Hay Fever- Dominic Hill’s adaptation of Noël Coward’s warped comedy brings light relief to the Citizens’ Theatre’s spring season

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

Hay Fever at the Citizens Theatre Trailer

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Noel Coward’s 1925 play comes to Glasgow’s Citizens’ Theatre for the first time

New whisky pop-up bar targets Glasgow’s single malt drinkers

A new whisky pop-up bar in the city centre is targeting a new market of single malt drinkers.

A new whisky pop-up bar in the city centre is targeting a new market of single malt drinkers.

The Love Scotch Malt Shop and Cocktail Counter opened at Riverhill on West Nile Street on Wednesday.

It will be open for six weeks, from Wednesday until Sunday, 4pm until midnight.

The pop-up is run by Diageo’s head of whisky, Ervin Trykowski, and James Kemp, the marketing manager at Kained Holdings and former head bartender at The Finnieston.

Ervin said the aim of the pop-up is to change single malt’s traditional image.

He added: “It is seen as an old man’s drink — drunk by gentlemen in tweed jackets but we are trying to make it a bit more inclusive.

“We’re trying to change the target audience to a younger market.”

Around 40 whiskies will be available with mixers, straight, or to buy as Christmas gifts.

Drinks on offer include Gold Label Reserve, Talisker Storm, Singleton Tailfire and Lagavulin 16.

There will also be cocktails, including ‘passion of Dali’, which contains ‘husked’ Caol Ila Moch, chocolate vermouth, smoked rapeseed oil and banana new make.

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Ervin Trykowski and James Kemp preparing for the opening night. Photo: Love Scotch Facebook page.

 

James described the pop-up as a unique experience in Scotland.

He said: “In the UK, loads of people are doing this — for instance, there is Black Rock in London.

“There are bars in Scotland doing this already but they are not as exclusively focused on scotch as we are.”

Regular workshops and masterclasses are also scheduled, including the The Perception Of Flavour & Whisky and Approaching Scotch in Cocktails.

Riverhill owner Bob Macdonald said the café will operate as normal during the day.

He added: “I think the ever-changing food and drink scene in Glasgow needs a fresh kick up the back-side.

“We want to use our West Nile Street venue to showcase young Scottish talent who find it difficult to afford a venue, and this may just get them on the business ladder.”

The bar does not take bookings but those who go can expect cocktails, bar snacks, and a new way of organising whisky — colour coding by characteristic rather than by place of origin.

Whisky prices range from £3 to £12, beers are £3.50 and cocktails are £6.50.

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Infographic available to view here: https://infograph.venngage.com/p/196302/quick-list-_new

Socialist Workers Party plans anti-Trump protests

Protests in Glasgow are being planned following Donald Trump’s win in Tuesday’s US election.

Protests in Glasgow are being planned following Donald Trump’s win in Tuesday’s US election.

The protests were announced at the Glasgow branch of the Socialist Workers Party meeting last night.

SWP set up the event to gather those against the Republican president to discuss how to protest his win.

At the event, ‘Why did Trump win?’, Glaswegians expressed their outrage at the results of the US election.

Sean Cumming, one of the organisers of the meeting, said the party put on the event for members and non-members because it is a “global political issue that affects people in Scotland too.”

He added: “The situation has been terrible for a lot of people in America and it is only going to get worse.

“In Scotland we can delegitimise Trump by protesting against him. These protests will probably take place over the next few weeks.

“The decision has a direct impact worldwide. It emboldens racism in Scotland as well by giving people here confidence and acceptance of their racist ideas.”

Stephen Rankin from Glasgow has been organising Trump protests since the beginning of the election process, including one at George Square on Sunday with Scottish comedian Janey Godley.

He thinks the failing of Obama is a big part of why Trump won the election.

He said: “People wanted to vote against the establishment.”

“America is a global superpower meaning Trump’s win has a significant impact on the rest of the world, especially Scotland.”

“The things Trump has done in Scotland already like sending people off their land to build golf courses are terrible, and it’s only going to get worse as he gets more power.”

Scots for Trump believe the Glasgow protests will have no impact.

A spokesman said: “These protests are pointless because Trump has already been elected.

“I don’t think shouting about it on the streets will be very effective.”

Should Glaswegians protest against Trump’s win?
Yes
No

 

One third of Glasgow schools and nurseries affected by janitor strike

Almost one third of schools and nurseries in Glasgow have been affected by janitor strikes over alleged unfair pay this week.

Almost one third of schools and nurseries in Glasgow have been affected by janitor strikes over alleged unfair pay this week. 

The janitors have been targeting their protests at Labour councillors during the five-day strike at the City Chambers as part of their continuous dispute with Cordia. 

Cordia, a branch of Glasgow City Council, is refusing to pay a Working Context and Demands Payment (WCDP) to school and nursery janitors. 

However, Unison, which some janitors are members of, argues its staff are owed this money. 

A Unison Glasgow spokesman said: Janitors have to do arduous tasks such as lifting heavy objects or cleaning up sick and we believe they deserve a fair wage for this. 

