The best upcoming theatre shows in Scotland for Spring 2011
- The List
- 4 March 2011
A guide to the unmissable shows populating theatreland til June
On tour, 4 March–20 April
Brilliant Belgian director Pol Heyvaert, who directed Aalst for the National Theatre of Scotland, hooks up with Glasgow actor Robert Softley for a provocative play based on the controversial case of Ashley X, a girl whose severe disabilities led her parents to halt her growth before she reached puberty.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 8–12 March
Sir Derek Jacobi gives a heartbreaking performance as the pig-headed king driven to madness by his ungrateful daughters in this much raved-about production of Shakespeare’s tragedy by London’s Donmar Warehouse.
Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, 16–19 March
Gregory Burke’s world-conquering play returns to the Black Watch’s regimental heartlands. Despite a rapidly changing international political climate, the play’s soldier’s eye view of the Iraqi conflict retains its political and theatrical charge.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 22–26 March
English touring company Headlong calls in with a Dream set in the world of a 1960s Hollywood film studio, where Hippolyta and Theseus are movie co-stars causing ructions because of their off-camera affair.
Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell
Tramway, Glasgow, 24 March
A tribute to the late monologist, Swimming to Cambodia author and Wooster Group founder, co-conceived by his widow Kathleen Russo and drawn from writings from throughout his career. Much of the material has never been heard before.
The Hard Man
On tour, 31 March–7 May
In 1977 the late Tom McGrath collaborated with convicted gangster Jimmy Boyle to create this powerful play about the way childhood violence can create a brutalised adult. It is being revived by the Scottish Theatres Consortium for a mainstage tour.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 8 April–7 May
It’s not that long since Theatre Babel premiered this reworking of Moliere’s L’Ecole des Femmes, but in the meantime its author, Liz Lochhead, has been elevated to the status of Makar, so it’s a great opportunity to reassess her work.
Six Black Candles
On tour, 15 April–22 May
Playwright Des Dillon was so delighted with the Royal Lyceum’s hilarious 2004 staging of his story about six sisters with a black magic fixation that he has set up a theatre company of his own and reunited the original cast for a Scottish tour. Spooky.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 15 April–7 May
Rona Munro is everywhere at the moment. She’s the author of Jim Loach’s movie Oranges and Sunshine and the RSC play Little Eagles, as well as this Traverse premiere of a comedy-thriller-romance set in Marchmont and China.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, 4–28 May
A second festival of politically themed theatre, this time with a Celtic edge. As well as work from Irish theatre companies, the Tron is staging its own production of Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco by Welsh writer Gary Owen and, from Scotland, the premiere of David Harrower’s Day Long.
Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 9–15 May
Forget how old you are: anyone with a serious interest in theatre will find bountiful treasures in the annual international festival for younger audiences.
My Fair Lady
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, 13 May–15 October
The theatre in the hills begins its summer season, introducing one play at a time to build up a rolling repertoire. As well as this musical adaptation of Shaw’s Pygmalion there are productions of Henceforward, See How They Run!, Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ and Privates on Parade.
On tour, 14 May–11 June
Concerned we shouldn’t miss out on a new play by David Greig, the National Theatre of Scotland has kindly bought into this RSC production of his sequel to Macbeth.
After The End
Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, 17 May–4 June; Dundee Rep, 16–25 June.
You wait ages for a new production of Dennis Kelly’s apocalyptic two-hander and then two come along at once. Both the Citz and Dundee Rep have decided this thriller first seen at Edinburgh’s Traverse deserves a wider audience.
The Interminable Suicide Of Gregory Church
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 19 & 20 May
A second chance to catch the peerless Daniel Kitson performing his Fringe First-winning story from 2009 about a man forced to postpone his death because of how long it takes to write his suicide notes.
Dundee Rep, 23 May–11 June
A second airing for Jo Clifford’s adaptation of the great Tolstoy tragedy about an illicit love affair in an Imperial Russia that is moving from a rural to an industrial economy.
Knives in Hens
On tour, 3-20 June
More from David Harrower, this time in the form of his astonishing debut play set in an unspecified ancient past and revived by the National Theatre of Scotland.
King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 28 June–2 July
The long-running West End and Broadway puppet musical arrives with a clutch of rave reviews. Imagine a politically incorrect Muppet Show, then add more songs and considerably more puppet sex.