Theatre and dance highlights 2013
By Mark Brown
From Laurie Sansom’s recent appointment as artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland (where he inherits both a superb legacy and an exciting 2013 programme from his predecessor Vicky Featherstone) to Christopher Hampson’s ambitious new leadership of Scottish Ballet (following the company’s glorious decade under Ashley Page), Scottish theatre and dance are in exciting times. Add to that the early successes of Dominic Hill (recently appointed director of the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow) and Fleur Darkin (who has led Scottish Dance Theatre for less than a year), and there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
Indeed, the on-stage prospects for the coming year might just shine through the grey clouds created by such off-stage nonsense as the Creative Scotland debacle, arts funding cuts and dangerous, ethno-nationalist grumblings about leaders of Scottish arts organisations who happen to be English.
Whether it is Andy Arnold (director of the Tron Theatre, Glasgow) following his glorious production of James Joyce’s Ulysses last autumn with a stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s Running On The Cracks or the excellent Communicado theatre company reviving their superb staging of Gogol’s The Government Inspector, the Scottish stage continues to punch above its weight. Which is why we can look forward to such highlights as:
Time And The Conways
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, February 15 to March 9, and Dundee Rep, March 13-30
A major co-production between the Lyceum and Dundee Rep, directed by the Rep’s talented new joint-artistic director Jemima Levick, this staging of J.B. Priestley’s 20th-century morality tale promises to be a hit.
Traverse, Edinburgh, April 2-20
Creator of the award-winning Mr Write and last year’s Edinburgh Fringe hit Bullet Catch, devised theatre master Rob Drummond offers us a play which goes beyond the shallow surfaces of the TV quiz show and seeks to “question the nature of memory, truth and lies.”
Citizens, Glasgow, April 5-27
With a string of award-winning classical productions (from Henrik Ibsen to Harold Pinter) to his name, Citz director Dominic Hill turns his hand to Christopher Marlowe’s great dramatisation of the Faust myth. A co-production with the West Yorkshire Playhouse (where it will open in February), the show brings the excellent Siobhan Redmond back to the Citizens’ stage.
Let The Right One In
National Theatre of Scotland at Dundee Rep, June 6-29
Adapted (by Jack Thorne) from the novel and screenplay by acclaimed Swedish horror writer John Ajvide Lindqvist, this world premiere relocates the tale of romance and terror to a Scottish village. Directed by former NTS associate director, Tony Award-winner John Tiffany, it is co-produced by the NTS and London producer Marla Rubin Productions.
Second Coming & Winter, Again
Scottish Dance Theatre tour, February 20 to May 29
With Second Coming, by hip-hop influenced, Los Angeles-born choreographer Victor Quijada, and Winter, Again, by Norwegian choreographer and visual theatre maker Jo Strømgren, SDT offer a double bill of tantalising contrasts. Strømgren’s witty and highly original work will be remembered fondly by lovers of the Aurora Nova programme at the Edinburgh Fringe during the last decade.
Hansel & Gretel
Scottish Ballet tour, December 10 to January 25
Scottish Ballet director Christopher Hampson is, excitingly, pledged to commission new works by a diverse group of choreographers, rather than creating a string of new choreographies of his own. This new ballet, based upon the famous story by the Brothers Grimm and set to the famous opera score by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck, will be a rare opportunity to sample Hampson’s choreographic mind at work on a major production.
These previews were originally published in the Sunday Herald on January 6, 2013
© Mark Brown