Commissioned by Hospitalfield and Arbroath 2020+1, Over Lunan is an extraordinary promenade performance in the dunes of Lunan Bay in Angus, Scotland. Created by Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of social action and arts organisation Aproxima Arts with dramaturg and former Artistic Director of Unicorn Theatre Purni Morell, this significant live commission blends an atmospheric ambisonic sound installation and live music with elements of public memorial. As darkness falls, audience members become immersed in one of Scotland’s most stunning coastal locations; in an unusual work that draws on the fragility of the natural world and ancient flood mythologies. This special open-air production running from 9 – 19 September (no performance on 13th) is designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed, socially distant environment.
Angus Farquhar has assembled an inspiring team to produce Over Lunan which includes Purni Morell as dramaturg and co-script writer, composer of electroacoustic music Andrew Knight-Hill, trumpeter and conductor Bede Williams, Director of Chapel Choirs at the University of St Andrews Claire Innes-Hopkins, musician and composer Cameron Sinclair with music recorded by the St Salvator’s Chapel Choir which is based at St Andrews University.
The team also includes Angus Farquhar’s long-term collaborator designer James Johnson and world-leading Assyriologist Nathan Wasserman.
Angus Farquhar said: “As we began to research the name Lunan through the location and the family name, we found some unusual thinking linking to Luna the Roman divine embodiment of the moon, then back further through time to Lu-Nanna, one of the Apkallu – ancient Mesopotamian demi-gods, half-human and half-fish who walked out of the sea to bring knowledge to humanity. Within these first creation myths, pre-biblical stories of a great flood began to appear in epic poetry. In the real world we find the remarkable story of the Storegga Slides which caused a gigantic tsunami that destroyed Scotland’s north east shores 8100 years ago. All this seems pertinent to the world now, with sea levels rising due to climate crisis and thousands dying as they cross the seas, trying to escape wars or in search of a better life.
“Over Lunan is Aproxima Arts first major production and we cannot wait to hear what local audiences – and those able to travel from further afield – think of the stories we’re exploring.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Over Lunan through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund as part of the celebrations for Arbroath Festival 2020+1 and in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. As restrictions continue to ease it is great to see more live events starting to take place as they play an important role in our communities by providing both great entertainment as well as bringing social and economic change.”
Over Lunan is part of Arbroath Festival 2020+1, a 3-month long celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath which was postponed by a year due to the global pandemic. An apolitical festival championing the creativity in the region, Arbroath Festival will see the area busy across the summer months with live performances, cultural trails, exhibition and family events, all led by the local community.
Accompanying Over Lunan, a radio play produced by Steve Urquhart and written and directed by Purni Morell will premiere on Radio North Angus and Resonance FM this summer. It will explore the story of journalist Charlie Ross who spent a summer in Lunan Bay in 2015, investigating the area’s history and mythology, and the natural forces that have shaped this coast through millennia. He died before his work was complete, but his discoveries, including Lunan’s connection to the ancient cultures of the Middle East, are now brought to life posthumously in this radio play.
Tickets for Over Lunan go on sale at 10am on Wednesday, 30 June with a 33% discount for local audiences available. Those keen on making the event part of a bigger experience exploring the natural beauty of Angus are welcome to book a camping spot on Lunan Farm sitehere. For full FAQs, including information on accessibility, parking and how to get to Lunan Bay, click here.
The event is presented in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and generously supported by the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Creative Scotland, William Grant Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.
Award-winning Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical, featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, will be touring the UK and Ireland in 2021 and 2022, with the Scottish premier taking place at the King’s Theatre Glasgow from the 19 – 30th October. Tickets for the tour are now on sale.
The show, which blew audiences away in the UK, Canada and USA and given Jim Steinman’s masterpiece Bat Out Of Hell is the highest selling album of all time in Australia, will be performing throughout Australia in November 2021, and the production is looking forward to working with Paul Dainty President and CEO of TEG DAINTY.
Casting is to be announced.
Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and London’s Dominion Theatre from 2017 to 2019. The musical also ran successfully in Canada, Germany and at New York’s City Centre in 2019.
Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards and was nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical.
Producer Michael Cohl said today, “We’ve all been through a lot these past 15 months and we now need a really good night out with friends and family. Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical will give you the most fun night you can have in the UK and Ireland this year (with your clothes on)! People will once again be able to dance and sing along to these great Steinman songs. This musical was Jim Steinman’s life-long dream and he was incredibly proud of the love the show received from critics and audiences alike. This tour will be in memory of Jim.”
Scottish operatic stars, Katie Grosset and Colleen Nicoll, are set to captivate opera fans next week with four days of the best of Mozart and Italian opera, performed beside the River Tummel in the picturesque grounds of Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
Between 17-20 June, audiences will have the opportunity to relax and float away to the magnificent sounds of one of the greatest and most influential classical composers of all time – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Around the three Mozart concerts, Katie Grosset and Colleen Nicoll will thrill audiences, with three unforgettable performances of Italian opera, featuring the works of Puccini, Verdi, Vivaldi, Ponchielli, Rossini and Giordani and more, with something for everyone – from opera first-timers to consummate opera gurus.
