HORSECROSS Arts is continuing to take theatre out and about, while Perth Theatre undergoes redevelopment, announcing a new creative partnership with Random Accomplice to take Stef Smith’s new play, And the Beat Goes On, out on tour this spring.
The chilling tale – from the Olivier Award-winning playwright, Stef Smith – will be performed by Random Accomplice artistic directors, Julie Brown and Johnny McKnight, along with Julie Wilson Nimmo, and is directed by Kenny Miller, associate director for theatre for Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre.
And the Beat Goes On opens in The Tron, Glasgow on Tuesday 24 March before touring to Perth Concert Hall; The Beacon, Greenock; Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock; The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen; Eden Court Theatre, Inverness; Paisley Arts Centre; Gardyne Theatre, Dundee; finishing up at Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling on Thu 23 and Fri 24 April.
Peter and Lily have a secret. They love Sonny & Cher, their favourite celebrity couple of all time.
Decades later, Peter and Lily are still listening to their records, still lip-syncing to their songs and practicing their comedy routines every evening. But beneath their obsession with sparkle and showmanship is a tragedy. And as dark truths start to pop their bubblegum act, it becomes clear not everything is quite as it seems…
Stef Smith, who is best known for supplying the text for Oliver Award-winning show, RoadKill, drew on her lifelong love of Cher when writing And the Beat Goes On.
She said: “I’m a lifelong fan of Cher; I’m interested in how she represents survival, even if only in pop culture terms. I wanted to write something that used Sonny and Cher as a jumping off point rather than a write a biopic about them. I think Sonny and Cher represent a more innocent time, especially in the representation of famous couples.
“And I wanted to juxtapose this image of ‘a perfect couple’ with a couple who have no choice but to stay together; the idea that, under something perfect, is a very dark secret. I am always interested in the overlap of humour and darkness. I think they offset one another and there is a lovely alchemy that happens when the balance is just right.
“One of my other inspirations was Johnny and Julie themselves. I’ve been a big fan of Random Accomplice’s work and have always enjoyed their diverse mixture of comedy and drama. I wanted to write them parts that allowed them to show the diversity of them as performers – a balance of lightness and darkness.”
Johnny McKnight said:
“And The Beat Goes On was an irresistible proposition from the mighty pen of Stef Smith.
“It seemed to encompass everything that Random Accomplice looks for in a theatre piece: very dark and with a tongue placed firmly in the side of a gaping mouth.
“Horsecross Arts seemed the ideal partner after the successful collaboration with myself on Blithe Spirit. There’s the historic tradition of the theatre, a sense of the vaudeville past that seemed appropriate for this production. Combined with the talents of working with director/designer, Kenny Miller, who wouldn’t want to have to grow the moustache, monkees-style hair and dust down the flares?! We hope the show provokes and questions the world in which we live.”
Kenny Miller said:
“It is an enormous pleasure and privilege to be directing this play by Stef Smith. The challenge is to present these two characters who have disappeared into a fantasy world of Sonny and Cher instead of facing up to the reality of a deeply traumatic personal tragedy as three-dimensional believable human beings and not a couple of people who pass their days putting on shows to appease their self-indulgence.
“It is also a pleasure to be touring this show around Scotland in some of the best venues and supporters of new work with the superb Random Accomplice. Audiences can expect a slightly sinister, but ultimately thought-provoking, play about the fragility of two people trapped in a cycle of despair.”
Notes to editors
Horsecross Arts and Random Accomplice present
And The Beat Goes On by Stef Smith
Tue 24 – Sat 28 Mar I Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Tue 24 (preview): 7.45pm
Wed 25 + Thu 26: 7.45pm
£14; concessions £10
Fri 27: 7.45pm
£16; concessions £12
Sat 28: 2.30pm
£14; concessions £10
Sat 28: 7.45pm
£16; concessions £12
0141 552 4267
Thu 2 – Sat 4 Apr: 7.30pm I Perth Concert Hall
£12; concessions £10 (includes booking fee); under 26s £5
Wed 8 Apr: 7.30pm I The Beacon, Greenock
£12; concessions £10
Thu 9 Apr: 7.30pm I Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock
£13; concessions £11; students £9
0141 577 4956
Fri 10 Apr: 7pm I The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Sat 11 Apr: 7.30pm I Eden Court, Inverness
£14; concessions £12; Eden Court Friends Discount Applies
01463 234 234
Tue 21 Apr: 7.30pm I Paisley Arts Centre
£12; concessions £10 + booking fee
0300 300 1210
Wed 22 Apr: 7.30pm I Gardyne Theatre, Dundee
£16; concessions £14; students £5
Thu 23 + Fri 24 Apr: 7.30pm I Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
£14; concessions £12.50; students £5.50
Recommended age 14 +
Contains some strong language
Horsecross Arts is a registered charity number: SCO22400
Random Accomplice is a registered charity number: SC038103
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