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Citizens new work panel

The Citizens Theatre has become more commonly associated with its radical reworkings of classic plays, yet there have been some notable premieres here too.

One of the earliest of these harks back to 1967, when Peter Nichols’ groundbreaking study of a couple dealing with their disabled daughter, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, appeared.

During the triumvirate years, in-between adapting a plethora of works by Goethe, Schiller, Proust and Goldoni, Robert David Macdonald somehow managed several original works, including Summit Conference, Webster and Chinchilla.

The 1990s saw a slew of adaptations from Scotland’s fertile contemporary literary scene, with a version of Jeff Torrington’s Swing Hammer Swing a standout.

This trend came on the back of Harry Gibson’s stage adaptation of Trainspotting, which predated the iconic film, and gave rise to further adaptations by Gibson of other Welsh novels, including The Marabou Stork Nightmares, Glue and Filth.

This trend continued through a version of Louise Welsh’s The Cutting Room right up to outgoing artistic director Jeremy Raison’s acclaimed version of Ron Butlin’s novel, The Sound of My Voice.

More rarified, perhaps, was Andrea Hart’s similarly praised version of Nothing, an already dialogue-centred experimental novel by Henry Green, which was originally directed by MacDonald.

Another member of the triumvirate, Giles Havergal, adapted Graham Greene’s Travels With My Aunt in a four person version that went on to travel the world.

More recently, David Greig’s original works for TAG, Yellow Moon and The Monster in the Hall, have enlightened younger audiences.

At this time of year we should also remember the Citz’s stream of original Christmas plays, from adaptations of classics by Myles Rudge right up to new works by Alan McHugh, who this year puts his signature to the main stage production of Beauty and the Beast.

The Herald, November 2010



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