Mark Pencack paddles into the Glasgow Comedy Festival

Tum laugh back his humour.


Delving into the mind of a storytelling guru

It's not just heavy drinkers from St Helens with a platform at this year‘s Glasgow Comedy Festival. but deranged Canadians too. And this one's for the kids. Mark Pencack of Blueboat Theatre Company returns with a specially devised play. Utter Nonsense. starring the character Tum Tum Tinker. as previously seen in a show of his own name. ‘It’s the story of Tum Tum Tinker who loses his sense of humour because he‘s been working too hard and so goes on a journey,‘ says Pencack. ‘He meets other travellers who are looking for things. like Horace the handsome slug who's driven to be a star in Hollywood. and the duck who wants adventure. Then he meets Sigmund Freud, who says his problems are all in the mind, so Tum has to go inside his own where he discovers that his play head‘s wilted.‘

The psycho-analogy of a stressed-out head neglectful of balancing yin and yang is a scenario many parents will relate to. But Pencack believes it is something children will recognise and understand too. ‘I think stress

runs through our society right down to kids: there’s more pressure there now, it seems to kind of get in the air,‘ he says. And as we are told laughter is the best therapy (scientifically proven executives in Japan are being taken on ‘how to laugh' courses). so Pencack helps

Is there not a touch of Pencack‘s own subconscious coming out in this parable? Despite his almost unfettered success with Blueboat. Pencack is indicating a level of weariness with the way things have developed since he moved here five years ago. ‘I think children’s theatre in general is still concentrated in the hands of a few people. I really don’t know if I‘m going to be doing this the following year. I don‘t know whether the system wants new

companies. I feel like there’s a big sign outside that says: “Full. No vacancies.

So could this be his last show? ‘I wouldn’t be surprised. Certainly at the moment I feel I‘ve worked five years to

come in a big circle.‘

There are many who would disagree, and it would be a crying shame if there was no more Blueboat Theatre in Scotland. So you better get yourself along to potentially the last performances of Tum Tum Tucker, aka Mark Pencack, storyteller and animator extraordinaire. (Ruth Hedges)

I 11331.” .'

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Theatre and Dance

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Activities and Fun

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5731:: Kids

Gossip from school yards across Scotland

Launch of the Citizen Y campaign

NOTORIOUS EDINBURGH ACTOR Gary McCormack, who‘s starred in Sweet Sixteen, The Acid House and Gangs of New York launches a new campaign for Edinburgh‘s youth, Citizen Y. The actor is an interesting choice for being the campaign‘s ‘face'. but says he can understand issues affecting young people due to his experiences growing up and performing in punk rock band the Exploited. He says his outward appearance drew a lot of negative responses. The campaign aims to celebrate the positive role played by young people in Edinburgh. We'll keep you posted on future events.

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THERE‘S GOOD NEWS FOR swimmers as Edinburgh follows Glasgow's suit with an initiative for free swimming. From this month onwards admission charges will be waived for unlimited access to most Edinburgh Leisure pools. Glasgow kids have gone free with a Kidzclub card for some time now. Log on to uk to find out details of further discounts and to download an application form.

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AND NOW BACK TO FESTIVALS. Edinburgh Science Festival, running 11-22 April. has just launched its programme. and very fun it looks too. Visit for details and check out future issues of the The List for listings and highlights.

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