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Feb 11th

Annie The Musical at The King's Theatre Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Review by Chris Lowe


For those of you looking for a great night out, look no further than the touring production of Annie at the King's Theatre Glasgow! This is an evening filled with music, song and dance.

The story is set in the 1930s in New York during the great depression. Young Annie (Elise Blake) is forced to lead a life of pain and misery at Miss Hannigan's (Elaine C. Smith) orphanage. Annie is hopeful that one day she will meet her real parents. Her luck turns when she is chosen to spend Christmas with a famous billionaire named Oliver Warbucks (Alex Bourne). However, Miss Hannigan is determined to spoil her fortune.

The musical started off with a bang with Annie and her fellow orphans singing the well known 'Hard Knock Life'. These child stars were fantastic and showed outstanding rhythm and vocal skills. Natasha Arabestani, who played Molly (the youngest of the girls) stood out amongst the rest with her totally adorable performance. The dancing, as you might expect, from the rest of the cast was stunningly flawless.

Elise Blake is an incredible actor with amazing talent. Her voice was nothing short of breathtaking in the lead role. Other honorable mentions would include the dynamic duo Rooster (Jonny Fines) and Lily (Djalenga Scott) who showed great chemistry while performing together. Grace Farrell (Holly Dale Spencer) was superb. Let’s not forget Sandy the dog who melted every member of the audiences’ hearts.

This is an excellent cast who take their performance very seriously and pull it off with huge success.  Although the production is not the same as the original film it is still filled with explosive song and dance numbers that will not leave you disappointed.

The set and costume designs were spectacular. Together, these gave the audience a real taste of what it was like during the great depression and the conditions in which ordinary Americans lived.   

With breathtaking choreography and amazing performances, Annie is a musical production not to be missed. 10 out of 10.


Annie The Musical

King’s Theatre Glasgow

Mon 8 – Sat 20 Feb 2016

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.
 (bkg fee)


Dec 10th

Jersey Boys - Theatre Royal Glasgow - Tues 8 Dec 2015 – Sun 3 Jan 2016

By Jon Cuthbertson

Glasgow's Theatre Royal have once again bucked the Christmas trend for their festive show, following up last year's Saturday Night Fever with the West End and Broadway smash hit, Jersey Boys. With not a Christmas song in sight this is still a winning choice for a great night out over the festive season.


Following the real story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, this is grittier than you might expect - with a smattering of adult language to match. Finding out that for most of the band, their first record was of the judicial variety will come as a surprise to most. This was an era where that kind of background would never sell records, so this was hidden from any record producers and labels, and most definitely never spoken about in the press - who ironically had deemed the Four Seasons as too clean cut and not interesting enough to warrant too many interviews - particularly when compared to the long hair and "exotic accents" of The Beatles!

(L-R - Sam Ferriday, Matt Corner, Stephen Webb, Lewis Griffiths -

photo by Helen Maybanks)


Marshall Brickman's background in film writing is evident in this production and along with co-writer Rick Elice they've created a unique way of telling the story - letting each of the Four Seasons step forward and tell it from their side. This was created by interviewing the three surviving members (sadly Nick Massi had passed away in 2000, 5 years before the show opened) and using this to create a Rashomon style story where we see the conflicting opinions of how events took place. This gives a great chance to use some of the songs in dramatic form and share them out amongst all the characters, male and female. However, if you are expecting a Four Seasons concert - there are many of the songs saved for concert style performances from the guys throughout the show. 


Matt Corner takes on the difficult role of Frankie Valli and draws you in from the very first notes he sings. His transition from naive young boy to world weary father is delivered with ease. Stephen Webb as founder member Tommy DeVito opens the narration of the story with loads of energy - and provides a great mix of humour and drama. Lewis Griffiths is the steady hand as Nick Massi - with a beautiful bass voice and a warm tone he makes you really care for Nick and his flaws. Last to join the group is Bob Gaudio, played by Sam Ferriday. As the writer of most of their hits, Bob was an important part of the story - and Sam pitches it just right, both vocally and in his character choices as Bob matures in the band.


