HAMLET, 1984, IN TIME O' STRIFE and More Set for Citizens Theatre's Autumn 2014 Season
The Citizens Theatre today announces its Autumn 2014 season including:
· Headlong's 5-star production of 1984, transferring direct from a West End run for its Scottish premiere
· National Theatre of Scotland's gutsy production of In Time O' Strife, Joe Corrie's examination of a Fife mining community
· Kill Johnny Glendenning, a brutal new comedy by young Scottish writer DC Jackson
· A new production of A Christmas Carol directed by Dominic Hill
The new production of Hamlet marks Hill's first time directing Shakespeare's most-performed play, with Brian Ferguson making his debut in the role of the enigmatic and philosophical Hamlet.
Announcing the new season, Artistic Director Dominic Hill said: "There's always something special about performing Shakespeare at the Citz. Hamlet in particular has a strong history with this theatre for being presented in an innovative way, and this new version will be no different. Alongside Brian Ferguson, we'll be welcoming back Roberta Taylor, a regular on the Citizens stage from the 1970s to the 90s, and her husband Peter Guinness to the Citizens as Gertrude and Claudius.
We'll be opening our season with a West End smash with Headlong's brilliant new production of Orwell's 1984, which has totally blown away audiences and critics in London, and are welcoming back National Theatre of Scotland, Untitled Projects, Mull Theatre and newly-formed Gaelic theatre company White Stag Theatre to the theatre.
We continue our relationship with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh with a new co-production of a new comedy by DC Jackson, following our successful collaboration on Crime and Punishment in 2013.
I'm also looking forward to working on our annual festive show for families and young people. Our A Christmas Carol will have all the trappings of a traditional Christmas tale and that special magic that makes Christmas at the Citz a real treat and an experience unlike anything else on offer in the city.
We're fast approaching the Citizens' 70th anniversary in the Gorbals in 2015, and I feel we've programmed a season that showcases the best of our history and heritage, as well as some great new writing and work by some of the most innovative theatre companies working in the UK today."
1984 (29 August - 6 September 2014)
Headlong's co-production with Nottingham Playhouse and the Almeida Theatre of George Orwell's dystopian fantasy 1984 has won 5-star reviews across the board and transferred to the West End in April 2014. It comes direct from its West End run to the Citizens for its only Scottish dates.
Orwell's novel imagines a future of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance and incessant public mind control. Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's sinister and chilling stage version employs an ingenious multimedia design and places the audience in the role of the all-seeing Big Brother.
Headlong's recent productions, which typically interrogate important cultural texts, include The Effect with Billie Piper, American Psycho with Matt Smith and Chimerica, which won Best New Play at the 2014 Olivier Awards. The company are regular visitors to the Citizens stage with previous co-productions of Medea, and Angels in America, as well as recent touring productions The Seagull and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
HAMLET (19 September - 11 October 2014)
Dominic Hill directs Shakespeare's most-performed play of political corruption, family feuds and murder, the first time the director has directed this cornerstone of the theatrical canon.
Hamlet has a rich and at times controversial history at the Citizens Theatre, including an all-male version of the play starring David Hayman in 1970, a 1981 production set in a psychiatric hospital, a 1993 studio version starring Lost's Henry Ian Cusick as the Dane and Helen Baxendale as Ophelia and a production in 1996 which starred Cal MacAninch and Sophie Ward.
Brian Ferguson (Black Watch / Dunsinane, National Theatre of Scotland) takes on the seminal role of the young prince full of contradictions and conflict and weighed down by his conscience.
Real-life couple Roberta Taylor and Peter Guinness are cast as Hamlet's mother Gertrude and his treacherous uncle Claudius. A regular performer at the Citizens Theatre from the early days of her career in the 1970s to the 1990s, Taylor has become best-known for her long-standing roles in Eastenders and The Bill. Guiness is a veteran tv, film, and stage actor whose appearances include Sleepy Hollow, Centurion and Alien 3.
