CITIZENS THEATRE ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAMME OF DIGITAL WORK AND LIFELINE OUTREACH PROGRAMME

Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, the Citizens Theatre will present two new films of popular past productions, bringing theatre to homes across Glasgow and Scotland while audiences cannot attend live performances.

A new film of the play Fibres by Frances Poet will reunite the original cast and creative team of the 2019 theatre production. Jonathan Watson and Maureen Carr will reprise their roles as Jack and Beanie to explore the legacy of asbestos in the Clyde shipyards, giving voice to the stories of the women and families affected. Re-imagined for a digital audience, the film of Fibres will give more people the opportunity to enjoy this funny and moving production that puts a vital spotlight on the untold story of the women affected by exposure to asbestos. Directed by Jemima Levick, this will be the first full length production to be filmed and offered online from the Citizens Theatre and Stellar Quines. It will premiere in November. 

In the new year, the Citizens will also premiere a new film of The Macbeths, a radical adaptation by Dominic Hill and Frances Poet, that focuses on the destructive relationship between the ambitious couple, played by Charlene Boyd and Keith Fleming. Having had a sold out run at the Citizens in 2017this will be an exciting opportunity for audiences to experience an intimate and intense re-imagining of the Scottish play from the comfort of their own homes.

Dominic Hill,Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, commented on the upcoming work,

“While so much live performance has not been able to happen over the past few months, we have been busy focusing on a hugely important strand of our work which is about reaching out to our local communities and participants, especially those people whose lives have been badly affected by the pandemic. We will continue to do this for as long as is necessary - putting classes, workshops, and meetings online, meeting people on doorsteps or via their phones or laptops and remaining connected in as creative a way as we can. Being at the heart of our community and helping to support and transform the lives of the people within it has always been part of who we are at the Citz.

I am also delighted that we will be filming two of our past productions – Fibres and The Macbeths – as well as planning something special for our audiences at Christmas. Not only does this allow us to bring Citizens Theatre productions to people’s homes but also to employ artists and freelancers who are the lifeblood of our industry. We look forward to once again producing live theatre in the Spring and hope this programme of work will provide some vital respite, support and inspiration during challenging times.”

Whilst Covid-19 restrictions has meant weekly sessions and groups have been unable to operate as normal, the Citizens Learning team remain committed to keeping connected with the many communities the theatre engages across Glasgow.

The theatre’s popular play reading group, Off The Pagehas expanded to offer two weekly groups online and has also launched Off The Page In The Gorbals, a group specifically for those who live in the local community of the theatre.

Additional on-going work by the Citizens Learning team includes:

  • Through My Window: a project to support women experiencing isolation during the pandemic.
  • Saturday Citizens: weekly drama sessions online for young people aged 14-18 with a learning disability.
  • Friday Club: weekly group sessions exploring creative skills and performance for people 18 years and over with a learning disability.
  • WAC Ensemble: weekly group sessions online for care experienced young adults aged 18-26.
  • Young Co.: weekly group sessions online for 18-22 year olds that provides opportunities in acting, writing and devising.
  • Community Collective: weekly drop-in sessions online and socially-distant visits for people from all walks of life who share an interest in theatre.

A new pilot project to support drama teachers fulfil the drama curriculum under current Covid restrictions is also underway. A series of live workshops on Zoom with Artistic Director Dominic Hill and professional actors offers teachers a practical insight into directing, to develop tools to use immediately in the classroom.

Re-opening the doors ofthe Citizens Theatre’s much-loved Gorbals home continues to be a major focus for the company. Demolition work has been completed on site with the construction phase due to commence in the coming weeks.

-END-

LISTINGS

FIBRES

Premiere: November 2020

CAST

Maureen Carr, Ali Craig, Suzanne Magowan and Jonathan Watson

CREATIVE TEAM

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 Poet

THE MACBETHS

Premiere: March 2021

NOTES TO EDITOR

CITIZENS THEATRE

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.

Further information regarding the Citizens Theatre redevelopment project can be found here:

CITIZENS LEARNING

The Citizens Theatre’s extensive learning programme focuses on connecting people with the theatre’s professional programme and with each other. It fosters a deeper sense of community within the building, in the local area and across Glasgow more widely. It provides large numbers of people with the opportunity to develop their life skills and increase their sense of wellbeing through their practical participation in the creative life of the company. Our Citizens Learning team engages as inclusive a range of people as possible in the creative life of the Citizens Theatre. The work focuses on seven strands – under-represented and marginalised communities and individuals; children and young people; vulnerable women; work within the criminal justice system; work that addresses social issues; work giving people from all backgrounds the opportunity to perform on the Citizens stage; and work that responds to and supports the Citizens’ professional programme.

More information regarding Citizens Learning’s projects can be found here:

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:

https://www.creativescotland.com/funding/funding-programmes/performing-arts-venues-relief-fund

STELLAR QUINES

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.

More information regarding Stellar Quines can be found here:

https://www.stellarquines.com/

FRANCES POET

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.

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