The supporting cast cover a variety of roles, in particular the three girls, Amelia Adams-Pearce, Leanne Garretty and Samantha Hull, who seem to change wigs and costume for every entrance! It would also be remiss of me not to mention Musical Director Andrew Corocoran and his fantastic band (in particular Rob Parsons on drums who keeps the whole show on track from all areas of the stage) who work their magic with Ron Melrose's arrangements. Director Des McAnuff and Choreographer Sergio Trujillo have made great use of Klara Zieglerova's slick set design, which means the show moves seamlessly from scene to scene.


Listing Information

Tue 8 – Sat 19 Dec 7.30pm

Thu 10, Sat 12, Thu 17 & Sat 19 Dec 2.30pm

Sun 13 & Sun 20 Dec 3pm

Tue 22 & Wed 23 Dec 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Sat 26 Dec 7.30pm

Sun 27 Dec 3pm & 7.30pm

Tue 29 – Thu 31 Dec 7.30pm

Tue 29 & Thu 31 Dec 2.30pm

Sat 2 Jan 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Sun 3 Jan 3pm & 7.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7647 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)
Nov 22nd

Miracle on 34th Street - The Musical at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Our evening began with a false start as the red velvet curtain was raised two feet and then lowered hurriedly revealing that the cast were not in position for their opening tableau! Sadly, this was the first of many technical hitches on the opening night of Miracle on 34th Street in Glasgow's King's Theatre.

The show itself began with some promise as the energetic cast burst into a cartwheeling and high kicking rendition of "Big Ca-lown Balloons" which segwayed directly into the colourful Macy's Parade. However the energetic performances on stage could only briefly mask the electronic soundrack underscore which we can only assume was pre-recorded because we were never introduced to the band or musical director. The opening number also overstayed its welcome revealing that this show might be somewhat out of touch with the modern musical theatre audience who prefer short punchy (catchy) numbers and a story that pulls us in. Sadly, the narrative falls a little short in that department, too ... and there is NO PLACE for a dream ballet in 2015!

The cast certainly gave it their all with solid delivery from all the principals backed by a talented and effervescent chorus. Hannah Thompson was delightful and charming in the central role of Susan Walker. Ms Thompson's youth was wonderfully balanced by a consummate Kris Kringle (Santa to you and me) who was played by a remarkably youthful Danny Lane! Mr Lane gave the audience exactly what we wanted from this most famous of characters - no mean feat from one so young. Brendan Matthew gave a wonderfully OTT performance as Shellhammer - a great distraction for the younger members of the audience. Claire Hawkins and Carl Lindquist delivered the romantic interest well; within the limits of a somewhat old fashioned script.

Technically, the production was quite a disappointment with christmas lights on the blink, misplaced spotlight specials and a truck sliding into the wings. The show was also a victim of that annoying habbit that lighting crews have on opening night of 'nudging' gobos into place bit by bit as though the audience will not notice the 8 foot "window pane" illumination moving across the set if it only moves 2 inches at a time. Many things did go well, though and the set was well designed by David Shields. The snow effects were delightful and much appreciated by the audience.

The production certainly has the ingredients to deliver a little early Christmas cheer but, for me, was only saved by performances which (thankfully) outshone the faulty Christmas Lights onstage.


Miracle on 34th Street

Tour continues:


23-25 November


26-28 November

CARDIFF New Theatre

1-5 December

EASTBOURNE Royal Hippodrome

9-12 December

WORTHING Connaught Theatre

14-17 December


18-19 December

WATFORD Colosseum

21-28 December


Oct 21st


By Jon Cuthbertson

100 years after writing her first novel, Agatha Christie still has audiences in the palm of her hand. And Then There Were None was the first time Christie had adapted one of her own novels for the stage - even altering the ending during rehearsals. However in this Anniversary production the ending has been changed (don't worry - I'm not going to tell you whodunnit in the opening paragraph!) - but all the dialogue has been lifted from Christie's own words from the novel itself.


