:— Lyceum’s dark legacy

Edinburgh‘s Royal Lyceum continues to be dogged by the legacy of the cost of upgrading the Grindlay Street premises during the 1990-91 season when the theatre was dark and its large subscription base began to be eroded. But board members. who were due to meet as The List went to press. say they are confident that they have found an escape route from its latest cash crisis which will leave the artistic programme intact.

The cumulative cost of running the theatre as it tried to re-establish its audience after the refurbishment was running at over £300,000 and the theatre reached crisis point at the start of April. The threat of liquidation was staved off only by the intervention of Edinburgh District Council which agreed to an advance of £50,000 on the Lyceum‘s grant for the current financial year.

‘We have been very supportive of the Royal Lyceum over recent weeks and we hope we can continue to give our support.’ says council recreation director Roger Jones. who added that the outcome of this week‘s board meeting could affect future district council decisions.

The immediate crisis further receded during April when the former owner of

the Playhouse. Norman Springford. stepped in with an offer of a £50,000 bail out. After being swiftly invited to join the theatre's board of trustees. Springford promised £4000 a month for the next year. because he found it ‘unacceptable‘ that the company should go bust.

The chairman of the board. Richard Findlay. has produced a new cost- cutting budget that is intended to produce a £100.()()() surplus by the end ofthe financial year. No details about how this would be achieved were available but Angus Calder. board

member and chairman of the Lyceum’s Artistic Review Committee. denied that new cost-cutting measures will jeopardise the artistic programme. ‘1 have every confidence that the revised budget will not affect the artistic standards of the theatre.‘ he says. Calder argues that Kenny lreland had been given too little credit for his ambitious debut season which was notable for bringing big names like Maureen Lipman. Brian Cox and Bill Paterson to work in Edinburgh. (Mark Fisher)

I Action Fund A £10,000 fund which will give small grants to young people intended to help fund their ‘bright ideas’ has been launched. The Young Scot Action Fund is open to anyone aged 15—25 years and examples of projects which might receive funding are: setting up a business; attending a course; or organising a community event. Most of the grants will be £100 with a handful of £500 grants awarded each year. Details from Young Scot on 031 313 2488.

I Presdential victory NUS Scotland president Jim Murphy has been elected president of the UK-wide student union body. He was elected on union reform ticket and promised to encourage students to become involved in their unions.

I Castle concerts The first ever rock concerts look certain to be staged at Stirling Castle in the run up to its annual beating the retreat displays. Assuming the events are approved by the council‘s licensing committee. U840 and Runrig will headline 7000 capacity concerts on the castle esplanade on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August. The tickets are £18 for Runrig and £20 for UB40. Booking is on 031 557 6969.

I Switchboard supporters Strathclyde Gay and Lesbian Switchboard is celebrating its 21st birthday by starting a new funding raising venture, Frogals (Friends of Strathclyde Gay and Lesbian Switchboard). Frogals will be launched on Friday 29 April at Club X, Glasgow. For information on the scheme call the Switchboard on 041 221 8372.

i thought it

Ever cheaper video technology such as Iii-8 is allowing increasing numbers oi underground filmmakers the chance to develop distinctive work outside the mainstream broadcast media. Double Blind, a no-budget, teature- length road movie by US artist Sophie Caile, is typical of the work that will be screened during the second law Visions, an alternative film and video festival. “We’re hoping to capture some kind oi spirit of the times,’ says llew Vision co-ordinator Malcolm Dixon. ‘We have expanded this year to include installation work and outside prolections to extend the notions of the moving image. A lot of new work is breaking out at medium-specific approaches.’

Other highlights include: a seminar by German independent Van Gogh TV, which demonstrated the iirst live

Sophie Calle’s bottle Blind

interactive programme in 1992, exploring the idea of interactive televsion with a live link-up between Glasgow and Hamburg; a new video documentary charting the progress oi German industrial rock group Einsturzende lleubauten trom metal bashing percussionists to established performance artists; and an evening of ambient music and film lrom Till! who played sets at london trance dance clubs Mogatripolis and Whirl-y-glg.

‘Vlhat we’re trying to say is that this is a parallel area to the malnstrean world of broadcast media where it is possible to produce more wide- ranging work than appears on television,’ says Dixon. (Eddie Gibb) New Visions runs from Wednesday 4-Sunday 8 May in Glasgow at venues including the GET and DOA. Phone 041 332 0744 tor details.


I Animal Ceilidh The Advocates for Animals Edinburgh volunteer support group is holding a benefit ceilidh on Fri 22 April at the Walpole Hall in Chester Street. Tickets for the dance. which features the Auld Town Ceilidh Band with The Hip Operation and starts at 8pm. cost £4 (£3 concessions) and are available at the door.

I Earth Ceilidh Friends of the Earth (Scotland) is also organising a benefit ceilidh on Fri 22 April at 8pm. The dance, featuring the Auld Reekie Ceilidh Band. is at Leith Town Hall, Ferry Road, Edinburgh. Tickets cost £4.50 (£2.50 concessions) and are available at the door.

I Friends Amnesty lntemational and the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh have teamed up to present a screening of Friends. the critically acclaimed film about human rights in South Africa, at the Cameo on Sat 23 April at 10.15am. Cecilia Moyo, who comes from Soweto and is studying in Edinburgh, will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterwards about the future for South Africa after the general election. Tickets cost £2.50 (£1 concessions) and all proceeds will go to Amnesty lntemational. See Film index for further details.

I Earth First! The Glasgow group of the direct-action organisation Earth First! is holding a group meeting on Mon 25 April at 7.30pm, at 65 Oakfreld Avenue. Hiilhead. Anyone in Glasgow interested in the more active side of environmental campaigning should contact Charles Kennedy on 041 333 1864. For Edinburgh environmental activists, an Edinburgh Earth First! group has started up. Contact 031 557 0718 during the day for further details. I Splat VAT! The Lothian Communities Against VAT on Fuel group is holding a public meeting at The Centre, 103 Broughton Street. on Thurs 28 April at 7.30pm.

I Active Communities An exhibition about local community action in the Broughton/inverleith area. including anti-poll tax activity. opens at The Centre, 103 Broughton Street on Mon 2 May. The exhibition is open noon—4pm every weekday and The Centre has an excellent vegetarian cafe.

I Home Help Edinburgh Sitters. the charity which provides a sitter service in Edinburgh for single parents and families with disabled children or adults, is ten-years-old on Fri 29 April. The organisation relies on volunteers to provide isolated carers with the opportunity to take an evening off, relaxed and confident that their charges are in good hands. However. although there are 90 volunteers and 120 families, many of those who could benefit from this service sometimes have to wait up to a year before there is

a sitter available. 0 . Anyone interested in jornrng the

Edinburgh Sitters should contact the Project Leaders at 13 Gayfield Square. Edinburgh EH1 3NX or phone 031 557 3121.

I It you have news of any events or courses which you want publicised in this column, please forward them to ‘Action’ at The List, 14 High Street, Edinburgh Elli 11E and include a day- time phone number.

The List 22 April—5 May 1994 5