Alan Bissett

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Margins is Glasgow’s newest grassroots book and music festival

16 Feb 2011

Doug Johnstone, Ewan Morrison Tom Leonard and Withered Hand

Imagine just starting a festival. Just saying, right there and then ‘there’s a gap in the market, and I’m going to fill it.’ It’s not such a great step for Mark Buckland; when newly graduated from university, he said to himself ‘I’m going to start a…

The Hot 100 2010 - Mark Millar, Kevin Bridges and Alasdair Gray take top 3 spots

16 Dec 2010

Our annual chart of the top creatives in Scotland

The Hot 100 is a list of Scots who’ve made a sizeable creative splash in 2010. It includes musicians, artists, writers, actors, fashion designers, technological innovators, shop owners, festival directors, record label heads and one mad cyclist.

Interview: Cora Bissett and David Greig on Whatever Gets You Through the Night

25 Jun 2012

Night-themed project brings together theatre, music, film and a book

Cora Bissett, David Greig and Swimmer One have stayed up past their bedtimes to hang out with some of Scotland’s coolest actors, bands and artists. Anna Burnside takes an extra slug of coffee to find out Whatever Gets You Through the Night

The upcoming theatre writers, performers and festivals in Scotland

6 Sep 2013

New Scottish theatre work from Rob Drummond, Keiran Hurley, Nic Green and 85a Collective

The fierce vitality of Glasgow’s experimental performance art scene is unique in the UK. From authors like Rob Drummond, who are as likely to be on the stage as behind the typewriter, through monologue maestro Kieran Hurley, to the community-orientated…

Edinburgh Art Festival presents Art Late North and South events

15 Aug 2013

Evening programme of performance and tours held in association with The List

The thread between art and music has always held strong amidst Scotland’s art school culture, and it seems to be booming within the context of the Edinburgh Art Festival as well. A fixture of the programme for some years now, and its expansion to two…

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1980s British pop - The ideological and musical battles of the decade we can't seem to recover from

16 Jul 2013

As Tracey Thorn and John Taylor hit the Edinburgh Book Festival, Alan Bissett explores 80s pop music

Where the case is more clear for other decades of British pop glory – leaping with Beatles, Bolans and Blurs – the jury’s still very much out on the 80s. When American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman dismisses Peter Gabriel’s Genesis (‘too artsy’) in favour of…

Fringe poster trends 2013: The split poster

9 Jul 2013

The shows opting for a split-screen design at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe

Ban This Filth! He’s taken on a female stage personae before but Alan Bissett cranks it up several notches by portraying anti-porn campaigner Andrea Dworkin Natasha Yapp This Edinburgh-based comic gets properly stuck into identity politics as well as…

Christmas Songwriters’ Club in Edinburgh to feature Alan Bissett, Adam Stafford and more

18 Dec 2012

The event organiser, Danny Abercrombie, explains the idea behind the club

Christmas is coming, and with it, the fifth annual Christmas Songwriters’ Club. Danny Abercrombie, co-organiser of the night and performer with ‘Very Well’ explains more ‘This is the fifth year I’ve had to conjure up some festive spirit (in October…

Hot 100 2012: 59-50

11 Dec 2012

Billy Connolly, Optimo and Kevin Bridges among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2012

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2012, you'll find them here.

Ten collaborative music, theatre and film projects from Scotland

7 Nov 2012

Including Speed of Light, Pass the Spoon and Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Pass the Spoon. It sounded like an unlikely dish, with ingredients including off-beat artist David Shrigley (who wrote the libreto), modernist composer David Fennessy and Magnetic North director Nicholas Bone working with the Red Note Ensemble, but when…

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Five children's books from Scotland

2 Nov 2012

A Scots Alphabet, The Bunk-Bed Bus, Granny Nothing, Skarrs and Boyracers

Animal ABC: A Scots Alphabet Susan Rennie and Karen Sutherland (Itchy Coo, 2002) Fantastic illustrations, and a very funny introduction to a menagerie of animals described in Scots. The Bunk-Bed Bus Frank Rodgers (Puffin, 2004) I love the…

Alasdair Gray, Pat Kane and Alan Bissett to attend the 16th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair

15 Oct 2012

This year marks the sweet 16th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair, now firmly lodged in its setting deep in the heart of Leith. Those who organised the very first gathering might well have been surprised to be told that the 2012 fair would feature…

