Only Skin's new work carries on the Arches' legacy


Scratch night provides a valuable service getting works-in-progress to an enthusiastic audience

Now entering its second year of operation, Only Skin has taken on responsibility for presenting theatre and performance art that was once the domain of the much lamented Arches. 'We saw an absence of opportunities for recent graduates and new performers to get their work seen by audiences,' explains co-founder Ciaran McLaggan, 'and we wanted to plug that gap a little.'

Although Buzzcut and the Take Me Somewhere festival have carried on the Arches' legacy by presenting emerging and established performers, Only Skin's Scratch night consciously provides an opportunity for works in progress and developing ideas to be presented in front of an enthusiastic audience.

With the line-up for the August Scratch still to be confirmed (applications close in July), Only Skin has already played host to developmental works from Glasgow experimentalists the Doing Group, playwright Andy Edwards as well as a bevy of other artists creating work from across the performance spectrum. Fellow founder Bron Nix emphasises that supporting the artists is at the heart of their project. 'We've always aimed to present a relaxed and welcoming environment for the artists. Once their needs are catered for everything else falls into place.'

This ethos echoes the particular energy of Glasgow performance, which is eclectic, dynamic and focussed on the individual's creative process: Only Skin falls within the tradition of events like Arches Live! or the CCA's open-source programme of events. For the third founder, Nicole Rae, the scratch night is a reminder of theatre's power for public conversations. 'We've had artists discuss a whole range of topics, and audience members always find ways to engage with the work even if they had no prior knowledge of what they're seeing. It doesn't mean everything always works, but the conversation can still take place and that's better than nothing.'

The Poetry Club, Tue 1 Aug.

Only Skin: SCRATCH

Scratch night from Only Skin theatre collective, showcasing work from developing local artists, writers, theatremakers and performers.

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