Mayfesto 2011 programme revealed

Mayfesto programme revealed

Tron artistic director Andy Arnold discusses the politically-edged theatre festival

To say The Tron’s artistic director Andy Arnold has big hopes for this year’s Mayfesto would be an understatement. Launched in 2010, Arnold’s plan was to bring Glasgow a new, socially and politically engaged theatre festival – and that’s just what he did. For over two weeks in May he brought us innovative theatre, pulling in eager audiences and attracting the attention of theatre makers in the UK and beyond. Running this year for just shy of a month (4–28 May) the calibre of the programme shows just how far the festival – and his vision – has come.
Comedy and music jamboree It’s a Dead Liberty features old school favourites Dave Anderson and Sandy Nelson with original songs from Wildcat and 7:84, while elsewhere on the programme Communicado presents, and Gerry Mulgrew directs, a rehearsed reading of Ten Men Dead, about Bobby Sands and the hunger strike of 1981; Iain Heggie’s King of Scotland gets a showcase, so too does David Ireland’s politically charged Everything Between Us, alongside the Tron Theatre Company’s own productions of David Harrower’s Day Long and Gary Owen’s Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco. ‘We really want to build on last year,’ explains Arnold. ‘Last year it was largely in-house companies dealing with casualties of war; this year we’re taking it much further. It’s much more broadly based with a Celtic theme, and with some fantastic new work.
‘The motivation for the festival was really to pick up on the excitement that’s here [in the city] for theatre. Last year there was such a great buzz about the place from the bar to the theatre with shows sitting around and on top of each other throughout the Tron, giving people access to as much theatre as possible. In my bones I feel it’s a great thing that will just get bigger and better this year, and hopefully people will come along and agree.’

Mayfesto, Tron Theatre, 4–28 May.

It's a Dead Liberty

A celebration of political rallying from days gone by, featuring Dave Anderson, Allan Tall, Sandy Nelson and more. Part of Mayfesto 2011.


Written and performed by Pat Kinevane, this solo piece portrays the convergence of four care home residents from Ireland in 1943.

Ten Men Dead

A rehearsed reading of David Beresford's play about Bobby Sands and the 1981 hunger strike. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

White Rose

The story of Lily Litvak, a Russian fighter pilot during WWII and one of the thousand women who volunteered for the Red Air Force. Peter Arnott's tale of patriotism, warfare and love, with Litvak, the 'White Rose of Stalingrad', at its heart.

Stars in the Morning Sky

A rehearsed reading of Alexander Galin's work about the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

Everything Between Us

A dark comedy about secrets and lies, set in the heart of Northern Ireland's parliament. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

Play Me Something

Based on the 1989 film, itself based on John Berger's short story. Using photography, film and live performance, this work-in-progress is a romantic and political parable. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

At Swim Two Birds

Flann O'Brien's comic send-up of Irish literature and culture tells of a lazy student writer and the characters he creates. Presented by Blue Raincoat Theatre Company with director Niall Henry. Tue 17 May – Sat 21 May: Part of Mayfesto 2011.


Northern Ireland, 1979: Nuala Kelly would do anything for the older brother she adores. Ten years after a dramatic event, she must relive the consequences of her devotion. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

Ink: 24 Hour Plays

Five writers, ten actors and two directors race against the clock to write a brand new play for your consideration, performed this evening. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

From a City Balcony

A new work from Tron Young Company, inspired by the poems of Edwin Morgan. Part of Mayfesto 2011.

Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco

Gary Owen's foul-mouthed and visceral play is a story of karaoke wannabes and old school bullies in a small Welsh town, produced by the Tron Theatre Company with director Leann O'Kasi. Tue 24 May – Sat 28 May: Part of Mayfesto 2011.

What I Meant Was …

An evening of short American works featuring Bash (Neil LaBute), Action (Sam Shepard) and a set of mini-plays and monologues by Craig Lucas. Part of Mayfesto 2011.


Mayfesto celebrates edgy and provocative new work and theatre that focuses on what's going on in the world, responding to recent events.

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