The southside takes centre stage at the Citz

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The southside of Glasgow is set for the Citz stage this month as the venue celebrates its 70th anniversary with a world premiere.

The Citizens Theatre’s landmark season kicked off in February with John Byrne’s The Slab Boys, and next on the programme is Fever Dream: Southside — a surreal comic thriller by Douglas Maxwell.

Previewing on April 23 and 24, the play is billed as a ‘hallucinatory journey to unravel the tangled lives of a disparate group of recognisable Glaswegian characters set against a backdrop of familiar southside landmarks’.

Themes of bringing up children and the community spirit that comes from living in the city hang over all — as does the historic theatre’s own neighbourhood on this side of the Clyde.

It’s the first major work at the Citz for playwright and southsider Douglas Maxwell (the man behind Decky Does a Bronco).

He explained: “I first began the process of writing Fever Dream: Southside a few years ago, just after the birth of my first daughter.

“Despite the title, it’s not a portrait of the southside of Glasgow — it’s a self portrait. The southside is in the background, warped and distorted.

“It’s a reflection of how I felt at the time, not what was actually happening. I had worries and anxieties about raising my new family in the city and was struggling with my need ofr community, while at the same time facing a fear of community.”

Citz artistic director Dominic Hill is directing the new work, and believes that it “celebrates our position as an important cultural provider for the whole of Glasgow, and particularly for the southside.

“Douglas has created a wonderful, unusual, intriguing and very funny play that, with the southside as its setting, explores universal themes of parenthood, responsibility and community.

“It is my first commission of a new play for the Citizens and the first time I’ve directed Douglas’s work — I hope it will be a terrific event for audiences.”

Tickets for Fever Dream: Southside — running April 23 until May 9 — are available from 429 0022 or citz.co.uk.