Perthshire soprano, Colleen Nicoll has performed roles in numerous operatic productions including the title role in Handel’s Semele, Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Britten), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart), Diana (Actéon– Charpentier), Yum (The Mikado – Gilbert and Sullivan), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore – Donizetti), Lady Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement – Lenox Berkeley), Galatea (Acis and Galatea – Handel).
She sang the role of Titania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Minack Theatre, including a special performance for HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Colleen recently made two role debuts as Queen of the Night and Dido with the Scots Opera project, in world premières of new Scots Language translations of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Colleen Nicholl said:
“Growing up in Dunkeld I enjoyed many shows at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. When I was about 10 years old, I entered a competition to write a review of a play. I won the competition, and the prize was a backstage tour of the theatre. I was so excited and loved learning how it all worked behind the scenes! I also got to read my review out on the local radio station, and I remember telling the producer at the time that one day they would be able to see me perform at that theatre… and here we are, I kept my promise!
It is a wonderful feeling performing to a ‘home crowd’ and I am delighted to be working with such a fantastic team and to be performing alongside Katie.”
Scottish mezzo-soprano, Katie Grosset trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Opera Studio Vlaanderen and at the National Opera Studio in London. Highlights in recent seasons include Mother Vixen in Fox-tot, Mezzo soloist in The Opera Factory and The 8th Door (Scottish Opera); Nightingale in The Nightingale and the Rose (Pegasus Opera); Olga in Eugene Onegin for Opera Bohemia; Roméo I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Pop-Up Opera; Second Lady in The Magic Flute for St John Opera; Shoushan in Tchouhadjian’s Gariné at Grimeborn; and Mercédès in Carmen for Nevill Holt Opera. Other notable engagements include Flora and Annina in La Traviata, Third Witch in Macbeth, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, and the Opera Highlights Tour (Scottish Opera); and the title role in Xerxes (Byre Opera).
Katie Grosset said:
“Having toured Scotland very extensively, weirdly, I have actually never had the opportunity to perform in the beautiful town of Pitlochry. Having enjoyed many performances here as an audience member, I’m excited to be singing here with the incredibly talented Colleen.”
An Afternoon/Evening Celebrating Mozart will be performed on 17 and 20 June at 2pm and in the evening of 19 June at 7.30pm. An Afternoon/Evening at the Italian Opera will take place on 18 and 19 June at 2pm and in the evening of 20th June 7.30pm.
Tickets are priced from £18-£25. Capacity is limited for a safe, socially distanced, outdoor event.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence, that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!
An Afternoon Celebrating Mozart – 17 & 20 June at 2pm
An Evening Celebrating Mozart – 19 June at 7.30pm.
An Afternoon at the Italian Opera will take place on 18 & 19 June at 2pm
An Evening at the Italian Opera –20 June at 7.30pm
A triple bill of solos, looking backwards and forwards at Kay’s personal experience as an older female in dance, will be performed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on Saturday 24 July.
21 years on from her first-ever solo show, Absolute Solo, which she performed in the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, and six years since last appearing on stage herself, Edinburgh-born Kay returns to performing with a triple bill of solos. Her new work, Adult Female Dancer, was created in the 2020 lockdown and explores the deep emotional connection between her life and dance. Now, as an older dancing female, she has something to say about the female body and the experience of being female and being on stage. Part autobiography, part socio-anthropological study, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.
The triple bill also includes an archive film of the international award-winning Patisserie (1999) and Kay’s first public performance of Artemis Clown (originally commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance Company).
As part of making Adult Female Dancer, she completed a five-day ‘virtual’ residency at C-DaRE, (Centre for Dance Research at the University of Coventry), where she spent time thinking about her own life and her own body as the material. As well as looking at themes in her 1999 debut solo works, she revisited her 1998 university dissertation that explored female solo choreographers of the early 20th Century. Using these early influences, Kay has also been looking at core feminist texts and their relevance to today’s society. Partly autobiographical, part meditation on the need to dance, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.
Rosie Kay said: “Going back on stage again, after a break of many years has been an extraordinary experience. I used lockdown as a chance to rediscover my body, adapt it to dancing again, and mined my own life to create a new solo that is part autobiography, part celebration of a life dedicated to dance. I don’t shy away from the big stuff; life, death, violence, pain, and childbirth all come up, but ultimately there is deep joy in a life given to art. I use the music of Bach, Morricone, and Patti Smith as well as my own voiceover to tell my story. I wanted to say something deeply personal about being a woman on stage, as well as have a universal message that anyone can connect to and enjoy. The whole triple bill weaves themes of sex, performance, identity and vulnerability. It is scary and exciting to be finally showing these works to the world!”
