Friday June 19, 2015
Image courtesy of SPT
The West End Festival is in full swing capturing the imagination of participants and visitors in the West End of Glasgow. With over 400 events in 80 venues the WEF is enjoying yet another successful year as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Attending a variety of performances across different venues, many visitors to the city and indeed the west end rely upon Glasgow’s Subway during the festival. With events surrounding four west end subway stations including Kelvinbridge, Hillhead, Kelvinhall and Partick, this is your guide to what is going on near each station and when!
Formerly the Lansdowne Parish Church this beautiful and exquisite building is now playing a key role in the WEF with a capacity of 190 people. A prominent Glasgow landmark, Websters Theatre has plenty more events scheduled for the festival including -
The fabulous voices of Torch Song Divas Elaine C Smith and Christina Dunwoodie combine the earthiness of soul, blues and jazz with the lyricism of classical opera as they take a witty look at the eternal themes of love, loss, betrayal and survival that form the beating (and sometimes bleeding) heart of these great musical traditions.
Friday 19 Jun 8:00 pm / Saturday 20 Jun 8:00 pm Tickets - £15
Little Bat Productions present an intriguing drama by the acclaimed Australian playwright Andrew Bovell and directed by Una McDade.
Nine parallel lives where contracts are broken between intimates while bonds are forged between strangers. With one missing person and four marriages entangled in a web of love, deceit, sex and death; who will survive?
Wed 24th Jun 7:30 pm / Thursday 25th Jun 7:30pm / Friday 26th Jun 7:30pm
Tickets £12 (con. £10) in advance or online or from 0141 357 4000. Plus booking fee £1
St Mary’s Cathedral
St Marys Cathedral, located on Great Western Road, is another visually stunning and breath-taking piece of architecture. Situated in the West End of Glasgow, this elegant venue and WEF partner have upcoming events such as…
The award-winning Dunbartonshire Concert Band are delighted to return to the West End Festival this year. Join them for a slice of summer music. Come along and hear some of your favourite tunes from popular and light classics to music from the movies and the musicals. DCB have been delighting audiences for over 40 years – our concerts are always fun, entertaining and guaranteed to get your toes tapping!
Friday 19 Jun 7:30pm – Tickets £6 at the door
Join the RSNO Chorus with conductor Gregory Batsleer and organist Steven McIntyre for an evening of Sacred Music. Enjoy a rare performance in the beautiful setting of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral of Durufle’s Requiem and motets by Anton Bruckner including Christus Factus Est, Locus Iste and Ave Maria.
Saturday 27 Jun 7:30pm
Tickets £12 (con £8) from 01412253553 or email or at the door
St Silas Church
Another Glasgow landmark, St Silas Church plays host to a variety of events during the festival. The upcoming ‘Da Capo Alba In Concert’ will certainly appeal to all!
This is an opportunity to hear Scotland's premier mandolin and guitar orchestra in concert. Da Capo Alba have been regular performers at the West End Festival in recent years. Conducted by Barbara Pommerenke-Steel, Da Capo Alba play a range of musical styles from Baroque and Classical to Ragtime and Latin American.
Saturday 20th Jun 7:30pm
Tickets £8 (£6 concessions) in advance from the Lanakrshire Guitar & Mandolin Assosicaation (LGMA) or at the door from 7.10pm.
A charming and alluring area, Holyrood Crescent continues its annual event to entertain all of the family!
Come to the Holyrood Pleasure Gardens annual summer fête there is fun for all the family in these beautiful private gardens.
Live music, burgers, curries, cake stall, tombola, bouncy castle, face painting and loads of other fun for kids of all ages! Plus bric a brac and book stalls.
Saturday 20th Jun 1:30 pm till 4.30pm
Adults £1.50 on the gate. Children free
Kelvinbridge Station has many venues and events located on its door step including The Stand (Comedy Club), Munro’s and Christo’s Gallery. With plenty more still on offer, find out information about all events online!
Next Stop: Hillhead Station
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.
Saturday June 13, 2015
With eight awards in 3 years, including the recent British Country Music Award's (BMCA) for ‘Entertainer of the Year’ and 'Female Vocalist of the Year,’ Raintown are fast gaining the reputation as one of the hottest Country acts not only in the UK, but in Europe too.
They have a successful first album under their belts so it hopefully won’t be long until the second! Until then however, come witness a stripped back acoustic performance at CC Music on June 14th at 2pm supported by local blues duo ‘Elemental and Ayrshire singer/songwriter Scott Nicol.’
