Curtain up on August festival of performance
A Tony Award-winning musical, a film inspired by the writings of Harold Pinter and an annual festival of new music that acts as a launch pad for some of the country’s most exciting emerging artists … audiences can enjoy captivating performances from the comfort of their own home with online August activity from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
This month, there’s a festival feel to RCS at Home – the online performing arts channel – with a not-to-be-missed mix of music, drama, dance and film. And it’s all free!
Broadcasting to homes across the globe, viewers can get comfy on the couch and stream:
The Pajama Game, available until 16 August: BA Musical Theatre students present the Tony Award-winning musical, directed by Becky Hope-Palmer (a graduate of the RCS’s MA Classical and Contemporary Text programme) and based on the Richard Bissell novel 7½ Cents.
A strike is imminent at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory. The union will strike if their demand for a seven-and-a-half cent raise isn’t met. But the head of the company, Hasler, isn’t going to give in that easily. In walks a new and ambitious superintendent, Sid Sorokin, who just happens to catch the eye of Sleep-Tite’s head Grievance Committee member, Babe Williams. Will sparks fly or will the Union’s demands come between them? Set against the backdrop of sleepy Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Pajama Game gives you all the 1950s musical magic with the timeless story of capital versus labour.
PLUG, available until 30 August: the annual celebration of new music returns to RCS for a 15th year to bang the drum for original, eclectic and electrifying contemporary works. More than 30 composers will premiere over 60 free, online concerts until August 30.
Hope Springs Eternal, 13 August: the latest in a series of original digital performances presented in a partnership between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Scottish Government. The performances of music, dance and spoken word focus on the themes of climate, nature and resilience as Scotland prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (known as COP26) in November.
Selene, available 16 to 30 August: In this short film, three poets traverse moonscapes, dreamscapes and heart-scapes to solve the riddle of elusive love. Does their tale begin at the end, conclude where it started or roam somewhere along the winding paths of passion and memory? Inspired by their explorations of the subconscious and the writings of Harold Pinter, Selene was conceived by Robyn Faye, Morgan Hooper and Andre Silva of the MA/MFA Classical and Contemporary Text programme.
BASE Showcase 3, 27 August: a concert curated and performed by the RCS student community at BASE, RCS’s student accommodation.
Sonic Arts Showcase, until August 31: August also includes a two-part Sonic Arts Showcase which will present the work of 19 young artists, including videos.
There’s also an exclusive alumni event that will bring together leading lights in UK theatre. On 25 August, Andrew Panton, RCS Visiting Professor and Artistic Director of Dundee Rep and Joint Chief Executive of Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, will host a Creative Conversation on Zoom with Noisemaker and Make Your Own Musicals.
Noisemaker is the award-winning writing partnership of writer/actor Scott Gilmour and composer/musical director Claire McKenzie. Both graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the pair work throughout the UK and internationally creating innovative, original work to challenge the expectations of musical theatre.
Make Your Own Musicals is comprised of three musical theatre creatives including RCS graduates Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage, who met while studying on the BA Musical Theatre degree.
Elsewhere, RCS in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council is offering fully funded training courses across a range of specialisms for those working within the performing arts who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The training courses are available through the National Transition Training Fund and are open to Scottish-domiciled artists, arts managers or administrators who have lost income, been made redundant or become unemployed due to the pandemic.
Courses include Arts Leadership and Fundraising, Sound for Production and Performance Psychology and all are credit-rated, allowing participants the opportunity to gain SCQF credits upon successful completion, as well as advancing their skills and confidence to progress forward in the workplace.
Visit RCS at Home Festival Edition to view performances and check out the fully funded training courses.
Main image: The Pajama Game © Robert McFadzean