first season at the Citizens in 2012.

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre
Dominic Hill took up his post as Artistic Director in Autumn 2011, having previously held the posts of Artistic Director at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and Joint Artistic Director of Dundee Rep.  Since his first season, his programmes of classic texts told for contemporary audiences alongside Glasgow stories, as well as his own distinctive productions, have won praise from public and critics alike and have reaffirmed the Citizens’ role as the leading producer of courageous new theatre in Scotland.
Highlights of Hill’s tenure at the Citizens so far include: King Lear starring David Hayman; Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape with a central performance by the late Gerard Murphy; a new stage adaptation of Crime and Punishment which won a record six nominations at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland in 2014, winning four including Best Production and Best Director; and, most recently, a version of Hamlet, widely acknowledged as one of the boldest and most insightful interpretations of the Bard’s work in recent times.

Citizens Theatre re-development project
The Citizens Theatre first announced plans for a major redevelopment in February 2013 with the appointment of architects Bennetts Associates. So far, £11.4m has been pledged towards the project: £1.5m from Creative Scotland and £500,000 from each of
Historic Scotland and the Robertson Trust with awards of £4m from Glasgow City Council and £4.9m from Heritage Lottery Fund. Work is expected to commence in Autumn 2016 and completed late 2018.

LISTINGS

TICKETS: citz.co.uk / 0141 429 0022
(£2 transaction fee applies to online sales)

Filter Theatre and Tobacco Factory Theatres present
FILTER’S MACBETH
Created by Filter
Composer Tom Haines

Main Theatre
Dates: 20 – 31 January, 7.30pm (no performances Sunday 25 or Mon 26 January)

Press night: Tue 20 Jan, 7.30pm
Matinees: Sat 24 & Sat 31 Jan, 2.30pm
Schools performances: Thu 22 Jan, 10.30am & Wed 28 Jan, 1.30pm
Post show talk: Tue 27 Jan
Tickets: £12.50 - £20.50 (concessions available)
Tuesdays £12.50
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The Citizens Theatre presents
THE SLAB BOYS
By John Byrne
Directed by David Hayman
Cast confirmed: David Hayman
Main Theatre
Dates: 12 Feb – 7 Mar, 7.30pm (no performances Sundays or Mondays)

Press night: Sat 14 Feb, 7.30pm
Previews: Thu 12 & Fri 13 Feb, 7.30pm
Matinees: Sat 21 Feb & Sat 7 Mar, 2.30pm
Schools performances: Thu 19 Feb, 1.30pm; Wed 25 Feb, 10.30am; Thu 5 Mar, 1.30pm
Audio Described: Wed 25 Feb, 7.30pm
BSL interpreted and Deaf Theatre Club performance: Fri 27 Feb, 7.30pm
Post show talk: Tue 3 Mar
Captioned: Sat 7 Mar, 2.30pm
Pre-show curtain raiser: Thu 19 Feb, 5.45pm
Pre-show talk & lunch: Sat 7 Mar, 11.45am
Tickets: 50p - £20.50 (concessions available)
Previews £8.50 | Tuesdays £12.50
50p Tickets | 10 tickets, 10 performances on sale at 10am Saturday 7 February.
NB – 50p Tickets must be bought in person at the theatre, cash only.

Events:
- John Byrne in Conversation
Thu 19 Feb, 5.45pm – 6.30pm
Tickets £6 / £4. Tickets to 7.30pm performance sold separately.

- Lunch with The Slab Boys
Sat 7 Mar, 11.45am
Tickets £10 including lunch. Tickets to 2.30pm matinee sold separately.

- The Slab Boys Deaf Theatre Club Night
Fri 27 Feb
Tickets £5
Event for deaf or hard of hearing patrons in partnership with Solar Bear including: BSL interpreted performance; BSL trained staff on arrival for ticket pick up and bar orders; BSL signed introduction to the show feedback session post show.
More info from Denise Differ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To book text Solar Bear on 07900852595

Workshops:
- The Slab Boys: Inside the Rehearsal Room
Tuesday 24 & Wednesday 25 Feb 4.30pm - 6.30pm
Schools’ Event aimed at Higher and Advanced Higher Drama Students.
Cost £6.50 per pupil (teachers go free). Tickets to 7.30pm show purchased separately.

