Long live the King….

The king of football comedy, Jonathan Watson, takes to the stage once more, this time in the outrageous award-winning comedy play, King of Scotland, writes Susan Welsh, Press and Journal.

When it comes to comedy, it’s all about timing – and the timing could not be better than right now for presenting a revival of the outrageous one-man show, King of Scotland. Written by Iain Heggie and starring Jonathan Watson, the much-loved actor from legendary Scottish shows including Only An Excuse, Naked Video and City Lights.. The play, which sees Jonathan present a funny and daring monologue, was first performed just after the inauguration of the Scottish Parliament, before going on to be named an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First winner. With the 2011 Scottish Elections in mind, Iain Heggie rewrote and revised part of the script to suit the changing political landscape.

The cutting-edge production, which on this occasion is also directed by Iain, features trouser-less bankers, talking dogs, flying taxis and a razor-sharp parody of the workings of Scottish politics. At its heart is Tommy McMillan, played by Jonathan, an established actor who trained at the RSAMD and has worked with numerous theatrical companies.

“The play is very loosely based on the short story, Diary of a Madman, written by Nikolai Gogol about a little office clerk and his descent into madness,” explained Jonathan.

“In this take on it, it focuses on a guy called Tommy McMillan who is one of the long-term unemployed – 28 consecutive years without working, and proud of it. “He’s roped into a government training scheme to get him back into work and through the implications of it, at work and in his home life, you see his descent into madness. “Along the way you meet many characters, mainly seen through the eyes of Tommy, but other characters do pop up too, portrayed through Tommy’s interpretation of them.”

After joining the government scheme, Tommy is portrayed as a shining example of how it works and he’s selected to be featured in the media. Taken on by The Department of Social Inclusion, the department gets more than they bargained for when they discover just how far up the ladder Tommy is expecting to go. Although Jonathan has excellent mimic skills which he puts to good use in shows like BBC Scotland’s Only An Excuse, which takes a satirical look at football and attracts more than a million viewers when broadcast at Hogmanay, he doesn’t use them in this play.

“Tommy doesn’t do impressions or speak in different voices, far from it,” said Jonathan. “I first trained as an actor and a lot of my work is as an actor, so I’ll be approaching this part from that angle.” But he will use another of his talents, excellent comic timing, to great effect. For many people, this skill of his first came to light in the cult television shows, Naked Video and City Lights.

“After this short tour, I’m taking the King of Scotland to the Edinburgh Festival where, in 1983, we did a show called Naked Radio,” said Jonathan. “It was through that show that Naked Video came about – it’s hard to believe that was 28 years ago.”

Nowadays, his time is split between the worlds of radio, theatre and television and film. “Although people may think of me from the Hogmanay show, that only takes up a few weeks of my time,” said Jonathan. “Earlier this year I did some political satire for Radio Scotland and I’ve just finished filming an episode of the BBC TV show New Tricks, which was great fun.” Being in constant demand means he’s never been out of work, so how hard is it, I wondered, to play someone who has dodged work all his life? “I’ve had to use my imagination, but it’s such a well-observed and well-written piece, which is a huge help,” said Jonathan.

King of Scotland will be at macrobert Wednesday 25 May 8.00pm

More info and online booking here.

Merry Christmas from macrobert…

From all at macrobert, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!

Don’t forget Snow White of the Seven De’Wharffs runs until the 5 January and Mr Snow until 31 December , so get yourselves along and enjoy the Christmas festivities with macrobert.

For the new year, we have plenty of choice for you along with some lovely offers. From comedy and theatre to music, circus and
physical theatre, macrobert has it all next season.
Remember you can buy gift vouchers which would make the perfect Christmas present, just call our box office on 01786 466666 for more information.

January and February cinema is now online and ready to book, have a look here to see what’s coming in the new year.

Most importantly have an awesome Christmas and we hope that Santa is very generous!

Visit us soon,

macrobert x

Once upon a time….

Once upon a time,  Scotland came to a stand still because of the white fluffy stuff we call snow. This caused many a problem and people struggled to get to and from work, Ewan macrobert’s drama artist fell victim to this. Only he didn’t sit around and feel sorry for himself, he put on his creative head and wrote a song for all of us who could make it work to cheer us up. Along to the tune of Fairytale of New York by the Pogues, it goes like this….

Snowytale of macrobert

Stirling’s caked in snow,
So is Glasgow,
Dundee, Edinburgh and Fife…
And at the macbobby
Where Wallace once cried free,
The Airthrey Snowmen rise to stop us working.
They bust the ruddy pipes
Turned roads to sheets of ice
And freed kids from school
Left the teachers to freeze.
Now Panto’s cancelled
And the dame is greeting
As Snowmen wear her costumes
And the office resembles an igloo

But the staff at macbobby
They don’t give up easy
They’ve kicked up the thermo
It’s no place for the cold.
Tech’s fight the Snowmunsters with their bare-fisted knuckles They’ve promised that Panto will continue to show.
And the handsome and the pretty
Dame of Stirling city, when the Panto has finished They yelled out for more.
The young cast were swinging, the actors were singing Tech’s drink in a corner Then danced through the night

And the guys from the MYDC dance ‘til the Snowmen sweat and melt macbobby will never close, That’s them telt.

