Dominic Hill’s latest project at Glasgow’s Citizens’ Theatre is an adaptation of Noël Coward’s Hay Fever, a co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. Written in 1924 and produced a year later, Coward’s classic depicts the ups and downs of the insufferable Bliss family.
The show features some citizens’ veterans: Myra McFadyen plays sharp-tongued servant Clara while Susan Wooldridge plays faded actress Judith Bliss. Benny Baxter-Young plays Wooldridge’s husband, David. Charlie Archer plays their petulant son Simon while Rosemary Boyle takes on the role of his sister, Sorel. Dominic Hill describes the Bliss family as “not what you would expect of Noël Coward characters because they are not upper-class” and are “outrageously bohemian.”
Hill has been praised for adaptations of Hamlet and Crime and Punishment showcased with minimal set design. The staging on his take on Hay Fever is not as bare as his previous productions but the set design is more restrained than the usual lavish naturalism seen in Noël Coward plays.
The production follows a Citizen’s season heavy with combre, bleak tales — such as John Byrne’s The Slab Boys trilogy — and kicks off the theatre’s spring season with some light relief in Hill’s trademark directorial flavour.
Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Wed 5–Sat 22 Apr, tickets £12.50-£22.50