Explorers, polar bears, a dog called bog and a wee cheeky penguin…

Polar Molar is macrobert’s Christmas show for 3 to 5 year olds this winter and well, it’s just lovely! Written by Abigail Docherty and directed by Lu Kemp, this magical adventure has a clear sense that the environment is important and shouldn’t be destroyed and yet still full of silliness. Thom Dibdin from The Stage describes Polar Molar as “a charmingly imaginative adventure” you can read the full review here.

SO… It’s the year 2020. Captain Scot Scott and his dog Dogbog have been sent on a mission to find the last polar bear. But no one has seen a polar bear in years – they don’t know what it looks like or how to find it. You, the audience are the little huskies that help Captain Scot Scott drive the snowmobile and encounter some cheeky animals along the way…

Running until 31st December 2011

Still some tickets left, grab yours now online here or call us on 01786 466666

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Cracking reviews for macrobert’s panto

Jackie and the Beanstalk is up and running and well it’s just pure magic! Receiving 4 star reviews from both The Herald and The Guardian there really is no excuse not to come along…

a panto with its finger on today’s pulse” Mary Brennan, The Herald, read full review here

If anyone still thinks panto is a throwback to a misogynist past, they need to take a look at the macrobert’s glorious giant-slaying romp” Mark Fisher, The Guardian, read full review here

an entertaining, intelligent celebration and deconstruction of the traditional Scottish pantomime.” The Stage, read full review here

a lively, rollicking show, with plenty of fine panto qualitiesThe Scotsman

Writer, director and star of this year’s panto, Johnny McKnight tells Stirling Observer;

“Well for me, when setting about writing this year’s panto, my first issue was that, traditionally, Jack and the Beanstalk is usually very male-heavy in terms of casting: Dame, Jack, his brother, the baddie, the baddie’s sidekick,”

“I really wanted to try and push more females into the story.” Read more of the interview here.

Make sure you get your tickets and see this hilarious, magical, raunchy and festive pantomime and fill your family full of festive happiness 🙂

Jackie and the Beanstalk runs until 7th January 2012

www.macrobert.org/panto

Meet the panto cast…

Jonathan Holt,  last year’s Prince Rupert Charming Darling will be starring in macrobert’s panto Jackie and the Beanstalk this year as the baddy! We asked Jonathan to tell us a bit about himself, so have a read and you will see he really isn’t a baddy at heart…

First theatre stage you stood on?  His Majesty Theatre, Aberdeen.
Last stage you stood on before the pantomime? The Traverse, Edinburgh.

First childhood memory? Two massive hands!

Best moment on stage? First standing ovation.

Most funny thing that’s happened to you on stage? Corpsing in a serious scene.

Last form you filled out? Tax return.

First job? Mace, shelf stocker.

First thing you think about each day?
My bed.

First thing you do each morning? Get out of bed.

Last song you listened to? Alive, Pearl Jam.

First show you fell in love with? Les Miserables, I was 10.

First big disappointment? Les Miserables, it wasn’t the original cast.

First lesson learnt? Shoe laces probably or walking actually came first.

Last lesson learnt? How to tie my shoe laces and walk after a few nippy sweeties.

Last really good meal you ate? Aberdeen Angus fillet steak.

First pantomime you saw? Jack and the Beanstalk.

Favourite place in Scotland? Any good pub with good friends.

Last creation? A monster.

First thing you quit? My high pressured job in the city, I was 6 ½.

First guilty pleasure? Last of the Summer Wine, I was 6 ¾.

Favourite prop used on stage? Assault rifle.

Last impulse-buy? The Best of the Replacements, music album.

Last thing you did for the sake of the environment? Turned off the generator I use to power my giant neon self portrait.

Last time you had to eat humble pie? Not a fan of pudding.

Last argument?
1993, it was over a bag of Skips.

Last thing you’ll ever do? Breathe.

Last request? Some sort of breathing apparatus.

A quote that inspired you? Climb, climb up sunshine mountain, where the little daisies grow.

