Skip to main content

What the F**kirk?

Slamannan Community Centre, Falkirk
Three stars

To suggest that novelist Alan Bissett's latest piece of stand-up theatre is close to home is something of an understatement. What the F**kirk? was written as part of Falkirk Story, an artistic initiative developed by Falkirk Community Trust as a result of the town winning a Creative Place Award. This has also enabled the publication of Alight Here, an anthology of Falkirk writers edited by Bissett. All of which finds him taking a week-long tour of the area's outlying community centres with a cheeky piece of oral history driven by a polemical intent.

Ushered in by live guitar loops played by Adam Stafford, who soundtracks throughout, Bissett's chatty, speak-easy demeanour takes us through his love/hate relationship with the town of his birth along with a potted history of some of its key moments . As well as the Battle of Falkirk that inspired Braveheart, more recent inventions include the world's first Irn Bru factory, plus the hitherto unexplored connections between Falkirk, Game of Thrones and Iron Man.

Inbetween are filmed reflections on how Falkirk is perceived today by a pan-generational cross-section of the town's residents, and even some older and wiser reflections from Falkirk born former Arab Strap guitarist Malcolm Middleton, who with band-mate Aidan Moffat caused a civic scandal in 1998 with some brutally disparaging opinions on the place that sired them.

As a local boy done good, such a prodigal's return is lapped up by an audience who relate to Bissett's understated common touch. Director Sasha Kyle wraps this all up in a witty meditation on community and local pride that goes beyond economics to put people first.
 
The Herald, June 5th 2015

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…