Milestone year and a landmark show

Jamie Quinn as Spanky ' photo by Tim Morozzo

Jamie Quinn as Spanky ' photo by Tim Morozzo

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Theatre fans will flock to the Gorbals this week as Scottish greats John Byrne and David Hayman are drafted in to mark the 70th anniversary of the Citizens Theatre.

Kicking off a landmark season for the Gorbals company is The Slab Boys, the first in a trilogy by Byrne, set in a 50s carpet factory in Paisley.

Debuted in 1978, the story of working class factory boys was seen as a landmark play in the national theatre scene, perfectly capturing youth culture in post-war industrial Scotland.

It’s perhaps fitting, then, that one of the country’s best known actors steps up to direct the celebratory show as he did back in its early days.

As well as directing, David Hayman will join the cast in the role of Mr Currie, the slab room gaffer, while writer and artist Byrne takes up the role of designer — marking the first time the two have worked together since the original production.

He commented: “I’m utterly thrilled to be coming back to the Citz as a director and performer, and it is a privilege to be working again with the great John Byrne.

“It’s especially exciting to be revisiting The Slab Boys, which is one of the most important and iconic pieces of theatre to come out of Scotland in the last 30 years. It is a celebration of working class life, a wonderful story of high hopes and lost dreams.”

With son Sammy Hayman joining Jamie Quinn (Blackwatch, Bluestone 42) Scott Fletcher (Blackwatch, River City) and others on stage, The Slab Boys is a highlight on Glasgow’s brimming cultural calendar — a must for any theatre fan.

The show runs February 12 until March 7 (days and times vary). Tickets are 50p-£20.50 — to book, visit www.citz.co.uk.