​THE CITIZENS THEATRE ANNOUNCES EXCITING NEW WORK BY YOUTH ENSEMBLES

THE CITIZENS THEATRE ANNOUNCES EXCITING NEW WORK BY YOUTH ENSEMBLES

The Citizens Theatre today announces exciting new writing to be performed by the theatre's youth ensembles: The Dodo Experiment by the WAC Ensemble and Press 2 For Help by Young Co.

The WAC Ensemble, an exciting and innovative theatre company for care-experienced young adults aged 18 to 26, will present The Dodo Experiment: an exhilarating and riveting thriller. Co-written by Martin Travers and WAC Ensemble member, Chloe Wyper, the production follows their 2020 critically acclaimed punk play and winner of the Best Play for Young Audiences at the 2022 Writers’ Guild Awards,Whatever Happened to the Jaggy Nettles?

Martin Travers, Playwright and Producer at Citizens Theatre, describes The Dodo Experiment as “Dark, fast, cruel and funny. I overheard it getting described as George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion meets Squid Game. I quite liked that. It has everything you need to get audiences excited about live theatre again.

He added, “It is a real privilege to be back in rehearsals with the wonderfully talented WAC Ensemble. What makes it even more exciting is to have co-written The Dodo Experiment with ensemble member Chloe Wyper.”

Chloe, a member of the WAC Ensemble, commented, “Working with Martin to write this script has been brilliant. I've always wanted to do more writing and working with him has given me the confidence to try something different. This script is also particularly special to me since it is for the WAC Ensemble which I am a part of.

I wanted to create something that was both dark and funny and I think we have achieved that. Our dystopian world - which might feel eerily familiar - explores where the lines cross between right and wrong, life and death and the difficult decisions people have to make when under pressure.”

In partnership with Arts in the City (supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland), the WAC Ensemble offers a positive, supportive and empowering creative space to explore and learn about all aspects of professional theatre-making and to nurture and develop young actors’ creative talents.

Also presenting new work is the Citizens Theatre’s Young Co with Press 2 For Help: an evening of new work, showcasing short dramatic pieces created by the Citizens Theatre’s Young Co in collaboration with professional writers Eve Nicol, Martin O’Connor, Sara Shaarawi and May Sumbwanyambe.

The four new scripts, which will be diverse in form and content, will range from naturalistic and poetic to darkly comic and share the common thread of exploring mental health issues faced by young people. The four writers chosen to mentor the Young Co each offer a unique creative style and have all presented work to both critical and audience acclaim: Nicol, whose credits include the stage adaptation of Belle & Sebastian's iconic album If You're Feeling Sinister for BBC Arts and Avalon and was one of the founding members of Young Co 17 years ago, Shaarawi, writer of Niqabi Ninja which opened at Shubbak Festival in London, followed by a Scotland-wide tour, Sumbwanyambe, whose play After Independence was the winner of the 2016 Alfred Fagon Award and was recently featured in The Scotsman’s One to Watch List for 2022, and O’Connor, Creative Writer at Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice and current director of The Tron Theatre’s Young Adult Company.

Neil Packham, Citizens Theatre Community Drama Director commented,

“It’s thrilling, at last, to start work on our new writing/performance project Press 2 For Help, exploring issues around young people’s mental health. Members of the Young Co had recognised this as a priority before the pandemic hit, little did we know where we were heading and how this issue would be even more important some two years later.

Working with a cohort of four of Scotland’s professional playwrights, the Young Co are currently benefiting from their skill and knowledge, absorbed in their writing. Everyone is looking forward to getting back and performing these pieces, live in front of an actual audience. We hope many of this audience will be made up of other young people who will be thoroughly entertained, but also find some understanding in this issue that will have affected many of them.”

Funded by The National Lottery’s Young Start Fund, Press 2 For Help promises a thought provoking, entertaining evening of new work.

Press 2 For Help runs Fri 25 – Sat 26 March. The Dodo Experiment runs Wed 20 Apr – Sat 23 Apr. Both performances will be presented in the unique surroundings of a vacant office block in central Glasgow.

Tickets available online now from citz.co.uk

If you would prefer to book by phone, our Box Office phone line is available Tuesday to Thursday, 10am-2pm. 0141 429 0022. You can also email the Box Office team on sales@citz.co.uk

VENUE

Princes House – first floor

West Campbell Street

Glasgow

G2 6SE

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PRESS 2 FOR HELP

Fri 25 March, 7.30pm

Sat 26 March, 7.30pm

£5/£2

CAST

Gabrial Adams

Aqsa Anwar

Sabryna Brooke

Jack Donnan

Morgan Ferguson

Mark Grant

Selin Guler

Tara Harcombe

Michael Harkin

Helena Main

Jareen Meah

Robbie McKerracher

Sam McMillan

Aidan Polat

Lewis Reid

Amanda Scott

Lomond Sebastian

Abigail Sinclair

Cole Stewart

CREATIVE TEAM

Direction and Dramaturgy Catrin Evans and Neil Packham

Writing Mentors Eve Nicol, Martin O’Connor, Sara Shaarawi and May Sumbwanyambe

Costume Design Elaine Coyle

Lighting Design Stuart Jenkins

Design Consultant Ailsa J Munro

A thought provoking and entertaining evening of new writing, showcasing short dramatic pieces created by the Citizens Theatre’s Young Co with support from professional writers Eve Nicol, Sara Shaarawi, May Sumbwanyambe and Martin O’Connor.