Christie's clever writing is a both a dream and a curse for a director. All the scenes take place in one set over a finite period of time - therefore no huge scene changes to worry about. However, the downside means that you rely heavily on the dialogue. Luckily, the writing itself has some wit and humour alongside some instantly recognisable characters. Joe Harmston is an old hand with Christie, having directed every production since the inception of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company nearly 10 years ago, and his skill shows in this production too. The first scene in this play is a difficult one for any director - with 10 characters to introduce, 10 back stories to tell and a "whodunnit" scenario to set up, this scene can be very slow and wordy. However, with such a vibrant cast, this production manages to save this scene from monotony.


Stand out is Kezia Burrows as Vera Claythorne - showing off Roberto Surace's costumes to full advantage - whose energy and timing is excellent. Her chemistry with Ben Nealon, in his regular role as the charmer with a past, provides much of the central frisson of this show. The story is one of Agatha Christie's more complicated plots - 10 people are brought to an island home, where each of them are murdered one by one, seemingly in line with a rhyme they find on the wall - 10 Little Soldier Boys (although this title has been changed a number of times to be "politically correct"). The cast work well together to create the characters and the subtext between each other. Mark Curry (former Blue Peter presenter) was a revelation in the role of Rogers, the manservant of the home. He handles some very difficult scenes very well and showed what an excellent actor he is, particularly among such a strong, well known cast. Deborah Grant brings her acerbic wit and superb delivery and timing to the role of the pretentious Emily Brent (although I'm hopeful for a further tour of Black Coffee to see her excellent performance as Miss Caroline Amory again!). Star billing was given to Paul Nicholas, as Sir Lawrence Wargrave - a rather hawkish old Judge who had very staunch views on justice. I've not always been a fan of Mr Nicholas' work, but this role has pulled him back on track and has let me see what Mr Kenwright must see in him.

It would be remiss not to mention Simon Scullion's excellent design - the epic circular window and art deco ornaments and flooring instantly set the period for this piece. It's just a shame that the rigours of touring are starting to show with some patchy areas at the edges of what is a majestic set being the only downside to this entire production. However, this small detail will not get in the way of your enjoyment of another fantastic recreation of a classic Agatha Christie tale.


Don't wait too long to get your tickets for this production - you'd hate to eventually get all built up to see the show, go to get tickets, "And Then There Were None"...(sorry - it was just too much of a line to resist trying to make it fit in about tickets somewhere!). Ignoring the poor pun - don't miss another stunning Agatha Christie Theatre Company production at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, or touring to Edinburgh and Aberdeen over the next few weeks.

Listing Information

And Then There Were None

Theatre Royal Glasgow

Mon 19 – Sat 24 Oct 2015

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7647 (bkg fee) Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge (bkg fee)

Oct 7th

Jesus Christ Superstar - King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Sean Stirling

Jesus Christ Superstar

Nearly 45 years after the concept album of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s seminal rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was released comes a new UK tour which this week makes its home at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow.

 The story, in case you didn’t know, follows the events leading up to, and including, the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth but is told from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, the apostle who would betray Jesus to the high priests.  Judas admires Jesus greatly but is critical of his growing popularity and the threat he might pose to the Roman Empire.

 The score is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most thrilling and, in my opinion, is probably the greatest rock opera of that genre. It boasts such iconic numbers as Heaven On Their Minds, I Don’t Know How To Love Him and Gethsemane as well as its famous title track.

There have been many ground breaking productions in recent years that successfully place the story in a contemporary setting.  Gale Edwards’ West End production presented a Pontius Pilate that would not have looked out of place as a leader of the Third Reich while the recent arena tour, starring Mel C and Tim Minchin, which took the London riots and occupancy movement as its inspiration.  This new production, directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright, takes a much more traditional approach using period costume.

