Thursday June 25, 2015
Little Bat productions presents: Speaking in Tongues - the story of nine interwoven lives. It deals with the right and wrongs of emotional conduct, of contracts broken between intimates, bonds forged between strangers and the darker aspects of human nature.
Sonja & Leon and Pete & Jane are all happily married. Or so they say. But one night Sonja meets Pete in a bar – they go back to a hotel room. Leon meets Jane in a bar – they go back to a hotel room. Is what happens tragic or inevitable? How well do your really know the one you love?
A woman disappears. But who was the last one to see her alive? Her husband? Her client? Or the man who finds her shoe in his car? Speaking in Tongues takes you on a journey through a web of deceit, love, lies and death to answer the question ‘Do you truly know the one you love?’
The production company Little Bat Bat is the creation of Meli Bach in collaboration with Simon McCay and Una McDade.
“Little Bat grew out of the need / desire to DO something and not just sit around waiting for someone else to cast us in great roles. By taking control of ‘making it happen’ we get to cast ourselves and choose projects that challenge us. When looking for material we wanted stuff that intrigued and captivated us. When we first read Speaking in Tongues we all thought ‘how are we going to do this?’ That’s all part of the challenge.
The ability of this play to capture the imagination, to keep people debating and asking questions, is one of the reasons we chose it. It is brilliant writing and technically quite difficult with simultaneous scenes and overlapping dialogue.”
- Meli Bach
Review by Andrew Stewart:
"The recently renovated and elegant Webster’s theatre plays host to the fascinating production by Andrew Bovell, ‘Speaking In Tongues’.
Meli Bach, Simon McCav, Jessica Phillippi and James J Robson take centre stage in this play about adultery and betrayal. Opening in a sleazy hotel, we are introduced to the first four characters telling two similar stories at once. At first this method seems confusing however as the play progresses we see the reason for this clever approach. As the act continues we learn about the individual characters and their marriage woes. This initially required intense concentration pays off as the story progresses.
As the second half begins we are introduced to four more characters played by the same people. Although again mildly confusing, this device becomes compelling and creates a feeling of pain shared between the characters. This play is clever as it intertwines everyone’s story and brings about an interesting plot involving a detective, a woman councillor with self-esteem issues and a character who might have been a murderer. As the plot develops, the audience begin to see how each character connects with one another and with that allows for a unique story about relationships to be told.
During the play there were many different environments including a bar and a hotel. The clever use of props allowed the audience to feel as if they were in the set environment with the characters. Working with little space, credit is due to the creative ability in order to make this a success. With only four actors playing nine different characters the opening night of ‘Speaking In Tongues’ was certainly a hit at the Webster Theatre."
Tickets available online through Little Bat Productions for performances today (25th June) and tomorrow (26th June).
Wednesday June 24, 2015
Anne Hardy’s newest exhibition “Twin Fields” at The Common Guild, an exhibition space for visual arts projects and events, is perhaps one of the more unusual yet brilliant exhibitions you may visit while perusing the fine selection of art events the West End Festival has to offer.
Hardy, a London-based British artist, has had many solo exhibitions since 2004 where she predominantly creates large sets/environments and photographs them to create her art. These sets have been characterised as “hovering between reality and fiction”, and although never featuring people, have been described to have personas and very distinctive feels about them.
The current feature piece as part of her newest ‘Twin Fields’ exhibition, is a stand-alone wooden box which you can enter which is fitted almost like a rural cabin in the wilderness. To create the sets, Hardy often ‘comes across’ materials and uses them in her urban scenes. All elements of the set are very carefully chosen and arranged despite their incidental appearance and this is part of the genius behind Hardy and her work. It is also a unique experience to be able to engage with such immersive art through visual, hearing, touch and smell sensations.
Anne used to create the sets in order to photograph but as she progressed further with creating the environments, they became her art in their own right. The settings for her installations are carefully chosen as they often become part of the exhibit themselves. People who have watched Anne work describe how each piece grows and evolves, manifesting itself in the surrounding studio space. The open and spacious townhouse location for this exhibit beautifully contrasts the enclosed and rustic nature of the set on display.
Once exhibits are finished, they are dismantled so experience this unique exhibition while you can! Twin fields will be showing in The Common Guild until the beginning of August. More information on Hardy can be found on her website and at The Common Guild.
Tuesday June 23, 2015
Have you ever wanted to join an exciting flute ensemble? Well now is your chance! The Flute Phonics, an eclectic mix of amateur flautists who play a variety of styles from classical to rock and everything in between, are holding open rehearsals tonight as part of the West End Festival.
