Skip to main content

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



Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…