Reprising his performance in the title role is Glenn Carter,  He had previously played the role when Gale Edwards’ production transferred to Broadway and also on the filmed DVD of that production.  While he might be considered a little long in the tooth for the role (this is nothing compared to Bill Kenwright’s current casting of Tommy Steele in the title role of The Glenn Miller Story) Carter still possesses the vocal chops required for what is a very vocally demanding role. He is not helped by the fact that a very unflattering robe makes him look older.

In the role of Judas Iscariot, who really is the central character of the piece, is Tim Rogers.  The Australian actor is no stranger to UK audiences having appeared in tours of West Side Story, Whistle Down The Wind and The Full Monty.  Like Carter, Rogers also has some vocal acrobatics to perform which he does with great success.

 Also appearing in this production is X Factor finalist  Rachel Adedeji as Mary Magdalene.  She brings a freshness to the role with a vocal that is sweet, simple but very effective and is not over produced with traditional musical theatre belting or pop embellishments.  

 Other notable performances in this production include the wonderful basso profundo of Neil Moors as the preist Caiphas who is paired with a delightfully sinister Alistair Lee as Annas.  Jonathan Tweedie gives a commanding performance as Pontius Pilate while Tom Gilling’s Herod would not be out of place in a sketch from Little Britain.

 The strength in this production lies in its musical performance and full credit must be given to musical supervisor Tom De Keyser and musical director Tim Whiting.  This is a very demanding score to sing and while some performances air on the safe side they still do justice to this marvelous score.  I am often dubious of cut-down, keyboard led orchestras but the 7 piece band here sound excellent and the balance in sound is spot on.  Every single lyric is clear and the volume was pumped up at the appropriate rocky moments.

The production is flawed by poor direction.  None of the lead characters are given the chance to explore their roles in any great depth.  Principals are often staged like traditional opera stand and sing   which makes many moments feel like a concert performance and relationships between characters are not fully established.  Ensemble numbers are all staged with full out dance routines which in this piece felt divorced and distracted from the plot.  It almost felt like I was watching a grow-up version of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

There was also some confused moments. At one point the ensemble in period costume appeared brandishing modern day microphones and reporters pads which looked out of place.

The static set designed by Paul Farnsworth is effective, especially with the beautiful stain glass lighting design by Nick Richings.

Fans of the piece will not be disappointed with the strong cast and for those who are new to the show, then it really is a must see regardless of your religious views to hear this glorious score which resonates still despite the faults with the production.

 Jesus Christ Superstar

Tue 6 – Sat 10 Oct

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee

Sep 16th

The Glenn Miller Story - King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Sean Stirling

The Glenn Miller Story

Glenn Miller was the great American Big Band leader and arranger whose own distinctive sound provided much needed escapism during the Second World War.  The music came to a tragic end in December 1944 when Miller’s transporter plane disappeared over the English Channel following a broadcast in England for the BBC.  You may remember the 1954 movie The Glenn Miller Story starring James Stewart in the title role with June Allyson as Glenn’s wife, Helen Burger.  So moving is the final scene in that movie as June Allyson holds back the tears as she listens to the first broadcast of Miller’s band, without Miller, while the children open gifts under the Christmas tree.  It never fails to make this reviewer shed a tear or two. The Glenn Miller legacy lives on through regular tours and performances by the Glenn Miller Orchestra and in this new production from producer Bill Kenwright.

