More music for Mayfest
A rock music programme that outﬂanks Glastonbury is the claim being made by the programmers of this year’s Mayfest, Glasgow‘s citywide festival running Friday 30 April—Saturday 22 May. Thanks to an extensive community programme and the introduction of the Renfrew Ferry as an ofﬁcal venue, music fans will be given the chance to choose between names as diverse as the Average White Band. Carol Laula, Hue & Cry. Frank Black. Pentangle. Love and Money, Eddie Floyd, Everything but the Girl, Joan Baez. Steve Harley, Henry Rollins and the Boys of the Lough.
Dance fans are also in for a treat thanks to the last minute support of Scottish Power which stepped in after the hoped-for SAC grant didn‘t come through. Highlights include Adventures in Motion Pictures (seen at last year’s Edinburgh Festival), Montreal‘s Cas Public and France‘s Compagnie Germaine Acogny. Some of these performances are part of a major Canadian season that includes multi- media company Carbone 14 (last seen at Tramway with Le Dortoir), Toronto‘s Da Da Kamera with a show described as ‘sit-down comedy‘ as well as ﬁlm screenings at the GFT.
Mayfest: Canada and dance
Local companies are well represented in the theatre programme. NVA (formerly Test Dept) looks set to make the most innovative contribution in the form of Sabotage, a multi-media series of performances and installations at Tramway, while more conventional plays are being produced by the Traverse, 7:84, the Arches and the Citizens‘. The Tron plays the big-name ticket with lain Glen stan'ing in Macbeth and English companies are well represented by Emily Woof. Gloria, Cheek by Jowl and others.
Finally, classical music lovers are well catered for with performances by the Glinka State Choir of St Petersburg, Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and a new piece by James McMillan from the Scottish Chamber orchestra. (Mark Fisher)
Full coverage of Maifest events begins in Issue 1 99 of The List.
Case for coffee
Throw out the decaff - the latest scientific survey has proved that caffeine in coffee not only perks you up, it boosts the intelligence. A report published in the ioumal Psychopharmacology, and backed up by the Medical Research Council and
the lmperical Cancer Research Fund, states that substantial coffee drinking does indeed have long-term benefits.
Over Lilli people in the lift were asked about their coffee and tea drinking habits, then given simple tests. The results showed that those who drank six cups of coffee a day had motions 6 per cent faster than non-coffee drinkers. Tea has an effect, but not to the same extent. Coffee drinkers also scored better on reasoning and memory tests. So how does this explain the behaviour of that field Blend couple, eh? (AM)
_ Homeless on the box
Win a dream home in a TV game show - lust another big money prize, better than most? lot when the contestants are drawn from Britain’s homeless population, and the tackiness takes on a note of desparation. Come (in liown And Out is one of the most obviously controversial programmes due for broadcast in Channel 4’s Gimme Shelter, a two-week season examining all aspects of homelessness. In its defence, John Willis, Channel 4’s Director of Programmes believes the game show ‘poses the audience fundamental questions about society’s attitude to the homeless and the problems they face’.
Taken as a whole, the Gimme Shelter
season hopes to prick the nation’s conscience with a mixture of documentaries, dramas and current affairs. Highlights include the first screening for seventeen years of Ken Loach’s groundbreaking TV play Cathy Come Home and the first broadcast of Tickets For The Zoo, which is set in Edinburgh. Other programmes use direct testimonies from homeless people, including children. ‘Television cannot solve the problem of homelessness, but it can focus public concern and understanding,’ continues Willis. ‘As our season conflnns so starkly, homelessness is no longer any respecter of class or social background. Virtually anyone can find themselves homeless. But we do focus on homeless people’s own accounts of their experiences and their practical responses.’ (Alan Morrison) For details of Gimme Shelter, see TV listings.
Final reels for La Scala
La Scala cinema in Saltcoats closed its doors last Monday with the loss of ten jobs. Although the privately-owned cinema had been doing reasonable business. closure became inevitable when the owning company was wound up by creditor petition. The 500-seat picture palace was built in 1913 with one screen and converted into a twin- screen cinema showing mainstream commercial movies in the 1970s. The last shows were Under Siege and Honey I Blew Up The Kid. ‘The cinema was not running at a profit.‘ according to John Readman of the interim liquidating company Ernst & Young, ‘and we had no option but to close it.‘ He said that several people have ‘intimatcd an interest’ in purchasing the
cinema, adding that ‘it' any of your readers would like to buy La Scala, please tell them to contact us‘. although he did not disclose the asking price.
La Scala is the third Scottish cinema to close in the last six months. However, the Regal cinema in Bathgate, which shut down on 7 January, has now been granted a reprieve until October. The family-run group of companies which owns the Glenrothes cinema in Fife and the Roxy in Kelso have taken over the running of the Regal.
Things are also looking up at the Salon in Hillhead. With the backing of various politicians. locals and film industry celebrities, the Save Our Salon campaign is now ready to launch a trust to buy the building — which has lain dormant since last October — at a public meeting in Queen Margaret‘s Union on Sun 28 March at 2.30pm. The campaign was boosted last week when Sean Connery agreed to join the list of patrons. which also includes Sir Richard Attenborough and David Puttnam. (Thom Dibdin)
irotest' a ‘ ‘racist’ movie
The controversial Australian film Romper Stomper, which depicts the brutal life of a racist skinhead gang, looks set to create a further furore when it opens at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Sunday 4 April. it has already been withdrawn from one London cinema. the Ritzy in Brixton, after a campaign of protest from the Anti Nazi League (ANL).
‘We are not arguing for the film to be banned.‘ says the ANL‘s Glasgow spokesperson David Sherry, ‘we are not into censorship. All we are arguing is that people should boycott it. The ANL have agreed to protest against it wherever it is shown.‘ The ANL will be distributing leaflets condemning the film outside the GET before every performance.
‘lt is an award-winning Australian film which received its Scottish premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival.‘ says Ken lngles. Director of the Glasgow Film Theatre. ‘It has got an l8 certificate, and the GFT leaves it up to the cinema audience of Glasgow to make up its own mind about the ﬁlm.‘
Rompr temper: does it glorify racism?
David Sherry, who has not seen Romper Stamper, says the ANL is worried that whatever the intentions of the filmmakers were. it actually encourages Nazi sympathies. ‘lt airs their violence as somehow exciting,‘ he says. ‘lt shows Nazis as the victims rather than the perpetrators of violence. Anything that encourages racial violence and racial stereotyping has to be opposed.‘ He points out that there have already been attempts to start British National Party organisations in Glasgow.
‘1 wanted to take a deadly serious theme, racial bigotry, and present it with as much kinetic energy and authentic sub-culture detail as i could,‘ says the ﬁlm‘s writer and director Geoffrey Wright, ‘contradicting expectations that such themes require a turgid or angst-ridden treatment. in this way. the film would. hopefully. become more fixed in the memory of the audience. I wanted to do a story that revealed the pathetic, personal vulnerability of young neo-Nazis and remind them that, whatever they may think, they are primarily motivated by a profound sense of inadequacy.‘ (Thom Dibdin)
Romper Stamper opens at the OFT on 4 April. For review. see page I 7.
4 The List 26 March-8 April 1993