I have been to the theatre once in the past 5 years. I used to go all the time. We were members of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival and we went every few months to see a play downtown. Chekhov, Shakespeare, Sondheim, Williams. And every year The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Not to mention the Cleveland Orchestra’s Christmas Concert at Severance Hall. And I miss it. Terribly.
So I thought I would take a look at what Glasgow has to offer in the way of Holiday Theatre this year. Considering how culturally enhanced Glasgow wants you to think it is, the choice is rather lacking. I can see any one of about 50 Christmas Pantos (horrid things aimed mainly at children, their adults, and people with less than 7 brain cells) which I have no desire to do at all, or I can wait until February when the ballet is showing The Nutcracker. Why in February? I have no idea. No idea in the slightest.
Is it really possible that I am so strapped for choices when living in the largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the whole of the UK? Yes, it would seem so.
I guess I am just unwilling to take a break from the familiar. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra does have a Christmas Concert, but it focuses on The Snowman, which is apparently a “magical family film” which is played in full accompanied by live narration and music. How thrilling. The Glasgow Chamber Orchestra is also playing a Christmas Concert, just the one, tomorrow. The choir that is singing is the Glasgow Hospitals’ Choir and, while all proceeds go to sick children in Glasgow, it is just too depressing for me.
So what should I do?
I could fly down to London for the day and see what sort of festive offerings they have for me. I would have my fingers crossed for The Christmas Carol, but that doesn’t seem to be so popular here. Or I could sit at home in a dark room with my eyes closed, playing a CD of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Christmas music which we bought many, many years ago and I could just pretend I am at a concert.
And, while I am at it, what does a girl have to do to see a live theatre production of a Shakespeare play? Travel to the Globe Theatre in London? Or wait for the spring when the “narrative ballet” version comes to the Theatre Royal? Seriously.
On the plus side, The King’s Theatre in Edinburgh is showing a version of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett in April staring Gandalf and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart) for which I have already booked my tickets. For the first night just in case I NEED to see it again. And again. Masterpiece of modern theatre? I fear that may be an understatement.
Bring on the Christmas season. And for pete’s sake someone please bring me some culture!
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