Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tom McGrath Trust Launch night

By the time Tom McGrath wrote The Hard Man in 1977, the Glasgow-born
writer had already notched up a colourful counter-cultural career. This
had began when he took part in the legendary 1965 International Poetry
Incantation at the Royal Albert Hall in front of 7000 hipsters who
lapped up readings by Beat gurus including Allen Ginsberg and Alexander
Trocchi. Tenures on underground bibles International Times an d Peace
News followed. All that was before McGrath became musical director on
the Great Northern Welly Boot Show, brought Miles Davis to Glasgow as
the first artistic director the the Third Eye Centre, now the site of
the CCA, and became instrumental in setting up the Tron Theatre. As
well as developing a longstanding relationship as a playwright with the
Traverse Theatre, McGrath became Associate Literary Director for
Scotland, helping to nurture and develop a new generation of
playwrights inspired by his seemingly limitless enthusiasm. Without
McGrath, it is unlikely that Playwrights Studio Scotland would exist.

Tonight's launch of the Tom McGrath Trust in the Traverse cafe bar aims
to preserve McGrath’s legacy since his death, and provide similar
support for the next wave of writers. Set up by his daughter Alice
McGrath and his long-standing partner and collaborator Ella Wildridge,
tonight's event will be a celebration of words and music featuring new
work by writers Douglas Maxwell and David Greig, music by John Harris,
poetry by Tom Leonard and much more in a free-form speak-easy vibe that
this greatest of artistic explorers would appreciate in what promises
to be a major event.

The Tom McGrath Trust Launch Night, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh,
tonight at 7.30pm.

The Herald, March 29th 2011


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