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.

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Easter at macrobert

We know how difficult it can be to keep the kids entertained over the holidays so we have lots lined up to help you out…

Don’t Look Down! – A performance skills workshop on physical comedy, laughter and creativity. Led by Plutôt La Vie Artists, this workshop is about exploring and creating good comedy and clowning. It’s about a state of being open, curious, playful and relaxed, without fear of failure. Includes a ticket to a performance of By the Seat of Your Pants.

DAFT – a film workshop working with our film artist using professional equipment to film a range of creative content and interviews throughout the week.

We also have plenty going on in the treehouse creche for ages 6 weeks – 12 years old including puppet maing, face painting and Easter activities, more information on these events here.

Also during the Easter holidays there are plenty family films such as Yogi Bear, Gnomeo & Juliet and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader plus amazing family live performances of Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play, By The Seat Of Your Pants, Chouf Ouchouf and the Puppet Animation Festival… there really is no need for anyone to have nothing to do!

Please click the links above for more info and online booking. You can also download the Easter flyer here and well, I hope to see you very soon at macrobert 🙂

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

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…

Funny Bones Part 2 – Show Review!

The company forgot to bring their waterproofs...

We are all big kids here really at the macrobert. So when I got the opportunity to go watch Funny Bones, I hopped, skipped and jumped at the chance, all the way into the workhouse for this afternoon’s performance.

 The company asked us sit around the workhouse (don’t worry they provide chairs) and to start off the audience were made to stimulate a sheet in the air, enabling the dancers to move under it, through it and over it. Blue waves were created as the dancers’ incorporated the moving sheet into their routine.

 The show is split into two sections. The first part of the performance was definitely my favourite. I loved their use of props and felt they really acted out the five human senses through dance. Look out for the plastic spoon dress that even Lady Gaga would be proud off! I felt my self being mesmerized by the movement of the spoons against the dancer’s bodies and of course the kids loved the jingly jangly noises. The water scene was also fantastic, with the dancers not afraid to stomp about, splash about and get theirselves soaking! BEWARE! You will probably get a bit wet, but it’s all in good spirits and the kids loved it. Or was it the adults screaming? I did see a few checking their hair afterwards.

 There is a short break while the company get ready for the second half of the performance. However, you are not left sitting about as entertainment comes in the form of a gigantic red comedy fish. He’s a cheeky, chappy who loves the audience and loves to keep you entertained.

The second half is based around sports and dance. The dancers manage to mimic the actions of different sports and they all become quite competitive as they try to be the best. Again it is another well crafted choreographed piece which allows the audience to interact with their chosen sports.

The company kicked off this morning with a sold out show at 10.30am, while the afternoon performance at 1.30pm was over half full. Funny Bones has just finished for the day, but don’t worry they will be back tomorrow for more craziness! And wetness!  For more information call the box office on 01786 466666

The Ladyboys of Iran

Following the success of his 2009 national tour, the brilliant Middlesbrough-Irish-Iranian comic is embarking on a full-scale British tour. Often seen on C4’s Paul O’Grady Show, and the veteran of several sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs. (He’s at the Festival again this year, so check him out at the macrobert first to avoid the wait…

And the travel expenses!) Monahan has done gigs in France, Monaco, Germany, Belgium, Bahrain and the United Arab of Emirates. Therefore, showing off his unique talent of adapting to different crowds. More like well-travelled I say!

 Monahan has a breathtaking gift for interaction and combines it with sharp and hilarious observations, paying special attention to his unique cultural roots. I know the words ‘audience’ and ‘participation’ always puts the fear of death into people. However, Monahan has a relaxed genial manner gained through years as a warm up man for TV.

Patrick Monahan is the winner of the 2009 award for ‘Best International Comic’ from the Academy of Arts, Literature and Media, which was previously won by the fantastic Omid Djalili. Monahan was also hailed by The Sun as one of the top ten comedians to look out for in 2010 due to this chatty, friendly, and storytelling comedy act.

Patrick Monahan comes well recommended, and his show at the macrobert is the one to look out for. He is playing the mainhouse on Saturday 3rd July 2pm & 8pm. (The 2pm is a family orientated show).

For more information call our box office on 01786 466666.

Still can’t decide? Check out the reviews below from his previous shows!

“The best show in Edinburgh 2008’’ The Guardian          

“He moves around the stage like a boxer working a ring, covering all angles and staying light on his feet. He is a walking advert for world harmony. Hearts will be broken, socks will be laughed off.”
The Scottish Herald 2005

 “An upbringing infused with culture clashes and his unconventional mind, Monahan is a hybrid calamity with a comic pedigree that’s all his own.”
The List (Maureen Ellis)

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