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From the small screen TV adaptation ‘i. of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus t series to the newly announced big screen blockbuster version of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, Scottish and Scotland-based authors continue to provide the entertainment industry with some of its best quality material.
Inspector John Rebus makes his 3,1 television debut in the form of John ’ v Hannah in April. Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg has just confirmed he will direct the first of Edinburgh-based Rowling’s phenomenally successful Potter books, either as a Toy Story- style computer animated feature or, more likely, a live action film shot on location in Britain (which would be more faithful to the book). This news breaks in the same month that the second adaptation of an Iain Banks novel is released: the thriller Complicity, adapted by Bryan Elsley and directed by Gavin Millar, the duo who previously collaborated on The Crow Road.
Following the enormous success of the film adaptation of Trainspotting (and, to a lesser extent, The Acid House), Irvine Welsh became the most famous Scottish literary source for filmmakers. But, historically, Scottish writers have always provided material for classic films: almost every book by Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (and its many thematic variations), John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps and Muriel Spark's The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, to reel off but a few.
At any time you can be sure there will be a number of Scottish literary adaptations in the works. At the moment, Glasgow-based Bernard Mac Laverty, who penned the scripts for his own books Cal and Lamb, is
Page to screen: Jonny Lee Miller in Complicity
working on a new project. There's also a script of Alasdair Gray's wildly eccentric take on Victorian Gothic, Poor Things just waiting to be filmed. And there’s more; in various stages of production are the film adaptations of Alan Warner's Morvern Callar (being directed by Lynne Ramsay), Toni Davidson's Scar Culture, Luke Sutherland’s Jelly Roll, Douglas Lindsay's The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson (for which the film options were sold before the book was published), and lsla Dewar’s Women Talking Dirty, starring Helena Bonham-Carter and Gina McKee.
‘We've had a lot of interest in a lot of our writers,’ notes Jamie Byng of Canongate Books, who published Scar Culture. 'There are so many good writers in Scotland, and fiction has always provided a basis for screenplays and for films. So the ongoing acclaim for Scotland's writers is bound to result in more screen adaptations.’ (Miles Fielder)
;; Complicity opens Fri 28 Jan. See review, page 25.
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offiCial launch of the station takes place at Alaska in Bath Street on Thursday 17 February.
The station has proved to be a considerable launch pad for young
Scottish radio talent: Richard Wilkinson, now Head of Music Programming at new Scottish
independent station Beat 106, cut his teeth at Sub City. ’There are very strong links between Sub City and Beat 106,’ notes Lousada. 'Bob Peck, now production manager for Beat 106, worked on Sub City, and Adam Newton, manager of Sub City two years ago, is now also working for
returns to Glasgow’s airwaves
Sub City Radio, Glasgow University's student-run radio station, is set to broadcast again during February. The station returns to the air on 105.4 FM, 24 hours a day for 28 days, from Saturday 19 February until Friday 17 March. In addition to the radio broadcasts, Sub City hope to have an on-line presence.
‘Our aim is to have is to have some
Radio stars: Silicone Soul
kind of internet broadcasting,’ explains the station's PR Manager, Tom Lousada. 'Details have not been firmed up yet, but the site will have programme scheduling and other information initially.’ The web page will be launched at The Lighthouse on Friday 11 February in an event which will also explore radio design and the future of radio in the let century. The
Several artists who once presented shows on Sub City have also moved on to greater things, including The Jengaheads and Slan‘i's Orde Meikle and Stuart McMillan. Presenters confirmed so far for Sub City's programmes include Soma Records artist Silicone Soul, DJ Mingo-go, The Operators, Yang’s Charlie lnman and Michael Peck, and hip hop crew The Freek Menoovers. (Mark Robertson)
News in bite-sized bits.
THE SCOTTISH ARTS COUNCIL's first open meeting will take place at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre on Tuesday 25 January. 'Over several years, we have been making ourselves more and more open and accountable, most recently by holding council meetings and public meetings outside Edinburgh twice a year, and through the introduction of regular media briefings,’ says SAC Chairman, Magnus Linklater. ’Opening up our council meetings, not just to the arts sector and media, but also to the general public, is the next big step.‘ Public business will be discussed from 9.30am—12.30pm, with more commercially sensitive and personnel issues following on from 12.30—1pm. Copies of the agenda and council papers are available from Michael Hance on 0131 226 6051.
SCOTTISH OPERA’S PRODUCTION of Macbeth, which received rave reviews at the 1999 Edinburgh International Festival, will be performed at this year’s Vienna Festival in May — the first time the company has been invited to Austria’s premier arts event. Directed by Luc Bondy, this version of the Verdi opera also returns to Scottish stages in May and June.
COMMONWEALTH FESTIVAL WEEK is set for 13—17 March, with various events, all open to the public, taking place across Edinburgh. Organised by the Royal Over-Seas League, the festival includes a piano duo concert by Phillip Moore and Simon Crawford-Phillips, an arts lunch with speakers Russell Hunter and Una MacLean, an art exhibition titled Foursight, and a Commonwealth Day Lunch to be addressed by Jim Wallace MSP, the Deputy First Minister. A multi-cultural Commonwealth Day Service, attended by HRH Princess Royal, will be held at St Giles’ Cathedral on Monday 13 March. Tickets for events go on sale at Over-Seas House, 100 Princes Street, Edinburgh (0131 225 1501) on Wednesday 2 February.
Verdi in Vienna: Richard Zeller in Macbeth
20 Jan—3 Feb 2000 THE LIST21