Category Archives: FEATURES

FEATURE: Peachy Brew Launched With the Appointment of Fallen’s New Lead Brewer

Our friends at Fallen Brewing, the craft brewery in the old Kippen railway station, has launched a 5.4% (ABV) Peaches and Cream Pale Ale designed and brewed by new Lead Brewer, Jamie Lockhart.

Formerly of Williams Bros, Lockhart has a degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot Watt and has been brewing beers for six years. He will be taking over the day to day brewing of the Fallen Brewing range comprising eight core craft beers, with responsibility for a further 16 special brews including his first creation a Peaches and Cream Pale Ale at 5.4% ABV.

Owner and MD Paul Fallen comments, “Jamie’s technical brewing knowledge will be a real asset to the team and it frees my time up to be able to focus on other areas of the ever-expanding business.”

“Since the installation of our new building and fermenters and implementation of our new canning line earlier this year our output has increased significantly, sales are growing week-on-week and it is the right time for Fallen Brewing to bring in a Lead Brewer to look after daily activities in the Brewhouse.”

“It’s an exciting time to be working at such a dynamic brewery. Paul is really committed to creating an interesting range of rich, full flavoured beers and I’ve been given the go-ahead to add to this range. My first brew is a Peaches and Cream Pale made with lactose, vanilla and the peach which goes in during conditioning. We used Magnum hops for bittering and Simcoe and Cascade which were added at the end of the boil and during fermentation.” Says Jamie Lockhart, Lead Brewer at Fallen Brewing.

Glasgow Theatre Blog had the chance to do a bit of reviewing of the new brew.

This cloudy ale poured with a good head, it has a gentle fruity aroma as befitting its peaches and cream origins, this is a smooth, easy drink with a pleasant, full, lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended.

The Peaches and Cream Pale Ale will be called Southbound, in line with Fallen Brewing’s railway station theme inspired by its location in the Old Kippen Brewery. And the reason it is south bound is that peaches and cream is a traditional dessert in the southern states of America.

It will be available in keg and cans, RRP from £2.80 for 330ml from independent stockists and off-licences across Scotland and the North of England, and online. For a full range of Stockists visit: http://www.fallenbrewing.co.uk/findourbeer/

For our previous review see here

FEATURE: The perfect tipple before the theatre

With so many new beers on offer and Scotland emerging as a leader in the craft beer world, it seemed like it was time for Glasgow Theatre Blog to recommend a pre-theatre tipple. Fallen Brewing, (pronounced Phallin) one of Scotland’s leading craft breweries, has won two awards in the Scottish Beer Awards 2017, Gold for the best Pale Ale category and Silver for a collaboration brew in the best Sour Beer category.

Grapevine 5.4% ABV picked up gold in the category for the Best Pale ale, beating competitor brews from Williams Brothers and Cross Boarders Brewing to the top spot. In the category for sour beer, Spring – a Rhubarb and Citrus Sour beer made at Tempest in collaboration with Fallen, Cromarty and Pilot picked up silver.

“We were really delighted with the results of the awards. This year has been so busy for Fallen Brewing. After making a brave decision at the end of 2016 to invest in our own canning line we weren’t sure how the decision would be received but these awards just prove that it has been worth all the hard work. Our can volumes have increased by 100% over the last year and our output and customers are growing all the time.”  Says Paul Fallen, managing director of Fallen Brewing.

Established in 2014, Fallen Brewing is situated in the old Kippen Railway Station with views towards The Trossachs and The South West Highlands. The range is made using only pure, soft Scottish mountain water and the best hops and malts from around the world.

We had the chance to try out some of Fallen’s most popular brews and give them a mini-review:

Local Motive 3.9% ABV, Session IPA:

Great head, cloudy ale with a fabulous citrus taste.

Grapevine 5.4% ABV, New World Pale Ale

Fruity aroma, pours well, lovely head, slight bitter after taste – a really nice drink.

Chew Chew 6% ABV, Salted Caramel Milk Stout

Poured well, looked like that other famous Irish stout. Yeast aroma, full tasting, very nice lingering taste.

Platform C 6.3% ABV India Pale Ale

A whopping 6.3%, this is a pale ale for serious beer drinkers. No wimps allowed here! Strong, bitter and with a kick, it has a lingering aftertaste. After the initial impact it mellows to a pleasant tipple.

Fallen beers are stocked RRP from £2.10 for 330ml from independent shops across Scotland and Oddbins.

Article: Lauren Humphreys

Beer Reviews: Lawrie Humphreys


 

FEATURE: Tron Ambassadors guest reviews

This month, I again had the chance to work with the Tron Theatre on their Ambassadors programme, delivering their theatre reviewing workshop.

