Category Archives: Theatre

The extraordinary Tiger’s coming to town

Love to be mesmerised and thrilled?  Me too – and that’s why the exhilarating Tiger  and Tiger Tale (+6)  are not to be missed.  This wonderful piece of dance theatre by Barrowland Ballet is told in two spectacular shows – one aimed at children and the other at adults.

Barrowland Ballet's captivating TigerThe story introduces us to a family stuck in a routine –  a cleaning obsessed mother with a dutiful husband and a daughter desperate for attention.

Their world is pretty ordinary,  bland even.  And then something magical happens, something starts to infiltrate their lives…the Tiger.  Magnificently chaotic, alluring and dangerous – I won’t give anymore away other than to say you must meet this wonderful tiger in his fine orange suit.

Prepare to be captivated

Beautiful movement, acrobatic dancers and fantastic music will have you totally transfixed.   The live music performed throughout the show  adds to the emotional resonance.  It’s a sensory delight.  So don’t be shy!  Nab one of the front row seats and get as close to the action as you can.

The set is more like an art installation with metal scaffolding and a cat’s cradle of silken strings for the performers to play in.  The unique looking buckets hanging from the ceiling are truly cool.

It has been touring but is coming to the Tramway in Glasgow on 25 and 26 October.  So get your tickets for Tiger and the kid’s Tiger Tale.  You won’t be disappointed.

Step away from the ordinary and get some Tiger in your life.  Grrrrr!

– B

Psychological thrillers, lie detectors and free milk!

Hooray – for some of us lucky ducks, this weekend is extended.  And where better to spend extra time than at the Tron Theatre’s  Mayfesto.

Taking place from the 1 – 20 May, this annual political festival of theatre explores identity and truth in all its forms.  I’m especially intrigued by award-winning director Kirsty Housley’s play Bandages.  It explores  the fantastical world created by two sisters attempting to protect themselves from the media’s depiction of horrific crimes in their local area.  It’s sure to be chilling and spine-tingling good.


As It Is by Vanishing Point is also on my to-see list.  It looks at  truth, imagination and memories – and throws in a lie detector for good measure.  It stirs up interesting pondering about truth and reality, though I have a feeling I’ll probably be left with more questions than answers.

thepriceofeverythingresizedforweb_trontheatre_website_picWhat’s the cost…

But if that all sounds too difficult to contemplate, then try The Price of Everything by Daniel Bye.

Through a bizarre collection of facts and impassioned arguments, this comedic but provocative performance asks questions to get you thinking about the value of beauty… along with what you might pay for an air guitar on eBay.   If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between the price of an object and its true value,  this is a must-see.  And apparently there’s free milk.  Bonus!

With tickets ranging from £2 -10, there’s something for every taste and pocketbook.  So go on.  Ask a few questions, possibly get a few answers and enjoy!


Glasgow Girls – unmissable and inspirational

Glasgow Girls photo c. citizens theatreThe crowd is buzzing with excitement in the jam-packed foyer of the Citizens Theatre.  We’re all eagerly waiting to see the Glasgow Girls, a new musical by award-winning director Cora Bissett.

And just who are these Glasgow Girls?

Seven inspirational teen activists from Drumchapel High School who in 2005 fervently campaigned against the dawn raids wrenching asylum-seeking families out of their homes into a detention centre to be deported.

But what drives a bunch of teen girls to hound politicians, take on the authorities like the Home Office and even challenge the Scottish Government?  Friendship.  Their friend Agnesa, originally from Kosovo, was one of the children facing deportation with her family.

Stand up for what’s right – spirit of Glasgow

It’s hard to imagine taking a hard-hitting issue like asylum and putting it into song but it’s pure (dead brilliant) gallus Glasgow.

And as I watch this sometimes harrowing, often inspiring story unfold, I see a microcosm of what makes Glasgow so special.  Not a shiny, glossy version but a gritty real representation of the spirit of Glasgow – a community galvanised into action to do right and protect its own, regardless of where people come from.

As I leave the show, swelling with pride, the anthem We are the Glasgow Girls fills my head.  Who wouldn’t want to be a Glasgow Girl?  Fighting for what you believe in and  driven to change people’s minds to make the world a better place.

