Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Blog re-fresh/downtime

We're working on a long overdue redesign of the site and hope to apply the new look shortly. As part of the testing/update process there may be some downtime for the site over the next couple of weekends - 8th/9th and 15th/16th January. There's also the possibility of elements of the site 'breaking' or looking a bit strange between now and when the new look goes live.

We'll try to keep any interruptions to a minimum, but apologies for any inconvenience.


Spring 2011 Preview

Lazy post-New Year days in the house are ideal for looking ahead at theatres' 2011 seasons. We've already received some programmes in the post and most now have details of their shows online. Details are pretty sparse, so there will be other productions that attract our attention nearer the time if a cast seems particularly strong, but we think this will be fairly close to what we actually see this Spring.

January looks like a quiet month for us, but The Tron gets us up and running in February with a couple of shows. "Staircase" would have been on our list anyway but the fact that it features Benny Young and Tron artistic director Andy Arnold certainly elevates our level of interest. Random Accomplice's "Smalltown" is not only credited with three writers - DC Jackson, Douglas Maxwell and Johnny McKnight, but it also allows its audience to choose an ending for the show. We think it may turn out to be one of the highlights of the year - either that or an unmitigated disaster. In March "The Belief Project" sounds a little on the serious side but we don't mind getting a bit philosophical now and again. Waldorf is keen to see "Age of Arousal" from Stellar Quines but I need a little more convincing. But there's no persuasion required for Gregory Burke's "Gagarin Way" which Rapture Theatre are touring - the play has a strong reputation and Rapture have repeatedly shown an ability to put together fantastic casts for their shows.
Click for full details of the Tron's Spring Season.

Across the Clyde at the Citizens their co-production with the Lyceum about Marilyn Monroe doesn't really appeal, so our visits there won't really kick in until March. NTS Reveal brings a set of new works (including rehearsed readings) but we found it quite tricky to work out all the combinations of the individual plays - we've settled on a double bill of "Love Letters to the Public Transport System" and Gary McNair's "Count Me In" (NTS Reveal also visits the Traverse). XLC Theatre company have put some great shows on at the Citz in the last couple of years so we'll be heading along to see "Lear's Daughters" which appears to be a prequel to Shakespeare's play. And in a nice piece of programming the National Theatre of Scotland bring David Greig's acclaimed 'sequel' to Macbeth - "Dunsinane" to the Citz in June (following a run at the Lyceum). Having enjoyed his "Manifesto" at the Fringe in 2009 we're looking forward to Mark Thomas's new show "Extreme Rambling" which is part of the Magners Comedy Festival which has a considerable presence across Glasgow in March/April. The Citz Community Co don't seem to have a main stage show planned for the Spring but we're looking forward to going 'Doon the Watter' with them in the Circle Studio in "Fair Friday". And lastly, the Citz have given us a bit of a dilemma with "After the End". It's definitely my kind of show but at the moment I'm finding myself more drawn to Dundee Rep's site specific production of the same play later in June - and I just can't see us booking up for both.
Click to view the Citizens full season brochure.

Published programmes for The Arches and Tramway are limited at the moment and the new season of 'A Play, A Pie & A Pint' at Oran Mor is due to be announced shortly.

Regular readers will know that it takes something special to get us along to the Kings or Theatre Royal in Glasgow due to expensive tickets and uncomfortable seating - but surprisingly we may well be booking up for three shows. We booked some time ago for "King Lear" featuring Derek Jacobi but are also tempted by the touring productions of "Avenue Q" and "Yes, Prime Minister".

The production of "King Lear" can also be seen in a number of cinemas on 3rd February as part of their National Theatre Live programme, and we're planning to see the NTLive performance of "Frankenstein" directed by Danny Boyle on 17 March. We've seen a couple of NTLive shows previously and despite small technical issues it's actually a great way to see a show you wouldn't otherwise be able to see.

With a main season that's largely also available in Glasgow, there isn't anything for us at the Lyceum this time round, but we're considering making trips through to Edinburgh for "Around the World in 80 Days" and "The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church" at the Traverse. I'm also keen to make the trip to Perth Theatre for their production of "Death of a Salesman" which has always been a favourite play of mine.

I'm not sure we're going to be able to make this last one work as it's a one-night-only thing, but Kim Shepherd made a huge impression on us in an amateur production of "We Will Rock You" a few years back, so we're hoping to get through to Dunfermline to catch her 'evening of song' at the Alhambra on 22nd January. UPDATE - this has now been cancelled, but hopefully will be re-scheduled.

As always with our previews, these aren't really recommendations, just a note of the shows that interest us and that may also interest you. Do let us know if you think there's anything we've missed...