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ANNOUNCEMENTS, LINE-UPS AND OPINION
NTS SPRING 2014 SEASON ANNOUNCED Ceilidh-theatre, a musical about Ivor Cutler and a seven-day Commonwealth celebration are among the highlights of the National Theatre of Scotland’s season for the i rst half of 2014. Kieran Hurley’s Rantin brings storytelling and live music to intimate venues across Scotland; Matthew Lenton’s The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler is a collaboration between the NTS and Vanishing Point; and Glasgow’s South Rotunda is the venue for a week-long festival featuring an immersive puppet experience. See nationaltheatrescotland.com
GLASGOW COMEDY FEST LINE-UP UNVEILED Russell Kane, Miranda Hart, Sean Hughes, Paul Sinha, Bridget Christie and Des Clarke are among the comics featured in 416 shows at this year’s Glasgow International Comedy Festival (14 Mar–5 Apr), which also includes kids’ events, i lms, discussions and quizzes. More details at glasgowcomedyfestival.com
NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND 2014 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED Titian, American Impressionism and contemporary Scottish works feature in the National Galleries of Scotland’s wide-ranging 2014 programme. Also set for exhibition are little-known artworks by John Ruskin, a show looking at the impact of World
War I, and even an exhibition exploring golf in art, to coincide with the 2014 Ryder Cup. More details and dates at nationalgalleries.org
TERRACOTTA WARRIORS INVADE EDINBURGH UNI An installation of multi-coloured, larger-than- life lanterns (above) by Chinese artist Xia Nan, inspired by Xi’an’s famous army of terracotta warriors, will be on display in the University of Edinburgh’s Old College Quad from Wed 29 Jan to Fri 7 Feb, in celebration of the Chinese New Year on Fri 31 Jan.
PLANS TO GET SCOTLAND SINGING Big Big Sing, a UK-wide celebration of singing that’s part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, will hold four singing days in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen in February and March to kick off its UK-wide project. Better still, no previous singing experience is needed. Details and dates at bigbigsing.org
THE LIST WINS PPA SCOTLAND AWARD The List’s i lm website has been recognised by Scotland’s Professional Publishers Association with an award for Online Presence of the Year. The site, responsive to desktop, tablets and mobiles, brings together UK-wide i lm listings, reviews and news, and attracts 1.3m visits every month.
EDINBURGH’S PICTURE HOUSE CLOSES
The i nal gig has ended; the scaffolding is up; renovations are underway. With the closure of Edinburgh’s Picture House on 31 December, the Scottish capital has lost its main mid-size music venue. And with coni rmation that previous owners MAMA & Company, who purchased the building in 2008, have sold the premises to JD Wetherspoon – the pub chain notorious for its long hours, cheap prices and absence of live music – it seems unlikely that the 1500-capacity Lothian Road venue will continue to host live gigs. There’s been plenty of vocal
opposition. Former Picture House bar supervisor Callum Mouat has launched an online petition that has attracted over 12,000 signatures. A parliamentary motion brought by MSP Marco Biagi and supported by 28 other MSPs urges JD Wetherspoon to preserve live music in the venue. But while appeals and resistance
have been gathering strength, behind the scenes JD Wetherspoon has been quietly continuing its work to transform the venue into a superpub. A spokesperson for the company coni rmed that planning and licensing applications were currently under discussion. ‘Wetherspoon’s runs pubs, not theatres or music venues,’ he explained. ‘It’s not in our plans at the moment to include music in the venue, but we’re aware of the strength of feeling and we’ve taken on board the MSPs’ concerns. We do have cinemas and theatres connected with some of our other premises, so it’s not out of the question that something similar might happen in Edinburgh.’ Without it, the only winners are likely to be the rail or air companies ferrying Edinburgh audiences to Glasgow or further ai eld for their live music i x.
23 Jan–20 Feb 2014 THE LIST 7