Actor David Hayman has condemned Glasgow City Council’s decision to slash theatre funding.
Best known for his role in the long-running drama Trial and Retribution, the star spoke out during rehearsals for the Scottish premiere of Cyprus Avenue – a play opening this week at The Tron.
The theatre has been stripped of its funding and now faces a shortfall of £130,000.
“The arts teach us about ourselves, about human behaviour, and I think they’re vitally important for the health and the wellbeing of a nation,” he told STV News.
“And I think it’s always sad that the arts are cut first and foremost. It’s very tough. Very, very tough.”
Cyprus Avenue, by acclaimed writer David Ireland, tells the story of Eric, a Belfast loyalist who is stuck in the past.
He is completely convinced that his five-week-old granddaughter is in fact the Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, and believes his protestant heritage is under siege.
David plays Eric – who is on stage for 90 minutes without a break – in the play, which opens on March 2.
“It is simply one of the most powerful and challenging and hilariously funny plays I’ve ever read in my life,” he said. “It just leaps off the page at you. It’s a work of genius and an emotional rollercoaster.
“It’s theatre of the absurd. It’s a way of challenging the religious and political orthodox of the day and this certainly does that.
“It takes the audience to a place that they’ve never been to before. Outside of Belfast, this is really the only city in Britain that is riven by sectarianism and bigotry, so I think it’s really important that it’s done in Glasgow.
“I hope it stimulates debate and discussion over the issue.”
Asked about Hayman’s comments regarding theatre cuts, Glasgow City Council referred STV News to an article published on its website, dated January 12.