Diverse in form and content, the new work will range from naturalistic and poetic to darkly comic, and share the common thread of exploring mental health issues faced by young people.

14yrs+

Trigger Warning: The subject matter will address themes around mental health, including suicide, self-harm and drug use.

Support for the issues raised in the play is available from Samaritans 24hrs: call 116 123.

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THE DODO EXPERIMENT

Wed 20 April, 7.30pm

Thu 21 April, 7.30pm

Fri 22 April, 7.30pm

Sat 23 April, 7.30pm

£12/£6

CAST

David Knoh / Henry Higgins Allan Othieno

Bella Constantine / Mrs Higgins Caitlin Muir

Maddie Douglas / Parlour-Maid / Freddy Eynsford Hill Louise Scott

Hugo Winston / Colonel Pickering Hunter Jessen

Layla Arnoult / Mrs Eynsford Hill Shannon Lynch

Aria Reilly / Miss Clara Eynsford Hill Genna Allan

Peggy Mackay / Miss Eila Doolittle Natalie Chiappa

Trevor Rivers Kieran McKenzie

CREATIVE TEAM

Writers Martin Travers and Chloe Wyper

Director Fiona Mackinnon

Set Designer Christine Ting - Huan Urquhart

Costume Design Elaine Coyle

Lighting Design Stuart Jenkins

Composer/Sound Designer Calum Paterson

Fight Director EmmaClaire Brightlyn

Choreographer/Movement Daniel Brawley

Imprisoned in an abandoned warehouse, a desperate group of failing actors are trapped in a dark experiment. After months of endlessly rehearsing George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion with no director to guide them; some of the ensemble have disappeared leaving the others paranoid and subservient. Sleep-deprived and half-starved their fragile social bonds shatter and implode as a stranger breaks in and incites them to rebel.

14yrs+

Trigger Warning: This production contains strong language and themes of violence/threat to life

Please also note that this production includes flashing lights and sudden, loud noises

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NOTES TO EDITOR

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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.

CREATIVE SCOTLAND

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot

ARTS IN THE CITY

Established in 2002, Arts in the City (AitC) is an award-nominated Glasgow City Council Social Work Services project which exists to help improve the lives and life chances of care experienced children and young people in Glasgow through engagement and involvement in the arts. AitC supports young people to develop their social networks, skills and confidence through participation in community-based arts activities and through a distinct programme of activity designed and delivered for care experienced young people. AitC signposts children and young people and supporting staff to appropriate community arts provision and brokers and develops creative interventions with well-established internal and external agencies who serve this client group.

EVE NICOL

http://www.evenicol.com/Eve Nicol is a Glaswegian theatre director and playwright. Credits as Writer include;Robin Hood (Cumbernauld Theatre), If You’re Feeling Sinister [a play with Songs] (BBC Arts and Avalon in association with Tron), One Life Stand (Middle Child), First Woman (Traverse Theatre) & A Brownie Guide to Aviation (Slung Low & Unicorn Theatre). As Director;I Can Go Anywhere (Traverse Theatre), The Drift (National Theatre of Scotland), The Mistress Contract (Tron Theatre Company), Exquisite Corpse, We Interrupt This Programme (Glasgow Lunchtime Theatre), The Undiscovered Creature, Sea Wall, The Pitchfork Disney (Heroes Theatre).

MARTIN O’CONNOR

http://www.martinoconnor.info/about.html

Martin O'Connor is a performer, poet and theatre maker from Glasgow. His solo work includes The Mark of the Beast (Platform), Building a Nation (Glasgow Life), and Theology (The Arches). Martin often writes in Glaswegian Scots and is a Gaelic learner.

Other writing and directing credits include Gossip From the Forest (Magnetic North), Èirigh (Theatre Gu Leòr/BBC Radio nan Gàidheal), Turntable (Red Bridge Arts), editor of the book for An Audience With... (Janice Parker Projects), Submarine Time Machine (National Theatre of Scotland), Come To Where I'mFrom (Paines Plough), The Pokey Hat (Grinagaog/Culture 2014), Breath Cycle, Platypus in Boots, Pop-Up Theatre Royal, Alexander McCall Smith's Anamchara: Songs of Friendship (Scottish Opera).