Portraying Glenn Miller is legendary song and dance man Tommy Steele, star of movies such as Finian’s Rainbow, The Happiest Millionaire and the original Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence.  I won’t avoid the elephant in the room here, at the age of 78 Steele is almost twice the age that the real Glenn Miller was when he disappeared.  This is the latest in the recent trend of “age blind casting”, following the announcement that Derek Jacobi (age 76) is to play Mercutio in Kenneth Branagh’s new production of Romeo And Juliet this autumn.  Mr Steele steps in and out of character to provide narration in what is a very thin and two dimensional book which glimpses over some of the key points in Miller’s life.  The whole thing feels like being with your grandfather telling you stories about the war.  It has warmth but lacks theatrical substance.  Mr Steele’s voice is a shadow of its former glory and is difficult to be heard in some of the louder numbers.  His American accent also comes and goes throughout the evening.

Playing opposite Mr Steele is the younger, Sarah Soetreat as Helen Burger.  She has a wonderful Garland-esque quality to her singing voice with a lovely warm vibrato that evokes the music of this era.  She brings as much charm as she can to the role but the flawed book denies her any sort of emotional arc.

The six members of the ensemble offer support and help to make the leading man look and sound good.  With choreography by Olivier Award winner, Bill Deamer (Top Hat) and brilliant close harmony vocal arrangements they delight in numbers such as Sing Sing Sing and Chattanooga Choo Choo.

The real star of this production, and the reason you should buy a ticket, is the sensational 16 piece orchestra , under the direction of Andrew Corcoran, who bring Glenn Miller’s gorgeous arrangements to life.  The moment the first few bars of Moonlight Serenade are heard is spine tingling and the bold brass in St Louis Blues March is nothing short of exhilarating. How wonderful it is to hear live music of this magnitude in a touring production.    

The Glenn Miller Story

Tue 15 – Sat 19 Sept

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)

Aug 31st

Curtain Falls on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015

By Cameron Lowe


After 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues across Edinburgh, the curtain falls and the house lights go up on the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has announced that by Monday afternoon, with hundreds of performances still to take place, an estimated 2,298,090 tickets had been issued for shows across Scotland’s capital. The number of tickets issued reflects a 5.24% increase in comparison to tickets issued by the same point last year. 


Kath M Mainland CBE, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:


“As this year’s Fringe draws to a close we can reflect on what a spectacular success it has been. Once again artists and audiences have travelled from across the globe to be a part of this unique cultural event. And with an estimated 2,298,090 tickets issued and many thousands of people attending the 800 free shows in the programme, I’ve no doubt every single person who watched a Fringe show, or experienced this wonderful festival city, will take away unforgettable memories. 


“With incredible talent from 49 countries from all over the world taking part this year, the Fringe has once again demonstrated itself to be both truly international and profoundly Scottish.  The 2015 season has firmly cemented Edinburgh’s reputation as the world’s leading festival city. “


Fringe Society Chair, Sir Tim O’Shea added:


“On behalf of everyone who visited and enjoyed this year’s Fringe, I would like to thank all the creative souls, both onstage and backstage, who brought their work here. Their courage, creativity and sheer hard work is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and without them, the Fringe simply wouldn’t be possible.”


Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs added:


“This has been another incredible year for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The festival continues to evolve and work with the city to expand and offer more and more to audiences from across the world. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe demonstrates the innovative spirit that makes Scottish culture so vibrant. “


One new initiative this year was a scheme launched by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Virgin Money aimed at providing complimentary tickets to Fringe shows for children and young people who are being cared for by City of Edinburgh Council. The project called Access Fringe – Looked After Children made £173,172.00 worth of tickets from 233 shows in 38 venues available to children and young people whose circumstances would not normally allow them to participate in cultural activity. Access Fringe – Looked After Children is a part of the Fringe Society’s commitment to making the Fringe accessible to all and is one of a series of initiatives over the years to come to tackle the physical, economic, social and geographic barriers that prevent people from participating.


Other highlights in 2015 included the participation of a total of fourteen new venues across the city. These included the return of the famous St. Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge under the banner of Momentum Venues, Underbelly launching their Circus Hub on the Meadows in the city’s southside and SpaceUK debuting a new three floor venue called SpaceTriplex in The Prince Philip Building on Hill Place.