They’re cold and they’re icy
Sly, dodgy and dicey
Lying there waiting for feet to slip-slide Deranged and mutated Killers and monsters Happy Christmas your white arses, we pray it’s your last

And the guys from the MYDC dance ‘til the Snowmen sweat and melt macbobby will never close, That’s them telt.

Now all there’s left to say,
If snowmen come to stay
With you in your wee town
Is call macbobby.
Staff will fight the cause
Young ‘uns will heat their paws
Can’t make it out alone
We’ve built our shows around you.

And the guys from the MYDC dance ‘til the Snowmen sweat and melt macbobby will never close, that’s them telt.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas one and all! 🙂

New season released…

With excitement we have released the 2011 January to June season today and now we can spill the beans on the new brochure design, the offers we have lined up and all the outstanding events taking place between then…

With five, yes five Scottish premieres, plenty home-grown Scottish talent, magical family friendly performances, early bird discounts and much more, you will not be disappointed.

From comedy and theatre to music, circus and physical theatre, macrobert has it all next season. Here is some highlights to whet your appetite:

Daniel Sloss: My Generation
Plus special guest Chris Forbes

After his successful gig at mFEST in 2010, Daniel Sloss, Scotland’s youngest comic prodigy and typical half-man-half-Xbox, hormone-ridden teenager, is back at macrobert by popular demand.

Saturday 5 February 8.00pm
Tickets (full) £9.50 (conc) £8.50
suitable for ages 13+
– more information and online booking here.

7734
Jasmin Vardimon Company

After sell-out performances in the UK and internationally award-winning choreographer, director and Sadler’s Wells associate Jasmin Vardimon returns to macrobert with the Scottish premiere of 7734. Dramatically epic in scale and content, 7734 features stunning designs, live video and a richly diverse soundtrack.

Saturday 12 February 8.00pm
Tickets (full) £12 (conc) £9 (stud) £6
suitable for ages 14+
– more information and online booking here.

SICK
Theatre Modo

Starring Suzie Ferguson, SICK is a playful, powerful and poignant clown show which follows a patient through the absurdities of imposed routines and unexplained procedures, revealing her darkest thoughts and her wildest imaginings as medication, boredom and illness give wings to her flights of fancy.

Friday 4 February 8.00pm
Saturday 5 February 2.00pm & 7.00pm
Tickets (full) £12 (conc) £9 (stud) £6
Suitable for ages 11+
– more information and online booking here.

Suitcase Circus
Folded Feather

Suitcase Circus features the most unlikely of performers including the world’s only acrobatic potato sack, a daredevil ski glove, an incredible dancing milkshake straw, the hypnotic tie snake Windsor Knot, and the lovable yet bizarre magical Mexican hat Timrek. As with all quality circuses, it is accompanied by wonderful live music.

Sunday 13 March 12noon & 3.00pm
Tickets (full) £6 (conc) £5
suitable for ages 4+
– more information and online booking here.

Chouf Ouchouf

The Medina, the old quarter. Dusk falls like a shutter, then the night. Silently the walls open, and amid the maze-like streets and along the rooftops figures move on secret agendas. What, or who, is in the bag? Collaborating with Swiss artists Zimmerman & de Perrot, Groupe acrobatique de Tanger return to the UK with stunning acrobatics in their new show that captures the danger, joy and urgency of life in Tangiers.

Saturday 16 April 8.00pm
Sunday 17 April 3.00pm
Tickets (full) £12 (conc) £9 (stud) £6
Suitable for ages 7+
– more information and online booking here.

The Dolly Parton Story
Andrea Pattison and The Partoners

Paying tribute to one of the greatest icons of popular music, Dolly Parton, and featuring the stunning vocals, wit and charm of Andrea Pattison backed by an all-live four-piece band, be prepared to hear Dolly’s most celebrated material from all stages of her career.

Wednesday 11 & Thursday 12 May 8.00pm
Tickets (full) £15
suitable for ages 6+
– more information and online booking

This only a small small selection of the many events we have coming to macrobert next season, check out the full line up…

– Via the macrobert website.
– Browse or download the brochure online or order a hard copy here.
– Check out the production shots for each show on our flickr here.
– Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think.

P.S. Santa Claus is coming…
Don’t forget that macrobert’s Christmas panto Snow White of the Seven De’Wharffs started yesterday and from the laughing, screaming and grins from the children coming out of the performance it looks like it’s a hit already!

– more information and online booking for Snow White here.
– behind the scenes gossip from Hoddit and Johnny McKnight himself here.

