:— Raising the curtain
The success of any attempt to create work for unemployed actors in a climate where the arts are struggling ﬁnancially should be trumpeted at ear- splitting level — particularly when it is on such an ambitious scale as Govan lnitiative‘s Theatre Works. The Glasgow-based theatre company is about to bear its ﬁrst fruit with 'lim 'rous Beasties. described by writer Patrick Evans as a ‘satire on ﬁve minute nationalists'. and the ﬁrst of ﬁve proposed world premieres. Funded to the tune ofjust under £500,000 by a partnership including Strathclyde Regional and Glasgow City councils. the Glasgow Development Agency. Scottish Enterprise and the European Social Fund. Theatre Works was the brainchild of Govan Initiative ans ofﬁcer Neil Shackleton. He decided a full time resident theatre
company was just what Govan needed. ; This is no ordinary company, but
; Scotland's ﬁrst permanent ensemble. which aims to tap unused personal
2 potential by taking on a troupe of
j actors. unemployed for at least twelve months.
‘When we‘re not rehearsing a play.
Back to work: unemployed actors in ﬁm'rous Beasties
we‘ve a programme of skill development.‘ says Evans. who will script four of the company's ﬁve productions. ‘We spend three days a week on workshop activities for the next production. and on the other two we get outside people in. There have already been voice and stage
After a year there will be an entire personnel change. apart from the company‘s director Irvine Allen and a yet to be appointed general manager. The aim is to keep things fresh and with a diverse range of activities in operation. including two shows: one small-scale and one mid-scale touring show. Theatre Works are already on their way to establishing a repertoire.
"The object is for the company to perform different functions at different times of the year.‘ says Evans. ‘We'd like to think of it as a rolling project that will be here forever. That. of course. depends on the funding bodies involved.‘
With the prospect of a single tier local government structure already stretching the purse strings of some arts organisations to breaking point. the hope is that Theatre Works rides the storm. (Neil Cooper)
'l'int 'rous Beusties is at the I’euree Institute. Glasgow on Thurs [5 Dee. 8pm and the Robin Anderson Theatre. Scottish Bullet Slur/ins. 26/ West
Princes Street. Glasgow. l’ri /()—l"ri 23 Dee. 8pm.
:- Making Gaelic heard on TV
An eyebrow was once raised in the pages oi this magazine about the ‘suspiciously generous’ allocation oi £10 million to the Gaelic television iund which served a population roughly equivalent to East Kilbride. Elsewhere the opposition has been more vocal so it’s no surprise that those involved in producing Gaelic programmes are sensitive to criticism. For Scottish Television’s head at Gaelic Rhoda Macdonald, who will argue ior the importance oi Gaelic programming during the Celtic Connections iestival, the issue is not about minority interest television, but
survive. Her own background is as a presenter E oi Gaelic kids’ programmes, which is i partly why she regards young people i as so important to Gaelic television’s ‘ development. ‘Television is such a
! large part oi children’s lives,’ she l
. whether the language itself can
‘ says. ‘Ii it’s not on television, the
language Gaelic is perceived by them ‘ as interior. TV should play a part in
arresting the decline in the number oi é speakers.’
Children’s programmes in any language lack the glamour oi, say, a peak-time detective series, but when transmitted in a language spoken by iewer than 90,000 people in Scotland, it’s easy to see why Gaelic television has become a target ior sniping. But Macdonald is convinced that tending to the language’s grassroots is the best way to iustiiy spending money oi Gaelic programmes.
‘l’m coming more and more to the conclusion that we have to clearly deiine what this money has to do tor the language and that has to be increasing the pool of speakers,’ she says.
However, Gaelic programmes also promote the culture to non-Gaelic speakers with Machair — the only Gaelic programme in Scottish’s peak- time schedules - pulling in around 400,000 viewers. Gaelic is a central plank oi the music on oiier during Celtic Connections, which is appreciated by large numbers of non- Gaelic speakers. Ii the culture is valued, then its language should be as well, and ii the language is valued it should be heard on television, is Macdonald’s straightiorward argument. (Eddie Gibb)
Rhoda Macdonald’s ‘Celtic Conversation’ Is on Tue 10 Jan. See Celtic Connections listings ior details.
_ DJsreadyto roll into Bosnia
‘I am worried that i might get shot.‘ says Keith. spokesman for the sound system Desert Storm. whose trademark armoured vehicle and para-military styling is about to take on a new signiﬁcance. This Hogmanay he plans to set up his sound system in Tuzla. Bosnia — about 30 miles from the Front Line.
The bouncy house music that Desert Storm is known for among Glasgow‘s clubbers may seem at odds with the dangers of a real war zone, but Workers Aid for Bosnia. the organiser of this project. says the young peOpIe of Tuzla have speciﬁcally asked for this kind of cultural aid. Consequently. for its seventh run to Bosnia with food. blankets and medical supplies. WAB
organisers decided to enlist the help of Desert Storm after seeing the sound system at a Criminal Justice Bill protest in October.
The trip is to be recorded by a camera crew. headed by Mark Forrest. co- director of Another Journey by Train. a ﬁlm about a group of neo-Nazis who travel to Auschwitz to be confronted by evidence of the Holocaust. The idea of following another. very different journey appealed to Forrest. who hopes that documenting Desert Storm‘s trip will raise awareness of the Bosnian war
4 The List 16 December 1994—12 January 1995
Storming the clubs: the sound system goes fund raising
among clubbers back home.
‘I want to be part of Keith undertaking the most dangerous and unusual joumey of his life.‘ explains Forrest. ‘lt shocks me that a young boy from Glasgow is prepared to walk around a war zone just to play his music. Keith to me is the modern Gracie Fields.‘ (Rory Weller)
Desert Storm and the film crew are still looking for assistance for their trip. They can be contacted throng/1 4 i Films on 03/ 554 5698.
l Putting Glasgow in the picture The trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland are to hold public meetings to gauge reactions to four proposals for a new gallery based in the city. The main option was described as a ‘son of Musee d'()rsay for Scotland'. housing examples of architecture and decorative arts dating from the accession of Queen Victoria to the Festival of Britain in 1951. but focusing on Scottish an. Also being considered are plans for a smaller gallery to exhibit the work of European artists. largely on loan from the national collections in Edinburgh; a gallery devoted to photography and another to the world of theatre. Secretary of State lan Lang rejected the trustees‘ original plans for a Glasgow- based national gallery of Scottish an last May. Public meetings about the latest proposals will be held in Glasgow on Thursday 12 January at 7pm in Bute Hall. Glasgow University and Edinburgh on 19 January. details to be ﬁnalised.
I National theatre decision The Scottish Ans Council is due to decide today (Thursday 15) on its preferred option for the proposed Scottish national theatre. The three options under consideration are a new touring company. the development of an existing building-based company or establishing a fund for Scottish theatre exceHence. l Amnesty ior Christmas The ﬁrst Amnesty International shop in Scotland has opened in Edinburgh. The shop which. sells jewellery. cards. second- hand CDs and fair-trade crafts. is at ll Jeffrey Street. Further details on 031 557 2957. I Correction We have been asked to point out an error in the article ‘Turning for help' on the Agenda pages ofthe last issue. The article correctly refers to the addictive nature of benzo- diazepenes such as Temazepam or ‘jellies'. However. we incorrectly described this group of drugs as ‘anti- depressants'. Such drugs are not used in the treatment of depression.