Stirling venue hits

Stirling’s Tollbooth Theatre has been awarded £3.1 million of Lottery cash by the Scottish Arts Council to help fund a major refurbishment. To realise architect Richard Murphy’s vision, £6 million will have been spent by the time the project is completed in September 2001.

The Broad Street venue is a Category A-listed building dating back to 1705, and has previously served as Stirling’s town hall, courthouse and jail. In more recent times, it has begun to host music, theatre and comedy, but these activities have been limited due to chronic disrepair.

'The building is semi-derelict,’ said Jane Spiers, Cultural Services Manager for Stirling Council. ‘We’ve no facilities for the elderly or disabled. There are so many things we can’t do now, that we'll be able to do after the refurbishment.’

A main aim is to develop the Tollbooth’s reputation for presenting live music. ’We want to attract more tours, new and experimental music. Indigenous music, electro-acoustic, contemporary classical. We're

' Q '3 I} )‘ ~ 5

Jailhouse rock: a model of Stirling's new Tolbooth Theatre

already working with jazz groups from London and Scotland,’ Spiers enthused.

The next generation of talent will also be nurtured in the new venue, with a programme of vocational training unique in the area. 'There'll be a recording studio and rehearsal space, and formal foundation courses for young unemployed people,’ she promised.

A state-of-the-art building is of little worth without punters in the audience and performers on the stage, but Spiers feels that the new venue has been created to meet an existing demand.

'T he Tollbooth is involved with a lot of local organisations, but up to now we've been restricted in terms of the services on offer. That will all change. The Tollbooth has been


£3 million lotteryjackpot

\‘ 1 ' t a

re-designed to be a cultural hub for Stirling. Arts groups in the area will have excellent facilities at their disposal, not just for performance, but to use for workshops or rehearsals or meetings. The Artistic Director will continue to programme the live music, and the comedy nights will be more frequent, but the real measure of success will be the number of neighbourhood groups getting involved.’

The new venture would appear to represent competition for the nearby MacRobert Arts Centre, but Spiers emphatically denied this. ’We never would’ve gotten a penny from the Arts Council or anybody else without co- operating. This is part of a combined arts strategy in Stirling. We've shown that there is a demand for live music, theatre and comedy, and the venues are going to meet and increase that demand.

'The MacRobert will be applying for funding of its own next year, and the success of Tollbooth will be a great help with that,’ she concluded. (Rob Fraser)

Mullan’smevie hits

language barrier

,8 o . w s

Bowled over: Louise Goodall and Peter Mullan in My Name Is Joe

Peter Mullan’s performance as a recovering alcoholic in My Name ls Joe was good enough to nab the Glaswegian a Best Actor Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festivai, but his dulcet tones have been deemed incomprehenSible by the film’s American distributor. The Ken Loach directed drama wrll hit cinemas

stateside with English subtitles. Kitchen sink auteur Loach sees something more than the old ‘two nations divrded by a common language’ theory behind the decision to offer translation. 'They tend to be rather self centred about these things,’ he told the press. ’Anything that is authentic, the Americans want to alter.

Subtitles are a metaphor for the American outlook.’

The star’s agent, Anne Coulter of Glasgow's CMA, took a more pragmatic approach. ’I don’t really see what the fuss is about,’ she said. ’It’s not as if the subtitles are going to spoil anyone's enjoyment of the film, and if they help an audience understand the dialect, that's a good thing. I think they may only appear for the first reel anyway, to give people a chance to get used to the language.’

The language barrier originally came to light with the US release of the film which kick started the boom in Scottish urban cinema. Trainspotting director Danny Boyle had his actors re-record snatches of their dialogue in slightly narrower accents, although some transatlantic film fans still struggled. 'They don’t understand the use of the term "doss cunt" as a mild rebuke,’ said screenwriter John Hodge at the time.

One person who couldn’t reached for comment was Peter Mullan himself. ’He’s shooting a film called Ordinary Decent Criminal with Kevin Spacey and Linda Fiorentino,’ Anne Coulter told The List.

A high profile role alongside two genuine Hollywood movie stars surely proof that his native tongue shouldn’t be a career obstacle for the in demand actor? Not exactly. 'He’s playing an Irishman,’ said his agent. (Rob Fraser) I My Name Is Joe premieres in Glasgow on Tue 3 Nov and is released nationwide on Fri 6 Nov.

Glasgay! gets arty

Glasgay! 98 sees the opening of a new exhibition space in the heart of the city. The Gordons Gallery will feature work by and about Glasgow's gay community, as well as presenting major projects by established artists and organisations.

Chair of Glasgayl, David Peuther, is particularly excited by the Generations Of Gay Space project. ’This uses video and photography to document the change of lesbian and gay space over the years,’ he says. ’It captures the essence of important areas in Glasgow, as seen by members of the community themselves.’

The venue will also host Amnesty International‘s Generations Of Persecution and Rory Donaldson's acclaimed Generations Of Love, which depicts images of HIV positive men printed on bed covers. A former gallery manager of the CCA, currently based at the Whitney Museum in New York, Donaldson has had two new pieces commissioned by Glasgayl.

The Gordons Gallery will open on 30 October at 34 Albion Street, below the Glasgow Film and Video Workshop. See future issues of The List for details of presentations and other special events throughout the festival.

(Rob Fraser)

8—22 Oct 1998 THE LIST 25