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2015 Highlights: Stage

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Manipulate, Slab Boys, Coppelia, Cirkopolis, Kevin Bridges and Glasgow Comedy Festival

Weaving together puppetry, visual theatre and dance, Manipulate's vision is international, experimental and accessible. Kicking off with Edinburgh Festival hit Maria Addolorata, which examines the limits of physical pain and ecstatic joy, through dance…

2015 Highlights: Books

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Iain Banks, Kirsty Logan, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Green and, hopefully, George RR Martin

Iain Banks’ death in 2013 has left a tangible absence in the world of Scottish books, and this new volume of poetry – including many previously unpublished poems – will be welcomed by fans of his work. They have been collected by his friend Ken MacLeod…

2015 Highlights: Music

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Belle & Sebastian, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tectonics, Electric Frog and Kelvingrove

Cue euphoria for fans of Glasgow’s indie twee-pop superstars; they return in January with their new, ninth album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, before playing a hometown arena gig in the summer, joined by the Scottish Festival Orchestra...

2015 Highlights: Visual Art

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Glasgow Open House, Scotand + Venice, Hidden Door, Edinburgh Annuale, Turner Prize 2015

The first Glasgow Open House took place in 2014 and showed the works of more than 80 emerging and established artists in 32 venues, ranging from flats, gardens, sheds and community centres. The programme for 2015 is set to expand to include more music…

Large Unit – Erta Ale

17 Dec 20144 stars

Renowned jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love delivers a sizzling three-disc album

As the rhythmic engine behind The Thing and sideman to Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love is one of the world's most exciting and inventive drummers. Large Unit is his new Scandinavian big band, comprising of two rhythm sections…

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Cuong Vu Trio with Richard Karpen – Indigo Mist

17 Dec 20144 stars

In recent years, William Parker and Mats Gustafsson have been among the creative musicians offering a radical engagement with Duke Ellington. Comprising mostly of original pieces inspired by some textual or textural aspect of Ellington's music, Indigo…

Live Comedy DVDs Roundup

16 Dec 2014

Featuring Lee Mack, Richard Herring, Al Murray, Jon Richardson, Jim Davidson and Harry Hill

If ever there was evidence to suggest that some people should just leave their past glories well alone, it’s right there, deep inside Harry Hill: Sausage Time. While you can’t help but admire the nerve of a 50-year-old man jumping up and down on a…

Faust – j US t

16 Dec 20143 stars

Semi-improvised, back to basics, rhythm-driven sound sculptures designed to be rebuilt by anyone

Like a little army of trolls marching out of the shadows, this latest opus from the Jean Herve Peron / Zappi Diermaier version of Germany's veteran, kosmische, hippy Dadaists creeps up on you slowly. Peron's looming bass and Diermaier's martial drums…

War on Christmas: interview with Gary McNair

16 Dec 2014

Comedian joyrides the festive season through the Arches by declaring War on Christmas

Enjoy your season, but rather more than that. Enjoy your life, find a way to get happiness every single day, instead of being forced into someone else’s preconceived notion of happiness for a rather stressful period in December. Let Christmas go, relax…

Edinburgh Film Festival appoint new Artistic Director

16 Dec 2014

Film critic and programmer Mark Adams to head Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival has appointed Mark Adams as its new Artistic Director. Adams has been Chief Film Critic and Reviews Editor for trade publication Screen International for four years and is also a critic for the The Sunday Mirror.

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John Lees and Iain Laurie – And Then Emily Was Gone

16 Dec 20144 stars

Smart plotting, fresh and genuinely creepy, Lees and Laurie have created a distinctive calling card

‘There’s a world of the screaming impossible all around us, something so far beyond our comprehension that most of us just block it out,’ reveals disfigured village sage Mental Jimmy midway through the tale, adding spine-crawling credence to our…

Top 5 Comedy Gigs of 2014

16 Dec 2014

You laughed, you cried, you heckled: Brian Donaldson breaks down the best acts of the year

After a successful 2013 Fringe debut as a twosome, Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen returned with that difficult second show and very nearly re-drew the rules of the sketch game. Their hour featured routines which played with the form while managing to keep…

Opinion: New proposals for BBC Three

15 Dec 2014

With the BBC under pressure to cut costs, Henry Northmore looks at BBC Three's possible future

The BBC has unveiled new plans for BBC Three. The idea of moving the channel online was first floated in March but now more detailed proposals have been announced indicating that broadcast could shut down by autumn of 2015. When it launched in 2003…