The Tron Ambassadors scheme gives pupils the chance to be behind-the-scenes at a working theatre. It enables young people to make a deeper connection with the Tron Theatre and gain a better understanding of the industry. As well as providing participants with opportunities to take part in workshops, tasks, and interviewing and observing industry professionals, the Ambassadors are given opportunities to understand the transferable skills they are learning and how they can be applied to any career path they choose to take when leaving school.

Below are the reviews submitted by this year’s Ambassadors, I am sure you’ll agree the quality in many instances is equal to that of any published critic. Biographies of the writers are available at: https://www.tron.co.uk/education/work-for-schools/tron_ambassadors/

Stand By – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Daniel Cawley

Stand By is an exceptionally well written and powerful piece of theatre from the pen of former police officer Adam McNamara, who reverently conveys to the audience the warts and all portrayal of the all too often hidden aspect of on the ground police work.

By looking at the strength of character of four very different personalities and how their work impacts on their personal lives, this helps humanise the people behind the uniform who, as authority figures are often perceived as indifferent and emotionless to these qualities.

With much of the action taking place within a simulated, dimly lit police van, the play, on this occasion expertly directed by Joe Douglas, draws the audience in even further through the unique and innovative use of amplified earpieces. These allow the audience to hear radio broadcasts in sync with the actors and immerses them in the tension felt by police officers on call.

With some hilarious comedic moments and strong physical theatre elements this is a show not to be missed and thoroughly deserves the rave reviews received to date.

So, don’t stand by and let this one escape, catch it while you can.

Team Viking – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Daniel Cawley

Following on from its successful run at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, James Rowland brings his captivating one man show Team Viking to audiences across the country.

Using every inch of the almost bare stage and delivering his soliloquy in a black funeral suit, Rowland paints a picture of childhood memories and friendships forged, interspersed with music and rhyme, with verses becoming longer and more descriptive with each passing scene.  The main focus of the show is the personal homage Rowland pays to his friend who has asked for something special when he dies.  And special it is.

Coming quicker than any of them expected (his friend being diagnosed with an aggressive form of heart cancer at the tender age of 25), Rowland and other friend Sarah decide to re-enact a scene from all three’s favourite childhood film The Vikings and proceed to give their friend a Viking send off, casting him adrift in a boat set alight which proceeds to blow up with a ‘BOOM.’

From his hilarious rendition of body snatching from the chapel of rest before his friend becomes one with the earth, through to the genuine anguish he feels in the loss of his friend, Rowland’s expert storytelling can flip the mood from laugh out loud hilarity to sombre and reflective in a split second – leading the audience to experience a genuine emotional rollercoaster during the hour long set.

With simple and effective staging by director Daniel Goldman, this production is beautifully done and the true connotations of the story, albeit alluded to as the end not being the end, strike a chord with much of the audience.

If Team Viking is anything to go by, Rowland’s newest venture 100 Different Words For Love is a must see, even if just to see a storytelling master at his craft.

Team Viking – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Harry Reid

Team Viking is the true story of narrator, James Rowland, giving one of his best friends a proper Viking burial after contracting a very rare type of heart cancer.

From the very start of the performance there’s a strong connection to the characters through Rowland’s way of telling a story. He does a brilliant job of bringing you into his life and making you feel like you are also his friend, you are talking to him and no one else. There are no other actors, which makes the whole story that much more human, it’s like a friend telling you a crazy story that happened to them.

The connection to the characters strengthens as the story progresses, with us following James into his spiral of depression. We can really see and understand the emotions that he was feeling at that time, and by the end of the production, it has you holding back tears, you really see how much James cared for his friend.

The incorporation of the song that Rowland wrote into the play is also very clever. Each time a section of the song was added, it reflects the emotions that James is feeling at that point in the story: with the happy melody at the start, giving off an innocent vibe, then with the vocal inclusion, the use of different tones of voice showed James’ emotions, and then the beat of the song being included when James was at his lowest point. At first, these musical transitions are a bit jarring and confusing, but by the end of the play the puzzle pieces connect and it makes sense.

The delivery is spot on. Rowland manages to nail every joke and strike a reaction from the audience whenever he wants, he speaks to the audience like real people, a trait that’s very admirable. Overall, Team Viking is a wonderful dive into this sentimental story in the life of James Rowland with great acting and delivery. Highly recommended – see it if it ever comes back.

Stand By – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Personal response by Morven Little

On the days leading up to Stand By I was, admittedly, a little sceptical. The premise didn’t particularly spark any interest in me, and the topic isn’t something I tend to gravitate towards, but I tried to remain open-minded. It may not have been a show that I would have necessarily chosen to see, but nevertheless, I wasn’t entirely disinterested; the inclusion of the ear pieces was intriguing, and I was very excited to discover how the stage would be set up. And, ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised.

