preview THEATRE

Citizens’ gain

A big new season at a spruced-up Citizens' Theatre can only be good news for Glasgow. Artistic director

GILES HAVERGAL explains how the theatre made the most of a fat Lottery grant, while his

colleagues reveal some . v .

Thanks a million: Giles Havergal prepares to spend the Citizens' Lottery grant

treats in store. Words: Andrew Burnet

When Giles llavergal directs Bernard Shaw's The Mil/[mattress at the Citizens‘ Theatre in the spring. the title may take on an unusual resonance. It might be said to apply to the theatre itself. which has undergone structural improvements to the tune of a cool million pounds. ‘I think it's remarkable what we're getting for the money. to be qttite truthful.‘ says the theatre's artistic director llavergal ol' the project.

'l'hree-quarters ol‘ the money came from a Lottery grant: the remainder was raised by the theatre itsell‘. With a big budget to play with. the ever-enthusiastic Havergal and his colleagues tackled an ambitious series of improvements. Sound and lighting equipment has been upgraded. as has the backstage area. which was last overhauled in 1974.

More obvious to the public

- . a ., £1 ,, at. I, :- .;.?§' .5. 3.: .5. will be two new extensions at we} mi? mic-ii is that: v.3 T

the rear of the building. The larger of these will provide a scene dock. where re-ttsable

scenery can be stored between fix-Trifle {Iii _ shows (in the past. the theatre

was forced to rent a damp and

eXbensive railway arch). Above

the scene dock is an enormous new rehearsal room. This will reflect the scale of the Citizens‘ main stage: it will also free tip the large rehearsal room in the old building. This is to be divided in two. each half big enough to accommodate rehearsals for the Citizens' two small studio theatres. For the first time. three shows can be rehearsed simultaneously within the building.

A second. smaller extension will house a paint shop. eliminating the necessity to paint scenery after installation a major disruption during production week. Lil'ts have also been incorporated. giving disabled employees access to all floors. and allowing wheelchair users to see shows in the (‘ircle Studio.

Finally. the foyer has been redecorated. ‘We felt that it' the theatre had been closed for six months it really needed a change of look for the audience.’ explains Havergal. ‘You can‘t jttst say. “oh. it‘s all been going on backstage".'

The theatre. whose successful run of The IH'IG. concludes this week. is about to launch a major spring season of nine plays three for each

.r‘ .. ." -" ‘1'. .s"{- z": is .3. ; ts v.3 9:.

perl‘ormance space. In the main house. resident director/designer Philip Prowse will stage Vanbrugh's sophisticated comedy The Relapse; then Robert David MacDonald the writer/director among the (Tit/.‘s enduring triumvirate of resident directors will tackle Macbeth (opening. to his dismay. on Friday 13 February). The season concludes with llavergal‘s Shaw production.

Meanwhile. the much smaller Stalls and (‘ircle Studios host the ttsual miscellany ot‘ delights. To open the season. .\'lacl)onald directs his latest play The Ice House his l‘it‘teenth tor the Citizens‘. about the destructive side-el't'ects ol‘ t'antasy as an aphrodisiac.' he says ot‘ his drama of sexual jealousy between three characters: a successful writer. his wit‘e

and his (male) secretary. .- A second world premiere

iiiSU ZIPPCZH'S in [hC CirCiC

Studio: The Dying Gaul by American writer (‘raig Lucas. v' who also scripted the AIDS

drama Longtime ('mnpuninn.

and is currently collaborating with rock band Queen on a stage mttsical. The Dying (hm/

will be directed by Jon Pope. at regular guest at the Citizens'. who is also designing Beckett's extraordinary monologue Krupp '3‘ Last Tape. to be performed by llavcrgal in the Stalls Studio.

First up for Pope. though. is his own With-vintage adaptation ol’ Henry James‘s The Ttuning ()f The Shrew. with music by his long-term collaborator Adrian Johnston who scored the hit tilms Jade and ll’elemne Tn .S'urujei-n. ‘lt’s actually quite simply done.’ says Pope ol‘ the classic supernatural chiller. ‘The music is the key to it. as in horror films. We have this fantastic and often quite creepy music. The story has an element of the really macabre about it. and the combination is good. I promise thrills and spills for all.‘ he chuckles. .»\ lair assurance for the season as a whole.

The Ice House opens on Wed 7 Jan; The Turn Of The Screw on Thu 8 Jan; The Relapse on Fri 9 Jan, all at the Citizens' Theatre. Each opening night is preceded by a free preview night.

‘lt‘s sort of

Stage whispers

Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes it is.



I IN A BID to outdo Molly Bloom - the ! heroine of Theatre Cryptic’s Parallel

; Lines Equity has asked its members to vote 'Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes’.

. The actors' union has traditionally

? been a closed shop, with membership notoriously elusive for aspiring

. performers. Now, Equity is

i encouraging its members to allow a ' major relaxation of entrance regulations. In a six-point vote, members must decide whether inexperienced performers should be invited to join on the basis of a television job offer; whether the two-tiered ’provisional’ and 'full‘ membership should be abandoned; whether students graduating from accredited training colleges should automatically gain membership; and other membership issues. The results are expected in the next few days.

THE REMAINS OF a medieval building have been discovered on the site of the Byre Theatre in St Andrews. The 1970 building has been demolished to make way for a new building. Funded by a £33 million Lottery grant, the new Byre will have two

i performance spaces: a 220-seat main ; house and a SO-seater studio, which i will double as a rehearsal room. Disabled access will be upgraded in

i the development. Building work

starts in March, with the reopening due in late 1999. However, not a foundation can be dug before the archaeologists finish investigating the site, thought to have been a 13th century lime kiln.


! young actors and for musicians with


an interest in theatre. Both the National Youth Theatre (NYT) and Glasgow's Theatre Cryptic are on recruitment drives. The NYT is open to actors aged 14—21, who should send two A4 SAEs plus a cheque/PO for £6 to The Company Manager, NYT, 443 Holloway Road, London N7 6LW. Musicians interested in working in Theatre Cryptic's collaborative, improvisational style should contact the company at 9 Burgh Hall Street, Glasgow, G11 SLW, or telephone on 0141 338 6929.

Muireann Kelly in Theatre Cryptic's Parallel Lines: do any musicians feel like saying yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes?

21 Nov—4 Dec 1997 THE LIST57