Last weelr 0i Robson, Glasgow Mayiest's second Director, resigned amidst a haze oi conflicting reports.
The speciiic issue at stalte was the terms oi her appointment. initially taken on on a year's probationary contract. Ms Robson hoped tor a three-year contract when the year was up last July. and an increase in salary irom £12,000 to £10,000. She was eventually oiiered a new one-year contract and a salary increase to £1 5.000. She turned it down and will now remain until January to see next year's programme complete. She says that the contract. rather than the salary, was the deciding iactor. More seriously. she alleges that the dispute was symptomatic oi deeper, longer-running conllicts.
0i the seven members oi the management committee oi the Mayiest board (who are Jean McFadden. Alex Clarii, Mary Picken, Chris Carroll, Tom Malarirey, Tom Lawrie and Dave McLennan) only tour voted in iavour oi her contract being extended. Ms Robson claims she has consistently been opposed by a ‘iaction' oi the board, speciiically ‘Alex Clarli, Mary Plciren and Tom Malaritey’. and that disagreements between them have hindered her trom carrying what she understands to be her duties, to the point where she cannot continue.
That is her point oiview. 0i Robson herseli is a strong personality and one oithe strengths oi Mayiest is the determination oi spirit oi all those involved in it. Personality clashes and
Robert Dawson Scott surveys research and finds alarming statistics.
There is nothing left to live for. Time was when you could be sure of ﬁnding out in this life rather than the next whether yours had been of any lasting value , however slight, however humble. There was the listening nation, there were the two great arbiters; why, one even had a big book in which the secrets of your life were writ. Now not only the angel Roy but even the angel Eamonn have been gathered in. No longer can we plan our eight gramophone records or ponder on whether an unlimited supply of
arguments both trivial and iundamentai are endemicto most organisations. ll. however. the problems run deeper, it they lead to such extreme outcomes, and it, as Ms Robson suggests, the same sort oi hinderances attended the previous director, then it begins to become a worry that the iuture oi Mayiest may be dogged by disagreement. Sources close to Mayiest, agreed with 0i Robson’s allegation that the iormer director, Feri Lean, also iaced internal disagreement, and voiced their concern tor the iuture oi Mayiest. should internal power struggles continue. Clearly there are always going to be problems in the running oi a iestival iounded with such iirm roots and ideals, started by a small committed body oi people. that appoints an external director-who must have strong, clear views and plenty oiireedom to execute them iithe Festival is to be an exciting, artistically respected, popular success. rather than a bland aiiair. But there must be a way oi apportioning authority eitectively. ‘Festivais.’ as iormer Edinburgh Fringe Administrator Michael Date (now Events Organiserior
4" 1qu ’v ’ 5 i I the Glasgow Garden
Festival) once put it. ‘Rave a way oi growing up and wandering oii.‘ lie was talking about the Fringe. eut Mayiest belongs neither to the people who started it nor to the person running it.
This year Mayiest grew again in scale and reputation as a iestival working on an international. local and populist level. It would be a pity ii the iestival, should suiier because oi internal disagreements, be they about policy, power. personality, pay or principles.
0i Robson has decided to go. it is to be hoped that the new director, whoever she or he may be, will be someone oi similar stature to the two previous directors. It is also to be hoped that they will be given the ireedom to iollow through their ideas. plus long term commitment and tull support by a board, whose continuing role and commitment to the Festival they will, in return, respect. It is essential tor all those concerned to clear up what the relationship between board and director entails and to ensure thatthe long-term good oi Glasgow's Mayiest is the basis ior discussions.
2 GUEST LIST
People in the news this fortnight plus a new column by Sheena McDonald.
The outspoken fashion designer has now turned to dance design. She talks to Alice Bain.
6 THE BIG EASY
Trevor Johnstonc goes behind the scenes oithe ace new New Orleans thriller.
7 RIVER’S EDGE
Director Tim Hunter talks to critic Allan Hunter about the film.
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This fortnight on the small screen and airwaves.