Martin was the recipient of the 2018 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship hosted by Playwright’s Studio Scotland, and he presented a work in progress Through the Shortbread Tin: An Ossianic Journey inspired by the poems of James Macpherson.

He is the director of the Tron Theatre Young Company, who recently created the sound piece Retro/Future, which was part of the official COP26 programme. He also works with Toonspeak, where he is Progression Associate.

Martin is the current Artist in Residence in Pollokshields as part of Glasgow Life’s Creative Communities, and Artist in Residence in Inverclyde through Culture Collective. He has had previous residencies with Children's Hospices Across Scotland, Firefly Arts, National Theatre of Scotland, and has been Creative Writer at Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.

SARA SHAARAWI

https://sarashaarawi.com/about

Sara is a playwright from Cairo, based in Glasgow.

As a playwright she has received development support from the National Theatre of Scotland, Creative Scotland, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Edinburgh International Festival. She has had work read at the Tron Theatre (Glasgow), Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh), Village Pub Theatre (Edinburgh), Platform (Easterhouse), Rich Mix (London) and the CCA (Glasgow), and had plays produced internationally in Germany, South Africa and Uganda.

In 2017, Sara began to take on producing projects, most notably project managing the Arab Arts Focus showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and partnering with the Workers Theatre to crowdfund and create Megaphone, a new bursary aimed at supporting artists of colour based in Scotland. She was Executive Director of Highlight Arts between 2019 -2021 and often works as an administrator for small film festivals in Glasgow.

In 2021, Sara’s first play Niqabi Ninja was produced by Independent Arts Project (Edinburgh) in association with Hewar Company (Alexandria), it opened at Shubbak Festival in London, followed by a Scotland-wide tour and a run at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Sara is also an occasional performer, who you might find performing in rehearsed readings and compering events in Scotland, such as Chill Habibi or Morning Manifesto.

MAY SUMBWANYAMBE

https://www.playwrightsstudio.co.uk/playwrights/may-sumbwanyambe.aspx

May Sumbwanyambe is a librettist, radio dramatist, academic and playwright from Edinburgh.

Previous productions include;

Ghost Light, (Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland), Joseph Knight, (BBC Scotland, National Theatre of Scotland) After Independence (Arcola Theatre, Papatango Theatre) The Parrot House (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) ‘After Independence’ and ‘The Trial of Joseph Knight (BBC Radio 4).

He is currently writing new stage plays for The National Theatre of Scotland, the Citizens Theatre and Grid Iron Theatre Company/National Trust for Scotland, all are about the historical visibility of Black peoples in Scotland. He is also developing a new TV Series for Two Rivers Media /the BBC and a new radio play for BBC Radio 4. His last stage play, which the Evening standard called “A notable debut play” and the times called “A debut of astonishing maturity” also saw him described by The Times as “a rare discovery” and The Telegraph as “a writer of terrific potential.”

In 2016 May’s debut play was the winner of the Alfred Fagon Audience Award, He was the inaugural Papatango Resident Playwright and winner of the £10k BBC Performing Arts Opera Fellowship. Other award recognition includes being shortlisted for the Channel 4/Oran Mor Comedy Drama Award (2012), the Papatango New Writing Prize (2012), the Alfred Fagon Award (2011, 2012, 2015), the BBC’S Alfred Bradley Award (2011) and OffWestEnd’s Adopt a Playwright Award (2010 and 2009), The Old Vic 12 award (2016) Perfect Pitch £12k musical award (2016), IASH/Traverse Fellowship (2017,2018), Live Theatre/Northumbria University Writer in Residence (2018) and The Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship (2018). He also reached the final round of Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2011) and won the BBC’s inaugural Scriptroom competition (2012).

As an academic, May worked for The University of Edinburgh as a teaching fellow in Theatre (2018-2019), he has been an Associate Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University for 3 years and is currently a Lecturer in Creative Writing and English at Northumbria University. May’s Undergrad degree was in law (LLB). He studied for his masters (MA) At Guildhall School of Musical and Drama in ‘Opera Making’, where he was also a Hedley Trust Scholar. He is currently the recipient of a full studentship from the University of York, where he is writing his PhD ‘A Practice-Based investigation into writing Post-Black History Plays’.

Outside of academia, May has worked as a new writing tutor for over 15 years. Companies he has worked with include: The West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Bolton Octagon, Hull Truck Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Tron Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Papatango Theatre Company, Royal Opera House, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Scottish Opera, The National Theatre of Scotland, The Old Vic Theatre and more…In 2018 May was a contributing author to two theatre theory books, ‘How to be a Playwright, (Nick Hearn Books) and ‘Revolution: 50 Years of Making Political Theatre’ (Pluto Books Limited in partnership with Edge Hill University Press).

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