First Ever Live Tweet at Citizens Theatre

Monday 17 November 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Audience of 60 in the Citizens Circle Studio performance of Untitled Projects’ Slope are joined by over 500 viewers from around the world who tuned into first night of live stream. Now audiences are invited to watch and tweet along with the live stream on Wednesday 19 November from 7.30pm, a first for the Citizens Theatre and Untitled Projects.

Last week Untitled Projects’ new production of Pamela Carter’s play Slope premiered at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and via new media platform KILTR. As a capacity audience of just 60 watched the action live, another 550 tuned into the live stream – a record high for a Scottish theatre livestream.  As well as fans of Stewart Laing’s innovative theatre company Untitled Projects and the Citizens Theatre, some of the huge cult following of poet Arthur Rimbaud, one of the trio of real-life characters the play portrays, tuned in to see the bold dramatisation of their hero’s life. While online streaming of theatre events becomes more and more common, Slope goes one step further with the play specially lit and directed for the carefully positioned Go-Pro and Black Magic cameras scattered around the space. The live audience sit around the walls of the space and watch as the actors perform to the lenses. Every performance at the Citizens Theatre and the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh is streamed live, with no two streaming events being quite the same.

On Wed 19th November, Slope at the Citizens Theatre and online at KILTR will take part in the first ever #LoveTheatre day, a Twitter initiative created by Culturethemes, @TwitterUK and the Guardian Culture Professionals Network. #LoveTheatre is a mass day-long Twitter event aimed at sharing and encouraging theatre-going in the UK. Audiences at the theatre will be encouraged to Tweet before and after the performance with audiences watching the live stream able to join in the conversation live as it happens using the hashtag #lovetheatre.

A statement from the Guardian website about #LoveTheatre day explains:

“Why are we doing this? In a time of deep funding cuts, imbalances in funding and company closures, this initiative presents an opportunity for theatres to shout about the great work they do, reach wider audiences and make contacts and collaborate with other venues and stage companies from across the world. We want #LoveTheatre day to drive active engagement throughout the theatre community in the lead up to the busy festive season.”

Tickets for Slope at the Citizens Theatre are available from citz.co.uk or by calling 0141 429 0022. Tickets for the performances at the Traverse are available from traverse.co.uk or by calling 0131 228 1404. All performances at the Citizens Theatre and the Traverse are streamed live online at 7.30pm at kiltr.com/slope. On Wednesday 19 November join a global audience who’ll be tweeting along with the livestream from 7pm using the hashtags #LoveTheatre and #Slope.

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Originally produced by Untitled Projects in 2006, Slope explores the love affair between the 19th century poets, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, and its impact on Verlaine’s young wife, Mathilde.  Their verbal sparring is scabrous and hilarious, and their rollercoaster relationships as passionate and claustrophobic as they are cruel and ridiculous. In 2014, same sex marriage becomes legal in Scotland. At a time when gay relationships are sanctioned by the state – and are often as bourgeois as their straight counterparts – it’s interesting to look back at a time when the stigma of gay lives ran counter to the prevailing power of middle-class value systems.  What has changed, and what remains the same?

Unlike the original version, this production takes place in a bare, black box studio theatre, with several cameras positioned throughout the space. In partnership with KILTR, each performance is filmed and streamed live internationally via their online portal. The play is directed and lit as much for the cameras as for the audience, who line the walls of the space, up close to the actors and action as it unfolds in Paris, London and Brussels in the 1870s.

The young cast consists of a graduate performing his first professional role (James Edwyn), an award-winning newcomer (Jessica Hardwick) and the man who played the enigmatic Paul Bright in Untitled Projects’ Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Owen Whitelaw).

Creative Team:

Pamela Carter has written several Untitled Projects, including Slope, An Argument About Sex and Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Pamela’s plays have been produced at Hampstead Theatre, the Traverse and at Dresden Staatshausspiel.  Pamela was the winner of the New Writing Commission at the Berliner Festspiele Stückemarkt 2012.  Since 2010, Pamela has been writing for the Swedish conceptual art duo Goldin+Senneby on The Nordenskiöld Model: their on-going investigation into algorithmic trading and financial reality.

Stewart Laing is one of Scotland’s leading directors and designers and is Artistic Director of Untitled Projects. Stewart’s directing work elsewhere includes The Maids at the Citizens Theatre, Les Parents terribles for Dundee Rep, Home: Stornoway for the National Theatre of Scotland and Ten Plagues for the Traverse.  He has also designed and directed opera in Scotland, elsewhere in the UK and internationally.  He recently designed Richard Jones’ production of Peter Grimes at La Scala, Milan.  Stewart won a Tony Award in 1997 for his design work on the Broadway musical Titanic.

Lou Prendergast will act as assistant director on Slope.  Lou is an award-winning live artist of Jamaican descent based in Glasgow.  Solo work includes Whatever Happened to Harry at Arches LIVE 2012 and 50 Shades of Black at the Citizens Theatre.  She is currently one of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Auteurs for 2013/14, an initiative that selects and supports the most ground breaking emerging artists in Scotland.

James Edwyn (Arthur Rimbaud). Slope is James Edwyn’s professional debut. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London this year. Previous theatre credits include: Romeo & Juliet (The Cockpit Theatre), Pope Joan, Ghost Office (National Youth Theatre), Oliver (New Vic Theatre) and a rehearsed reading of The Grandfathers (National Theatre).

Owen Whitelaw (Paul Verlaine) trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now RCS). Theatre work includes Unfaithful (Traverse), In Time of Strife (National Theatre of Scotland), Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Untitled Projects and National Theatre of Scotland), The Life of Stuff (Theatre 503), Sleeping Beauty (Citizens Theatre), Wonderland (Vanishing Point) King Lear (Citizens Theatre), Knives in Hens (National Theatre of Scotland, Tour). On film Owen has appeared in Dying Light (RIG Arts) Score (Independent), 7/11 In Repeat (Short) (Raging Goose Productions) and What Would Ridley Do (Digital Guerillas).

Jessica Hardwick (Mathilde Verlaine) was the winner on the inaugural Billy Award for Best Newcomer at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2014 for her performance as Sonya in Crime and Punishment (Citizens Theatre/Liverpool Playhouse/Royal Lyceum Edinburgh), and Christine in Miss Julie (Citizens Theatre).  She graduated last year from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Other theatre credits include: Three Sisters (Tron Theatre/Kings Theatre Edinburgh), The Fair Intellectual Club (Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Festival Fringe), The Possibilities (Tron Theatre/King’s Head Theatre/National Theatre Warsaw), The Antipodes (Sam Wanamaker Festival, Shakespeare’s Globe). Radio work includes The Pillow Book (Series 7, BBC Radio 4).

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