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Interview: Black Watch playwright Gregory Burke talks ’71, and moving from theatre to film

1 Oct 2014

‘I'm not into theatre! Even when I was working in theatre, I never went to the theatre!’

‘I've always wanted to shirk responsibility wherever I can in life,’ laughs Gregory Burke. The Fife-born playwright is best known for the Olivier Award-winning drama Black Watch about British soldiers in Iraq – and he jumped at the chance to write his…

Simon Armitage and Bill Manhire headline StAnza poetry festival in 2015

1 Oct 2014

Sinéad Morrissey, Ian Duhig and Alice Notley also set to perform at annual event

StAnza, Scotland’s poetry festival, has revealed that Simon Armitage and New Zealand’s Poet Laureate Bill Manhire will be among its headliners for 2015. The annual event takes place in venues across St Andrews but has its hub at the Byre Theatre…

Edinburgh’s Christmas 2014 celebrations revealed

30 Sep 2014

Programme of festive markets, shows and events will kick off on Fri 21 Nov

Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations for 2014-15 were revealed this morning, at the Assembly Rooms on George Street. Run by Underbelly and Unique Events, this year’s collection of festive markets, attractions and performances will open on Friday 21…

Dracula Untold

30 Sep 20142 stars

Luke Evans and Charles Dance impress in an otherwise mishandled origin story

An early title for this latest spin on Bram Stoker’s fanged fiend was ‘Dracula: Year Zero’, which gives some indication of where the writers gleaned inspiration for this origin story: Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel 'Batman: Year One'. Dracula…

Gone Girl

29 Sep 20144 stars

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's sharp take on Gillian Flynn's bestseller

David Fincher: an excellent choice to direct Gillian Flynn’s whiplashing tale of deceptions. He steers this adaptation with cool, detached technical proficiency and a sense of brutally malicious fun, making Gone Girl as entertainingly gripping as it is…

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You and the Night

29 Sep 20143 stars

Eric Cantona and Béatrice Dalle star in an oddly lovable orgy dramedy

Looking for the orgy? You’ll find it up Fassbinder Street, left at Almodóvar Corner, on the corner of Pierre et Gilles. Be sure to wear your eye-patch or maid’s uniform, and to bring a poignant story detailing what made you so depraved… Set among the…

Draft Day

29 Sep 20142 stars

Disappointing sports movie from Ivan Reitman featuring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner

The UK release of Ivan Reitman's latest follows on quickly from the NFL getting its first openly gay player, while the spotlight has recently been thrown on the off-field bad behaviour of some of its other members; Draft Day is a behind-the-scenes look…

Soul Boys of the Western World

29 Sep 20143 stars

Documentary charting the fluctuating fortunes of Spandau Ballet from George Hencken

Spandau Ballet might not seem the hippest subjects for a documentary. Formed in the late Seventies, they hit the charts in the early Eighties as the New Romantic scene blossomed, but this five-piece all-male band from Islington were hardly musical…

Violette

29 Sep 20144 stars

Martin Provost's sophisticated biopic stars Emmanuelle Devos as Violette Leduc

This elegant but deeply felt biopic charts the messy rise to counter-culture fame of French post-war novelist Violette Leduc, played by the always compelling Emmanuelle Devos. Whilst emerging from a wartime career as a black marketeer into writing…

Still the Enemy Within

29 Sep 20144 stars

Documentary on the miners' strike from Owen Gower illuminates a passionately fought conflict

An interesting companion piece to the acclaimed comedy Pride, providing pertinent social history in the context of current debates about privilege, representation and poverty in modern Britain, Still the Enemy Within is a thorough account of the 1984-5…

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Dolphin Tale 2

29 Sep 20142 stars

Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman feature in a bland, aquarium-set sequel

The seam of true-life marine stories mined in 2011's anodyne Dolphin Tale is further depleted by this return visit to the underwater denizens of Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. The bright-looking yet colourless live-action narrative and…

Interview: Skid Row guitarist Dave 'The Snake' Sabo discusses the band's new EP release

26 Sep 2014

After reforming in 1999, the 80s heavy metal rockers are set for series of UK shows

'Tomorrow call tour manager Toad and he will put you in touch with Snake.' It's the kind of email you only get when arranging an interview in the heady world of heavy metal. Of course the Snake in question is Dave 'The Snake' Sabo guitarist with hard…

Tina Sutton – The Making of Markova

26 Sep 20144 stars

Meticulously researched and dynamically written homage to Britain's first ballet star