Rosie Kay stopped performing in 2015, after a career spanning over thirty years on stage and has been happy to be behind the scenes for the past five years choreographing her critically acclaimed works 5 SOLDIERS, 10 SOLDIERS, MK ULTRA, and Fantasia amongst others. However, she has felt the draw to perform again, which was reignited when she had to stand in for one of the 5 SOLDIERS dancers on the company’s tour of the USA in February 2020.
Take a jaunt down to the banks of the River Tummel and join Mr. Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger on their magical adventures in Pitlochry Festival Theatre must-see, family, summer stage production of Kenneth Grahame’s enduring story of friendship, courage, consequence, and bravery – The Wind in the Willows.
Adapted for the stage by Mark Powell andperformed in the spectacular setting of the banks of the River Tummel, The Wind in the Willows, runs from 2 July – 12 September.
When Mole wakes up after a particularly long winter, the whole world has changed around her. The riverbank seems to be bursting with new faces, fads, and fears. Luckily for Mole, with new friends like Rat, Badger and Mr Toad motoring along for the ride through the Wild Wood, life will never be sleepy again!
Playwright Mark Powell said:
“It’s been a treat spending lockdown with Mole and her friends and working out how to celebrate their classic adventure in a contemporary way. Knowing that audiences are also coming out of hibernation to join the animals on an actual riverbank will give our Willows an extra special sense of celebration!”
Directors Elizabeth Newman and Ben Occhipinti added.
“We think it is safe to say The Wind in the Willows by the brilliant Scottish novelist Kenneth Grahame, is one of the most loved family stories ever to be told, and retold. The characters have captivated audiences in theatres, on our screens and through the radio for many, many decades. As soon as we started pondering making work outdoors, it felt like we almost had to do The Wind in the Willows. After all, our beautiful Theatre sits on a Riverbank. As soon as we decided to tell this story, we leapt to commission the wonderful Mark Powell to write the adaptation. Some of the finest work we have seen made for families has been led by Mark. His humour, his love of life, his love of people – little and big – shines in everything he writes.
We also felt producing The Wind in the Willows would give us a brilliant opportunity to continue to connect with new and established audiences we reached during the festive period when we made The Magic of Christmas. As we have said, people love the story and right now it feels vital that PFT creates work for people of all ages to come together and experience a fantastic tale that makes them laugh and offers them a truly joyful afternoon or evening on the Riverbank!
Audiences can expect all their favourite characters, new music and songs, dancing and Mr Toad exclaiming gleefully ‘Poop! Poop!’ from his motorcar for everyone in Highland Perthshire to hear.”
The production’s exciting cast will feature Jane McCarry (Isa Drennan in Still Game, BBC Scotland, and Granny Murray in Me Too! CBBC) as Badger; Colin McCredie (Taggart, ITV and River City , BBC Scotland) as Toad; Alicia McKenzie (Quality Street, Northern Broadsides and Blonde Bombshells of 1943, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Mole; Ali Watt (A Christmas Carol, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Ratty; Richard Colvin (Sunshine on Leith, UK tour and A Christmas Carol, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Weasel; Connor Going (Footloose, UK tour and The Choir of Men, US and Australia tour) as Otter and Kate Milner-Evans (Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Crazy for You, Jamie Wilson Productions) as Rabbit. All other roles will be played by the cast.
Co-directed byPitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman (Adventures with the Painted People and Faith Healer, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and Associate Director, Ben Occhipinti (Blonde Bombshells of 1943 and Summer Holiday, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), The Wind in the Willows promises to be a real family treat this summer.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s determination to keep capacity safely reduced, and committed adherence to social-distances, reduces the potential for, and impact of, crowded spaces and any overwhelming busy-ness. The late, light nights of the Scottish summertime mean shows will never be in darkness and any chatter or loud sounds will be mitigated naturally by the outdoor acoustics. Anyone that feels the need to take some time out of a Riverside show can do so, and then return when they feel ready. The outdoor spacious setting in the Bandstand area allows the ability to move around more freely – and in the Amphitheatre at the interval, there is a beautiful setting to get some space if needed. Staff will always be on-hand wearing a name badge for any questions or help needed.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can be too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!
Michael Harrison has announced the cast for Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which will make its world premiere as an exciting new stage musical this Summer on a major UK & Ireland Tour.
Performances begin at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Saturday 14 August 2021, a Scottish Premiere at the King’s Theatre Glasgow in November, with the UK Tour recently extended through to May 2022. The tour includes a 5-week Christmas season at Leeds Grand Theatre.
Dianne Pilkington will star as Miss Eglantine Price, the mysterious lady that the three orphaned Rawlins children are evacuated from wartime London to live with. Dianne’s West End credits include Les Miserables,Wicked, Mamma Mia and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.