The group has two very talented conductors to guide them: Rachel Forbes and Aisling Agnew. Rachel began playing the flute at age 13 and went on to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before becoming a freelance flautist, playing in chamber groups and teaching.
Aisling Agnew, also a student at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, learned the flute with Billy Dunwoody in the 39th Old Boys Flute Ensemble. Since then she has enjoyed a successful international career, releasing multiple records and working alongside various other ensembles including her long-standing flute & guitar duo with Matthew McAllister.
So if you can read music and are at a standard of around grade 3 or above then come along to Hillhead Baptist Church from 7.15-9.15pm tonight and show off your flautist skills! You can find more about the Flute Phonics on their website.
Monday June 22, 2015
Located on Byres Road, Hillhead is the ideal stop for those wishing to visit the charming lanes the west end is so well known for and stunning parks and green areas for a healthy outdoor life. With still so much to see and do this is your guide to what’s happening in and around Hillhead station.
The Bothy Restaurant
Stepping off the subway onto Byres Road which hosted the parade on Festival Sunday, The Bothy restaurant hides just across the road down Ruthven Lane and offers a return to traditional Scottish cooking in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Easily one of the top restaurants in the West End, The Bothy delivers modern food with friendly service. Upcoming events include…..
Experience a tour of some of Scotland's finest distilleries from the comfort of The Bothy! As well as a delicious three course meal from our Scottish menu, enjoy a fantastic selection of whiskies and discover the history behind your favourite distilleries. Our expert will provide an insight into what makes the perfect blend and guide you through the techniques used to properly identify and taste different whiskies.
Thursday 25 Jun 7:00 pm – Tickets £35.95
Every Saturday during the festival (weather permitting) we'll be firing up the BBQ on our outdoor terrace space, which is quite the sun trap. Expect different options every week as only the freshest locally caught seafood goes on the grill, as well as our famous steak and haggis burgers. For the movers and shakers out there everything can be ordered to go!
Saturday 27 Jun 12:00am
Crossing back over the road again you’ll find the Oran Mor sporting a ring atop its spire which is lit up at night! Formerly the Kelvinside Parish Church, it is now a thriving arts and entertainment venue located in the West End of Glasgow. Offering a Whisky Bar, restaurant and night club, this stunning building is a key host for the West End Festival. Here are two of the many events still to come!
The combination of Scotland and Ireland's leading Celtic musicians with a stellar group of international salseros, ensures that Salsa Celtica are always a potent blend of virtuosity and energy. The group's unique synthesis has been rapturously received around the globe, from the village halls of Scotland to the world's greatest music festivals and concert halls. Nominated for best cross cultural collaboration in the 2015 Songlines Music Awards (along with Kronos Quartet and Robert Plant) there has never been a better time to catch one of the world's most exciting and enjoyable groups perform live.
Wednesday 24 Jun 8:00pm
Tickets £15. Call 0844 844 0444 or in person at venue.
In her 80th year, Peggy Seeger - folk queen, feminist icon, political activist, eco-warrior, muse - releases her 22nd and probably finest solo album. Everything Changes is a perfect example of what a singer-songwriter album should be: songs with truths to tell, told sparely but with a great chorus, delivered passionately with intelligence and humour and never outstaying its welcome.
Saturday 27 Jun 7:00pm
Tickets £17.50 (plus booking fee) from Oran Mor, 0844 844 0444 or in person at venue.
Kelvinside Hillhead Church
Heading up Observatory Road (again just off Byres), you’ll run into Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church. This breath-taking building is truly something to be admired and houses a variety of events during the West End Festival including:
Join Glasgow Chamber Choir for a joyous evening of music finishing the season in style. Classics by Whitacre and Grainger will be performed alongside new works and old favourites – expect some surprises!
The beautiful setting of Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church provides the ideal setting for this midsummer musical celebration, which will conclude with refreshments.
Saturday 27 Jun 7:00pm – Tickets £8 (£5 conc) at the door and more info about the Glasgow Chamber Choir can be found on their website.
A chance to join in with favourite hymns on the last Sunday evening of this year's West End Festival
Sunday 28 Jun 7:00pm
The Hillhead Bookclub
One of the most popular and quirky pubs/restaurants in the west end, Hillhead Bookclub is your spot for ping pong, bingo and mismatched furniture. A relaxing, vibrant place situated just behind the Oran Mor offering great food and friendly service, the Bookclub is playing host to Drag Bingo and anywhere where cocktails are served in gramophones is bound to provide a fantastic evening of entertainment!