Unbound at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

7 Aug 2012

Night-time strand of off-the-page experimentation featuring Sarah Hall and Jenni Fagan

As wonderful as the Edinburgh International Book Festival is – and believe us, it is wonderful – the leafy confines of Charlotte Square Gardens, the village fete-style white tents and the hordes of latte-sipping Guardianistas can sometimes make the…

Top five literary events outside the Edinburgh Intl Book Fest

2 Aug 2012

James Kelman, Ross Sutherland, Alan Bissett and more venture beyond Charlotte Square

There’s plenty of events for lit lovers in Edinburgh this month, with festival staple Edinburgh Book Fringe back for another year, plus the more indie stylings of Inky Fingers Minifest. The Book Fringe will have talks and readings by comedian Russell…

Alan Bissett tackles arachnophobia in new play The Red Hourglass

28 Jul 2012

The author and playwright's latest work uses spiders to dissect the nature of fear

‘I’ve always been arachnophobic, it’s something that goes quite deep into my childhood,’ says Glenfiddich Scottish Writer of the Year Alan Bissett. ‘’I’ve always been fascinated by spiders as well.’ This fear and fascination has led the author and…

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Whatever Gets You Through the Night

29 Jun 20124 stars

Powerful piece exploring the many Scotlands that exist in the wee hours

Not even the most hardened cynic could sniff at the ambition of this Vital Spark project headed up by Cora Bissett, who has invited writers and musicians from across the land to create work exploring the many Scotlands that exist between the hours of…

Reveal 2012 showcases new Scottish theatre

25 Apr 2012

Highlights include Mexican reality TV, a Gaelic divorce and London riots performed by puppets

Following on from last year’s successful inaugural Reveal Season, The National Theatre of Scotland, in association with the Citizens’ Theatre, present Reveal 2012, a season of new work by up and coming and diversifying artists, many of whom have been…

Dear Glasgow theatre season focuses on Middle East and North Africa

21 Mar 2012

New project from Oran Mor’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint strand

With the Syrian crisis showing no sign of abating, the human story behind the various conflicts and uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has seldom been so urgent. It’s an issue that David MacLennan, artistic director of Oran Mor’s A Play, a…

Is this a golden era for Scottish literature?

1 Feb 2012

Alan Bissett, Helen Fitzgerald and Allan Wilson survey the current literary lansdscape

Alan Bissett The contention is that Scottish literature – due to a combination of factors, including centralised buying by book chains and a backlash against post-Trainspotting fiction – has undergone a difficult time of late, but that the tide is…

Hot 100 2011 - No. 49 to 1

16 Dec 2011

The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

The Hot 100 is the definitive list of Scottish creative talent. From fashion designers to performance artists, everyone who has made a sizeable splash in 2011 has a place in this countdown. It’s for people who’ve created a buzz, but it’s also about…

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Interview - Alan Bissett

24 Aug 2011

Writer tackles Scotland’s sectarian shame in fourth novel Pack Men

With the rivalry between the Old Firm reaching dangerously manic levels recently, you’d think that sectarianism would be reflected in our nation’s fiction, but it’s hard to think of many novels that examine our unique bigotry. Step forward Alan Bissett…

(g)Host City

18 Aug 20113 stars

Edinburgh audio tours from spoken word performers

First thing in the morning, I’m standing on top of Calton Hill looking out to Arthur’s Seat, Princes Street and the Pentlands. It’s a view I never tire of, but on my headphones Jenny Lindsay is giving a different message. ‘Edinburgh, you old tart,…

Theatre shows using digital media at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011

26 Jul 2011

Incorporating Skype and mobile apps into theatre shows

Digital media is being embraced by theatre companies at this year’s Fringe, but is this a passing fad or a great way for theatre to keep in step with modern technology? Lauren Mayberry investigates

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011 line up highlights

16 Jun 2011

Grant Morrison, Will Self and Jo Nesbø among highlights

A selection of international authors, a bunch of Scottish novelists, an array of top non-fiction scribes, a host of children’s writers and a series of exciting innovations: yes, it’s just another Edinburgh International Book Festival programme. A cliché…

Moira's five ways to ensure you survive the festival

10 Aug 2010

'Falkirk's hardest woman' hands out tips on surviving the Fringe

Being on tour can be a stressful business, what with staying away from home, forgetting your lines onstage and, erm, setting off the fire alarm in the venue. Scotland’s newest stage superstar, Moira, shares her tips on how to survive a fortnight at the…