Macbeth opens new Perth Theatre season

15 Jun 2013 in Dance & Drama, Highland

Shakespeare’s shortest and most brutal tragedy, Macbeth, opens the 2013/2014 Perth Theatre season directed by Horsecross Arts creative director for theatre Rachel O’Riordan in a co-production with the Tron Theatre. Johnny McKnight directs Noël Coward’s sparkling supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit in October. In December the team behind last year’s Christmas cracker Mother Goose presents the nation’s favourite panto Cinderella.

Fresh from Perth Theatre’s winning performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) where she picked up Best Director for The Seafarer, which also won Best Ensemble, Rachel O’Riordan said:

“We are delighted to present a season of classic, thrilling titles:  Macbeth, Shakespeare’s excoriating tragedy of regicide and supernatural terror; Blithe Spirit, Noël Coward’s hilarious revenge comedy, and Cinderella- the pantomime we all love the most. All three of these wonderfully theatrical tales have, at their heart; the idea that there is an afterlife; that, perhaps, what we see is not all there is…

“It seems particularly appropriate to direct Macbeth in Perth where local geographical references abound. Coming at a time when violent political instability is never far from the world news and Scotland’s own identity is under close examination, I am sure that the production will resonate with audiences on many levels.”

Macbeth runs in Perth Theatre from Wednesday 18 September until Saturday 5 October and in the Tron Theatre, Glasgow from Tuesday 8 October until Saturday 19 October. Horsecross Arts has built a comprehensive programme of workshops and presentations for schools, teachers and the general public around Macbeth to explore the geographical, historic, dramatic and cultural references in the show in recognition of its local context.

Victorious generals Macbeth and Banquo witness a prophecy of three witches: Macbeth will sit on Scotland’s throne. A dark seed of ambition has been planted, a king is murdered, a crown seized and a vicious spiral of betrayal and bloody violence begins. Shakespeare’s tragedy of superstition and vaulting ambition is a wild ride from power and glory to greed and treachery. In a ruthless struggle to secure control of a nation, Scotland becomes a battleground where trust, loyalty and truth are only the first victims.

Scottish theatre star Johnny McKnight joins as guest director to present Noël Coward’s supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit. A vintage night of laughter and thrills, full of ghostly goings-on and mysterious misunderstandings Blithe Spirit opens, most appropriately, on Halloween and runs until Saturday 16 November.

Johnny McKnight said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be directing Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit. It’s a play (and movie) that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember yet haven’t seen on a Scottish stage for over 10 years. If you haven’t seen or read the play let me give you an idea. Its part Sixth Sense, part Victoria Wood, part Fatal Attraction – yes it really is!”

In need of inspiration for his next book, novelist Charles Condomine and his wife Ruth hire the services of eccentric psychic Madame Arcati. They are hoping for an evening of high spirits but when the madcap mystic accidentally brings Charles’s first wife Elvira back from beyond the grave, life – and the afterlife – become very complicated indeed.

When first produced, Blithe Spirit became the most successful show that the West End and Broadway had ever seen and it has since proved enduringly popular.

Packed with great songs, crazy costumes, amazing dance routines, plenty of laughter and audience participation, Rachel O’Riordan directs the nation’s favourite panto Cinderella in Perth Theatre from Friday 6 December to Saturday 4 January 2014.

Productions visiting Perth Theatre include CATS Best Technical Presentation Award winning comedy The Incredible Adventures of See Thru Sam, written by Johnny McKnight and presented by Julie Brown and Random Accomplice and Mike Cullen’s The Collection presented by Rapture Theatre. Roger Llewellyn is Sherlock Holmes in David Stuart Davies’ internationally-acclaimed solo drama Sherlock Holmes…the Death and Life, directed by Gareth Armstrong and best-selling 50 Shades of Grey spoof Fifty-One Shades of Maggie guarantees a night of girly fun.

The worlds of theatre and music meet on the Perth Concert Hall stage as Patricia Routledge joins pianist, Piers Lane for Admission: One Shilling based on the life of pianist Myra Hess.

And, with Soul Sister, the West End sensation inspired by the life, times and music of Ike and Tina Turner, set to explode onto the Perth Concert Hall stage from 9 to 14 September, musical theatre lovers are in for a treat too!

Along with information about all the shows for subscribers and theatre goers, Perth Theatre’s new Subscription Season brochure, out in June, contains an update on the transformation of Perth Theatre, set to get underway in 2014, and how audiences can play their part in fundraising for their restored and reinvigorated venue.

Source: Horsecross