Alan Anderson (left) is building a new comedy venue in a former bank

How setting up Glasgow’s newest comedy venue has uncovered a neglected gem of a building in

Shawlands. Words: Ruth Hedges

t's a Sunny day in Pollokshaws. Warm light bounces oft red

stone. the area is busy With shoppers and school kids and at

Shawland's Cross. opposite the Granary. a building IS being stripped down and rediscovered. The old Glasgow Savings Bank that has lain empty for seven years is in the process of being transtrmed into The Vault Comedy Club. a brand new comedy venue for the SOuthSide of Glasgow. With only a couple more weeks to go befOre doors open on Thu 6 Nov. the race is on. “The place was a mess when we first came in.' says Alan Anderson. project manager. ‘We spent lots of time bringing panelling up to its Original gl0ry. The bank had drilled computer points right thrOugh them.‘ Already carpet tiles. thick With grubby adhesive. have been pulled up to reveal beautiful pale mosaics. fanning out aCross the floor And just as we're admiring them. a workman comes tip With a big grin. ‘Talking of discoveries.' he says. ‘Look what we found today.’ Walking over to the doorway. he pomts to where the plaster has been stripped off and sparkling away are tiny. brilliant. golden

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tiles. ‘l'tat's gorgeous.‘ Azan shouts. And he's right. Edwardians knew how to do things in style and it's taken an architect--turned- COlllOdlalttLlFHCU'VCHUO manager to un :over it again.

Anderson got into comedy while studying in Manchester. JEtCklflg in an architectural career three years ago to pursue his first love. He ran a c:ub at the Cul de Sac itist down the road and his enduring passion or comedy s obvious. lne Vault is programmed right through till April and wi.= play a big part in the Comedy Festival in Marct‘ 2004. ‘Compareo with other cities down south there's not as much. on throughout the year." he says of Glasgow's comedy. 'But it has guahty.‘ This is a welcome extension of that duality and one that wili be complemented with a range of other events such as poetry nights. live music. gui/ nights and even boxmg. ‘No one else in Shawlands prowdes entertamment.‘ he adds. This old Edwardian bank seems well placed to fill the gap. adding further energy to a growing Southside cultural scene.

I The Vault opens on I/iu (5 Nov.

Scheme to transform old High School wins support but needs

more cash. Words: Ruth Hedges

lans to create a Scottish National

Photography Centre have been

brought closer into the frame vrith a 5.750.000 National lottery Heritage grant to develop Edinburgh's old High School. Standing solid and proud on Calton Hill. the 19th century building has the confidence and prominence to celebrate a long- neglected area of Scottish art. ‘If there is an art form. past. present and future that is more centrally Scottish than any other it is photography. 'l‘hat's why it's so important to have this great building to develop it.‘ says Michael Shea. chairman of SNPC and former trustee of the National Galleries.

Incredibly. unlike other bids foi precious

COUHCIiOV/HCU space. the proposais have been met v/ith enthusiasm. ‘lt's all systems go.’ says Shea. 'l‘he city has given us the

best site in Edinburgh. prowded we can get the thing up and running'

And there lies the rub. After the initial feasibility and consenxation survey have been completed. and provided the proposals are given the all clear. it WI“ then be up to the SNPC to raise the money to must: the National Galleries" archive of photography. proVide temporary exhibition space. wOrkshop facilities and a committed educational programme. It's an ambitious idea. and chief executive Graeme Murdoch admits the protect is not Without problems. 'lt's a complex building 7 it's austere from the outside but doesn't mean it can't become vital and energixed inside. It would give us a greater profile and also a greater understanding of ourselves.' Murdoch says. And it's nard to disagree.

l Bono. Beyoncé and Queen are confirmed as headline acts for the '46664‘ concert in Cape Town. Taking its name from Nelson Mandela’s prison number. the aim of the concert is to raise AIDS awareness. and footage will be released on DVD nextyear...

From Bono to another kind of hero. Superman V has finally been greenlit. with cack- handed lensman McG (Char/re '3 Angels) signed on as director. Fanboys have already begun bombarding Warner Brothers with angry e- mails hell hath no fury like a geek scorned . . . Sticking with sequential art. Scots writer Grant Morrison has left behind the X-Men to sign an exclusive deal with DC Comics. Expect to see his ‘unique’ blend of sex and comedy next year. when he re-unites with Glasgow artist Frank Quiter for new title W93 . . .

Channel 4 is seeking volunteers for its next reality show. Too Posh to Wash. Hosted by Kim and Aggie of How Clean is Your House? fame. it seeks to make over people with severe personal hygiene issues. Finally. the EU has pledged £1.75m to produce episodes of Sesame Street in Israel and Palestine. Yasser Arafat is said to be delighted at the prospect of meeting hero Cookie Monster. although reports that Ariel Sharon has given Big Bird 28 days to leave the Gaza Strip are as yet unconfirmed.