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Rock, pop and all forms of dance music - in fact, everything under the label 'contemporary popular music' - will now be included in the Scottish Arts Council's funding and development remit. No money has yet been set aside in the SAC budget, but a policy now exists whereby support for pop music will be integrated into the work of the Music Department and not treated as a separate entity.

‘This music plays an important part in the cultural life of Scotland, particularly amongst young people,’ acknowledged SAC Director Tessa Jackson. 'Some of our most successful creative talent crops up in popular music, and SAC is determined to play its part in nurturing and stimulating musical activity in each and every style, from classical orchestras to drum 8. bass.’

While Scottish musicians such as Travis, Texas and Slam are enjoying success on an international level, the music industry at grass roots level could benefit from additional funding and long-term support. For example, under the SAC’s new policy, there‘s no reason why local record labels like Chemikal Underground and Creeping Bent shouldn't be considered in the same way as smaller publishing imprints are now. It's also vital that issues such as concert venues, recording facilities and touring beyond Central Scotland are addressed.

Aiding access to a wider range of music is another aim of the policy. Because the majority of clubs and live music venues operate as licensed premises, music fans under the age of eighteen have limited access to anything outside of mainstream radio and television.

Glory days: Communicado's production of The Cone Gatherers

The end of the century also marks the

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Local heroes: The Delgados, who also run the Chemikal Underground label

Given that buying a new single might be the first direct contact anyone has with the arts, it's important that young Scots have a wider choice than that determined by national playlists.

Ronnie Gurr, the man who signed Stereophonics and Kula Shaker, has been taking part in SAC discussion groups to formulate the policy. ‘The basics are the same for all musicians: you want studio time, you want to make a record, you want to play your music to people. That applies to medieval music, to traditional music, to rock music so they can be viewed on the same playing field. There is already a music industry in Scotland, but it's a lot of cottage industries just getting on with it. Here we have the first step for this sector of the arts to be formally recognised - and I really welcome it.’ (Alan Morrison)

Final curtainfalls ondommunicado

Drrector Gerry Mulgrew and the board This was followed by the

Arctupeiago l.1uigrew has Indicated that he might try to revive the Communicado name - and artistic spmt - in the future.

lhzs week’s news is bound to set any theatre-goers memory racing to an archive of creative delights The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1985), a splendid piece of visual and physical theatre and an adaptation to set the

heart of The List, being the leading piece in the theatre section of the

Queen Of Scots Got Her Head

ia‘terhg attempt at revival that was

pulse racmg, has a special place in the

very first issue Liz Lochhead's Mary

end of one of Scotland's most revered touring companies of recent decades. In a short and simple press release, Theatre Archipelago the recent incarnation of Communicado announced that it was closing as a company.

It is stated that the Scottish Arts Council, who had funded Archipelago over the last few months, have

28 THE “ST 16 Dec 1999-6 Jan 2000

for limited tOuring activrty. As a result of this and losses incurred over the relatively unsuccessful final production, Werewolves, Artistic Director Helena Kaut-Howson reSigned and the company’s board announced its immediate cl05ure.

The unhappy end of Communicado itself came a few years ago, With a public split between long-term Artistic

Chopped Off (1987) will make its

mark in any history of the Scottish theatre in the late 20th century, as Will The Cone Gatherers (1991,). These, though, examples of work by a company which brought genurne splendour to our theatre, while never letting go of its roots in the Scottish community. (Steve Cramer)

are only three

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Short and to the point.

AS THE LIST goes to press, no announcement has yet been made regarding the running of Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms during the Festival Fringe in 2000 and 2001. A spokesperson from the City of Edinburgh Council indicated that a decision was likely to be made mid- December as the assessment process had taken longer than expected.

Earlier this year, the Council put the building out to tender after years of rent disputes with Assembly Theatre. Bids, they said, would be assessed more on the basis of artistic merit than cash offer. However, Assembly Theatre‘s twenty-year track record had been seen by many as unsurpassed: this year alone, its productions were awarded six Fringe Firsts and eleven five star reviews in The List, including Berkoff’s Women, Box The Pony and Lyrebird: Tales Of Helpmann.

With the imminent arrival of the holiday season, it is unlikely that the successful tenderer will be able to begin programming and - of vital importance, given the current financial state of the arts securing sponsorship until January. The Council's delay in bringing the matter to a conclusion could, therefore, have a detrimental effect on the Assembly Rooms' role in Fringe 2000, whoever wins the bid.

NORTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL kicks off the new millennium with 2000 Words, a literary festival that will run from 14 January until 5 February. Author visits, workshops, readings and the launch of an annual creative writing competition will take place alongside theatrical performances of literary works and screenings of films based on books. Highlights include a weekend of Roald Dahl films at Mothervvell ' Moviehouse, Guy Masterson's stage version of Orwell's Animal Farm and, for the kids, a storytelling session with Maisie author Aileen Paterson. For a full programme of events, call 0141 3041956.

Five star performance: Lyrebird at Observer Assembly