The Citizens Theatre has announced a new season of work by women writers that will put women centre stage.

2019 will be dedicated to showcasing the extraordinary and wide-ranging talent of professional and community women theatre-makers in Glasgow and throughout Scotland; and the power of performance to transform lives.All productions announced today will also be directed by women.

The Citizens is committed to diversity in all areas of its work. It has developed an expertise and reputation working with vulnerable women in Glasgow. Therefore, in 2019 it will give a platform to the inspiring stories and journeys of the remarkable women participants it engages with.Further projects and collaborations will be announced throughout the year.

The 2019 season will include:

  • Nora: A Doll’s House: A new commission by Olivier Award-winning Stef Smith (Swallow, Girl in the Machine, Human Animals) that radically re-examines Ibsen’s famous play for contemporary audiences. Telling Nora’s story from the turn of the century, through women’s suffrage and the swinging sixties to today, this bold and urgent new interpretation by one of Scotland’s most talked about playwrights will be directed by Elizabeth Freestone (Artistic Associate at English Touring Theatre).

  • The Duchess [of Malfi]: A new adaptation written and directed by Zinnie Harris (Rhinoceros, Oresteia: This Restless House). Winner of the 2017 CATS Best Director award and a 2017 Herald Angel award, Harris will direct this Jacobean revenge tragedy of bloody treachery that explores male rage and female resistance in a new contemporary setting. A co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.
  • Fibres: A funny and touching play written by Frances Poet (Adam, Gut). With humour and frankness it tells the story of the terrible legacy of asbestosis in the Clyde shipyards and a daughter’s attempt to overcome her grief. The play is a co-production with award-winning Scottish theatre company Stellar Quines and will be directed by Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Jemima Levick.

  • What Girls Are Made Of: Cora Bissett’s autobiographical indie-pop play that was a huge hit at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be part of the Citizens Theatre’s residency season at Tramway as it embarks on a Scottish tour.

Artistic Director of Citizens Theatre, Dominic Hill, introduces the 2019 season:“The shows I have chosen for 2019 are both a response to the current media debates regarding empowerment and equality for women, and what I feel is the most exciting and ambitious work that we should be presenting to audiences in Scotland. We are delighted to be working with Stef Smith and Zinnie Harris who bring radical perspectives on classic texts and Frances Poet who will premiere a new play that will particularly resonate with Glasgow audiences. Three fantastic playwrights and three gripping stories that are relevant today. We will also put a spotlight on the brilliant work that our Learning team deliver with women in marginalised communities who, through our projects, become inspiring theatre-makers in their own right.”

The Citizens Learning team is committed to enhancing the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. 2019’s programme will showcase a number of projects with a focus on women, including:

Chara Centre

Since 2012, the Citizens Learning team has delivered a creative residency at the Chara Centre, a residential service supporting women who are experiencing homelessness. A team of artists lead weekly multi-artform sessions which include creative writing, performance skills, songwriting and costume-making, culminating in performances devised and written by the women residing at the Centre. The group also create a magazine, The C Word, which is written and designed by the women at the Centre.This project is supported by Comic Relief and Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership.

Elly Goodman, Community Drama Artist for the Citizens Theatre explains,
“We believe that our artistic intervention has generated positive change and personal development for the women we have engaged with. It is vital that the arts are recognised for the tools they provide to those who seek to take charge of and rebuild their lives. Over the years, our projects and performances have shown that the women we work with are capable of truly astonishing and inspiring journeys, making themselves better placed to step forward into self-determined life-paths filled with positivity and hope.”

In addition, our Young Co. will be presenting two shows touring to secondary schools in 2019. Working in partnership with Sense Over Sectarianism, Scarfed For Life written by Martin Travers will be directed by Lauren Mitchell, a former Young Co. member. Empty - a piece devised by the company that explores social and emotional pressure in teenage relationships - is the second part of Scratched Love (Young Start: National Lottery Funded),the first part of which was written by Catriona McNicoll during her time with the company.

Many other strands of the Learning team’s work will respond to the Citizens Women theme including drama classes for 4-18 year olds, our Community Collective weekly drama drop-in and our play-reading workshops for seniors, Off the Page. School workshops and masterclasses will also focus on the role of women within the arts.

Nora: A Doll’s House, What Girls Are Made Of and The Duchess [of Malfi] will be presented at Tramway. Tickets for Nora: A Doll’s House and What Girls Are Made Of will go on sale on Tuesday 4 December, 10am. 