Friday June 12, 2015
“I have been acting for several years and am also a professional magician. I decided to write this one man play after the death of my father. It's inspired by the relationship I had with my father which was fragmented somewhat by a battle with mental illness. It is a black comedy or a tragicomedy. There is much to chew on in the piece with regards to mental health and attitudes towards it however, there is also a lot of humour in the piece as it largely revolves around the family chip shop and highlights many of the quirks of a Scots-Italian upbringing.” – Lorenzo Novani
Last year saw the magician perform with “Mysitc” – street magic designed to not only amaze (which it did) but to evoke thought. One reviewer described the event as “a skilful weaving of poetry and prophecy” which means his return to this years’ festival is most anticipated!
Tickets for tonight’s show are available on the door at Siempre Bicycle Club for £6.
Sunday June 7, 2015
The West End Festival’s Mardi Gras parade took place today, Sunday, 7 June, with nearly 500 participants taking part in the spectacular, themed around ‘bloom’, and an estimated 80,000 lined the streets and soaked up the atmosphere.
The biggest date in the Festival programme is Festival Sunday, which has seen up to 100,000 people lining the streets of Byres Road, Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Park and spilling down to Dumbarton Road. Local businesses take advantage of the day with a temporary extension of the bars and cafes into the streets; there were markets/stalls and an awful lot of street entertainment – nearly 40 acts - to help keep the spirit alive even after the parade has finished.
Organisations from across Glasgow have worked for the last few months to prepare costumes for participating, helping the west end come alive. From a giant thistle and wonderfully colourful hot air balloon to a life-size pear and a bluebell, everyone had a bloomin’ good time!
Hundreds of events (detailed on the WEF website) take place over the next few weeks from music to dance, literature to kids activities and as always, many of the events are free to attend.
Liz Scobie, chairman of the festival commented: “Already we’ve had huge support for our 20th West End Festival. The Gibson Street Gala, a world premiere, local markets and stalls and now the famous parade, all within a week! Thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers who help make all of this happen.
“Next week we’re launching a special exhibition at the Kibble Palace with the Kelpie maquettes, salsa dancing, comedy, whisky master-class, kids activities, science, a ceilidh and numerous top class music events and theatre. So much to choose from, it’s difficult to pinpoint one or two highlights!”
Full event listings via westendfestival.co.uk
Wednesday June 3, 2015
Scottish people have shown an awesome commitment to learning Gaelic, with a view to maintaining this part of their linguistic heritage. But learners often find it hard to get accurate information on how Gaelic works. The workshop 'Gaelic in an Hour!', run by local linguist Derek Rogers in an earlier West End Festival, was a response to this need.
There Derek dealt with such basic features as lenition, pronunciation, and how to build noun-phrases. This time he will get the audience to play some silly word-games, look again at pronunciation, and shine light into a dark corner where verbs lurk.
The workshop is for beginners and experienced speakers alike, and will show that a coherent system lies behind Gaelic's seemingly random difficulties. And it's an interactive workshop, so all participants will chatter bits of Gaelic - no-one escapes without opening their mouth!
And it'll put you in the mood for An Lochran's 'Togaibh Fonn!', later the same three days.
Free event. Wellington Church, Southpark Avenue.
Wednesday June 25, 2014
Thursday 26 June, 7pm, £16
Celtic Kisses, Slaps 'n' Tickles: Award winning Diva, Terry Neason, performs a roller-coaster collection of Celtic and Country songs, poems, wit and wisdom. As well as originals, includes classics, ballads and belters.
"Fantastically talented; her voice is rich, versatile, huge, raw and quiveringly beautiful." - The Scotsman, UK *****
QMU: Jim’s Bar
Tetra, All She Knows, Friends of Ours, Miles End
Friday 27 June, 7pm, £10
A four-piece alternative rock group who hail from Glasgow create a combination of heavy riffs, catchy melodies and interesting harmonies set to have you bobbing your head and singing along.
Having played in many venues throughout Glasgow already including King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Broadcast and Buff Club they are growing their fan base and starting to get their name out there. Keep your eyes, and more importantly your ears peeled.
Jasmine with Martin Reilly
Saturday 28 June, 7pm, £10
Appearing with her fantastic new band, this songwriter from Glasgow sings with a dynamically powerful yet delicate voice that is mature for its age.
Romi Kadri from Interscope sang his praises of the talented melody maker saying she has a "great voice", and Alan McGee at 359 Music said he "loves it".
Check out www.pmmusic.co.uk for details of other shows we are doing in QMU: Jim’s Bar during the festival.