Citizens Theatre Announces New Programme Of Digital Work and Lifeline Outreach Programme

Emilee Geist

A new film of the play Fibres by Frances Poet will reunite the original cast and creative team of the 2019 theatre production. Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, the Citizens Theatre will present two new films of popular past productions, bringing theatre to homes across Glasgow and Scotland while audiences cannot attend […]

A new film of the play Fibres by Frances Poet will reunite the original cast and creative team of the 2019 theatre production.

Citizens Theatre Announces New Programme Of Digital Work and Lifeline Outreach Programme

Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, the Citizens Theatre will present two new films of popular past productions, bringing theatre to homes across Glasgow and Scotland while audiences cannot attend live performances.

A new film of the play Fibres by Frances Poet will reunite the original cast and creative team of the 2019 theatre production. Jonathan Watson and Maureen Carr will reprise their roles as Jack and Beanie to explore the legacy of asbestos in the Clyde shipyards, giving voice to the stories of the women and families affected.

Re-imagined for a digital audience, the film of Fibres will give more people the opportunity to enjoy this funny and moving production that puts a vital spotlight on the untold story of the women affected by exposure to asbestos.

Directed by Jemima Levick, this will be the first full length production to be filmed and offered online from the Citizens Theatre and Stellar Quines. It will premiere in November. [Please refer to the Fibres press release that follows for more information]

In the new year, the Citizens will also premiere a new film of The Macbeths, a radical adaptation by Dominic Hill and Frances Poet, that focuses on the destructive relationship between the ambitious couple, played by Charlene Boyd and Keith Fleming. Having had a sold out run at the Citizens in 2017 this will be an exciting opportunity for audiences to experience an intimate and intense re-imagining of the Scottish play from the comfort of their own homes.

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, commented on the upcoming work,

“While so much live performance has not been able to happen over the past few months, we have been busy focusing on a hugely important strand of our work which is about reaching out to our local communities and participants, especially those people whose lives have been badly affected by the pandemic. We will continue to do this for as long as is necessary – putting classes, workshops, and meetings online, meeting people on doorsteps or via their phones or laptops and remaining connected in as creative a way as we can. Being at the heart of our community and helping to support and transform the lives of the people within it has always been part of who we are at the Citz.

I am also delighted that we will be filming two of our past productions – Fibres and The Macbeths – as well as planning something special for our audiences at Christmas. Not only does this allow us to bring Citizens Theatre productions to people’s homes but also to employ artists and freelancers who are the lifeblood of our industry. We look forward to once again producing live theatre in the Spring and hope this programme of work will provide some vital respite, support and inspiration during challenging times.”

Whilst Covid-19 restrictions has meant weekly sessions and groups have been unable to operate as normal, the Citizens Learning team remain committed to keeping connected with the many communities the theatre engages across Glasgow.

The theatre’s popular play reading group, Off The Page has expanded to offer two weekly groups online and has also launched Off The Page In The Gorbals, a group specifically for those who live in the local community of the theatre.

Additional on-going work by the Citizens Learning team includes:

  • Through My Window: a project to support women experiencing isolation during the pandemic.

  • Saturday Citizens: weekly drama sessions online for young people aged 14-18 with a learning disability.

  • Friday Club: weekly group sessions exploring creative skills and performance for people 18 years and over with a learning disability.

  • WAC Ensemble: weekly group sessions online for care experienced young adults aged 18-26.

  • Young Co.: weekly group sessions online for 18-22 year olds that provides opportunities in acting, writing and devising.

  • Community Collective: weekly drop-in sessions online and socially-distant visits for people from all walks of life who share an interest in theatre.

A new pilot project to support drama teachers fulfil the drama curriculum under current Covid restrictions is also underway. A series of live workshops on Zoom with Artistic Director Dominic Hill and professional actors offers teachers a practical insight into directing, to develop tools to use immediately in the classroom.

Re-opening the doors of the Citizens Theatre’s much-loved Gorbals home continues to be a major focus for the company. Demolition work has been completed on site with the construction phase due to commence in the coming weeks.

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