Tickets for The Duchess [of Malfi] will go on sale on Monday 7 January, 10am. Available from the Citizens Theatre Box Office on 0141 429 0022 or

This season of work in 2019 joins the already announced The Dark Carnival - a music and theatre spectacle performed by Vanishing Point and A New International. A co-production with Vanishing Point in association with Dundee Rep Ensemble.


Work includes: Girl in the Machine and Swallow (Traverse Theatre); Human Animals (Royal Court); Remote (National Theatre Connections Festival); Tea and Symmetry(BBC Radio); Smoke and Mirrors(Traverse Theatre and DOT Istanbul for Theatre Uncut); Back to Back to Back (Cardboard Citizens);Cured (Glasgay! Festival); Grey Matter (The Lemon Tree); Woman of the Year (Òran Mór) andFalling/Flying (Tron).

Her critically acclaimed show, Roadkill, won numerous awards, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. Recently Stef took part in the BBC Drama Writers Room and her current commissions include the Traverse Theatre, the Citizens Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre. She is also an Associate Artist at the Traverse Theatre and Leeds Playhouse.


Zinnie Harris is a playwright, director and screenwriter. Her plays include Rhinoceros (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Edinburgh International Festival in association with DOT Theatre Istanbul), the multi-award winningFurther than the Furthest Thing(National Theatre/Tron Theatre);

Miss Julie(National Theatre of Scotland/Citizens Theatre);The Wheel(National Theatre of Scotland);How to Hold Your Breath,Nightingale and Chase(Royal Court Theatre); Midwinter,Solstice(both Royal Shakespeare Company);Fall(Traverse Theatre/RSC); and a version ofA Doll’s House(Donmar Warehouse).

Her television work includesPartners In Crime(BBC1); episodes ofSpooks(BBC1);Richard is My Boyfriend,Born With Two Mothers(both Channel 4). She has directed for the National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Tron Theatre, 7:84 and the RSC. She is currently an Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre, and a Senior Lecturer in playwriting at St Andrews University.


Frances is an award-winning Glasgow-based writer with over 15 years’ experience working as a dramaturg and literary manager in theatres across the U.K. Frances has written for stage, TV and radio and has had short films screened at a number of festivals nationally and internationally. Theatre credits include: Adam (NTS), Dance of Death (after Strindberg, The Circle Studio, Citizens Theatre), The Misanthrope (after Moliere, Oran Mor), Andromaque (after Racine, Oran Mor and The Byre Theatre, St Andrews) and Faith Fall (Oran Mor and The Tobacco Factory, Bristol).


Elly Goodman is a Community Drama Artist at the Citizens Theatre and has worked in arts and criminal justice for 29 years. Elly’s work places a special emphasis on women and socially excluded adults. Her many theatre projects and productions have involved a wide range of community groups, including asylum seekers, refugees, homeless organisations, mental health support groups and recovery forums. Elly specialises in theatre in prisons in Scotland, N.I and USA and also within the broader criminal justice sector. She is a founder member and Trustee of the Scottish Prison Arts Network, and recently delivered an 8 year creative theatre residency in HM Prison Barlinnie, Scotland’s largest institution for male prisoners.


Tickets from / 0141 429 0022

Available from 10am, Tuesday 4 December


Vanishing Point, in co-production with the Citizens Theatre, in association with Dundee Rep Ensemble


Conceived, written and directed by Matthew Lenton

Songs and lyrics by Biff Smith

Music by A New International

A music and theatre spectacle,The Dark Carnivalfeatures sixteen performers and musicians. They tell the story of newcomers to the afterlife who discover that death is not actually the end.

Incredulous at their continuity, they form their own necropolitan community where every night is party night: songs get sung, love gets made and whisky flows.

Above the ground, the cemetery brims with life. But a mysterious event throws the lives of the living into uncertainty. When news reaches the cemetery, an underground revolution begins, led by the stoical Mrs Mark and her band of necropolitans.

Created and performed by Vanishing Point and A New International, The Dark Carnival will transport audiences into an unexpected vision of the afterlife full of long-lost lovers, half-hearted ghosts, and songs.


Dates:Tue 19 February – Sat 2 March

Previews:Tue 19 and Wed 20 February

Matinees: Sat 23 February (2.30pm) and Wed 27 February (1.30pm)

Access Performances:Sat 23 February (AD) and Fri 1 March (BSL Interpreted)

Press Night: Thu 21 February

Post Show Talk:Thu 28 February


£26.50 - £15



50p Tickets: 100 tickets for 50p on sale 16 February at 10am at Tramway

Suitable for ages 10+

A Citizens Theatre production

NORA: A Dolls House

By Stef Smith

A radical new version of Henrik Ibsen’s play

Directed by Elizabeth Freestone

Designed by Tom Piper

‘You’ve lies in the whites of your eyes, Nora. What have you done…?’