Charles Brunton will play Emelius Browne. Charles starred in the iconic role of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda both in the West End and on Broadway. Other credits include Love Never Dies, Chess and Scrooge.
The rest of the company includes Mark Anderson, Jessica Aubrey, Georgie Buckland, Kayla Carter, Jonathan Cobb, Jacqui Dubois, Matthew Elliot-Campbell, Sam Lupton, Rob Madge, Vinnie Monachello, Nathaniel Morrison, Conor O’Hara, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Robin Simoes Da Silva, Emma Thornett and Susannah Van Den Berg.
The Rawlins children will be played by Dexter Barry, Izabella Bucknell, Haydn Court, Poppy Houghton, Evie Lightman and Aidan Oti.
Enter a world of magic and fantasy with Disney’s classic movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks. With the original songs by the legendary Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), including Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing, The Beautiful Briny and new music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill, Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be brought to life by award-winning theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.
When the three orphaned Rawlins children are reluctantly evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price, they have no idea what adventures lie ahead. Upon discovering Eglantine to be a trainee witch, they join forces to search for a secret spell that will defeat the enemy once and for all. Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed, they encounter surprising new friendships on their journey from Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful briny sea.
Following the success of its first outing, Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends – The Musical, returns to theatres, starring West End and TV favourite, Lee Mead. This hugely entertaining musical is based on the hit TV show Fat Friends, that starred James Corden and Ruth Jones. Created and directed by the brilliant award winning Kay Mellor, (In the Club, Girlfriends, Band of Gold), whose latest hit series of The Syndicate has just run on BBC ONE and with original music and songs by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, Fat Friends – The Musical reunites our favourite foodie friends as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local slimming club, whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams.
Edinburgh-based theatre company Grid Iron is pleased to confirm that its site-responsive outdoor adaptation of Erlend Loe’s best-selling book Doppler will take place as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021.
The play was originally scheduled to be presented at last year’s Fringe with the plans then pivoted to a digital sharing in light of the Covid-19 related restrictions. With only a few days of outdoor filming achieved due to Storm Francis, the Company had decided to instead produce a documentary film charting the story of the show and its production, Doppler – The Story so Far, which was released for free in March 2020 and watched by almost 10,000 people worldwide.
Grid Iron is also thrilled to reveal it is one of a group of 15 shows and five venues awarded first ever Fringe Artist and Venue Recovery Fund.
Judith Doherty, Chief Executive and Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron Theatre Company said: “After this roller-coaster of a ride that was Doppler – from the seed being planted in Ben Harrison’s mind when he read the book almost 3 years ago and plans for a Festival 2020 run, through to a digital sharing and finally the documentary – we could not be more excited to announce our 2021 plans for a live, outdoor sharing of the play.
“We are so grateful to the Fringe for this grant because it will allow us to provide BSL interpreted performances as part of the run and other access materials to make sure that our audience, although small in number, can be wide in reach.”
Doppler is an adaptation of a satirical novel by a Norwegian writer Erlend Loe, translated to English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw. It focuses on Doppler, a man who, following the death of his father, decides to abandon his family and move to the forest on the outskirts of Oslo. He is determined to live a life as far removed from his previous as possible but struggles to maintain his isolation as his existence garners a lot of unwanted attention.
Produced and presented strictly following Scottish Government’s safety guidelines, Doppler will be staged outdoors and feature a small cast of four. Further information, including venue, dates and cast, will be announced in due course.
Grid Iron are an Edinburgh-based theatre company who, following their incorporation in 1995 and their first show Clearance at the Traverse, Edinburgh, swiftly gained a reputation for creating high-quality, high profile shows. The Company went on to specialise in presenting shows in unusual locations. They are a new writing company who work in challenging sites that lend themselves especially well to Grid Iron’s taut production style. Occasionally they create work for the stage or use theatre buildings in a site-specific, promenade manner.
In 1997 Grid Iron produced their first full-scale site-specific production, The Bloody Chamber, their adaptation of Angela Carter’s Bluebeard fairytale, which they presented in famously haunted underground vaults beneath Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile. It was the company’s first appearance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, by the opening night, the show had sold out for its entire three-week run. Awards: Herald Angel for Outstanding Contribution and Achievement in Theatre and Total Theatre Nominations for Best Newcomers and Best Design.
Sonia Friedman Productions is delighted to announce that the first ever UK tour of hit musical Dreamgirls, which was due to start in 2020, will now open at the Liverpool Empire Theatre this December before visiting cities right across the country throughout 2022 and into 2023.
Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’, this sensational, multi-award winning production of Dreamgirls had its critically acclaimed West End Premiere in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, 35 years on from opening on Broadway.
Meet The Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.
As previously announced, Nicole Raquel Dennis will play the role of Effie White in the UK tour of Dreamgirls. Her London stage credits include Alana Beck in the original West End cast of Dear Evan Hansen (BBTA winner – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), the original West End cast of Waitress (Adelphi Theatre), The Book Of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre).