Last (famous) words? Our own question, if you have one! I came, I saw, I bought the T-Shirt, took it home, tried it on, it didn’t fit, took it back, got a refund and went to the pub.

Jonathan in macrobert’s panto Snow White  of the Seven De’Wharffs 2010

Jackie and the Beanstalk 2011/2012 is on sale now, for more information and online booking head to macrobert’s website.

Happy birthday to us…

We have alovely article all about out 40th Birthday in the Stirling Minds magazine… very interesting read, have a look here and see what our plans are!

Amanda x

Refugee Week Scotland 2011 events

Refugee Week is a unique opportunity to discover and celebrate the contributions refugees bring to the UK. During the week of the 20th June, macrobert will be hosting a range of events to celebrate Refugee Week.

Our week of events will be titled We Are Ulysses, which is taken from a psychological condition called ‘Ulysses Syndrome’, an illness that inflicts some immigrants and refugees when they live separated from their loved ones in faraway lands. The name of the condition is, moreover, inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey and the epic journey that Ulysses endured before returning home after 10 years of war.

The We Are Ulysses name reflects the capacity for empathy that human beings are capable of when aware of other people’s sufferings. As part of this week we will be hosting the following events:

Lindsay Docherty will be showing her exhibition Highrise,  a collection of dramatic black and White prints documenting the lives of Glasgow’s high rise residents. Lindsay Docherty spent time within the flats getting to know the residents and capturing what they felt out living there. A documentary project that allows the viewer to look within these daunting buildings. Monday 20th – Friday 26 June, free admission

Our treehouse is making food from different parts of the country, Monday the children in treehouse got help from our Chef Nayana to make Sri Lankan Fish Cakes and on Friday Nayana will be showing the childrne in treehouse how to make food from Mexico. The children in treehouse will also be exploring the different cultures of Mexico through a variety of methods. Please call our boxoffice to book your children’s place on treehouse for Friday 24th June 01786 466666

Our playhouse will see a very special take to the stage plus a fab performance of I’m Ready by Fraser Morrison and Ignote Theatre will be bring their production of True Colours which explores teh different worls we live in and what happens when the collide. All take place between 1pm and 4pm Sunday 26th June. Tickets are free for all events and offered on a first come first served basis.

Our cafebar will be serving foods from different continents each day, we have Sri Lankan Tuna Fishcakes, Falafel, Smoked Mackarel and Chorizo Salad plus Quesadillas, Swedish Lamb Meatballs, Curries, Mousacca and much more… check out what is being served in our cafebar each day.

For all enquiries and to book your tickets please call our boxoffice on 01786 466666.

See you soon!

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.

Interview with ‘Otto’ from Spring Awakening…

What is your Equity name?

Daniel Buckley

Which character do you play?

Otto

 What interested you in being involved in Spring Awakening?

I saw the show a few times at the Lyric, and in the Novello and fell in love with it, then I had the opportunity to do the show whilst in training at Mountview, and fell in love with it even more. I knew sell a door were putting on a production so decided to send off my cv and headshot, auditioned and was offered the role before I left Drama School, so I was very lucky.

 How do you feel you relate to your character?

I will probably find a lot of things in the rehearsal room that I relate to in Otto but initially, I guess I can remember going through the stages of Puberty where I questioned a lot of things, which can be frustrating.

 What are you most excited about for the tour?

Honestly, just getting some experience, because it is my first professional job. I am looking forward to seeing lots of different venues and putting my training into practice with regards to adjusting to each space. Of course, I look forward to going to home turf in Scotland, it will be nice to perform in my first professional show somewhere close to home.

 Spring Awakening is based on the relatively old play version. How do you think new, younger audiences can relate to it?

I think it has stayed very true to the original with regards to the script and I think part of its beauty as a piece is how Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater have put these amazing contemporary pop/rock songs to a show set in 1891 Germany! People will definitely relate to it because it’s all about sexual exploration and deals with issues that are very public in today’s society. I think audiences who have not seen the show will be surprised at how relevant it is and how issues that may be easy to deal with now, were just kept from children back in the 19th Century and audiences will therefore, feel more compassion for all the characters in the piece.

