Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My Inbox, emptied

It must be getting close to Christmas: there's a bunch of seasonal stuff in my inbox. Attune Theatre have taken a leaf from the GFT's book, and are touring It's A Wonderful Life around Scotland. Being about a year old, Attune are a busy company, and they promise to have found the connection between Capra's feel-good film and contemporary Scotland.

Wasn't the original about a good hearted bank manager? I'm not sure how well that is going to fly, what with the Credit Crunch and the general dislike for Fat Cats and Financial Frauds. Still, it is interesting to see something doing the rounds in December that isn't pantomime.

Not that there is anything wrong with pantomime.

I did get a wee keek at the exhibition in the Briggait: it's named after a Radiohead song (Blame it on the Black Star) and does, indeed, feature a large number of inflatable stars. There are two rooms, one with a ceiling full of stars ("connoting aspirations or goals") and "the second room contains grounded stars (reflecting earthed reality)." I went into what I thought was the empty room - of course, the stars were above my head, but bottled racing into the one with stars on the floor.

It was the opening and everyone else was having civilised discussion around the table of alcohol. I didn't want to look like a school kid jumping into the ball-pit.

Darius Kowal, 24 November - 21 December @ The Briggait
I might have been a little cynical when the NTS announced their version of A Christmas Carol last year: I didn't see the need for another version of Dicken's "well-loved" special at a time of year when there are plenty of pantomimes to distract the audience.

Still, I was wrong: it was a critical and commercial smash, and used puppetry in a contemporary, devastating manner. They didn't miss a trick, either. Because of the format of the show, it is transferrable. This year, it's going to Fife and expects to charm the local audiences as it did in Govan.

This show could become a moveable Christmas feast, so long as Benny Young doesn't mind giving it some Scrooge every December. It is highly recommended to anyone who might like a Christmas show that doesn't invite chanting from the crowd, enjoys puppetry that isn't for children (not that it ever is, these days) or wonders whether small scale theatre can pack a big emotional punch.

The Old Kirk, Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy, KY11EH
Fri 7, Sat 8, Tues 11-Sat 15, Tues 18, Thurs 20, Fri 21, Sat 22, Thurs 27, Fri 28, Sat 29 @ 7.30pm
Matinee performances: Wed 12, Fri 14, and Wed 19 December @ 1.30pm
Sat 8, Sun 9, Sat 22, Thurs 27, Sat 29 and Sun 30 @ 2.30pm

From pop up theatres to pop up art shop - PUGS is occupying a disused shop on Great Western Road, turning it into a festive gift shop selling the work of Scottish artists. It's a chance to find something a bit more interesting than the socks I probably need this yuletide, and marks the third year that PUGS has invaded a space to sell art direct to the public.

P.U.G.S (Pop Up Gallery Shop)
407 Great Western Road, Glasgow28 November – 16 December 2012 (closed Mondays)
Tues – Fri, 12 – 6pm
Sat - Sun, 10am – 5pm

SHHHH! A Festival of quiet Music and Art is taking over Platform for one day next week: Emma Pollock and Meursault are amongst the plethora of artists who won't be turning it up to eleven this time.  RM Hubbert, acoustic guitarist and collaborator with... well, most of Scotland's musical community... is hosting, along with Platform and offers the chance for a peaceful afternoon in Easterhouse.

Easy jokes aside about how quiet Easterhouse can ever get, the cool thing about Platform is that it has all sorts of other things to do. So, if you get bored with the tunes, you can sit in the library, which has a great collection of graphic novels and a book about Lady Gaga, or have a swim. 

Saturday 1 December , 3pm - 11pm
Gravenhurst / Meursault / Emma Pollock / Laura J Martin /
Rick Redbeard / Wounded Knee / Eagleowl / Finn Le Marinel /
Jo Mango / Woodpecker Wooliams / Craig B / I Build Collapsible Mountains / Yusuf Azak

Taking place at Glasgow’s Platform – the all-day event (proudly hosted by The Local, RM Hubbert, Platform and The Line Of Best Fit) is a chance for performers, artists and audience alike to come together in quiet unison.

Of course the bands are not ALWAYS super quiet, but the audience is. We’ll be bringing in our expertly trained ShhUshers for the event meaning you’ll be guaranteed a perfect listening environment for some of the most exciting and innovative names in music.

Expect to see the more established likes of Gravenhurst and Wounded Knee play alongside newer acts such as Eagleowl and I Build Collapsible Mountains at this unique all-day festival, tickets for which are priced at £12 if you’re an early bird or £15 if you’re not.

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