When journalist Tina Sutton was handed the boxed-up archives of prima ballerina Alicia Markova by Boston University, she could scarcely have guessed the treasure trove that lay inside. Decades of letters, diaries, press clippings and theatre programmes…

Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven

26 Sep 20144 stars

Expert storytelling sets this provocative tale of societal apocalypse apart

When the Georgia Flu hits, the age of electricity comes to an abrupt end. 99% of the world’s population die, taking with them the knowledge mankind used to create everything from aeroplanes to running water. For the few that survive the collapse, life…

Alison Jackson: A Story In The Public Domain

25 Sep 20144 stars

Hogarth for the 21st century from acclaimed filmaker at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Filmmaker Alison Jackson's satire using lookalikes Double Take propelled her to fame. In her latest project, aptly subtitled La Trashiata, she turns her attention to opera, of sorts. And what an opera. Jackson leaves no half measures in the bad taste…

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Manic Street Preachers to mark 20th anniversary of classic album The Holy Bible with UK tour

25 Sep 2014

Tickets for Glasgow, Manchester and London shows go on sale from Fri 26 Sep

20 years after the release of their third album The Holy Bible, Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers will play a series of live UK shows in December 2014 to mark the record’s anniversary. The multi-award winning trio –  James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire…

Opinion: Should Exhibit B’s Barbican run have been cancelled?

24 Sep 2014

After fierce protests, the show's cancellation has led to renewed questions about censorship

When Brett Bailey's Third World Bunfight company presented Exhibit B as part of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival, the show's 21st century reimagining of colonial era human zoos – when black Africans were shown in front of their white…

Rachel Maclean – The Weepers

24 Sep 20144 stars

Superb darkly comic retelling of Celtic Bean Nighe myth from Glasgow film-maker

The Scotch mist that wafts around Duart Castle at the opening of Rachel Maclean's new film speaks volumes about where she's coming from; this major commission for the Mull-based Comar organisation looks like a big leap towards something even more…

Human Capital

24 Sep 20144 stars

An impressive Italian thriller starring Valeria Golino and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

The value of a human life is a question of cold hard currency in Italian writer-director Paolo Virzì's cynical, deftly performed latest. The death of a cyclist is the starting point for a cleverly structured story detailing the shifting, dovetailing…

Highlights of the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival

23 Sep 2014

Events to showcase best of capital's cuisine include exclusive festival menus at top restaurants

Street Food Casual street food has taken an upward turn in various quarters of Edinburgh, not least when there’s the excuse for two or more vans to gather together. Look out for a DJ-soundtracked Street Feastival curated by Glasgow outfit Kiltr from…

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Azealia Banks – 02 ABC, Glasgow, Mon 15 Sep

23 Sep 20144 stars

Filth and fury abound in electrifying performance from Harlem hip hop artist

Two years ago Azealia Banks played a sold out show in this very room. Dressed in lizard scales, replete with matching green contact lenses and a shit eating grin, the self-styled Yung Rapunxel gyrated across the stage like David Icke's auto-destructive…

Restaurant review: Victor & Carina Contini Caffè & Cannonball

23 Sep 2014

Italian-Scots food hub on the Royal Mile brings quality food to tourist trail

Carina and Victor Contini do projects like ducks do water. Or maybe, in fact, swans: a slightly confusing identity at first, plenty of paddling beneath the surface, but ultimately graceful and distinguished. Since decoupling from Valvona & Crolla ten…

Restaurant review: Hutchesons

23 Sep 2014

Minute attention to culinary detail ensures quality dining in a beautifully restored building

Anyone wandering in the Merchant City will invariably have their eye drawn to the imposing and elegant Hutchesons’ Hall. Built as a hospital in the early 19th century (relocating from the Trongate, from where it had operated since the 1640s), the…

I Origins

23 Sep 20144 stars

Brit Marling and Michael Pitt feature in Mike Cahill's ambitious sci-fi thriller

Actress Brit Marling made a name for herself in the low budget, conceptually ambitious sci-fi thrillers Sound of My Voice, from Zal Batmanglij, and Another Earth, which she co-wrote with director Mike Cahill. Both films were characterised by thoughtful…

Make or Break hip hop competition set to showcase best of Scottish talent

23 Sep 2014

Dance crews from Edinburgh and Glasgow to compete at event hosted by Tony Thrills

Watching judges preside over dancers is a regular occurrence on TV these days – but seeing it live, and championing your favourites with some vocal appreciation, is a whole different ball game. With competitors from home and abroad squaring up at…