Strike action began on January 19 with janitors refusing to do tasks including heavy lifting, litter picking and weeding.

The janitors have taken 24 days of industrial action since March 2016.

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Photo: Unison

A janitor at the strike on Wednesday said: “I think me and the other janitors across Glasgow have just reached the point where enough is enough.

We’ve been slowly heading towards an official strike since January by boycotting certain tasks such as cleaning up leaves and snow — and it has peaked now.”

A headteacher from a Glasgow primary school said: “One of our windows has been broken for almost a week now and there is no one to fix it — there are also a lot of general maintenance tasks to be done in the school.

“In saying that, we believe our janitor deserves a better wage so the school supports the industrial action this week.” 

The council and its sub companies give bonus payments to employees who do jobs that are unpleasant, involve heavy lifting or working outside. 

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Photo: Unison

There are five types of WCD payments ranging from just over £500 to more than £1000. 

A spokeswoman from the council said schools and nurseries would operate with “minimal disruption” this week. 

She added: “There are about 65 janitors on strike – so just under a third of Glasgow’s 300 schools and nurseries have been affected.

Uncertainty over GCU catering jobs as uni scraps contract

Catering staff at Glasgow Caledonian University will lose their jobs by Christmas following sudden cuts to their contracts.

Catering staff at Glasgow Caledonian University will lose their jobs by Christmas following sudden cuts to their contracts.

GCU chiefs made the decision to end Cordia’s catering contract in October 2015, and the plans were finalised last month.

The contract is due to end on December 15 and 69 GCU staff members are unsure where they will be placed.

The staff work for Encore, a sub-company of Cordia, and work in coffee shops and cafeterias on campus.

Cordia informed its staff their contract would end in December 2015 but it was extended to 2017 before the catering cuts.

It is unknown whether staff will be transferred to another company or go on Cordia’s displaced list, but they will find out next week.

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A hospitality worker at GCU, (photo: Martin Shields)

Cordia is an arms-length company of Glasgow City Council, and staff believe they will be given new jobs wherever the council places them.

This could include home care, hospitals, schools and elderly care homes.

Sandra Irvine, 52, was hoping to retire next year but she is reconsidering over pension fears.

“I’m in a state of shock and don’t know what to think,” she said.

I will lose my pension if I don’t get another job with the council and have had to freeze my pension at the moment — which is extremely worrying.”

June Healy, who was nominated for Encore Employee of the Year in 2015, said: “I don’t know if I will be relocated because the union isn’t telling us anything.

 

I have worked here for 20 odd years and don’t know how to apply for another job or write a CV.”

All of the cafeteria staff are like a family. Most of us have been here for over a decade so it will be sad for us to be separated.”

People expressed their anger over the catering cuts via Twitter.

 

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A university spokesperson said: “Some of the catering staff have been working in the University for over 25 years and GCU wishes them the best of luck in their new jobs.”

Gerry Milne, chief financial officer and vice-principal of infrastructure at GCU, said: “I thank the Cordia team for their contribution to staff and student life on campus, and I have faith the university’s new catering services will meet expectations.”

GMB Scotland is demanding GCU principal Pamela Gillies to put an end to staff job uncertainty before Christmas.

New ‘festival of ideas’ to coincide with SNP Conference and draft Independence Referendum Bill

A radical new festival celebrating “the most important issues facing Scotland” is underway at the SECC to coincide with tomorrow’s SNP Conference.

A radical new festival celebrating “the most important issues facing Scotland” is underway at the SECC to coincide with tomorrow’s SNP Conference.

More than 40 organisations have been taking part in the “festival of new ideas” which is run by Common Weal.

The aim of IdeaSpace is to “let members of the SNP and the public learn and be inspired” by fresh ideas outside the current political agenda.

Organisations showcased at tomorrow’s free event include Upstart Scotland, Unison, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Energy Democracy Project and Scotland Against Criminalising Communities.

The event has generated high levels of engagement on Twitter.

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Common Weal operations manager, Tiffany Kane, said: “The organisers of the event and those who have attended aren’t just imagining a better future. They’re making it happen.”

Maggie Lennon from Women for Independence, said: “If we’re heading towards another referendum — and I sincerely hope we are — the challenge will be how to engage with different people because not everyone who voted for Brexit is a right wing extremist, and some Brexit voters have been attending IdeaSpace.”

Max Wiszniewski, campaigns officer of Common Weal, said the original plan was to have a stall at this year’s SNP Conference but the SNP had raised the price considerably since last year’s annual conference in Aberdeen.

This led to IdeaSpace which was funded by “financial contributions and partner organisations.”

He said: “Over the last three days I’ve met so many people who want to take part in a constructive movement following the independence referendum and Brexit, and this is why the festival has been so important.”

The festival ends tomorrow at 2pm, with the line-up including talks on the attainment gap (9am), the SNP leaders (11.30am), Christian values in Scotland (12.45pm) and the Prevent strategy (2pm).

Ideaspace coincides with Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement at the SNP Conference that a draft Independence Referendum Bill will be published next week.

 

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Tomorrow’s IdeaSpace schedule. Photo: The Common Weal.