The Bill star headlines Edinburgh stage adaption of Local Hero

NEW dates and a star-studded cast have been announced for the world premiere of the Royal Lyceum’s stage adaptation of Local Hero.

Children’s telly favourite Katrina Bryan and long-running star of The Bill Simon Rouse are just two of the popular television faces coming to the Royal Lyceum to appear in the musical when it opens this March. Based on Bill Forsyth’s 1983 film, demand for tickets for the production has been so great the Grindlay Street theatre has been forced to extend the run of the show by an extra two weeks. A wry comedy about a man who sets out to buy a beach, but ends up losing his heart to a village, Forsyth’s much-loved tale takes to the stage with new music and songs by Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler. Continue reading

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10 Must-See Shows at Celtic Connections

Karine Polwart PIC: Michael Gillen
Karine Polwart

Scotsman folk critic Jim Gilchrist picks his highlights of this year’s festival

1. Syne of the Times, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 17 January:
The festival’s opening concert sees creative producer Donald Shaw revisit his Harvest project, with established names joining emerging young talent from Scotland and Galicia.

2. Kathleen MacInnes & amiina, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 19 January:
Smoky-voiced Gaelic singer MacInnes is accompanied by Iceland’s amiina, formerly associated with Nordic rockers Sigur Rós.

3. Jenna Reid & Harris Playfair with Mr McFall’s Chamber, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 20 January:
Highly engaging duo of Shetland fiddler Reid and pianist Playfair joined by the left-field McFall’s Chamber.

4. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Mackintosh Church, 24 January: Inspired duo of Welsh harpist and Malian kora player, performing in Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s beautiful Queen’s Cross Church.

5. Julie Fowlis & Duncan Chisholm: An Treas Suaile, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 24 January:
Fowlis and Chisholm’s multi-media commemoration of the Iolaire tragedy, when 201 servicemen drowned yards away from their native Lewis on New Year’s Day 1919.

6. Shooglenifty/Kinnaris Quintet, Barrowland, 25 January:
Glorious mayhem as “acid croft” pioneers Shooglenifty share the bill with the powerful new string quintet.

7. Grace & Danger: A Celebration of John Martyn, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 27 January:
Intriguingly assorted cast including Paul Weller, Eddie Reader and Eric Bibb combine to celebrate the unique talent of the late John Martyn.


8. Karine Polwart & Kris Drever with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, King’s Theatre, 27 January:
Two premier singer-songwriters join the SCO in this historic theatre to perform songs old and new, arranged by Pippa Murphy and Kate St John.

Continue reading

Edinburgh’s Usher Hall set to stage regular phone-free concerts

One of Scotland’s leading concert venues is set to stage regular “phone-free” concerts in future.

The Usher Hall in Edinburgh has hailed the success of a show by American rocker Jack White which saw fans urged either to leave devices at home or place them inside lockable pouches. His promoters had warned fans they would not be allowed into the show if they insisted on using their phone, but urged them to embraced a “100 per cent human experience”. General manager Karl Chapman said the show, the first time a phone-free pop or rock gig has been attempted at the venue, passed off without any problems and was warmly received by his followers.
He said the venue was likely to explore doing the same again in response to requests from artists who have been turned down in the past over concerns that a mobile ban would have been impractical. White has joined forces with US tech firm Yondr to stage a phone-free tour. Fans were asked to surrender devices on arrival at the Usher Hall, where staff placed them in foam pouches which were locked before they entered the auditorium. They were allowed to set them to vibrate in case of any emergency calls. Designated phone use areas were set up around the venue, but phones had to be locked back up again before fans returned to the main arena.

Ticketholders were told: “We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets for a little while and experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON. 
Repost our photos and videos as much as you want and enjoy a phone-free, 100 per cent human experience.” [ . . . ]

Continue at THE SCOTSMAN: Edinburgh’s Usher Hall set to stage regular phone-free concerts

Edinburgh set to say farewell to local character David ‘Monkey’ Kelbie 

To hundreds he was known simply as “Monkey”, at the vanguard of the Capital’s army of street drinkers, by turn amusing, annoying, frightening and, often as not, pitiful. 

A familiar face on city centre streets, Monkey was well known as much of a nuisance to authorities as to passers by, with a rap sheet of no less than 186 breaches of the peace against his name.

But now, as the man once thought too much of a handful for even the toughest of hostels is set to be buried tomorrow, the charity which gave him a roof over his head and a sense of purpose in his latter years, has asked that the story of the man behind the nickname, and the experiences that shaped him, be told. David Kelbie was born in 1948 in Arbroath, one of no less than 11 children to Daniel and Elizabeth Kelbie. The Kelbie clan were of a travelling background and moved around various parts of Scotland. Davie spent most of his childhood in the care of Aberlour Orphanage, with three of his siblings. At its peak, the orphanage was one of the largest establishments in Scotland with about 600 children living there. Long defunct, it is now the focus of allegations of historic child sexual abuse. [ . . . ]

Continue at Edinburgh New Edinburgh set to say farewell to local character David ‘Monkey’ Kelbie – Edinburgh Evening News

Edinburgh festivals: Mackintosh art school ‘should not be rebuilt by pedantic architects’ 

Computers should take charge of the rebuilding of Glasgow School of Art rather than pedantic architects, according to the biographer of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Roger Billcliffe, an art historian, said that the fire which destroyed the art school in June “won’t be the end of the world”, even if the charred hulk of the building had to be demolished.The blaze was the second at the site in four years. It led to a computer survey of the building, which in turn could help restore it to its original glory, Mr Billcliffe told the Edinburgh International Book Festival.“The computer will make the drawings to make the building again,” he said. “It may be a good thing that the computer is doing it — it won’t [ . . . ]

Continue at THE TIMES: Edinburgh festivals: Mackintosh art school ‘should not be rebuilt by pedantic architects’ | Scotland | The Times