At first, I struggled a little to get into it, but soon, I actually found myself quite enjoying it. The earpieces, which I had anticipated as being slightly distracting, were an extremely clever addition and enhanced the overall performance. The technology worked wonders in making me feel that I was part of the narrative, and allowed me to connect with the police officers very easily. I especially enjoyed the use of the earpieces at the beginning of the show: as the lights dimmed, a drum beat began playing through the earpieces, and was soon joined by additional instruments playing through the theatre sound system. This, in my opinion, was an excellent touch, and made the audience pay attention to their earpieces from the very beginning.

I also adored the minimalistic way in which the show was presented. By having only four characters and little interaction with the world outside the van (besides transmissions over the earpieces and few sound effects), writer Adam McNamara created a very insular environment. At points in the show, some of the officers would leave the van, but the audience never left with them – we were restricted to the confines of the van. This was effective for a multitude of reasons: it gave those watching an impression of the lack of information about the situation the officers were receiving, allowed the show to be much more character-driven, and gave the audience ample time to connect and get to know the characters – a necessary part of any drama piece. It was like a dramatic monologue with more than one narrator; a simple set up, but with small details throughout in order to give an insight to the absent world outside. My favourite example of this was the sound of raindrops hitting the roof of the van, so silent that I barely even registered it. And the writing itself was just as subtle. Details of each character’s personal lives were weaved into witty banter and smart, sharp dialogue. As the show progressed, you discovered more about their lives out of uniform and developed sympathy for them. I felt as though I knew the characters and found that I genuinely cared about what happened to them – testament to both brilliant performances from the actors and fabulous writing and direction.

Overall, I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed Stand By. It was genuinely funny, believable, sharp and extremely clever, and has encouraged me to be more open to shows that I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen to see.

Team Viking – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Josh Brown

James Rowland stars in this joyous one-man performance reflecting his enjoyment, devastation, struggle with life and the biggest hurdle he has encountered as his best friend Tom is diagnosed with heart cancer and Tom has been given only 3 months to live. But Tom has one wish and that is to have a Viking Burial.

You will cry with laughter then the next minute sadness, as the astonishing acting from Rowland makes you feel so much in the space of so little time. He takes you from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. Rowland connects to his audience on a different level, as through his story you feel as if you’ve known him for years and he’s a close friend, in the theatre he creates a warm atmosphere and you just love him and support him through his struggles.

The comedy is sharp and witty and very natural and to the point. You feel as if you are great pals just having a laugh about something you really know you shouldn’t be laughing about. James’s balance of laughter and the depressing reality of life is phenomenal. This show is an absolute must see.

*****

Stand By – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Lillian Harle

Adam McNamara’s honest telling of policing in Scotland is witty and an honest representation of a life in blue. The audience are emerged in the performance from start to finish, wearing police earpieces with assorted situation reports being sounded. This only adds to the authenticity of the story. He portrays a somewhat mundane operation of four officers in a riot van waiting to be called into action to deal with a machete wielding maniac. The key word here is mundane. McNamara’s use of mundane topics lulls the audience into a false sense of security then smacks them with the brutal honesties of the simple dangers of being a police officer.

With Joe Douglas’ direction and Adam McNamara’s writing as well as performance, Stand By brings an authentic and fresh perspective on the Scottish police force. The audience are faced with four of Scotland’s finest: Chris (Adam McNamara), the sergeant in charge who is riddled with domestic problems; Rachel (Jamie Marie Leary), the straight talking and quick witted female officer; Davey (Andy Clark), the Dundee born and bred officer and Marty (Laurie Scott), an English transfer from London. The actors created a great chemistry between them, all by portraying realistic characters that the audience can relate to.

Natasha Jenkins uses a minimalistic set design in order not to take away from the witty and well written script. McNamara establishes the character’s personalities through the workaday conversation of the officers bored and waiting for orders. The writer creates a tense atmosphere through the use of the earpieces where orders are relayed in real-time to the audience.

Team Viking – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Lewis Cox

Team Viking by James Rowland is a beautiful, simplistic but oddly mesmerising production.

On first entering and realising this is a one man show, there’s a slight trepidation: how on earth would one man be able to entertain an audience for a full hour and 20 minutes? Where on earth was his set? Will we get bored? As soon as the show begins all these questions disappear as quickly as they appear.

Through the simplicity of the lights and staging there are no barriers between the audience and the story. With nothing to guide us except Rowland’s words and movements everything comes naturally with a warming, but also at times moving performance. This is especially refreshing to see as constant set changes or cluttered and busy sets often lead the audience to dart their eyes around to gain understanding as to where they are.

