Friday Blog Jan 27 – Citizens Theatre revisited

Citizens Theatre logo

By Mary

I was delighted to hear that David Hayman is coming back to the Citizens Theatre this spring to play King Lear. I’ve been a regular visitor to the Citz since the 1970s (I know, giving my age away) and one of the most memorable productions I saw was Macbeth, directed by Giles Havergal. It had an all-male cast and no scenery or costumes: all the actors wore jeans and Aran jumpers, and the only concession – as I recall – to David Hayman’s character of Lady Macbeth, was a scrap of lace on his head. The stage was bare, the actors all played several parts, and it was riveting. Quite a shock to learn that it was staged in 1979, but even after over 32 years, I remember it well. Hope King Lear is as good.

I’ve seen some fantastic plays over the years, and a lot of brilliant actors, many of them just starting out in their careers – just look at who else was in that 1979 production of Macbeth – Ciaran Hinds, Gerard Murphy, Keith Allen and Garry Cooper  (no, not that Gary Cooper). I wish I’d kept all the programmes -it would be fascinating to look back over them – if only I hadn’t read that article about de-cluttering….

Now I’m really showing my age: when I started visiting the Citizens, as a student, all seats cost 50p – and students got in for half price. 25p – what a bargain.

The Citizens has a blog too (everybody’s at it) and there’s a lovely story about one of their front of house team winning an Unsung Hero Award from Stage Magazine. Frances Coyle has worked at the Citz for 44 years and has retired at the tender age of only 82. You can read about it on the Citizens blog.

This is the first season for new Artistic Director, Dominic Hill, and he’s planning a lot of classic drama. King Lear starts on 20th April. I’ve got my ticket. And for Harold Pinter’s Betrayal which starts 2nd March. I can’t wait.

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