A finalist on ITV’s The Voice in 2019, Nicole Raquel Dennis wowed viewers and judges at her blind audition, performing Dreamgirls mega-hit ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ alongside team mentor Jennifer Hudson. Hudson won an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress) for her portrayal of Effie White in the 2006 Oscar-winning motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls which also starred Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.
Nicole Raquel Dennis will play the role of Effie White in the Dreamgirls UK tour at certain performances with further casting to be announced soon.
This award winning production is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier® and Tony® Award winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set and Costume Design by Tim Hatley, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker, Hair Design by Josh Marquette and Music Supervision by Nick Finlow.
With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, with Additional Material by Willie Reale, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls was Directed by Michael Bennett who Co-Choreographed the show with Michael Peters. The production opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony® Awards with the original cast recording winning two Grammy® Awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’
The Original London Cast Recording of hit West End musical Dreamgirls is available via Sony Masterworks Broadway.
The UK and Ireland tour of Dreamgirls is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Greenleaf Productions, Fakston Productions, Rupert Gavin/Mallory Factor, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Griffin Dohr in association with 1001 Nights Productions, Steven Rivellino
Glasgow International, one of the UK’s largest and most influential visual arts festivals, has announced details of its ninth edition, which will take place across the city from 11 – 27 June 2021. Comprising over 70 exhibitions and events, performances and talks at over 30 spaces across the city and online, and showcasing work by over 100 artists; the 2021 festival – originally scheduled to open in April 2020 – will highlight Glasgow as a centre for the production and display of innovative contemporary art.
The festival comprises a Commissioned Programme of larger-scale commissions and exhibitions in collaboration with partners and venues, as well as Across the City, a wider programme of exhibitions and projects, selected from proposals by artists, curators and producers who live and work in Glasgow. This year’s Glasgow International will also present a Digital Programme through its website glasgowinternational.org, giving artists an alternative space in which to present work.
Highlights of the 2021 programme include:
New commissions by Martine Syms, Georgina Starr and Jenkin van Zyl
The first posthumous solo exhibition of work by the late Scottish painter Carol Rhodes (b. Edinburgh, 1959; d. Glasgow, 2018) in her homeland, with previously unseen drawings and paintings displayed at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
A new film by Alberta Whittle, co-commissioned with Glasgow Sculpture Studios as part of the Canal Programme in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21
A new commission by Turner Prize-winning artist Duncan Campbell at Glasgow’s legendary Barrowland Ballroom
New work by Ingrid Pollard at Glasgow Women’s Library, developed in response to its Lesbian Archive and Information Centre, the largest of its kind in the UK
Across outdoor sites in the city, The Common Guild presents Sam Durant’s Iconoclasm – a series of drawings depicting acts of destruction enacted upon public statues and monuments.
A hybrid programme curated by the Roberts Institute of Art presents performance work by Paul Maheke, Nina Beier and Lina Lapelytė
GI2021 premieres its first major Digital Programme, featuring work by over 30 artists.
The theme of this year’s Glasgow International is Attention. Our relationship to attention has changed radically in the past twelve months, even if its significance has not. The festival is a special moment, a crescendo in the creative rhythm of the city, and GI2021 seeks to step outside the everyday and open up a new space for looking, thinking and spending time with artists’ work, and to see afresh the intent behind it.
Visitors will encounter certain commissions and exhibitions which involve a forensic concentration – deep and ongoing investiture in a single concern or set of concerns. In others, there is evidence of an exacting attention to the crafting and honing of artworks. Others might involve intensely personal examinations of the self, or explore social and political concerns such as the making of coloniality or the navigation of prejudice.
Highlights from the Commissioned Programme include:
A Tramway and GI co-commission, Martine Syms presents S1:E4, a new episode in Syms’ project SHE MAD (2015-ongoing), in which the artist incorporates elements of the sitcom format and past TV series to explore ‘the sign of blackness in the public imagination’. A video installation in Tramway’s largest gallery follows the central character of Martine, an aspiring artist, as she experiences a flashback to the summer of 2000, and her experience of an empowerment programme for teenage girls founded by a supermodel and business mogul.
On the upstairs balcony of the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow-based artist France-Lise McGurn presents a sculptural installation that responds to the painting Reading Aloud (1884) by Albert Moore, which hangs in the museum’s stairwell.
An immersive sculptural installation by Jenkin van Zyl in Tramway’s T4 Theatre invites viewers into a scenario invoking claustrophobia, sexual ecstasy, hysteria and ‘folk horror’. At the heart of the work is In Vitro, a new film in which characters enact looped rituals of reproduction and self-pollination in an effort to achieve community, individuation and re-enchantment.