‘We are all Glasgow Girls’

So go on, find out what the Glasgow Girls are about.  And you will probably discover that regardless of your age or gender, you are indeed a Glasgow Girl.  The show is on at the Citz until 17 November – but don’t delay, snap up your tickets, be inspired and have a fantastically good time.


Brighten soggy summer with a Play, Pie and a Pint

Alice in Poundland, Play, Pie and a Pint,, GlasgowFalling down the rabbit hole on a Saturday afternoon never felt better.  At least if a Play, Pie and a Pint’s Alice in Poundland has anything to do with it.

As the name suggest, lunch-time theatre at Oran Mor includes pub-grub pie (or quiche) and a pint of your choosing – even Guinness or a glass of wine if beer isn’t your thing.  But the pie and pint are merely appetisers for what’s on offer.

Panto for grown-ups

Alice in pound-land is panto for grown-ups at its best.  You’ll meet familiar reinvented poundland characters along with a few new personalities– a clucking hen-night-hen among my favourites.  This wacky wonderland-inspired story is fused together with nods to Glasgow and a timely recession-driven twist that had us chortling in our seats.  Even my reluctant companion had to admit that it was one of the funniest things he’d seen in a while.

Don’t be late for this very important date

Energetic, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny– don’t be late for this very important date because their Poundland run will be coming to an end as of Saturday 28 July.

It’s marvellous to the think that underneath Oran Mor’s regular pub banter and drinking, a totally energising show is unfolding. So escape soggy summer and brighten up your afternoon at a Play, Pie and a Pint.   And if you can’t make Alice in Poundland, be sure to catch one of their other afternoon theatrical offerings.

Shows run Monday – Saturday, 1pm and 3pm, £8-12.50 – depending on the day and time.  Unreserved seating so be sure to get there early.

– T

High jinks in skinny jeans and hoodies

Kibble Palace, Bard in the BotanicsBard in the Botanics has been thrilling Glasgow audiences with their imaginative interpretations of Shakespeare for over a decade. The Garden’s a beautiful backdrop but with rain as our permanent companion, it’s Romeo and Juliet in the Kibble Palace.

Star-crossed lovers as never before

This fantastic space completely captivates, surrounding us with glass and expansive greenery that creates a lush setting.  Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays but this version still manages to surprise me with ample laughter and energy.

The young cast have a real joie de vivre and bring a down-to-earth edge to things.  Dressed in modern day clothes, complete with skinny jeans and hoodies, they breathe new life into an old favourite – and even use contemporary anthems like We Are Young.

Old words for today’s generation

Yes, they speak in traditional verse but they’re still able to give a glimpse into the lives of today’s young boys trying to become men: the angst of first love, the indulgence in drunken revels, the heady combustion of youth and hormones.  Mercutio’s delivery masters Shakespeare’s double entendre to the full; I can’t hold back my laughter.  And Juliet, the only woman in the cast, is not outdone.  Her performance is strong and poignant in a sea of testosterone.

Rain or shine, Bard in the Botanics allows you to see Shakespeare in a wonderful new light.  But don’t just take my word on how fantastic it is, the performance has been extended to Saturday 28 July – an extra six shows added due to popular demand.

As William says ‘action is eloquence’.  So go on, book your tickets online  or call 0141 429 0022 – £15/ £10 concession.



The Scottish Play

I’m over an hour early.  Why?  Because I have a date with Alan Cummings – but I’m not the only one.

Alan Cummings is MacbethHis daring one-man performance of Macbeth at the Tramway is one of the hottest tickets in town and as I join the growing queue I feel my early arrival is justified.  It’s unreserved seating and I’m determined to get a good spot for an optimum view.

Inside the place is already buzzing – but we manage to nab the last table in the café bar  and settle in for a bit of food before the show.  While I’m enjoying my haggis, neeps and tatties the small queue I’d left behind transforms into  a writhing snake winding its way round the tables – even though there’s over 40 minutes till the show.

