Arts and Culture

By Russell Bruce

It is a fascinating experience to watch a rehearsal for a play about to start touring.  Increasingly directors are prepared to open the doors on a process previously hidden from the theatre going public.

It may seem daring and potentially fraught with problems by exposing the uncompleted to view, but it is also a method of engaging, test marketing the product and audience building.

By Elizabeth Thomson

On the eve of the launch of the Yes Campaign, playwright, author, and newly appointed National Collective ‘cultural ambassador’ Alan Bissett interrupts a reading of his latest book to ask a question of the informal Falkirk crowd gathered in their local to see him perform.

In the morning, he’ll be joining fellow members of the creative industries at a breakfast meeting with the First Minister. He needs the Bairns of his home-town to advise him as to the correct choice of foot wear for such an occasion – converse trainers or loafers?

By Andrew Barr
BBC director-general Mark Thompson and BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie have admitted to the Scottish Parliament’s culture committee that job cuts at BBC Scotland will be necessary in order to meet their goal of finding 16% savings.
However both men denied that quality would be impacted and instead insisted that depth of coverage would be maintained over the short term and even increased as the 2014 referendum approached.

By Andrew Barr

Award winning film director Ken Loach has slammed the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) after it deemed typical West of Scotland working class speech offensive.

Mr Loach criticised the board after parts of the film’s soundtrack had to be edited out in order to obtain a 15 certificate.

Audiences across China are set to celebrate Hogmanay in true Scottish style, with a series of concerts from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

With support from the Scottish Government’s International Touring Fund, the RSNO with their new Music Director Peter Oundjian will perform six concerts at five venues across China in December and January.

This week listening to Celtic rock from the 1970s and 1980s, and bluesy rock from the 1990s coming from one of our Canadian cousins

Five Hand Reel – ‘For A That/The Bonnie Earl O’ Moray’ (Digitally remastered 2006)
Celtic folk rock – a largely Scottish collection of traditional songs receiving the electric guitar/bass, rock-drummer, piano treatment – three albums for the price of one.

This week listening in wonderment to the delightful Irish Gaelic charm of Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola; the pop-rock brilliance of Frightened Rabbit; and the remarkable talents of Fiona Apple

Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola – An Raicín Álainn (2002)

Wandering the oft forgotten streets and alleyways of the folk world, an occasional finding may happen – a rare original folk-music talent of undeniable musical quality that you ask yourself the question, ‘Why do I not know about this girl?’.