One of the most in-depth presentations to date of work by the late Scottish painter Carol Rhodes (b. Edinburgh, 1959; d. Glasgow, 2018), whose drawings, paintings and reference materials, many previously unseen, will be displayed at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This first posthumous solo exhibition of Rhodes’ work in Scotland focuses on her rarely exhibited drawings, alongside key paintings, and invites close examination of her artistic processes and preoccupations.
The first presentation in Scotland of Total Recall (1987), a monumental multi-channel video installation by the pioneering American artist Gretchen Bender (1951-2004) at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Sourced from US TV commercials and Hollywood films, the work comprises 24 stacked TV monitors and three projection screens to present a compelling 18 minute performance of moving images.
Turner Prize-winning artist Duncan Campbell presents a new work, cinematic in scale, at The Barrowland Ballroom. The work marks the culmination of several years of research and planning by the artist and combines film, audio and sculpture. A giant electromagnetic mechanical display, akin to a message board at a railway station or airport, creates highly pixelated moving images alongside a recorded audio monologue. Inspired by the artist’s interest in the novels of Samuel Beckett, the work interrogates the relationship between memory and what appears on the screen. Supported by Art Fund.
Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei’s first commission for a public institution in Scotland, Drama O’Rama: Other Scenes, is a large-scale site-specific installation at The Pipe Factory which sees the artist present work over two floors, filled with abstracted sculptural forms: each pertaining to states of mind and which, taken together, suggest an open-ended narrative.
At Tramway, a major new film commission by Georgina Starr,Quarantaine, continues Starr’s preoccupation with the otherworldly and the occult, as well as her longstanding interests in the visionary aspects of experimental cinema, furthering her exploration of the hidden recesses of the creative imagination. The work is co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, the Hunterian and Leeds Art Gallery, with Art Fund support.
A new work by Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest at Maryhill Burgh Halls takes the detective novel as its starting point in order to unravel how our attention is shifted when we are on the trail of a sleuthing mystery.
An Immeasurable Melody, Medicine for a Nightmare at Gallery of Modern Art is the first solo exhibition in Europe by Canadian artist Nep Sidhu, whose body of work is embedded in Sikh metaphysics and histories; and incorporates a wide variety of media including tapestry, metal, earth and video.
Yuko Mohri’s new commission incorporates elements of chance, involving whoever might be visiting on a given day. The Tokyo-based artist’s installation involves microphones and a Yamaha piano to create a new sculptural and sound work which echoes the work of the pioneering composer John Cage.
Image: Jen Martin
business as usual: hostile environment is a new film and series of audio works by Alberta Whittle, co-commissioned by Glasgow Sculpture Studio’s Learning & Engagement Programme and GI, which explores the colonial history of the Forth & Clyde canal and the role of waterways in the voluntary and involuntary movement of people. Informed by collective thinking, making, and discussion between a number of artists and communities in North Glasgow, including Maryhill Integration Network’s Joyous Choir, business as usual: hostile environment reflects on waterways as sites of renewal and regeneration; focusing our attention on how the architecture of the city continues to shape and impact communities and our understandings of austerity, poverty, race, and class. The Canal Programme is supported by EventScotland in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.
Highlights from the Across the City programme include:
The Across the City programme celebrates the diversity, depth and vibrancy of Glasgow’s visual arts community It encompasses exhibitions, film screenings, dynamic public performances and community learning.
Solo exhibitions include: new work by photographer, media artist and researcher Ingrid Pollard at Glasgow Women’s Library, developed in response to its Lesbian Archive and Information Centre, the largest of its kind in the UK. The new work offers a vital challenge to the marginalisation and erasure of LGBTQ+ history and culture.
Across multiple outdoor sites in the city, The Common Guild presents Sam Durant’s Iconoclasm – a series of drawings depicting acts of destruction enacted upon public statues and monuments. Based on images gleaned from various historical and contemporary sources, including newspapers and television reports, Durant’s graphite drawings render moments of intense disruption and call on current debates about how we relate to symbols in public space.
Artist-run gallery Celine plays host to the first ever ‘solo’ presentation in Scotland of the late Donald Rodney. A leading member of the BLK Art Group formed in the early 1980s, Rodney made work characterised by pioneering engagements with new technologies and the appropriation of mass media and pop-cultural imagery in order to examine and critique racialised identity and its socio-political consequences. The exhibition is supplemented by a screening of a video portrait of Rodney by Trevor Mathison and Edward George and an in-conversation event with artists Keith Piper and Alberta Whittle, alongside a screening of The Genome Chronicles by John Akomfrah.
You’re Never Done, a group exhibition featuring works by local and international artists including Adelita Husni-Bey that explores the invisible narratives of labour within our cities. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the sudden shift in the working practices of many people has highlighted the dependency of both world economies and daily lives on the invisible and often unpaid labour of women. The show is a gesture towards reclaiming spaces, reimagining the labour of women, and politicising the lack of art resources within communities in Glasgow North.