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paper and and a typewriter counts as a luxury object, no longer can we practise our modest but delighted expressions of surprise as the man with the red book and the catch phrase accosts us so ‘unexpectedly’, no longer need we worry if our nearest and dearest still know how to get in touch with ‘Squiffy’ Williams who used to sit behind us at Sunday School and ﬂick ink pellets at Miss Todger but who got some slant-eyed beauty up the duff out East during National Service and had to marry because her seven brothers turned ugly. Without that Desert Island, without This is Your Life, what is there left to aspire to? What will happen to sales of Mull of Kintyre, not to mention Kleenex? How will we know the standard bearers in our national life, the examples for the rest of us to follow?
Already there are signs that the effects are working through. You may have seen a recent survey by Exeter University, honest West Country souls that they are ,
revealing that half our sixteen year olds are regular visitors to pubs, that many of them are heavy smokers, that they spend their money in record shops and prefer going to discos than doing their homework. What a waste of talent and ability! What a waste of money, too! Surely these decent people should be engaged in more life enhancing pursuits, with all their enthusiasms and skills. Should they not be ﬁnding a cure for the AIDS virus, exploiting reserves of geo-therrnal energy, helping black and white people to live together in perfect harmony? Not the teenagers, numbskull, the
For if these guys really spend all their working hours establishing scientiﬁcally that kids under sixteen
— SHOCK! — smoke and —
HORROR! - drink in pubs, establishing, in other words, the blindingly obvious, then they have indeed been led astray. Are we really surprised to learn that kids watch TV a lot? Do we foresee a return to child
Edinburgh listings plus reviews and previews.
Dance performances and classes.
Classical 27; Folk 29; Jazz 31 ; Rock 33.
Comprehensive gallery listings.
Political and other events and meetings.
Events for young people this fortnight.
Dance the night away.
On the eve of the rare appearance of Gore Vidal in Edinburgh, Owen Dudley Edwards discusses the author’s work.
A guide to eating in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Publisher Robin Hodge. Editors Nigel Billcn. Sarah Hemming. Associate Editor Allan Hunter. Design Simon Esterson. Advertising 8. Circulation Robin Hodge. Steve McCullough. Sheila MacLean. Accounts Georgette chwick. Richard Gray. Typesetting Jo Kennedy and chcr Text. Production Editor Paul Keir. Production Assistants Sheila MacLean. Mark Fisher. Rosemary Goring. Alt Alice Bain. Books Alan Taylor. Classical Music Carol Main. Dance Alice Bain. Film Allan Hunter. Folk/Jazz Norman Chalmers, Kids Sally Kinnes. Nightiiie (Edinburgh) Stuart Raiker. Nightliie (Glasgow) Gordon Neil, 0pen Sarah Hemming. Radio Sally Kinnes. Rocli (Edinburgh) Alastair Mabbott, Rock (Glasgow) John Williamson. Listen! Alastair Mabbott. John Williamson. Sport Kenny Mathieson, Television Nigel Billen.Theatre Sarah llemming. Camera Edinburgh Make-up Services. Cover Katharine Hamnett and one of her designs for Rambert Dance. Cover Photo Phil Sayer Cover Design Nigel Dillon and Paul Keir. Published by The List Ltd. 14 High Street. Edinburgh.O315581191; 37 Otago Street. Glasgow.
labour because a lot of ﬁfteen year-old girls do a stint on a check-out on a Saturday afternoon? That sort of stuff would never have got the researchers lunch at Roy Plomley’s club. And yet it is the modern way, is it not, spending lots of money and using lots of brain power to show that black is after all black and all those guys who suggested it was white were just kidding on after all. At least the survey this worthy organ carried out didn’t come up with the sort of ‘Of all those who read the magazine, 95% say they read the magazine, allowing for statistical error of up to 5%’ rubbish that the professional pollsters get away with.
It is still a worry though. In these uncertain times a researcher could come up with something really trenchant like ‘Margaret Thatcher is an important person’ and no-one would really be certain if it was true or not. In the past, of course, we’d have~ known for sure. She sure as hell was never on This is Your Life.
The List 13 - 26 November 19871