The Fringe Society unveiled two new commercial partnerships in 2015; with Airbnb and the Caledonian Sleeper. Both these relationships offered new opportunities for Fringe participants and audiences.


The Royal Mail celebrated this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe by issuing a special postmark, applied to stamped UK mail from 07-31 August. Royal Mail’s postmarks are reserved for special occasions and are used to recognise significant events, historical anniversaries or support of charity. It was the first time in the Royal Mail’s 500 year history that a festival has been featured on a postmark.


Award-winning comedian and theatre-maker Bryony Kimmings delivered the 2015 Fringe Central Welcome Address to participants, organised by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. The welcome address, designed to welcome and inspire participants, was attended by a record number of people. Bryony Kimmings, an Associate Artist at Soho Theatre and a Fringe participant herself, encouraged participants to take advantage of over 85 free events hosted throughout August, to help develop performance skills, expand networks and advance careers. 


A wide range of awards were on offer throughout the festival organised by a range of organisations. Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website launched their Fringe awards, acknowledging a show and a venue for their outstanding efforts to include disabled audiences at this year’s Fringe.

Aug 26th


By Mark Ridyard

Avenue Q
More than a decade after making its debut on Broadway, Avenue Q opened last night at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

For those unaware of the world of Avenue Q, the principle is very simple – it’s a kind of Sesame Street on stage, but the kind of show that advertises itself as unsuitable for any under the age of 14. The performers on stage are dressed in black, and spend the show manipulating puppets through a tongue-in-cheek, coming-of-age storyline.

With this in mind, it’s probably hard to understand how a show with such a strange premise managed a five-year-run in London’s West End, not to mention the Tony Awards and Grammy nomination that also came its way.

However, a quick glance at the programme revealed the name Robert Lopez as the co-author of the show’s music and lyrics – the same Robert Lopez who co-authored the songs in the massive Disney hit Frozen for which he won an Oscar.

And the music in Avenue Q didn’t disappoint. Whether it was the raunchy “I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today” or the haunting “There’s A Fine, Fine Line” at the end of Act One, we were taken on a terrific journey through a wide range of different styles and moods.

The storyline followed the lives of a group of friends who, in a very amusing, satirical and foul-mouthed fashion, are realising that their parents’ repeated assurances about how special they were as children were a long way from the reality the are experiencing as adults. Despite the age of the show, it felt fresh and vibrant – simplistic staging, but using lighting and costumes of the puppets to brilliant effect.

But what of the performers themselves: the puppeteers? Well, this is where the Glasgow audience needed to “suspend their disbelief” somewhat – if they were expecting to see life-size dummies (in the mould of Shrek: The Musical or Disney On Ice) then would have been severely disappointed. Instead, they were treated to something much more subtle and, at times, technically astonishing with the cast using a variety of hand-puppets and marionettes as well as having to voice several different characters in the same scene.

There were a small number of “humans” who appeared on stage, one of which was the character of Gary Coleman – unusually, in this tour, played by a female actress.

Overall, the quality of the acting, puppeteering and singing was a joy to behold – to find performers who can do one of these three things well is hard enough, but to fill a touring production with talented individuals who can do all three is astonishing.

There was a liberal amount of swearing and references to adult themes (one of the songs is titled “The Internet Is For Porn”, to give you some idea) so I would have to advise than under-16s stay at home for this one; but if you’re looking for hearty laughs, intelligent humour and terrific musical numbers, then Avenue Q is the place for you!

Avenue Q
at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Tuesday 25th – Saturday 29th August 2015
Buy tickets for Avenue Q at The King's Glasgow


Aug 19th

Curiously Brilliant

By Mark Ridyard

Curious Banner

Just over 3 years since its opening at The National Theatre, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time made its way to the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, last night for the start of a 6-performance-run.