On you mark, get set, go – to the good seats

The doors to the auditorium open a few minutes later and the murmur around the crowd spreads, ‘it’s already full downstairs’.  That’s all I need to hear to send me bolting up the stairs with my friend in tow to nab the best of the balcony seats – middle, a few rows back.

Mental and mindblowing

Set in a mental institution the set’s eerie and bleak and uses every last inch of the vast space. And you can’t help but drink in every detail as the tension stirs of an eagerly awaiting audience.

Don’t worry – no spoiler alert needed for any of you lucky people who have managed to get tickets to see the remaining shows.   But you are definitely in for a treat – an amazing performance that will take you on a tense, absorbing, moving journey.  And the standing ovation for Alan Cummings is well-deserved.

Tickets are now down to returns but the Tramway is keeping people updated via their blog – keep an eye out, it’s worth the £20 ticket.  The play runs until Saturday 30 June and then jets off to New York but the Tramway remains with exhibitions, performances and a Hidden Garden.

Missed Macbeth? Tramway still worth a visit

Tramway Theatre, GlasgowThe Tramway started its life in 1893 as the Coplawhill tram shed and now houses art exhibitions and performances inside its exposed brick walls and ceilings as high as a circus top.

Even if you don’t get to see Alan, it’s still worth checking out their diverse programme of events and visiting this fantastic space.

–  B

Just the ticket to break up mid-week mundane

The Citizen Theatre, GlasgowA mid-week trip to the theatre is the perfect way to shake off the return of rain and kick-start the weekend.

So I head to the Citizen’s theatre  in the Gorbals for a Samuel Beckett double bill.

Wonder awaits you inside

The outside of the building looks pretty functional but the foyer is a wonderful kitsch combination of life size elephants and bards. Shakespeare and Burns never looked better off set by shocking pink walls.

Elephant awaits you at The Citz, GlasgowThe grand Victorian auditorium  is  a wonderful contrast; step back in time to an impressive surroundings offering up balconies and private boxes at the side of the stage adorned in magnificent golds and red.

And don’t forget to look way up to admire the elevated domed ceiling.  Despite its magnitude– the Citz still manages to be an intimate welcoming space rather than vast and overpowering.

On with the show

It’s one of those amazing venues that naturally exudes energy and excitement. I’m in my seat still trying to take it all in when the curtains open to reveal a very simple set.   A lone man sits on his 69th birthday contemplating a recording he made about his life when he was 39.

And even though I am totally absorbed in the performance – I can’t help but realise that this man and I are caught in parallel activities. I listen to him review a recording of his life as I am set to review a part of my life that he is now part of.   In 30 years will I reflect on this blog, remembering this moment?  Possibly.  And just what will I think of my younger self?

Theatre with charm

As the second oldest operational theatre in the UK, with an electric programme of events, classes and workshops, the Citz is a must see.  Go for the experience but remember to appreciate the magical surroundings – because these walls talk so listen.

– B

Behave yourself….or not. But don’t miss this festival!

Behaviour isn’t your average festival.  Thankfully.

It’s an adventure fuelled by gritty performances that provide a close up look at the good, the bold, the bizarre and the beautiful.  And don’t worry, nobody minds if you stare.  In fact, they encourage it.

See everything!

Showcasing talented local and international artists – this electric and energetic programme  is so damn good that you may as well treat yourself to a ‘see everything’ festival pass and see the lot.  At £39 (£29 concession) it’s a real bargain considering the calibre and colossal list of performances on offer – there’s still over 10 different shows happening until the 29 April.    Or you can see individual shows between £4 – £11 a pop.

While many shows are happening at the Arches, others will take place across the city – some in the most interesting and unusual venues.

Surprisingly, music to my ears

Sewing Machine Orchestra at Behaviour Festival 2012Admittedly I never thought of a sewing machine as being musical but Montréaler Martin Messier’s  raw, industrial sewing machine orchestra was completely captivating.

And different.  In a good way.

Stir emotion, discover and face your fears

But this festival isn’t just about going to see live performances – it’s about stirring emotion, discovering something new and possibly even facing your fears.  Would you have the guts to set your vanity aside and let a 10-year-old kid scissor-hands cut your hair?  If the answer is yes, then definitely go to see the closing show ‘Haircuts by Children’.

