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Peter Nichols - An obituary

Peter Nichols – playwright
Born July 31, 1927; died September 7, 2019
Peter Nichols, who has died aged 92, was a master of serious fun in his plays, which combined auto-biographical material with a relish for popular theatrical forms. Nowhere was this more evident than in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, his 1967 hit which premiered at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, and focused on a young couple’s travails in raising their disabled daughter. As they tend to Joe’s needs, both the couple individually and their marriage survive through a series of comedy routines that barely disguise the cracks in their relationship.
Directed by Michael Blakemore, and with comedian Joe Melia and Zena Walker playing the couple, the play’s mixture of music hall style addresses to the audience and at times heart-breaking seriousness was genuinely taboo-busting, and had to circumnavigate the Lord Chamberlain’s office, which still had the power to censor anything deemed ill-fitting for a respectable stage.
Nichol…

Peter Taylor – Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival

If ever there was a town worthy of being used as the backdrop for a big screen historical epic, Berwick-upon-Tweed is tailor-made for such a venture. As it is, the Northumbrian hamlet that is currently the northern-most town in England currently plays host to something far more adventurous.
For the last fifteen years, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival has brought together local and international film-maker and moving image artists to showcase their work in a unique environment. While this year’s four-day smorgasbord of screenings, performances, exhibitions and discussion may not formally form part of Scotland’s festival calendar, both its close proximity to Scotland and radical programme make it more than worth crossing both geographical and psychological borders to enjoy its expansive international programme.
“I love the idea of the edge being the centre,” says the festival’s current artistic director, Peter Taylor. “It’s the thing I’m most excited by, and the thing I’m most informe…

Power Ballad

Tron Theatre, Glasgow Four Stars
In terms of what words are worth, there’s a line from Annie Lennox’s anthem for independent women, No More I Love You’s, that speaks volumes about New Zealand artists Julia Croft and Nisha Madhan’s wild construction, first seen in Scotland at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Coming at the show’s climax, David Freeman and Joseph Hughes’ Roland Barthes-referencing lyric is the perfect glam-tastic evocation of the show’s tragi-comic plea, nay, demand for a new language and, by default, a new way of being in a world run by macho bores.
Croft and Madhan take their cue from post-beat pre-punk provocateur Kathy Acker, whose literary adventures showed she too was no slouch in dissembling old clichés and lobbing fearless linguistic grenades through sacred cow classics. This was laid bare in spades throughout the recent large-scale retrospective of Acker’s work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The result of Croft and Madhan’s efforts is a fifty-…