Nora is the perfect wife and mother. She is dutiful, beautiful and everything is always in its right place. But when a secret from her past comes back to haunt her, her life rapidly unravels. Over the course of three days, Nora must fight to protect herself and her family or risk losing everything.

Ibsen’s brutal portrayal of womanhood caused outrage when it was first performed in 1879. This bold new production by one of Scotland’s most exciting playwrights reframes the drama in three different time periods. The fight for women’s suffrage, the swinging sixties and modern day intertwine in this urgent, poetic play that asks how far have we really come in the past 100 years?

Nora: A Doll’s House is supported by Friends of the Citizens.


Dates:Fri 15 March – Sat 6 April

Previews:Fri 15, Sat 16, Tue 19 March

Matinees: Wed 27 March (1.30pm), Sat 30 March (2.30pm) and Sat 6 April (2.30pm)

Access Performances:Fri 29 March (BSL Interpreted), Sat 30 March 2.30pm (AD and CAP)

Press Night: Wed 20 March

Post Show Talk:Tue 26 March


£26.50 - £15



50p Tickets: 100 tickets for 50p on sale Sat 9 March at 10am at Tramway

Suitable for ages 14+

Contains strong language.

Citizens Theatre presents a Raw Material and Traverse Theatre co-production in association with Regular Music


Written and performed by Cora Bissett
Directed by Orla O'Loughlin

It’s 1992. In a small town in Fife, a girl is desperate to get out into the world. An ad in the local paper declares: Band Seeks Singer.

Grunge has gone global, indie kids are inheriting the earth, and a schoolgirl from Glenrothes is catapulted to a rock star lifestyle as the singer in a hot new indie band. Touring with Radiohead, partying with Blur, she was living the dream. Until she wasn’t.

Based on her meticulously detailed teenage diaries, this is the true story of Cora Bissett’s rollercoaster journey from the girl she was to the woman she wanted to be.

Fresh from an award-winning, sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, performed with a live band, and directed by the Traverse Theatre’s former Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin, Cora celebrates life’s euphoric highs and epic shitstorms, asking what wisdom we should pass on to the next generation – and which glorious mistakes we should let them make.


Dates:Tue 9 – Sat 13 April

Tickets£26.50 - £15


Press Night:Tue 9 April

Suitable for ages 14+

Contains strong language.

A Citizens Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh co-production

The Duchess [of Malfi]

By John Webster

Adapted and directed by Zinnie Harris

Webster’s dark tale of bloody treacheryis the most thrilling and chilling of the Jacobean revenge tragedies – an exploration of male rage and female resistance as two brothers try and control their sister, block her marriage and repress her agency with fatal results.

Reflecting contemporary debates about female empowerment and the abuse of male power, this bold new interpretation is written and directed by Zinnie Harris. Zinnie has garnered huge critical success for her previous adaptations of The Oresteia: This Restless House, (Citizens Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland) and her more recent versions of Ibsen’s The Master Builder (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Ionesco’s Rhinoceros (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Edinburgh International Festival and DOT Theatre, Istanbul), which sold out at the Edinburgh International Festival. 


Dates:Wed 4 – Sat 21 September

Previews:Wed 4 & Thu 5 September

Matinees: Sat 14 (2.30pm), Wed 18 (1.30pm) & Sat 21 September (2.30pm)

Access performances:Fri 13 September7.30pm (BSL Interpreted)

Sat 14 September 2.30pm (AD and CAP)

Press Night: Fri 6 September

Post Show Talk:Tue 10 September


£26.50 - £15



50p Tickets: 100 tickets for 50p on sale Sat 31 August at 10am at Tramway

Suitable for ages 14+

Contains strong language and adult themes.

A Citizens Theatre and Stellar Quines co-production


By Frances Poet

Directed by Jemima Levick

With humour and frankness, Fibres tells the story of the terrible legacy of asbestosis in the Clyde shipyards and a daughter’s attempt to overcome her grief.

A new commission from Frances Poet and a co-production with Stellar Quines, this production will tour community halls and centres throughout the greater Glasgow area and beyond including venues in West Dunbartonshire, North and East Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Lanarkshire.

Stellar Quines is an award-winning organisation whose vision is to be Scotland’s leading touring theatre company, inspiring excellence in women & girls. The company’s mission is to celebrate the value and diversity of women and girls by making brilliant theatre, provoking change, nurturing artists and empowering participation.


Dates: October 2019. Dates and venues tba.

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