IN TIME O' STRIFE (14 - 18 October 2014)
National Theatre of Scotland bring their powerful, physical and loud production of Joe Corrie's political drama In Time O' Strife to the Gorbals, adapted, designed and directed by Graham McLaren
Written in 1926 to raise money to feed striking miners and their starving families, and when writer Joe Corrie himself was on strike, this play of class-conflict exposes the lives of a Fife mining family staring hunger and defeat in the face. In this production, McLaren interweaves Corrie's stark and uncompromising script with fragments of his other plays, poems and songs, driven by gutsy folk-punk songs and full-bloodied choreography
The last production of Corrie's play was by 7:84 at the Citizens Theatre in 1982.
KILL JOHNNY GLENDENNING (22 October - 8 November 2014)
The Glasgow underworld, tabloid celebrities and the macho glamour of the gangster life are the targets of DC Jackson's new comedy Kill Johnny Glendenning, a co-production between the Citizens and Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh directed by Lyceum Artistic Director Mark Thomson.
Andrew McPherson has many legitimate business interests: a security firm, taxis, a couple of Renfrewshire bus routes, several pubs and even a secret shareholding in Rangers. Johnny "the bastard" Glendenning is the self styled Tony Blair of Ulster loyalist gunmen. Their feud races towards a final showdown in the wilds of Ayrshire that only one of them can survive.
Jackson has become known for his ferociously rude comedies, recently writing for Channel 4's Fresh Meat, with previous work for theatre including My Romantic History (Scotsman Fringe First Award 2010), the trilogy of The Wall, The Ducky and The Chooky Brae and an acclaimed adaptation of Beaumarchais' The Marriage of Figaro for the Lyceum.
WHISKY GALORE (12 - 15 November 2014)
As the nights draw in, Comar set sail for the Citz to bring Mull Theatre's delightfully farcical comedy Whisky Galore to Glasgow.
Three hapless but frightfully nice actors in evening dress gather in a 1940s BBC drama studio and attempt to recreate the hilarious story of the valiant people of the Island of Todday, using their skills, wit, ingenuity and 100 unlikely sound effects.
Previous performances of the hugely enjoyable and entertaining Whisky Galore have won praise from audiences and critics for its subtlety and style as well as its affable humour.
Whisky Galore is directed by Alasdair McCrone with Helen McAlpine, Barrie Hunter & Darren Brownlie.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (29 November - 3 January 2014)
The cautionary tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his struggle to find the true spirit of Christmas has enthralled and inspired for generations. With archetypal Dickensian Christmas scenes created in surroundings of the Citizens' beautiful Victorian auditorium, the Citizens' Christmas production will be sure to fill even the biggest Scrooge with festive spirit.
TOMAS & FANTOM (29 October - 1 November 2014)
White Stag Theatre company bring two new Gaelic plays to the Circle Studio following the production of Macbheatha in Autumn 2013.
Tomas is a new Gaelic version of the epic Burns poem 'Tam o' Shanter', translated by Donald MacIntyre and adapted and performed by David Walker. Burns' poem paints a vivid picture of humour, pathos, horror, social comment and is populated by several unforgettable characters. Fantom by Kenny Macrae is a tale of love, jealousy, sex and religion and murder, based on the legend of the serial-killer Mac an t-Sronaich who terrorised the population of Harris and Lewis in the 1830s. Despite the warrant for the arrest of the 'Fantom', no-one was ever brought to trial.
This double bill is directed by Liz Carruthers.
SLOPE (12 - 22 November 2014)
Cultural tenants Untitled Projects bring Pamela Carter's play Slope, about the love affair between the 19th-century poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud and its impact on Verlaine's young wife Mathilde, to the Circle Studio. Stewart Laing directs the story of the enfants terribles of French poetry, whose verbal sparring is scabrous and hilarious, and rollercoaster relationships as passionate and claustrophobic as they are cruel and ridiculous.
Originally produced by Untitled Projects in 2006 at Tramway, this new production has been reconceived for a studio setting.
Slope is presented by Untitled Projects in partnership with Hibrow, the online platform for High Definition video arts programming, as part of Glasgay!
For tickets and more information, visit citz.co.uk or call 0141 429 0022.
Pictured: Brian Ferguson as Hamlet. Photo by Tom Morozzo.