[Written by Amanda Landegren, Publicity Coordinator for GIST] [Image Credit: GIST//Facebook.com] With the current existence of over five other performing arts societies, was there really space—and need—for yet another theatre society at the university? When looking to the anglo-centrism of the content performed, the answer was a firm but enthusiastic yes! GIST, Glasgow International Student Theatre, was created last year with the intention of bringing attention to theatre from around the world. With a goal to perform, promote and celebrate theatre in translation and theatre from lesser known authors, the founders imagined a society where all are welcome, no matter accent, experience or prior knowledge. Looking then at the society’s first year in existence, the members are a small but devoted bunch who all contribute to diversifying the performing arts scene. The great advantage of multiple nationalities is not only cultural insight into the plays, but also the ability to share that insight with others.
The Cecilian Society, Glasgow University’s foremost musical theatre society, proudly present their main show of 2013; Frank Loesser’s hit musical ‘Guys and Dolls’. The society have previously performed musicals such as ‘Our House’, ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Oklahoma’ and in September 2012 ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. The society recently celebrated their 60th Anniversary in October, with a fantastic weekend of events including a hit concert packed full of musical classics. Building on the success of this weekend, they now bring this classic American musical to the Mitchell Theatre stage in February. With a cast of over 60 talented people bursting with enthusiasm, it is a must-see event!
‘Men were deceivers ever’, sings the ethereal voice of Claire Wallis sucking the audience into the world of STAG’s stunning production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. This modern take on Shakespeare’s adored classic, directed by student Joshua Payne, takes the story of love, lies and deceit to new levels. We are thrust into a land of criminals and con-men led by the infamous Donna Pedro and Leonato. Don Pedro’s change of sex is an interesting alteration by Payne, but works well in giving the language of the play a greater degree of sexual tension. The pair, together, equate to the mafia of the business world. With an aura of power and cunningness oozing from their presence, especially from actress Harriet Bolwell (Donna Pedro), they decide to take on more than just the money - It is cupid’s turn to be fleeced. Fraud and lies work for business, and the pair use the same devices to concoct a loving match between the striking Benedick and Beatrice. This match, based on a web of lies, surprisingly works out for the better. The love of fellow characters Claudio and Hero, however, a love based on truth and real feelings ends disastrously with devastating humiliation for bride Hero, and agony for both. Hero, played by Isabel Otter-Barry Ross, is the perfect sobbing bride, accused of an adulterous act she did not commit. Deceit has once again played its part, this time under the control of the sexual deviant Josephine Pedro, Donna Pedro’s villainous sister. It becomes clear that not only are lies used to the business world outside this gang culture, members are also untruthful to each other. Every relationship is poisoned by deceit.
Pass The Spoon has been described as an opera about food created by artist David Shrigley, composer David Fennessy and director Nicholas Bone of Magnetic North Theatre. This may seem a little intriguing already but take a minute to digest that first name and you can predict it’s going to get a whole lot stranger. Trying to put the ‘opera’ into some kind of understandable context is challenging so considering Shrigley’s ubiquitous art work should make it slightly clearer. But then you think of the odd little drawings and again you find difficulty in pinning down precisely the bizarre humour and charm that makes his work appeal so widely. Shrigley shows an ability to find the farcical in the mundane and has an inexplicable sense of humour shot through with morbidity. Therefore any concise explanation of Pass the Spoon would always elude me. I can only sum up my pre-performance thoughts as ‘weird shit was going to happen’.
Vanishing Point returned to the Tramway with a show reminiscent of ‘Interiors’, their last production. Separated from the stage by a panel of glass, the audience survey the action as if they were looking into a block of flats. Privy to no character dialogue whatsoever, we only hear sounds such as the television set, a hoover and a guitar being strummed. In the two flats we are allowed to see, the muted actors perform in mime. Above the main point of action, an old woman sits in a small room for the entire performance watching a television in the dark. Beneath her a young couple give a display of their life.
Yasmin Ali 13.04.11 Tickets for Platform 18 shows (14-17th April) on sale now from Traverse Box Office: 0131 228 1404 // www.traverse.co.uk Pause With A Smile Photo courtesy of The Arches. ‘Pause With A Smile’ is an hour’s interactive dialogue of incidental anecdotes brought to you by the excellent double-act Gary McNair and Kieran Hurley. Written and directed by Platform 18 winner Gareth Nicholls, the show is a quality production which is bursting with ideas. Pause… features an action-packed script densely populated by stories detailing a series of incredible coincidences. These are reeled off in quickfire succession to a bemused audience, who are left to ponder on their likelihood and plausibility. Each story begins with ‘Here’s one for you…’, used as a key pointer for anticipation.
Jonny Casey 12.04.11 Tickets for Platform 18 shows (14-17th April) on sale now from Traverse Box Office: 0131 228 1404 // www.traverse.co.uk Money… The Game Show Platform 18 award-winning playwright Clare Duffy brings us the brilliant and exhilarating interactive play ‘Money – The Game Show’. Duffy invites the audience to play and gamble with six thousand pound coins in a game show style play which challenges and questions our modern attitudes to risk management, the banking system and personal greed.