- The Slab Boys: Inside the Play
Thursday 26 Feb 4.30pm - 6.30pm
Schools’ Event aimed at Higher and Advanced Higher English Students.
Cost £6.50 per pupil (teachers go free). Tickets to 7.30pm show purchased separately.
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GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL

Main Theatre
Dates: 16 – 28 March 2015
JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH Mon 16 Mar, 8pm. Tickets £15
HENNING WEHN Tue 17 Mar, 8pm. Tickets £15
SIMON AMSTELL Wed 18 & Thu 19 Mar, 8pm. Tickets £21/£18
JON RONSON Fri 20 Mar, 8pm. Tickets £15/£12
JAMES CAMPBELL COMEDY FOR KIDS Sat 21 Mar, 2pm. Tickets £7.50 Recommended for 6+
SUSAN CALMAN Sat 21 Mar, 5pm & 8pm. Tickets £15/£13
DES CLARK Sat 28 Mar, 8pm. Tickets £15

________________________________________

Headlong, Rose Theatre Kingston and Sheffield Theatres present
THE ABSENCE OF WAR
By David Hare
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Designed by Garance Marneur
Lighting design by Lucy Carter
Sound design by Tom Gibbons
Cast Confirmed: Reece Dinsdale

Main Theatre
Dates: 31 Mar – 4 Apr, 7.30pm

Press night: Tue 31 Mar, 7.30pm
Matinee: Sat 4 Apr, 2.30pm
Post show talk: Tue 31 Mar

Tickets: £12.50 - £20.50 (concessions available)
Tuesdays £12.50

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Dead Centre
LIPPY
Directed by Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel
Designed by Andrew Clancy
Lighting by Stephen Dodd
Sound & Music by Adam Welsh

Main Theatre
Dates: 8 – 11 Apr, 7.30pm

Press night: Wed 8 Apr, 7.30pm

Tickets: £8 - £15 (concessions available)

Part of The Arches’ Behaviour 2015 Festival thearches.co.uk

________________________________________

The Citizens Theatre presents
FEVER DREAM: SOUTHSIDE
By Douglas Maxwell
Directed by Dominic Hill

Main Theatre
Dates: 23 Apr – 9 May, 7.30pm (no performances Sundays and Mondays)

Press night: Sat 25 Apr, 7.30pm
Previews: Thu 23 & Fri 24 Apr, 7.30pm
Matinees: Sat 2 & 9 May, 2.30pm
Captioned: Sat 2 May, 2.30pm
Post show talk: Tue 5 May
Audio Described: Thu 7 May, 7.30pm
BSL interpreted and Deaf Theatre Club performance : Fri 8 May, 7.30pm
Pre-show talk and lunch: Sat 2 May, 2.30pm

Tickets: 50p - £20.50 (concessions available)
Previews £8.50 | Tuesdays £12.50
50p Tickets | 10 tickets, 10 performances on sale at 10am Saturday 18 Apr.
NB – 50p Tickets must be bought in person at the theatre, cash only.

Events:
- Lunch on the Southside
Sat 2 May, 11.45am
Director Dominic Hill in conversation about the process of bringing a piece of new writing to the stage.
Tickets £10 including lunch. Tickets to 2.30pm matinee sold separately.

- Fever Dream: Southside Deaf Theatre Club Night
Fri 8 May
Tickets £5
Event for deaf or hard of hearing patrons in partnership with Solar Bear including: BSL interpreted performance; BSL trained staff on arrival for ticket pick up and bar orders; BSL signed introduction to the show feedback session post show.
More info from Denise Differ.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To book text Solar Bear on 07900852595
________________________________________

The Citizens Theatre presents
INTO THAT DARKNESS
By Gitta Sereny
Adapted for the stage by Robert David MacDonald
Directed by Gareth Nicholls

Main Theatre
Dates: 18 – 30 May, 7.30pm (not Sunday 24 or Monday 25 May)

Press night: Wed 20 May, 7.30pm
Previews: Mon 18 & Tue 19 May, 7.30pm
Matinee: Sat 30 May, 2.30pm
Post show talk: Tue 26 May
Audio Described: Wed 27 May, 7.30pm
Captioned: Sat 30 May, 2.30pm
Pre-show curtain raiser: Thu 21 May, 6pm

Tickets: 50p - £15 (concessions available)
Previews £8.50 | Tuesdays £12.50
50p Tickets | 10 tickets, 10 performances on sale at 10am Saturday 16 May.
NB – 50p Tickets must be bought in person at the theatre, cash only.

Events:
- Into That Darkness Curtain Raiser event
Thu 21 May, 6pm – 6.45pm
With Director Gareth Nicholls
Tickets £4 / £3. Tickets to 7.30pm performance sold separately.

- Into That Darkness Deaf Theatre Club Night
Fri 29 May
Tickets £5
Event for deaf or hard of hearing patrons in partnership with Solar Bear including: BSL interpreted performance; BSL trained staff on arrival for ticket pick up and bar orders; BSL signed introduction to the show feedback session post show.
More info from Denise Differ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To book text Solar Bear on 07900852595

________________________________________

sound festival, Aberdeen presents
THE GARDEN
By John and Zinnie Harris

Circle Studio
Dates: 22 – 24 Jan, 8pm

Press night: Thu 22 Jan, 8pm
Matinee: Sat 24 Jan, 3pm

Tickets: £12 / £8.50

________________________________________

Fire Exit present
LONG LIVE THE LITTLE KNIFE
By David Leddy

Circle Studio
Dates:  24 – 28 Feb, 7.30pm

Press night: Tue 24 Feb, 7.30pm
Matinee: Sat 28 Feb, 2.30pm

Tickets: £12 / £8.50

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