ON THE WAY TO
Plans for Glasgow 1990 are beginning to emerge. The List reports.
‘The entire city of Glasgow will become a stage.‘ said Robert Palmer. Festivals Director. as he finally lifted the first set ofwraps off plans for 1990. when Glasgow is European City ofCulture for the year.
Talking at a press conference in Glasgow. Palmer stressed that events announced. which include an ambitious set ofcivic commissions, were ‘just a taster‘ ofwhat was to come: ‘The complete programme will be the size of a telephone directory.‘ he said. The year long celebrations will be divided into four main seasons. each encompassing three or four major events and hundreds ofsmaller ones. ranging from a projected new international indoor tennis tournament to a lantern festival — the City Council is keen to stress the huge diversity of the celebrations and their
broad-based understanding ot what constitutes culture (in this they differ markedly from previous holders of the title).
The total budget for the year could be in the region of£40 million. including box office revenue, sponsorship and funding. The council is currently in discussion with over 90 potential sponsors. but has now announced six ‘prime‘ sponsors. each ofwhich have pledged over £100,000 to 1990 projects (BP exploration. British Telecom. Royal Bank ofScotland. Scottish Amicable Life Assurance Society, Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd and Whyte & Mackay Distillers).
Regional Council funding is as yet undecided. but District Council has put in £6 million and set aside a further £9 million as guarantee against loss and ‘seed’ funding to enable projects to get underway. while sponsorship is being sought. Central Government funding stands at £500,000 (from the Office of Arts and Libraies) so far, though Council Leader Pat Lally hinted that
Glasgow hopes more may be on its way: ‘We‘d be very disappointed indeed if Malcolm Rifkind wasn‘t able to top that. Asl indicated at the time. it was a very good deposit.‘ He pointed out that Berlin received an additional £15 million from Central Government during its year as City ofCulture.
The international side ofthe programme has yet to be announced, with many events still to be firmly tied down. but will include seasons of opera. dance and theatre at Theatre Royal and Tramway (the former transport museum rescued from demolition for Peter Brook‘s epic The Mahabharata last year: see separate story). Speculation that work by Peter Brook will be included was not quashed ‘The Cherry Orchard won‘t be shown in Glasgow 1989.‘ Mr Lally also expressed confidence that the city‘s new concert hall will be completed and ready to host visiting orchestras by October 1990. The £3 million refurbishment ofthe McLellan Galleries should also be complete. to house the British Art Show. one ofa planned 125 exhibitions.
Of the thirty civic commissions. twelve have so far been announced. Financed by the council‘s £200,000 commissions fund. these include a new opera by Judith Weir for Scottish Opera. a new choral work by Gordon Cross for the SNO. a new concerto for the SCO by Nigel Osborne and three theatrical events.
Most exciting ofthe latter is The Ship, a huge promenade production about the history ofshipbuilding in Glasgow. during the course of which an actual ship will be built. Written by Bill Bryden and designed by William Dudley, the production will cost around £650,000 and will involve experienced shipbuilders as well as actors — the docklands are currently being scoured for a suitable site. Liz Lochhead and Gerry Mulgrew will collaborate on Jack Tamson ’s Bairns. a musical about Robert Burns, while Theatre About Glasgow will use the whole city and many ofits inhabitants forTom McGrath’s new epic. City.
Other potential unusual venues include the ‘Arches‘ space below the railway lines at Central Station for Words and Stone, a large scale expoistion about the history of Glasgow - confirmation from British Rail is being awaited.
The council, who have raised many eyebrows by appointing Saatchi and Saatchi to handle their promotions campaign, are keen to stress that they are serious about involving the people ofGlasgow in the celebrations. ‘Glasgow is not going to disappear into a bland morass of cultural cosmopolitanism,‘ said Mr Lally. ‘We‘re an important city in the United Kingdom and a European City. But we want to get the message across loudly and unambiguously that the base and heart of 1990 is the celebration of Glasgow itself.‘
EVERYONE WHO LOVES THE GREAT OUTDOORS IS HEADING INDOORS TO THE SECC.
Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre, Glasgow. 8thv12th February inclusive. Admission: Adults £2.30, ()APs £1.2 5, Children 30p, family ticket (2 adults/3 children) £6. Open 8th February, 2pmv10pm, 9th, 10th and llth February, llzimrlOpm, 12th February llam'Tpm.
NOW BIGGER AND ETTER THAN EVER.
8 FEB- l2 FEB 1989
The List 10— 23 February 5