Another reminder, the wonderful Christmas show for 3 – 5 year olds Mr Snow starts next week, 30 November so don’t miss out!

– more information and online booking for Mr Snow here.

PPS. Keep an eye out for the funky new season trailer which will be uploaded very soon!!

8 days to go….

8 days to go and we will be unleashing our programme for the first season of 2011 and let me tell you… we have some lovely treats in there for everyone!

macrobert will be launching their brand new design of the events guide and the contents on Thursday 25th November at 12.00pm. Make sure you are in the building or online on the 25th and be one of the first to see the guide and have the chance to book your tickets first and you might find a couple of offers in there that you can take advantage of! We couldn’t keep shtum for very long though and have given insights into what to expect…

Craig Hill
A deliciously wicked evening of no-holds-barred, infectiously spontaneous fun as Scotland’s favourite kilted treasure makes a welcome return to macrobert.

Friday 21 January 8pm

More information and online booking here

Oily Cart
Mole in the Hole
This is an adventure for all the senses to be enjoyed by all children from ages 3 to 6. So that everyone will have a chance to play their part, audiences are limited to 50 per show – book now!

Tuesday 25 – Friday 28 Jan 10.30am & 1.30pm
Saturday 29 Jan 11am & 1pm

More information and online booking here

Danish Dance Theatre
Danish Dance Theatre, one of the foremost contemporary Scandinavian dance companies led by UK-born artistic director Tim Rushton, makes its Scottish debut with a powerful triple bill.

Friday 18 February 8.00pm (plus post show discussion)
Saturday 19 February 8.00pm

More information and online booking here

Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play
Don’t miss everyone’s favourite brother and sister, Charlie and Lola, in their extremely ever so wonderful stage show! The stars of the hit BBC TV series and books by Lauren Child are brought to life by a magical mix of puppets, live action and music.

Tuesday 5 April 11.00am, 1.30pm & 4.00pm
Wednesday 6 April 11.00am

More information and online booking here

I can only imagine that this has you uber excited and has you itching to see what else we have lined up so make sure you pick up your brochure from 25th November or pop online and have a look around….

All the best,
An excited macrobert

You kiss by the book

Pilot Theatre are coming to macrobert with their timeless production of Romeo and Juliet, 5-9 October. We are all uber excited about this, the inspiration was taken from the phenomenon which is Twilight. The set has been designed to look like a shrine with over 80 candles and 6000 silk flowers, the actors are dressed in timeless, retro clothing and the script is the original Shakespeare’s version, all of this combined with fantastic performances creates a piece which is a must see for everyone, young and old!

The performance and audience feedback from York Theatre

Have a read at what some of the press reviews:

The Stage ‘Much exuberance, energy and drama’

York Press ‘an ultramodern Romeo & Juliet’

Yorkshire Post ‘It’s atmospheric stuff’

Get your tickets booked now online, call Tickets and Info on 01786 466666 or pop in and see us!

Visit Pilot Theatre’s website for info on the cast, rehearsals and more…

The Not So Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo

Vox Motus has wowed the audiences at macrobert before but you must get set for this all mighty show which is based on this bizarre yet true story….

Trygve Bauge – an eccentric Norwegian immigrant living in the USA – who created his own cryonic institute using dry ice and a garden shed when he could not afford to have his dead grandfather cryogenically frozen. In a series of bizarre events – some perversely hilarious and others tragically poignant – Trygve and his family were forced to launch a campaign to prevent the local community from defrosting Grandpa. News reel below;

The Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo is a production where science, humanity and humour meet. Is there home for faith in the dry, factual world of science; can science itself be the deity in which we place our faith?  While it is easy to dismiss the Immortality movement as extreme and outrageous we aim for the audience to leave the theatre questioning their own response to ‘conquering the blight of involuntary death’ (the stated mission of the Immortality Institute) and the parallels this draws with world faiths.

The Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo questions what is sacred in today’s media-saturated, Big-Brother-embracing, science-as-religion society. As well as delving into the dark, macabre and comically perverse it is also a quest for emotional truths, a sense of wonder and, ultimately, hope.

The script draws on the time-honoured quest for eternal youth and combines pitch-dark comedy with pathos and philosophical debate. It is a play about life and death; about coping with losing a loved one in a society where science is the new religion and death means oblivion.

Inspiration for the work includes:

  • The incredible true story of Tryge Bauge
  • The Cohen Brothers films, particularly O Brother Where Art Thou?
  • The TV series Twin Peaks.
  • The TV series South Park.

The inspirations for this production makes it interesting enough, never mind having the amazing Vox Motus behind it to make it all come together in true Vox style!

Saturday 18th September 8pm

Tickets £12 / £9 conc. / £6 under 18’s and students

Book your tickets online, call Tickets and Info on 01786 466666 or pop in and see us!

Watch the trailer to get your fix for now…

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