It focuses on the life of a teenager with Asperger Syndrome who, as the tale begins, is accused of murdering a neighbour’s dog with a garden fork. The story follows his investigation into the dog’s death, as well as the relationship with his parents and teacher, and is based on the 2003 novel by Mark Haddon. The original production holds a record for the most Olivier Awards wins (seven) and works as a “play within a play”.

Walking into the auditorium 15 minutes before curtain, your eyes are instantly drawn to the open stage, in the centre of which lies the dead dog with the garden fork still in situ. In addition, the whole stage is framed by what looks like graph paper in the dim lighting. But something else is apparent in the auditorium. Something that makes this production a real rarity – the wave of anticipation that you can feel in the audience.

The show has obviously been praised by audiences and critics alike over the years and it’s clear that this opening-night audience have high expectations for The Curious Incident… although this reviewer heard many of them admitting that they had no idea about what the story entailed. Further glances around the theatre confirmed that a near-capacity crowd had made it into The King’s and it should be noted that they remained both enthusiastic and enthralled throughout the full two-and-a-half-hours.

The production offers some unique theatrical moments – combining first class acting, wonderful special effects plus amazing sound and lighting design to create an remarkably enveloping production, driving you through a wide range of different emotions as we follow the life of Christopher’s Boone. The actor playing this part is one of Glasgow’s own – Joshua Jenkins, a former student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music – and offers a performance of stunning brilliance.

Jenkins is skilfully supported by a small but talented cast who, in keeping with the general feel of the show, often move seamlessly from one character to another at, in some cases literally, the flick of a switch.

The staging remains open throughout – with the performance area using lighting and projection effects to move the action from inside bedrooms to train stations to green parks in an instant, always holding the attention of the audience and ensuring that the pace of the play is in perfect synchronisation with how the character of Christopher is feeling.

But, at the end of the night, were the audience’s high expectations met?

Well, there was a standing ovation, applause continuing well after the cast had taken their final bow, and a sizeable amount of people turning to the person sitting next to them and uttering “That was brilliant!”…

Curiously brilliant, in fact.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tuesday 18 - Saturday 22 August 2015

Buy Tickets

Jun 24th

Twelve Angry Men, Theatre Royal Glasgow, 22nd - 27th June 2015

By Jon Cuthbertson

Tom Conti delivers an endearing and understated performance as Juror 8 in this tense 1950s American drama.


Reginald Rose’s script started life as a TV play, before being made into the famous film version starring Henry Fonda, but it is on stage it has the most impact. The story follows a jury after the closing statements of a case has been read. Their initial snap vote has the defendant guilty at 11-1 of murdering his father – the result of which would lead to the death sentence. The only juror in his corner is Juror 8 (played with an exceptionally deft touch here by Tom Conti) who eventually talks the rest of the jurors into having a discussion before they make any final decisions. With racism and the men’s own prejudices affecting their judgement, the play in itself is an interesting look at society as a whole.


Juror 8’s adversary is Juror 3, played by Andrew Lancel. An angry man whose exterior hides his own unresolved emotions, he likens the defendant to his own estranged son and seems to be using this case to release some of that anger. In amongst the drama, there are many moments of humour too – the 12 men are given real personalities and their clashes can be both comical and tense in equal measure. Sean Power’s wise-cracking Juror 7 provides many of the laughs in his rush to end the debate so he can make his baseball game that evening.


Michael Pavelka’s classy set allows a chance to see the emotions of the characters, with frames instead of walls and an extremely slow moving revolve which rotates the jurors table throughout the play. Christopher Haydon’s direction has given the play a natural movement – the journey for each of the jurors is evident and portrayed both physically and in the execution of the dialogue.


The skilful performances, the smart direction, thoughtful design and the clever and witty script all work in unison to deliver an excellent production which doesn’t fail to deliver.


So, the jury is out – and my verdict? Get your ticket for this one – it’s a decision you won’t regret.




Listing Information


Mon 22 – Sat 27 June

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7647 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)