Profile: Christoph Waltz

15 Dec 2014

Two-time Oscar winner on his latest film, working with Tim Burton, choosing roles, and critics

Born in Vienna, Christoph Waltz had been acting for many years before he got his first big Hollywood break in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as the evil Col. Hans Landa, for which he was awarded the Oscar for best supporting actor. Since then…

Ten Years of Animal Farm

15 Dec 2014

Darren Quail on ten years of club nights and Glasgow's burgeoning techno scene

It began with techno. Or, more specifically, two friends bonding over Richie Hawtin's Decks, EFX & 909, a Dave Clarke mix recorded at Fuse, Belgium, and frequent visits to a night called TEST at the Art School — ‘a random find in the Metro one weekend’…

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David Shrigley and Malcolm Middleton – Music and Words

15 Dec 20142 stars

Middleton and Shrigley are capable of creating something much more subtle and powerful

When the first track of this collaboration between former Arab Strapper Malcolm Middleton and Glasgow School of Art alumnus David Shrigley was released, there was plenty to get excited about. ‘Story Time’ told the tale of a delightful wildlife scene…

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

15 Dec 20142 stars

Ben Stiller and co return for the third film in Shawn Levy's family friendly franchise

Even in a dual role, Ben Stiller can’t keep the bored look off his face as he fronts the third instalment of the Night at the Museum franchise. What started eight years ago as a charming kids’ romp has evolved into a series of overlong ‘comic’ sequences…

Guys and Dolls

15 Dec 20145 stars

Joseph L Mankiewicz’s musical starring Brando and Sinatra returns to the big screen

The gritty, gutsy, funny short stories of Damon Runyon form the basis for this most rousing and delightful of big studio musicals, which boasts Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, a smart script and some of the best screen songs ever. The setting is a…

Kon-Tiki

15 Dec 20143 stars

A ripping, Oscar-nominated yarn from Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

Seventy years ago Thor Heyerdahl's epic voyage from Peru to Polynesia was the real-life, high seas equivalent of Interstellar, as daring young men risked their lives on an adventure into the great unknown. Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen…

Dumb and Dumber To

15 Dec 20143 stars

Hit-and-miss sequel from the Farrelly brothers featuring returning star Jim Carrey

Twenty years have passed since Dumb and Dumber provided Bobby and Peter Farrelly with a box-office smash. Since then, their brand of comedy has become something of an endangered species, with both the writer-directors and star Jim Carrey no longer…

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Hogmanay 2014 in Edinburgh and Glasgow

12 Dec 2014

Not sure what New Year celebrations to enjoy? Plan your itinerary from live music to loony dooks

The Spiegeltent in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square is covering pretty much every performance genre this year. Comedian Al Murray has promised surprise guests each night at The Pub Landlord’s Festive Saloon (Mon 29–Wed 31 Dec), or there are terrifyingly…

Private View: Good Press

12 Dec 2014

Rachael Cloughton speaks to Good Press founders, Matthew Walkerdine and Jessica Susan Higgins

Good Press was founded in 2011 to provide a platform for the most innovative and exciting independent art publishing. Alongside zines, prints, artists’ books and newspapers, the space also hosts ‘table-top’ exhibitions, showing the work of local and…

See in the New Year at Scot:Lands

12 Dec 2014

Scot:Lands opens up New Year’s Day in Edinburgh with an array of exciting performances

Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay programme has matured around the long-running street party in recent years, both as a season of well-structured and fun family events and as a money-maker for the city. One of the best innovations of the last couple of…

Live Review: Xylouris White, King Tut's, Glasgow, on Wed 26 Nov

12 Dec 20145 stars

Giorgos Xylouris and Jim White perform pure instrumental joy on Cretan lute and drums

Fresh outta style school, veteran virtuosos Giorgos Xylouris ('George' to his mates) and Jim White (of the Dirty Three) are a commanding and welcome presence, all big hair and smart casual. Sitting comfortably on a stage capable of holding at least five…

Jean-Luc Guionnet/Éric La Casa — Home: Handover

12 Dec 20144 stars

Ambitious collaborative project of spoken word, field recordings, improvisation and sound art

To describe this ambitious, four-disc, multi-stage collaborative project in any detail would require a far larger space than the one this review inhabits. In brief, Home: Handover is an exploration of sanctuaries and private lives and acoustics, with…