CITIZENS THEATRE AND STELLAR QUINES TO PRESENT A NEW FILMED VERSION OF 2019 THEATRE SHOW, FIBRES
The Citizens Theatre and Stellar Quines have today announced that a new filmed version of their 2019 co-production, Fibres will be premiered online this November.
Reuniting the original cast and creative team, the production, which previously toured community venues in Scotland to critical and audience acclaim, will be reimagined for a digital audience thanks to funding from the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund. It will give more people the opportunity to enjoy this funny and moving play written by Frances Poet, that puts a vital spotlight on the untold story of the women affected by exposure to asbestos. Maureen Carr and Jonathan Watson will reprise their roles as Beanie and Jack at the heart of the story. Directed by Stellar Quines Artistic Director, Jemima Levick, this will be the first full-length production to be filmed and offered online by the Citizens and Stellar Quines.
Written by award-winning playwright Frances Poet, Fibres uses wit and humour to explore the deadly legacy of asbestos in the Clyde shipyards, giving voice to the stories of women and families affected. The bittersweet comedy told by four characters who show a very Glaswegian resilience and wit, is a moving tribute to those who continue to suffer today as the health crisis continues to unfold.
On reimagining Fibres for an online audience, Jemima Levick commented, “I’m thrilled to be bringing Frances Poet’s brilliant play back to life in a new filmed version, and working again in partnership with the Citizens Theatre and supported by Action on Asbestos. As with so many theatre projects, the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented our planned UK tour of Fibres. This feels like an opportunity for us to approach the piece in a new way, blending the two art forms of theatre and film to tell this story with all the humour and heart that the original contained. I’m particularly pleased that audiences right across the UK can see it, especially those living with Mesothelioma who, with lockdown restrictions, might not be able to attend if it were in their local theatre.
Fibres, explores the deadly legacy of asbestos, placing women’s voices at the centre of that story, and, in doing so, offering insight into an experience rarely told. While set in the west coast of Scotland, I have no doubt that this story will resonate with families in and around industrial cities across the world and, with one health crisis living alongside another, offers a new perspective to this already important story.”
Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of The Citizens Theatre added, “We had a fantastic audience response to the original tour of Fibres, with many both entertained and moved by Frances Poet’s brilliant script. Now in the middle of a very different health crisis, we are pleased to be able to reimagine the production for an online audience - so even more people are able to experience this hilarious and important story”.
The original cast will reunite including well-known stage and screen actor Jonathan Watson (Two Doors Down, Naked Video, City Lights, Rab C Nesbitt (BBC); Only An Excuse (Comedy Unit), who recently resurrected his Fibres role of Jack for National Theatre of Scotland’s Scenes for Survival in A Mug’s Game.
He is joined by Maureen Carr known to young audiences for her role in CBBC’s Molly and Mack and to the nation as ‘ugly sister’ Edith in Still Game and baddie Theresa O’Hara in River City. Carr is also co-founder of female comedy troupe, Witsherface.
The cast is completed by Suzanne Magowan (Baby Doll, Citizens Theatre; Hidden Doors, Village Pub Theatre; International Day of the Girl, Stellar Quines and Village Pub Theatre) and Ali Craig (Into That Darkness, Citizens Theatre; Hecuba and Victoria, Dundee Rep; Beautiful Burnout, The Making of Us and Macbeth, National Theatre of Scotland; Hamlet, Rapture Theatre Company).
The project is supported by Action on Asbestos, a charity established in 1984 by men who had been diagnosed with an asbestos disease to provide practical advice and support to others affected by this condition.
Phyllis Craig Director and Senior Welfare Rights Officer of Action on Asbestos (formerly ClydesideAction on Asbestos) stated, “Our charity is delighted to be in a position to support Stellar Quines and the Citizens Theatre to film the fantastic play Fibres so many more people can learn of the reality and devastation that previous exposure to asbestos can cause to a family. Today we are seeing so many more people being diagnosed with an asbestos condition simply because they went to work. No one should ever have to deal with an asbestos condition on their own. I would urge everyone to take the opportunity to watch this play.”
Fibres will premiere online in November.
More details to be announced.
NOTES TO EDITOR
The Citizens Theatre is Glasgow’s major producing theatre and one of the leading theatre companies in the UK. Over the last 75 years, the Citizens has built an international reputation for producing innovative shows on stage, alongside a highly regarded learning programme of participatory and education work. Led by Executive Director, Alex McGowan and Artistic Director, Dominic Hill who is regarded as having “a talent for classical drama which is genuinely world class.” (Daily Telegraph) we present bold new interpretations of classic texts that are accessible and relevant - and uniquely, where any member of our audience can attend a performance for as little as 50p.
