Take Me Somewhere: a new Glasgow festival aiming to keep The Arches' spirit alive
Festival Director Jackie Wylie tells David Pollock about a new forum for live performance work
When The Arches was closed due to licensing issues in early 2015, many rightly lamented the loss to Glasgow's music scene. However a number of post-mortems failed to take into account the venue's valuable contributions to Scotland's wider cultural heritage. In fact, it was one of the most important locations in Scotland for groundbreaking new performance work, while events such as Arches Live, Behaviour and the Brick Award had become vital ways for new talent to be seen in this country.
Now, nearly two years on from The Arches' closure, its former artistic director Jackie Wylie has returned to helm Take Me Somewhere, a new festival aimed at carrying on much of the venue's good work. Based at Tramway but taking place in venues across Glasgow, the festival will present three and a half weeks of work in 'the spirit of The Arches,' says Wylie. 'We've been trying to make a "best of", which is a shorthand way of saying the essential and unique elements of The Arches programme, and then manifest them in different ways in different venues across the city.'
On certain nights during the festival there will be single shows or double and triple bills at venues in close proximity to one another, creating a mini-festival feel. Highlights will include a strand at Platform combining performance and music; an award for performance makers in conjunction with the Citizens Theatre, which asks for radical reinterpretations of classic texts; a new piece of work created with the Imaginate festival; the Adrian Howells Award for one-on-one performance, named after the late theatre-maker; and a weekend of queer and radical work at the Glue Factory.
Regardless of the success of this first Take Me Somewhere, Wylie will be leaving shortly after to take up her new post as the National Theatre of Scotland's artistic director. 'There's an amazing team in place at Take Me Somewhere, combining the producing and design expertise from The Arches,' she says. 'I'd hope that they continue to make it happen after I leave.'
Take Me Somewhere, various venues, Glasgow, 22 Feb–12 Mar