Your touring to many cities’s in the UK that have never seen Spring Awakening the musical. Are you nervous?

Not at all! I cannot wait to get promoting this amazing piece of theatre around the UK. I think with any piece of theatre, it is likely to have fans and people who are not so keen but to anyone who has heard of this show and who has not seen it, I would recommend just come to one of the venues and see it – they probably won’t be disappointed. It has a lot of fans around the country who either saw it in London or love the sound track so I guess I am nervous for them to see the production, they are going to be the biggest critics because we are not the Original London Cast and it will look different and has a different creative team. So although the motions of the show will be the same, it will be a completely different show.

Are your friends and family excited to see the production?

Yes, its very exciting for them to see me in a professional show, without having to travel to somewhere in London. It is just easier for them. But they’d be excited to see it anywhere. I am so so thankful to have such a wonderful supportive family and friends.

Where did you grow up?

In a little town called Blairgowrie in Perthshire – North East Scotland.

Are you known by your stage name, or other?

I am known to friends and family as Dan.

Which schools did you attend in the area?

St Columba’s RC High School – Perth

What local amateur or professional performance companies did you work with? Tell us a bit about your experience?

I was involved in the Blairgowrie Players for a number of years doing Panto’s, working from chorus parts and then was offered a lot of Principle Roles, which were always great fun. I took part in 2 SCDA Festivals in the Birnam Institute. I was also a member of Zodiac Amateur Productions (ZAP) who performed shows in Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre, which were as close to professional as I got in my youth.

How did you get involved in the performing arts?

I can’t really remember, I remember playing a Market Stall holder at primary school in a production or in a class – and then from that moment I knew I wanted to be an actor! I think someone I knew performed in the Blairgowrie Players and got me involved.

Did you perform locally in any town halls or in any competitions or concerts?

The Blairgowrie Town Hall was the main haunt for my amateur days! I did the SCDA Festivals in Birnam. I never took part in any competitions and the only concerts I did were in High School, the annual Christmas Concerts!

Are you touring anywhere close to where you come from originally?

Edinburgh is close to home and Stirling is even closer so I cannot wait to be performing close to home!!

Have any of your family or friends gone out of their way to support you in your career endeavours to date?

Well my parents have gone out of their way financially to help me through Drama School – which I will never forget and cannot wait to be in a position to pay them back one day. They came down to London a few times in my final year to see me in each of my third year shows which was always nice.

Any advice for local aspiring performers who may be thinking of pursuing a career in the performing arts?

Go with your heart – I was told at school I was to stay for my final year and earn “real qualifications” because becoming an actor was not a “real career choice” but, as they didn’t have any acting classes there, I left to earn a qualification in Acting from Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy, and moved to London because I KNEW I wanted to pursue this career. I went to Drama School and I have ended up with a Degree. If you want to do it – audition for Drama School and learn from the best people in the most supportive atmosphere.  Be prepared for rejection, be prepared for the most turbulent career choice of all time. Well, so I hear. I’m only just out of the Training Bubble, and have stepped into another! It is true though. It is a very roller coaster industry!

Spring Awakening

macrobert is proud to welcome award-winning Sell a Door Theatre Company with the first ever UK tour of Spring Awakening, a rock musical adaptation of the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. A cult musical, it explores the confusion and desperation that ensue when the onrushing tide of hormones meets the ignorance of children raised by parents too embarrassed or prudish to discuss what those new urges signify. Spring Awakening has proved its popularity worldwide winning eight Tony Awards in 2007, including best musical, best book and score, four Drama Desk Awards and four Olivier Awards for it’s London production.

Dates, times & info:

Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 May 8.00pm
approximately 2 hours 15 minutes (incl. interval)
suitable for ages 16+
mainhouse

More info and online booking here.

Hope to see you there 🙂

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