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John Tiffany – The Alasdair Cameron Lecture

When Alasdair Cameron died suddenly in 1994 aged 41, his passing robbed Scotland’s theatre world of one of its sharpest minds. That sharpness fired Cameron’s playfully creative presence, which influenced and inspired students at Glasgow University’s Department of Theatre Studies, where he was a senior lecturer.
His students included playwright Nicola McCartney, founders of Clyde Unity Theatre Company, John Binnie and Aileen Ritchie, and John Tiffany, the Tony and Olivier award winning director of west end hit, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Broadway musical, Once. These successes followed tenures as associate literary director at the Traverse Theatre, and associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland working alongside the company’s founding artistic director Vicky Featherstone.
Tiffany’s production of Black Watch put the company on the international map in its first year of existence. He also directed Alan Cumming in a gospel-tinged production of The Bacchae, and again …
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Paul Vickers and The Leg - Jump

Paul Vickers is all tied up in the video for Chieftain of Paradise, the first single taken from Jump, the fourth album by Paul Vickers and The Leg. In the video, Vickers is tethered to a ship’s mast by his band-mates, who thrust assorted pop cultural totems in his face to illustrate the song’s lyrics, in which both Elvis Presley and artist William Turner make an appearance.
At other points, Vickers and co play chess in the spirit of the album cover painting that references Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal by way of characters from Jump. Despite the song’s apparent sing-a-long levity, Vickers is making a serious statement about the state of art and commerce in difficult times.
“The idea of the song is that you can never predict which way things are going to go as far as the zeitgeist is concerned,” says Vickers on the eve of Jump’s launch at an intimate show tomorrow night in an Edinburgh church. “The idea of being the chieftain of paradise is of someone who suffers for their art, but w…

Strange Tales

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Four stars
Once upon a nightmare, Chinese writer Pu Songling penned more than 500 supernatural stories that were gathered together and published in a volume eventually translated as Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. A few hundred years on, Pu’s yarns have been made flesh in Grid Iron Theatre Company’s first ever British stage version of eight of the stories as the brain-child of Pauline Lockhart.
Lockhart appears alongside fellow actors Luna Dai and Robin Khor Yong Kuan in her own adaptation of Ewan Macdonald’s new translations, co-penned and co-directed with Grid Iron’s Ben Harrison in co-production with the Traverse. It starts simply enough, as the story-telling trio appear one by one through the artfully torn gauze curtains of Karen Tennent’s breathtakingly expansive set, addressing the audience directly as they set out the ground rules. The stories they are about to resurrect, they say, are powerful beasts, and must be handled with care.
So it goes with …