Glasgow-based artist Andrew Sim explores Queer love, relationships and community-building through figurative and landscape pastel drawings. Sim uses culturally familiar ‘monsters’ such as Bigfoot and werewolves as subject matter, using them as archetypal representations of aspects of Queer love and divinity and exploring the stresses placed on Queer lives by the duality of the Queer experience. The exhibition includes Sims’ first presentation of new, large-scale works on canvas.
Edinburgh-based Sekai Machache and Glasgow based Thulani Rachia come together in two exhibitions The Divine Sky and Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo which share an interest in quantum superposition – a state in which a particle or wave can exist in two positions in space simultaneously. As Africans who live in the diaspora, this state of being, of occupying multiple spaces, is fundamental to the experience of both artists. Sekai Machache has also collaborated with Awuor Onyango on Body of Land, an intimate exploration of African diasporic femininities in Scotland and Kenya presented by Street Level Photoworks.
Glasgow-based artist Jacqueline Donachie presents a project which engages directly with the city’s architectural heritage, questioning issues of access for all. The Step is based on the simple structure of a step, how it both limits and provides access. Donachie’s research informs new sculpture and drawing inside the gallery at Govan Project Space, as well as a modular concrete cast piece sited in Govan.
Tobacco Flower is a major body of new work by Jimmy Robert, made especially for Glasgow International. Taking tobacco flower textile designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh as a key point of departure, Robert explores multiple traces left by Glasgow’s role within colonialism. Working across several mediums, including film, photography and sound, Robert engages directly with The Hunterian and its historical collections in order to examine the cultural framing of identities and desires.
Between 2019 and 2020, the Nigerian artist Ndidi Dike developed a new body of research towards her first presentation in Scotland, a site-specific installation titled Hushed. The artist’s presence in Scotland was imperative to the creation of the work, however, and, as a response to the pandemic, a publication of the same name will contextualise Dike’s research into the colonial cloth trade, paying particular attention to plants that have been used as sources of the blue dye indigo.
The Outside is Inside Everything We Make, a group exhibition conceived by Glasgow-based artist Laura Aldridge, who explores collaborative ways of working to challenge the limiting systems of value that are imposed upon creativity. Alongside new sculptural works by Aldridge, the exhibition includes objects methodically wrapped in layer upon layer of fibre by Judith Scott and painted mantras and slogans by Leanne Ross that describe specific moments remembered from the artist’s daily routine.
Group exhibitions include: Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down, an exhibition of exhibitionists, starring Liv Fontaine, Paul Kindersley, and Huhtamaki Wab. Known for creating larger-than-life personae, these artists explore the surreal, the political, and the outrageous within their own lives and wider society. Their diverse practices also span painting, performance, film, and social media.
Fabric of Society is a self-organising collective of four UK-based artists of colour; Rabiya Choudhry, Raisa Kabir, Jasleen Kaur, Rae-Yen Song which in a group exhibition draws on associations that fabric has with constructions of womanhood and identity, creating and interrogating narratives which are – variously – personal, collective and universal.
At The Modern Institute’s gallery on Aird’s Lane and expanding onto the green space outside are new works by Eva Rothschild that extend the artist’s interest in reinvigorating conventional sculpture. And at The Modern Institute’s gallery on Osborne Street are two 16mm films by Luke Fowler which mark a turn away from Fowler’s previous focus: both take as their subject matter the domestic archives of letters and notes created by the artist’s parents.
Songs for Work brings together moving image, sound, performance, poetry and installation by three Glasgow-based artists – Aideen Doran, Beth Dynowski and Susannah Stark – to examine the effects of work on subjectivity, community, and wider social, political and ethical imaginaries.
Graham Fagen works across a range of media to explore relationships between identity and cultural context in Ping Pong Club. The starting point is an archive collected over 20 years that includes letters, notes, name tags and invitations all bearing Fagen’s name, spelt incorrectly. This archive raises questions beyond simply bureaucratic ineptitude; it touches upon the socio-political and cultural formation of identity, and the relationships between archives and subjectivity, fiction and the law.
The Digital Programme features artists from both the Across the City and the Commissioned Programmes, representing their in-person exhibitions as well as work made for the widely available online programme.
In partnership with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Annie Crabtree’s online presentation is a dual screen, moving image work, Tell me, how do I feel?, which is grounded in the artist’s own experience of ill health and hospitalisation, and challenges the positioning of people as unreliable witnesses of their own bodies.
In addition artists who have made work purely for the Digital Programme include Megan Lucille Boettcher, Mio Harada and Shoko Imai, Nile Koetting, Tomoko Konoike, Jessica Ramm, Hanna Tuulikki, Shizuka Yokomizo, Rosie’s Disobedient Press, Catalina Barroso-Luque, Daniella Valz Gen, Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich, Mathew Wayne Parkin, Leontios Toumpouris, Ashanti Harris; Zephyr Liddell; Patricia Panther, Adam Christensen, SAGG Napoli, Jeanne Tullen, Nora Turato, Christian Noelle Charles, Liv Fontaine, William Joys, Wassili Widmer, and Ilana Halperin. Nina Beier and Lina Lapelytė will also feature in a performance programme curated by the Roberts Institute of Art.
