Rupert Everett vows stage return at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre

Rupert Everett, takes one last look around before the building closes its doors to undergo a two year redevelopment.' Picture: John Devlin
Rupert Everett, takes one last look around before the building closes its doors to undergo a two year redevelopment.' Picture: John Devlin
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Screen star Rupert Everett has revealed he wants to return to perform on the stage of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre once a multi-million pound refurbishment is complete - 40 years after making his debut there as a teenager.

During a visit to back a fundraising campaign to help pay for a £19.2 million makeover, he hinted that he would be interesting in bringing his own theatre company’s shows to the Gorbals venue.

He said: “It’s one of the most beautiful theatres in the country, it has an amazing acoustic, it is wonderful to play in and watch in. I’d love to come back. I’m always talking about it.”

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Everett expressed a desire to return to the Citizens despite harbouring concerns about how the theatre world had become dominated by nationalism in recent years.

The 59-year-old actor, who claimed that Scottish theatres now only seemed interesting in staging work by Scottish writers, drew a contrast with his experiences of the “Citz,” where he was a regular performer from the late 1970s till the early 1990s.

Recalling how it was run under the triumvirate of Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald, Everett said: “The Citizens gave me an idea of the kind of direction I wanted to take. At the time British theatre was very plodding, very beige and very British. Here, you came and see a completely European type of theatre. It was completely different to anything in the British Isles.

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“You came off Gorbals Street, which was just desolate at that time, and literally came into an Aladdin’s Cave of visual experiences. It was magical.

“There was an extraordinary feeling between the audience and the performers. They were very warm and receptive.

“It was one of those experiences in a career in showbusiness that changes your direction completely. The people who ran the theatre had such an interesting view on life and they presented the audience with a completely international agenda.

“I think it’s one of the things that has disappeared now in Scottish theatre because it has become so nationalistic.

“It seems they only want Scottish writers, which is fair enough up to a point, but Glasgow is an international city and Scotland is an international place.

“I’ve noticed that there is an inclination towards Scottish writers, which is great, but I don’t think we should be afraid of showing international writers.

“What happened at the Citizens when David, Philip and Giles ran the theatre they presented the audiences with such exotic weirdness and it went down very well. It would be great to see that happening again.

“I think it’s getting a bit nationalistic everywhere. I think it’s a shame. It would be nice to be internationalistic, especially since Scotland is so fervent about still being in Europe.”