There is still so much to see and experience that it’s hard to settle on a few, but I’m looking forward to hopefully also seeing (and smelling) ‘The Silence of Bees’ happening in Lush on Sauchiehall, starting  a loud rebellion at Kieran Hurley’s ‘Beats’ and experiencing the ups and downs of Bryony Kimmings’ intoxicating and entertaining ‘7 day Drunk’.

Whatever you choose, it will be right.  And it will be good.

-T #behaveyourself

Resolve to discover the new, not abandon the old

It’s dark, it’s cold and the last of your festive cheer has possibly disappeared with your hangover.

2012 quickly approaches and the time has come to make resolutions to be abandoned with gusto.  But this New Years instead of giving up supposed bad habits, why don’t you choose a new year’s resolution of discovery.

Glasgow is overflowing with culture and entertainment – and even better, much of it is free. So even if Christmas has left you waiting for your next pay, there’s no excuse not to see what’s on in Glasgow in 2012.

Trongate 103

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre at Trongate 103A lively arts hub in the city centre, Trongate 103 holds free events on the first Thursday of every month.  Ranging from film screenings to exhibitions, drama to music from professionals to community members, there’s something for everyone.

Earlier this month I went to the amazing Project Ability exhibition where I was lucky enough to meet the artist and saw a performance of GIRL taking place in a photographic gallery.  It’s a wonderful adventure, you don’t know what the event is going to be like until you are in it, so take a risk and discover something sensational.


If you fancy something more highbrow, then the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) hosts a Creative Exchange on the last Thursday of the month. Of course you can be daring an do both.

Explore Glasgow’s museums for free!

Alternatively Glasgow offers loads of free museums, great for adults and kids.  There’s the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, architectural magnificence with storytelling for children on a Saturday morning.

And don’t underestimate the attraction of modern art for kids, at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) my boys could stare at things for far longer than me.  The apparent lack of rules of interpretation work and fascinate.

Check out the newly opened Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel featuring the fantastic Flying Scotsman with his specially designed bikes – may look a little bizarre but world records can’t be wrong.

The Southside’s impressive Burrell Collection is set in beautiful grounds with a great play park. And inside there’s hours of exploring to discover with over 1200  collections, 3000 images and a wonderful café to rest tired feet and refuel in.

Discover the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green boasting Billy Connolly’s banana shoes and the best park nearby with enclosed tubular slides.

So bundle yourself up and make grabbing a bit of free culture your New Year’s resolution.  You’ll be glad you did.

– B

No ordinary cinema – tears, tissues and mulled wine

Seconds away from the hustle and bustle of Sauciehall Street is the enchanting GFT  tucked away on Rose Street.  

GFT cinema in GlasgowIt’s a comforting haven – especially the night before Christmas Eve.  Instead of frantic shoppers and manic stares we’re greeted by the wonderful smell of mulled wine and mince pies. 

In true festive spirit, we’ve come to watch that Christmas classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.  It’s a first for my children but for my mum and me a welcomed nostalgic return.  We’re well prepared with tissues that my children of course eye with disdain. 

Best in British and international film

At anytime of year the whole experience at the GFT makes seeing a film seem so much more special.  No unappetising bloated hot dogs and pawed over pick-and-mix, instead this stylised art deco building offers the Cosmo Cafe and a Balcony Bar.  And here coffee and wine are acceptable alternatives.  In addition to mainstream flicks they offer some of the best and most interesting in British and international films.

It actually feels more like a night at the theatre than your average cinema, complete with a starry-filled curtains drawn back to reveal the film screen.  The atmosphere is festive, magical even –  and you can feel the whole audience responding with you to the film. The round of spontaneous applause at the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is a first for me.

Do something wonderful in 2012

So why not put some wonderful into your life and check the GFT’s fantastic programme.  Indulge in a  truly extraordinary cinematic experience in a beautiful building adorned with the legends of the film industry.  Great value too, our family ticket for 4 was only £16.  And on Saturday mornings they offer   Take 2  free family films alongside a selection of films you won’t see anywhere else in Glasgow!

– B