It also features a commissioned film from Anne-Marie Copestake in which artists from across the GI2021 programme converse, whether filmed in person around Glasgow or electronically over long distances, creating a prism through which to view the city’s visual art scene and its associated protagonists at a time like no other.
Digital Programme live from 11 June.
Events and Performances
How has attention shifted in the light of the global pandemic? What does it mean to be constantly connected digitally, but physically isolated? Who should we be listening to now?
Newly conceived for Glasgow International 2021 is a programme of conversations and workshops, panel discussions, performances and a range of other online and offline events produced with Art Fund support. The GI Events Programme builds upon the curatorial theme of Attention in order to open up dialogues and share ideas that might help to shape new forms of togetherness and connectivity.
The GI events programme is a partnership between Glasgow International, Performance Network (which consists of GI, Liverpool Biennial and Block Universe) and the Black Curators Collective (a collective for Black women and non-binary curators in the UK). Both initiatives were founded in 2020 and highlight the urgency to work together across the regions, always considering locally specific contexts, infrastructures and audiences.
The programme will also include a partnership with the Roberts Institute of Art (formerly David Roberts Art Foundation) to present a hybrid programme of live and digital events bringing the performance work of artists Paul Maheke, Nina Beier and Lina Lapelytė to the festival.
More information on the GI events programme will be announced on 12 May.
Across the City events include a presentation by the not-for-profit gallery Civic Room: Hubris is a programme of performances exploring the human and the nonhuman, featuring new work by Christian Noelle Charles, Liv Fontaine, William Joys and Wassili Widmer.
In a digital, collaborative ‘group-show-as-performance’, Jumbies weaves together the practices of visual artist Ashanti Harris, textile designer Zephyr Liddell and sound artist Patricia Panther, who have produced work in response to Jacques Derrida’s concept of ‘hauntology’: an interrogation of the ways in which people, places and things are ‘haunted’ by histories which are simultaneously neither present nor absent.
Richard Parry, Director of Glasgow International said: “It is notable that given all of the changes, emotions and earth-shattering events of the past year, the theme of Attention has retained its resonance, adapting and shifting in emphasis as the world has morphed around us.
“Many of the exhibitions are three years in the making now. We have sought to present the festival originally planned for a year ago as faithfully as possible, but also allowing space for re-appraisal. Many exhibitions have in a sense lain suspended in time for a year, others taking on changes and tweaks in the interim. Some exhibitions in the Across the City programme have shifted fundamentally – whether to an online format or simply in response to a different world today.
“Although we will work hard to ensure Covid safe physical exhibitions we also appreciate that many will not be able to or feel comfortable attending in person and so we have put together a substantial digital programme involving artists from across the programme. We hope that you will join us here in Glasgow or from around the world.”
Dr Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life said: “More than a year later than originally planned, the wait for Glasgow International is almost over. We can look forward to enjoying shows and works by many of the finest contemporary artists working today and to seeing them in places we haven’t been able to go to for quite some time. GI is always thought provoking, challenging and above all a fantastic celebration of artists and their work.”
Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts, Creative Scotland commented: “It’s very exciting to see the long awaited programme and dates set for GI 2021. Rooted in the city’s rich, diverse and progressive visual arts scene, GI 2021 will offer audiences a moment of reflection and new perspectives at a time when we need it most.
“Audiences from across the city will once again celebrate the vibrancy of Scotland’s visual arts scene in some of Glasgow’s most iconic venues and unique outdoor settings, complimented by a digital programme welcoming audiences from across the globe. Congratulations to GI on creating and ambitious programme that responds to the current times and will certainly demand and reward attention.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The rescheduled Glasgow International is a positive step forward as we re-emerge from the restrictions and challenges of the last 12 months. The programme, including Alberta Whittle’s film in celebration of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, and the embracing of the hybrid event format, will allow people to engage and enjoy the festival in a way they feel comfortable – whether that’s in person or online.”
Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund said: “Glasgow International, Scotland’s world-renowned festival for contemporary art, has an outstanding programme this year which will prompt thought-provoking discussion and broaden interest in today’s most relevant issues. We are particularly pleased to be supporting the major new film by Georgina Starr at Tramway and an epic new work by Duncan Campbell – it will be thrilling to see this presented the iconic setting of The Barrowland Ballroom. We are also delighted to be able to provide funds for paid work opportunities for twelve students at the festival.”
Core funders and major programme supporters for Glasgow International 2021 are Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and Art Fund.
GI is also delighted to be creating new positions for young people with Art Fund support. 12 paid roles will see students working across the venues, digital and events aspects of the festival.