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Showing posts from February, 2020

Alasdair C. Whyte – MAIM

Alasdair C. Whyte was performing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe when the seeds of his new cross-artform theatrical collaboration, MAIM, began to take root. The Mull-born singer and songwriter was appearing alongside Aberdeenshire born electronic composer Ross Whyte, who, as WHYTE, were presenting a cinematic audio-visual live rendering of their debut album, Fairich. Presented as part of the 2017 Made in Scotland showcase of contemporary home-grown work, Fairich: Live was an attempt to do something different to a straightforward gig and add a more theatrical element to their performance. This was in keeping with WHYTE’s own forward-thinking fusion of melodic electronica and Gaelic song, and arguably set a rough template for MAIM, which opens at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow next week at the start of an extensive country-wide tour. The roots of the new show began after Fairich: Live was attended by Muireann Kelly, artistic director of Glasgow-based Gaelic company, Theatre Gu Leor.

Harriet Frank Jr. - An Obituary

Harriet Frank Jr. – screenwriter, novelist Born March 2, 1923; died January 28, 2020 Harriet Frank Jr, who has died aged 96, was a screen-writer who took literary material beyond straightforward adaptation to reimagine it afresh. Working in tandem with her screen-writer husband Irving Ravetch, Frank did this with the likes of The Long, Hot Summer (1958) and Hud (1963). Where the former drew from three works by William Faulkner, the latter took a minor character from Larry McMurty’s 1961 novel, Horseman, Pass By, making him the film’s anti-hero lead in what was dubbed a revisionist western. Both films were directed by Martin Ritt, and the trio would collaborate on eight pictures in all. Ritt was the perfect foil for Frank and Ravetch’s screenplays, which were rooted in ideas of social justice. In Hombre (1967), Paul Newman played a white man raised by Native Americans.  Conrack  (1974) cast Jon Voight as a teacher struggling against the effects of poverty and institutional

Layton Williams – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Layton Williams has had a ball since taking over the title role in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the hit West End musical that arrives in Edinburgh next week as part of its first UK tour. Three years after the show based on a true story of a sixteen-year-old boy who finds salvation through becoming a drag queen first appeared, Williams has made the part his own.   Williams took over the role from his friend John McCrea in Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s musical at the start of 2019, and played it on the West End for a year prior to its current six-month tour. Having been doing lead stage roles since he was twelve, however, Williams is aware he can’t play teenagers forever.   “I’m nearly twenty-six,” he says, sounding much younger. “I think it might be time to stop playing a sixteen-year-old after this.” His mind does a quick back-flip as he reconsiders. “Do you know what?” he says. “People say if you can do it, then why not? I’ll milk it for all its worth.”

Richard Parry - Glasgow International 2020

Richard Parry has clearly been paying attention while putting together the programme for this year’s Glasgow International, the city’s bi-annual festival of contemporary art. Indeed, following Parry’s inaugural tenure as festival director in 2018, Attention is the theme of GI’s three-week city-wide trawl through venues great and small, with the latter including a former strip club and a garage. “The way we see things is changing,” says Parry of GI’s theme. “We’ve got 24-hour news, we’re seeing things constantly through a screen, and we’re living in a world where we’re required to be constantly ‘on’. Our attention is changing because of that, and that has both physical and mental consequences. Looking at art in the flesh rather than through a screen, you’re going to see it differently. The sign of great art is that invites you to look at it again and again and get something different from it each time, and that requires attention.” This year’s GI programme will see some marked