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REVIEW: Christmas at the Conservatoire 2023 (RCS, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Updated: Feb 11

14 December 2023

Stevenson Hall, RCS, Glasgow

⭐⭐⭐⭐


Christmas at the Conservatoire 2023, RCS, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. Photo credit: Robbie McFadzean

Christmas at the Conservatoire is the annual festive offering from the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland performing arts school in Glasgow. Performed by the BA and MA Musical Theatre and Music students the event is part theatre, part orchestra and all sensational.


The programme takes the form of Christmas pop and classical numbers interspersed with other contemporary and themed arrangements. For 2023 Lady Gaga and the Barbie movie had their own sections of the show (both brilliant fun) along with a wonderful 'Bells of New York' segment that included a fitting tribute to The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York.'


The highlight of the show for me was a superb arrangement of James Bond theme songs performed by the MA Musical theatre class. I know! I can't believe I've just typed that myself. James Bond! But wow, some fantastic pieces of music have come out of that franchise in recent years: Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, Adele and Chris Cornell have all written absolute crackers that were impeccably performed here.


With Musical Direction by Kizzy Green, choreography by Lisa Darnell and exquisite staging by Gavin Adam, the RCS team managed to create a sultry, powerful, atmospheric production out of nowhere. It was Christmas barely 30 seconds before it! I had tears rolling down my cheeks by the end of this section. The lights, the fog, the emotion in the performer's voices - it got me. Exquisite.


Christmas at the Conservatoire 2023, RCS, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. Photo credit: Robbie McFadzean

One thing I appreciate about 'Christmas at the Conservatoire' that differs from the other musical theatre and drama productions at RCS, is that there is room in the Stevenson Hall to have the full orchestra, including the Musical Directors, on a raised stage, in full view of the audience during the productions. I particularly enjoy the positioning of the piano to ensure that we can see the talented musicians at the keys. For this year's production, there were six Musical Directors alternating between various roles, and I found watching them and their slick choreographed movements, fascinating. How gifted they all are.


The cast of performers are excellent and, as always with RCS productions the staging, lighting and sound are impeccably delivered by the BA Production Technology and Management students, along with creative teams and staff from across the various schools at the Conservatoire. I love that with RCS! It's such a team effort and that really comes across.



It was also lovely to see British Sign Language (BSL) in many of the numbers this year. A nod to the unique 'BA Performance in BSL and English' degree that is offered at this school - the only course of its kind in Europe.


Christmas at the Conservatoire 2023, RCS, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. Photo credit: Robbie McFadzean

If you live in or near Glasgow, and you like a little joy in your life at Christmas, I highly recommend that you add 'Christmas at the Conservatoire' to your December plans next year. The show only plays for a couple of days each year (a mix of matinee and evening shows) and it will cost you half the price (or less!) than many of the other shows around Glasgow at this time of year. It is genuinely a highlight in the run up to Christmas for me. I hope to see you there next year!


⭐⭐⭐⭐


📸 Production photos: Robbie McFadzean


Christmas at the Conservatoire 2023, RCS, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. Photo credit: Robbie McFadzean

 

🌟REVIEW: Christmas at the Conservatoire 2023 (RCS, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow)🌟


🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.



📧 For media and review requests contact Lisa_InTheTheatre@outlook.com

💗 To see more pictures and videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram


Lisa in the theatre. Scottish theatre reviewer. UK theatre blog. Glasgow Theatre. Edinburgh Theatre. Scotland theatre.

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