There’s laughter, hysterical at times, but there is an underlining sadness throughout which makes it truly special, something we can all relate too. Directly addressing the audience is a wonderful feature as we feel like an integral part of the story, clinging onto every word anticipating what is going to happen next in this bizarre tale.

The breaking up of the story into what could be almost called ‘chapters’ was effective. Rowland always leaving the audience hanging, anticipating what was to come, mainly thanks to the terrific acting which one minute could have you howling with laughter, or almost in tears.

The Viking hat in the background is a nice simple prop, sitting there constantly reminding us of the meaning and reason for this performance, it helps set the scene more than any fancy backdrop could.

On a negative note, at certain times things need to be explained, or introduced and then the story then rambles off at a tangent, leaving you wishing for the story to kick back into life again.

Overall Team Viking is a heart-warming and hilarious play with some fine acting, and though simplistic, it has the ability to conjure up many emotions. It is a performance that will stick with you well into the journey home.

Team Viking – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Reviewer: Ross Anderson

Team Viking is a one man show where James Rowland tells us a story about his best friend dying and Rowland his friends fulfilling his dying wish, to get a Viking send off. It was a great show with both comedy and sadness. The audience were in tears with laughter one moment then the next full of emotion.

FEATURE: Pyro thrills at Artem Special Effects

In this third photo blog from behind the scenes at Artem, Glasgow it’s time to bring on the wind, rain and fire, as well as the big bangs.

First up some smoke and wind effects:

Next some brave souls getting shot at:

The classic glass breaking:

WALL OF FIRE!

Time for the big bangs:

For anyone who hasn’t followed the first two photo blogs on Artem the Special Effects experts you can find them here and here.

FEATURE: Special Effects Make Up from Artem, Glasgow

In the second blog from behind the scenes at Artem, here’s how those gory wounds you see on the big screen are created. But, first, if you missed the first photo blog, here’s a little background.

Artem Special Effects Ltd has been designing and producing physical special effects for film, television, commercials and music videos since its inception in 1987.  A BBC approved supplier, Artem has fully stocked and serviced workshops in Glasgow and West London. The company works across all creative sectors including film, television, commercials, museums and exhibitions and provides the full spectrum of physical SFX.

Artem’s film credits include T2 Trainspotting, Paddington 2, Valhalla Rising, Perfect Sense, The Eagle, The Legend of Barney Thomson, I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse, Macbeth, Sunset Song, Whisky Galore and the up-coming The Foreigner with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. They have worked with Take That, Meghan Trainor, U2 and Coldplay. In commercials with Nike, Sainsburys, Vodaphone, Sony to name a tiny sample. Theatre work includes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They have also delivered many spectacular, iconic props and SFX for the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics – the giant Voldemort, Queen of Hearts and Cruella de Ville to mention just a few and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – who remembers the giant Tunnocks Teacakes?

FEATURE: BEHIND THE SCENES AT ARTEM SPECIAL EFFECTS’ GLASGOW STUDIO.

Artem Special Effects Ltd has been designing and producing physical special effects for film, television, commercials and music videos since its inception in 1987.  A BBC approved supplier, Artem has fully stocked and serviced workshops in Glasgow and West London. The company works across all creative sectors including film, television, commercials, museums and exhibitions and provides the full spectrum of physical SFX.
Artem’s film credits include T2 Trainspotting, Paddington 2, Valhalla Rising, Perfect Sense, The Eagle, The Legend of Barney Thomson, I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse, Macbeth, Sunset Song, Whisky Galore and the up-coming The Foreigner with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. They have worked with Take That, Meghan Trainor, U2 and Coldplay. In commercials with Nike, Sainsburys, Vodaphone, Sony to name a tiny sample. Theatre work includes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They have also delivered many spectacular, iconic props and SFX for the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics – the giant Voldemort, Queen of Hearts and Cruella de Ville to mention just a few and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – who remembers the giant Tunnocks Teacakes?
This week I was privileged to get a behind the scenes insight into the work of this amazing company. From props to special effect make up, to bombs, fire walls and exploding cars. Here is the first photo blog of the company’s prop work. Next up special effects makeup then the more explosive stuff!

 

FEATURE: NTS Macbeth and The James Plays from scenic model to reality

Behind the scenes at the National Theatre of Scotland’s production hub Rockvilla, were two wonderful scenic models of their most-lauded productions: Macbeth starring Alan Cumming and The James Plays, starring among others Sophie Grabol, Jamie Sives and James McArdle.

Here you can compare the idea to the reality.

First up Macbeth, starring Alan Cumming. And next, The James Plays.

Image: Manuel Harlan

Image: Robert Day

 

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