Eyes down! You might need some reading glasses as the lovely Misses October Fist and Acid Taunt, throw shape and pull out their bingo balls as we play for a £500 cash prize.
Strap yourself in, this isn't granny bingo, this is ball drag bingo!
Wednesday 24 Jun 8:00pm
Hillhead station has many popular venues located on its doorstep including the Grosvenor Cinema and Hillhead Library. With plenty more still on offer visit the West End Festival website for more information.
Next Stop: Kelvinhall Station
Monday June 22, 2015
Tomoe was initially drawn to Glasgow through it’s indie music scene and described herself as captivated when she heard “Biggest Bluest Hi-fi”, the debut LP from indie pop band Camera Obscura in 2001 stating “It changed my life”. In 2005 Tomoe got a student visa and came to Glasgow, still pursuing the musical scene and going to a lot of gigs during her year of residence.
Not an arts student by trade, Tomoe picked up Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver (design software packages) while in Japan and first began making stop animation which can be seen here. From 2012 she fused this style of art with her love of Glasgow to create stunningly intricate paper-cuts of Glasgow areas and buildings.
Tomoe commented “I have been visiting Glasgow once a year since 2006. I always miss it when I leave and love the local atmosphere. There is a smell about Glasgow, (not a bad one) which I always get at the airport and when walking through the streets which cannot be described by words. It makes me happy to be back and I want Glaswegians to know that I love Glasgow”
Saturday June 20, 2015
Iain has dazzled audiences at many festivals and music venues around the UK with his multi-styled guitar playing from the Royal Concert Hall to the SECC. One reviewer even want as far as to say, “One of the best Guitarists I've ever seen, Iain combines an astonishing talent with a huge range of musical tastes - and a refreshing lack of self-importance”.
So head on down to CC Music tomorrow (21st June) for a special performance by an astonishingly talented guitarist featuring special guests. Supported by song writing brothers ‘King of Birds' and the soulful and majestic 'Chloe Marie'.
To see Iain perform his famous "Weejie Jig" click here.
Thursday June 18, 2015
The event was located in Wellington Church, providing a graceful and elegant atmosphere for the workshop.
Upon entry I sat down with a mixed crowd of young and old interested in honing their language techniques. Derek advised me that although my knowledge in Gaelic was minimal I would be able to gain something from this event. Titled ‘Second stage mutations in the dependant mood’ this presentation considered the use of verbs with handouts to go along.
A gentle step by step approach with audience participation ensured that no one could escape without getting involved. This technique allowed each person to tune their pronunciation in a warm and encouraging atmosphere. With word games and audience engagement this ensured a proactive approach into learning the fascinating language of Gaelic and within twenty minutes of the presentation I found myself speaking Gaelic. I believe that anyone with an interest in language studies or Gaelic would benefit from Derek’s approach.
With Derek’s passion for teaching language and unique style of delivery, I found myself not only enjoying the event but learning Gaelic in a short period of time and before I knew it the session was over. As the workshop concluded I was able to differentiate between verbs and speak various phrases of Gaelic, something that very morning I never thought would happen. After the workshop concluded I spoke to Derek and it was clear to me the passion he has for his art and I would encourage people of all levels to attend.
No stranger to the West End Festival, Derek has been providing workshops and presentations since 1999. As a language and accent specialist, his work with the WEF has a varied over the years. His first workshop discussed the difference between Scottish and English accents and continued the following year. In 2001 he discussed the Polish language and more recently in 2013 he discussed the language of Mandarin with simple conversation. In future WEF events he told me he is looking into discussing the ways in which politicians use language to cosy up to voters which is sure to be of interest to many.
If you didn’t get the chance to attend Gaelic: The Second Hour there will be another presentation at Wellington Church on the 23rd of June at 1:00pm (FREE ENTRY).
To find out more information and future workshops by Dereck here.
Thursday June 18, 2015
The torch song divas, Elaine C Smith and Christina Dunwoodie bring their newest show to the West End Festival where opera meets jazz for a witty take on classical operatic themes of love, loss and betrayal. The event is produced in collaboration with design director of Primavoce, Annette Gillies. Primavoce is a company spearheaded by artistic director Dunwoodie which uses music, opera, theatre, dance, visual arts and mixed media to bring opera classics to younger and more diverse audiences.
