GLASGOW CITIZENS THEATRE PRESENTS THE CITIZENS COMP ANY m no VEMBER4-NOVEMBER 26 con BALS GLASGOW 04: 429 0022
costumes on. and they were furious with me. They thought we had deceived them.
'With Hum/ct. I had no idea you could cause that sort of
stooshie. I nearly lost my job. Two important members of the staff left that week. l‘d survived a year and a bit. which was more than my predecessor. so the idea of getting rid of me wasn't extreme. We were saved by the audience: the ligures were so good. (iradually. people began to realise that this was the taste of something new.‘
C IS FOR COLLECTIVE CDNTRGL
Havergal is part of a directorial triumvirate with Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald.
‘lt‘s essential to our success — and it‘s really based on live people: lan Ribbens. our production manager. and the general manager who has changed but has always been brilliantly filled. We each have separate departments. but we’re all subject to collegiate decision making. People say we tun it on communist lines and we don‘t. we‘re a frightful autocracy — but it happens to be an autocracy with live autocrats stamping about.’
C IS FOR CAMP
A critic’s watchword for the Citz’ house style. 'Tynan defined camp as form without content and I think to apply that to the work here is to miss the point. L'nderneath the llamboyance and the drag. all the work we do has a point. partly becattse we only do the work of the greatest dramatists. If you‘re equating camp with sexy fun. then I'm all for that. '(‘amp by itself is of no interest. We didn‘t put those guys into frocks and girls into trousers as a camp gag. ()ne of the examples is Travels with HIV/IIHIII there is no doubt that to see a six foot high elderly gentleman with a moustache pretending to be an lidwardian lady is catnp. but it is actually about something.’
C IS FOR CONTINENTAL EUROPE
The Citz is more European than Maastrict.
‘lt‘s because we do so many liuropean plays. This season. we’ve got four French plays out of IE. liven now. the simple fact that we open up to our audience authors that other theatres don't — including the National and the Royal Shakespeare — is good.‘
C IS FOR CURIOSITIES
The forthcoming season is a typical mix of the well known and the unheard of.
‘When we do l'iutst or 7710 thlt'lIi/H’ ll'n't'kvrs or June .S'ltuu' or Proust. it‘s all based on the feeling that these are good
From bottom: Havergal in Judgement, 1993; MacDonald, Prowse and Havergal; Noel Coward’s Cavalcade, 1999; Havergal in Travels with my Aunt, 1989; poster, 1982; Glenda Jackson in Mother Courage, 1990; Rupert Everett and Greg
enough plays to draw an audience. The excitement for us is finding things that we love which aren‘t well known. With Tennessee Williams. having done a lot of the famous ones. we could also do In Illt‘ Bur (3/11 7t)k_\‘() llutt'l. With (‘oward the same. If people begin to attach coming to a Noel (‘oward play with having a good evening. you can then do one called .S'irm'm that they haven‘t heard of or. tnost notably. Semi- .IInm/t' |l977| which nobody had heard of because it was a world premiere. 'l‘hat production was one of the real achievements of the 30 years.‘
C IS FOR CREATIVE ACCOUNTANCY
The Citz has an unblemished record for balancing the books, even if it’s meant Havergal directing himself in a one-man show such as 1999’s Death in Venice or 1993’s Judgement. ‘If you believe it's important to balance the books. then you will do anything to do so. It’s got to work both ways. It’s no good the wardrobe mistress saying ll] be as parsimonious as l can~ if she’s asked to make a dress that she cannot make for under £l()()(). You've got to say to the designer' "l‘his dress can only cost £500] and he will redesign it. It's got to be in the culture of the place. In almost every theatre that I‘ve worked in. you're given a budget and if you run out. you go back and you get more money. whereas here you absolutely don‘t.
‘lt gives us more freedom. If we were losing money. the board would question the play list. You open that door and you let in accountants telling you how to run the place.‘
C IS FOR CELEBRITY
Pierce Brosnan, Robbie Coltrane, Rupert Everett, David Hayman, Celia Imrie, Glenda Jackson, Ian McDiarmid, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Tim Roth, Mark Rylance, Ida Schuster . . .
‘Because we can‘t treat them as celebrities [financially]. we don‘t feel we should take the credit for them. That‘s why we never give billing. If you give billing. it opens up a whole can of tricks and if (ilenda Jackson gets billing for .I’IUI/It’l' ('nurugt'. should lillen Sheean get billing for Lady Bracknell because it‘s an equally big part‘.’
‘lt‘s wonderful that Pierce. (iary and Rupert have become such huge successes. bttt we‘ve had other fabulous actors through here who nobody knows about. who haven‘t done big movies. We’ve always said that what should draw the audience is the standard of what they get within these doors and the name of the author and play.‘
The Importance of Being Earnest is at the Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow from Fri 25 Oct-Sat 16 Nov.
' ' .ll ()(tf x‘
Hicks in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, 1994; poster for Loot, 1971 and The Importance of Being Earnest, 1977
1‘09 THE LIST 23