Our beautiful Victorian home in the Gorbals is currently closed while it undergoes a major redevelopment. This will be the first comprehensive, integrated redevelopment of the building in its 140-year history. The project will transform the experiences of audiences, participants and performers and secure the future of one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings and leading producing theatres.
Stellar Quines is a multi-award winning, producing and touring theatre company. Our aim is to celebrate the value and diversity of women and girls by making brilliant theatre, provoking change, nurturing artists and empowering participation. Our year-round programme is designed to excite and inspire the audiences and artists we work with. This includes producing and touring world-class performance, commissioning research, championing campaigns and delivering activities to support artist development and community engagement. Based in Edinburgh with a national reach, we have worked across Scotland and beyond - demonstrating our commitment to the breadth of experience and diversity of women and girls living in the country today.
Frances Poet is a Glasgow based playwright with two decades of experience working as a Literary Manager and dramaturg for some of the UK’s leading theatre companies. Stage plays include the multi- award winning Adam (Scottish and UK tours 2017/18 and NYU Skirball Centre 2019) and Gut (Traverse Theatre & Tron Theatre 2018 and in a French translation as MADRA, Théâtre La Licorne, Montréal 2019) which was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize For Playwriting (2015), nominated for a UK Theatre Best Play Award and won the Writers’ Guild 2019 Award for Best Play.Frances has also completed a number of classic adaptations including The Macbeths (Citizens Theatre/Scottish Tour 2017/18), What Put The Blood (Abbey Theatre, Dublin 2017 and previously as ANDROMAQUE Scottish Tour 2015), Dance of Death (Citizens Theatre 2016) and The Misanthrope (Oran Mòr 2014). Frances also writes for TV and radio and has had short films screened at national and international festivals
PERFORMING ARTS VENUE RELIEF FUND
The Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund recognises that performing arts venues which programme professional theatre and / or dance and / or music will likely only be able to re-open to the public in the final phase of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 plans. Even then, their ability to receive audiences and participants to full capacity may be significantly constrained by remaining social distancing requirements and audience confidence. This in turn has an impact on their financial viability and capacity to commission or employ freelance artists and creative practitioners in the immediate term.
The purpose of this fund is to support immediate and critical financial need in order for venues which programme theatre and / or dance and / or music to remain solvent during the period of closure to the public and to plan for a sustainable return. This funding is to bridge the financial gap until opening plans and income projections are clearer.
More information about the fund can be found here:
ACTION ON ASBESTOS
Action on Asbestos is a charity that was established in 1984 by men who had been diagnosed with an asbestos disease. The purpose of setting up this charity was to help others with this condition by providing practical advice and support. The charity specialises in providing free benefit and legal advice and provides representation at social security appeals. We host monthly support group meetings throughout Scotland for people to meet in order to reduce their isolation.
Action on Asbestos is proud to sponsor a specialist nurse for those in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Those diagnosed with either Pleural Plaques, Pleural thickening, Asbestosis, Mesothelioma or Asbestos related Lung Cancer or any other injury or accident at work can contact Action on Asbestos on 0800 089 1717 for free confidential advice and support.
A Stellar Quines and Citizens Theatre Co-production
A film of the 2019 theatre show
“We were two weans playing at wee hooses, him in his first job and me being the good wife doing his washing. Now we’re both paying the price.”
Jack (Jonathan Watson) is proud of his work at the Clyde shipyards. His wife, Beanie (Maureen Carr), who is nursing him through asbestosis, thinks he’s a fool. But the real test of their marriage comes when they discover that the dusty overalls Jack brought home to be washed by Beanie, poisoned her too. This isn’t what she thought Jack meant when he promised “what’s mine is yours”.
Meanwhile their daughter, Lucy, attempts to overcome her grief. Will she be held back by her parents’ experience, or will she have the courage to allow romance to blossom with Pete?
Frances Poet’s bittersweet play about the impact of asbestosis on a Glasgow family toured to communities across Scotland last year to critical and audience acclaim. Now, we’ve reunited the original cast and creative team, and joined forces with Solus Productions to create a digital theatre experience for you to enjoy at home.
Watch along with us, wherever you are, as we relive this big-hearted story of love, laughter and the untold legacy of Glasgow’s shipyards.
The film of Fibres will premiere in November 2020.
More information coming soon.
With support from The Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund and Action on Asbestos
Maureen Carr, Ali Craig, Suzanne Magowan, Jonathan Watson
Writer Frances Poet
Director Jemima Levick
Set and costume design Jen McGinley
Lighting design Emma Jones
Sound design Patricia Panther
Filmed by Solus Productions
Director of Photography Phil Gurney
Editor Richard PoetReturn to Press