Autumn is here: “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” as John Keats put it, and certainly, you could spend your time hunting through the hedgerows and orchards for nature’s fecund bounty, but doesn’t that sound like a lot of work? And frankly, how many crumbles can you eat? No, far better to spend Oct in the warmth of one of Glasgow’s lovely theatres enjoying the many and varied treats on offer.
As so often is the case in Glasgow there’s a theme to this month and October sees the annual celebration of all things gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender: Glasgay is in town from the 15th Oct to the 12th Nov and many of the productions on the calender deal with the lives, loves, struggles and laughs of the LGBT community.
The Citizens have now bagged their new Artistic Director Dominic Hill formerly of the Traverse and one of the highlights of his first month is a restaging of Peter Nicholls’ poigniant and powerful sixties play about domestic pressure: A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg featuring Miriam Margoyles and Miles Jupp.
The theatre’s contributions to Glasgay are Spain, a new play co-created by James Ley and Mark Kyd about regret and nostalgia for a lost past set against a sybaritic spanish idyll. And Ch Ch Changes Martin O’Connor’s grand exploit featuring chameleon-like changes from Grant Smeaton as he plays five characters.
As the nights are fair drawing in, the Young Co delight in the darkness with Gothic, their take on the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Robert Tressel’s classic socialist tale The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is brought to life by Fine Time Fontayne and Neil Gore and there will be anecdotes and charm aplenty from national treasure Celia Imrie in a show based on her autobiography The Happy Hoofer.
Over at the Tron there’s playwright David Harrower’s tale of true life, obsession and vanishing communities in the elegiac Calum’s Road – presented by the National Theatre of Scotland and in concert with Communicado. The latter also present stories from the world of the travelling community in Tall Tales for Small People, based around the work of storyteller and traveller Duncan Williamson.
Also at the Tron playwright Owen McCafferty and Theatre Jezebel create an updated take on J P Miller’s Days of Wine and Roses famously filmed in 1962 with Lee Remick and Jack Nicolson. This story’s descent into alcoholism and its destruction of a loving marriage remains as powerful as ever.
On a lighter (but still darkly) funny note, Random Accomplice take neighbourhood watch to its bitterly funny conclusion in the show Love Hurts, written and directed by Johnny McKnight and performed by Toni Frutin.
Eastwood Park play host to Mull Theatre’s political drama Singing Far Into The Night based upon the real life naval uprising in 1931. This is neatly balanced by the bittersweet rom-com of Borderline’s My Romantic History (which tvb awarded five bombs to) and Donna Rutherford’s play about family dynamics, Kin (showing as part of the Scotttish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival).
Vanishing Point present their tale of prurience, privacy and space in Saturday Night at the Tramway and continuing the challenging work, the theatre gives us Happy Days In The Art World, a multi-disciplinary take on mid-career panic and creative fear from artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.
Fresh from its success at the Edinburgh Fringe, David Hughes Dance and Al Seed bring their physical theatre/dance movement take on legendary Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean Last Orders to The Arches. It promises to be a disturbing, fascinating and unique journey into depravity.
The theatre also plays host to Chris Hannan’s play Shining Souls. Frantic, funny and metaphysical, choices are made and lives are examined in this masterful piece of writing presented by Sweets For Addicts.
Slotting in beside, and to prove that variety is the spice of life, the theatre also presents Slava’s Snowshow, a feast of international clowning from this east-European master and his troop of mime experts.
Over at Theatre Royal is of course the home of Scottish Opera who begin their new season with a production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville, directed by Sir Thomas Allen which provides a perfect companion piece to last year’s Marriage of Figaro. The theatre is giving its audiences a live version of one of Scotland’s most beloved literary works in Para Handy starring the legendary Jimmy Chisholm.
So there you have it; as the nights darken and the wind begins to chill, you can start your winter layering with high calorie desserts or take advantage of the warmth and wonder on offer in Glasgow’s theatres (providing you with just as much pleasure and none of the guilt).
Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: Tues 4th – Sat 8th October @ 19:30
Day In The Death Of Joe Egg: Wed 19th Oct – Sat 12th Nov @ 19:30 & 5th Nov @ 14:30
Spain: 25th Oct – 12th Nov @ 19:30
Ch Ch Changes: 25th Oct – 12th Nov @ 19:30
An Audience With Celia Imrie: 29th Oct @ 14:30
Calum’s Road: 4th – 8th Oct @ 19:45
Singing Far Into The Night: 1st Oct @ 19:30
My Romantic History: 12th Oct @ 20:00
Kin: 11th Oct @ 19:30
Happy Days In The Art World: 21st to 22nd Oct @ 19:30
Last Orders: 7th Oct @ 19:30
Miranda: 23rd Oct @ 19:30
A Bottle of Wine & Patsy Cline: 13th – 16th Oct @ 19:00, 20th – 23rd Oct @ 19:00, 27th – 30th Oct @ 19:00
Dirty Dancing: 19th Oct – 12th Nov @ 19:30 – 8th & 9th Nov @ 14:30
Para Handy: 4th – 8th Oct @ 19:30 – 6th & 8th Oct @ 14:30