The Front


TAG Theatre art director quits before getting to change the wallpaper

Drama or crisis?

id someone leave shades of grey out of Scotland's cultural paintbox‘.’ It seems we can only manage either runaway triumphs. or abject failures. and there‘s not much space for anything in between. First Edinburgh was celebrating the huge success of the MTV Awards. and then before we knew it. Hogmanay had happened (not). Then our spirits were soaring again as a Glasgow band was proclaimed across the world as the brightest pop sound to emerge in years. Maybe our all-or-nothing attitude is a symptom of the unbearably fragile position of the arts in Scotland. The fact is. for every Franz Ferdinand. there are bands. record companies. venues. art galleries. and theatre companies that are teetering on the brink of insolvency. As if to underline the point. alarm bells have been ringing all over the place this fortnight. and loud enough so that anyone who cares about the arts in Scotland should be seriously concemed. First. there was the £4m bail out for cash-strapped Scottish ()pera: then the Scottish National Galleries chose the front page of a national newspaper to break the news that the organisation can no longer manage on its £l()m budget (plus. shockingly. that it has used .£l.25m of funds allocated for the acquisition of art works to cover an

overspend on basic running costs). And finally. Emily Gray. artistic director of

TAG Theatre. resigned with a swingeing attack on the Scottish Arts Council. describing its actions as ‘limp and illogical‘.

It‘s a year since SAC chairman James Boyle clashed with the Scottish Executive. complaining that its funding allocation for the arts was ‘crackers‘. Mr Boyle has been strangely silent since then. preferring to woo new culture minister Frank McAveety behind the scenes rather than doing battle in public. But with the latest SAC budget figures showing funding for most arts organisations at a standstill. his views cannot have changed.

Boyle came to the SAC with a reputation for modernising Radio 4. and very soon he needs to show evidence of similar success with arts funding. Here‘s the bottom line: if more money is not found for music. theatre. art and dance. we can expect plenty of toe-curling announcements of defeat from creative people who have given up the light. And that will ultimately be very bad news for us. the passionate and long-suffering audience.


SEMAPHORE YOUR LOVE A It's that time of year again, where you declare your love to your partner (or a complete stranger). And boys. this year

is a leap year so all those young ladies who were brought up on Anne of Green Gables may be working towards the creation of that marital home.

To avoid any sticky offer/refusal situations on the big day. why not eschew modern technology. Don't text. 8 email or lnterflora y0ur proclamations of love go back to basics. How about reviving the ancient naval art of semaphore to tell your loved one that you like them but you really don't want to live with them? Or what about pigeon post. the hand-written letter (very retro). or even smoke signals.

C And while we are at it, let's swap our mobiles for two yoghurt cartons attached by a long piece of string. m I Valentine '3 Day is on Sat 74 Feb. get out of town now.

10 THE LIST 13—19 Feb 200d

Music Alistralianabombut wrestling}: Brody Dall‘eand pals finally.Lmiaké‘liiQVBl3756

flex their/punk musqles 7 Virulent rock'stOrm. See.Music,',page ' Glasgow; " . 3

.54 David MGKQGJ} v * I Kids The march of the biggest Country’s

-8 Manhunt. .. -

1 Dogville

Film Lars von Trier’s stunning drama about a young woman who arrives in a remote community breaks down many of cinema’s traditional boundaries. Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall and Paul Bettany star. See Film, pages 28 and 29. Selected release.

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3 School of Rock

Film Jack Black plays a bum musician who cheats his way into a teaching post at a posh school, only to teach his students in the style of Led Zeppelin. Richard Linklater directs. See feature and Film, pages 12 and 27. General release.

army goes on in McKe'e's'brilliant new fable _. V The Conquerors as the generalfandfhis,

r , people continue to believe thattheir way of

life was the best’. See Kids, Mgé 97.

i f Anderson Press.

5 24

TV Jack’s back; and he’s mightily miffed. This season it’s a bio-terrorist attack that’s keeping Kiefer from his beauty sleep. See Watch them this Fortnight, page 103 Sky One.

6 Palomar - > . Comics Gilbert Hernandez’ remarkable hippie graphic stories are collected in'this‘

SOD-plus page heavyweight coffee table

format hardback edition. See Comics. page i 106 Fantagraphics. *

7 Ouroubouros

Art This group show features Glasgow-based artists, putting their work in a wider context by showing them alongside art by international art icons such as Robert Smithson. See Art, page 89 CCA, Glasgow.

GamesProbably notions "to play when the kids are awake..- We sample" another torrent 'of ; rultraviol'eric’e 4- .but ,‘with a point. And the voice, , 7‘ 0f Brian Cox. Games, page 109 Rockstar.

9 Scissor Sisters

Music With their synergy of 703 disco campery and 805 artsy electropop, you can’t dismiss them as pure tat. Well, you can; but don't. See Music, page 48 Glasgow Art School; Venue, Edinburgh.

1.: clubsTrouble’s. back on track andthis‘yenue I l ._”;,;i'_s__for~qtiality music; The. ,. rsornpost'specral with programmer/mascara ' “earner Truby. see‘Clubs-r 'page,78"*'Cellar:Bar,; *