Christina began her career in opera as a singer, studying at the Opera School of the RSAMD in Barcelona. She has an international career as a soloist in opera (Scottish Opera and English National Opera in the UK), concert and oratorio and made her opera debut in Germany at the Eutiner Festspiele singing the role of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello with the world famous Heldentenor, John Treleven.
Christina co-founded and was the Artistic Director of ‘Opera on a Shoestring’, which won awards for its productions of La Traviata. Many young singers sang their first major roles at Shoestring before going on to successful careers and this excitement attracted wonderful directors, designers and artists such as Terry Gilbert, Robert Love, Annette Gillies and John Taylor. Christina began directing with Edinburgh Grand Opera and a wealth of knowledge and experience in performance, stage craft, voice coaching, casting and directing allowed her to envisage radical new ways of making opera accessible to a wider and younger audience.
Christina “whose beautiful voice goes right to the heart” brings prestige and experience to this years’ festival in an exciting partnership with Elaine C Smtih.
Elaine Constance Smith is a Scottish actress and comedienne born in Glasgow and is best known for her role as Mary "Mary Doll" Nesbitt in the BBC sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt. She has appeared on numerous BBC dramas and is a star of the pantomime performing in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White & The Seven Dwarves to name but a few!
Touring Scotland with her stand-up comedy shows, ‘Elaine with Attitude’ and ‘Hormonally Driven’, the basis for the highly successful TV series ‘Elaine’ for BBC Scotland came about. Smith also displayed her musical talents in these shows leading her to commonly be known as ‘Scotland’s First Lady of Comedy’.
Other stage performances have seen Elaine tour with the UK stage version of the hit film Calendar Girls, in addition to playing Susan Boyle in in the musical stage show “I Dreamed a Dream”.
On the pairing of a comedienne with an opera star Smith commented, “We're a really unusual double act and we've come up with this idea which we're calling Torch Song Divas. The idea is that we tell how women have been represented in song."
The show blending two distinct yet spectacularly talented performers is something which will have to be seen – and heard - to be believed!
Tickets are still available for their event “Torch Song Divas” which is showing on the 19th and 20th of June in Websters Theatre.
Tuesday June 16, 2015
The West End Festival plays host to a rare opportunity presented by the Kala Chethena Kathakali Company to see the elaborate 3-Dimensional Chutti make-up process that transforms the faces of the Kathakali (Indian dance-drama) actors. This is an amazing 500 year old traditional technique applied by the first and only female Chutti artist in the world - Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar.
The display is followed by a bowl of delicious Indian curry with rice, prepared especially by one of the members of the Kathakali Company from Kerala, India
There is also the opportunity for an evening with Kathakali masters featuring chanting, songs, music and a rare opportunity to ask the artists questions. Kathakali means story–play and embraces drama, dance, music, visuals and ritual to create an exotic and visually powerful form of theatre.
Described as “spectacularly beautiful” by the Daily Telegraph, this rare gem of Indian theatre will be sure to add an exotic twist to your festival experience.
Tickets available for make-up demo, food and evening with Kathakali masters from The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre
Monday June 15, 2015
“As a consequence of a number of discussions, over the last two years, about art with Alasdair Gray, I decided to use my knowledge of art history, and my interest in playwriting, to compose a play that really looked at his paintings and to bring those meanings to life using the dramatic potential of theatre.
Alasdair Gray’s paintings on the surface are engaging designs, but they can also reveal hidden depths of ideas and feelings, ranging from intense pain to delightful pleasure: How could these attributes be communicated in a play?
The decision to use Oscar Wilde’s infamous literary character ‘Dorian Gray’ was initially inspired by the chance association of names, but as the play demanded someone who was an art expert, he claimed the job.
Dorian gets assistance from other characters because they have intimate knowledge of the art. In consequence, the writing and the painting are brought into a close relationship and exploited by the dramatic visual and literary qualities of theatre.
Lanark and Duncan Thaw are regenerated to help Dorian Gray find the key to the meaning of Alasdair Gray’s art. However Lanark has a new dilemma and she falls in love with the beauty of Dorian Gray. Duncan Thaw on the other hand is sceptical and tests Dorian’s claims about the role of art and the beautiful as transforming experience for the individual.
Assisted by a lily, a symbol of purity and beauty they travel into the Alasdair Gray mural painting ‘Glasgow: The Triumph of Death’ in search of the key, but events overtake them and their world is turned upside down. Will art triumph over death?”
- Duncan Comrie, writer of The Key: An Art Mystery
Showing on the 16th and 17th of June at 2.30/7.30pm, tickets are available from Mighty Fine Theatre or available on the door at Websters Theatre.