10 events you can't miss in Dundee this March
- David Pollock
- 2 March 2018
Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, Dundee Contemporary Arts, from Sat 10 Mar / credit: Jonathan Bassett
From Stewart Lee to a Shonky exhibition
This month, Dundee plays host to one of the most successful plays ever, a couple of big-name comedians and a strong bill of contemporary art exhibitions around the city. Here are nine events you can't miss in the city this month – plus one across the river.
Your chance to see Ira Levin's Tony Award-winning play, directed by sometime panto king of Glasgow and featuring a five-person Dundee Rep cast. Deathtrap tells the twisting, turning story of a struggling playwright who apparently murders his student in order to steal his hit play.
Dundee Rep Theatre, until Sat 10 Mar.
More famous than most of his peers over a century after he died – not for the quality of his work, but for his apparently unintentional ineptitude as a poet – the Edinburgh-born William McGonagall is most well-known for his dumbfounding 'The Tay Bridge Disaster'. This new play from writer/actor Gary McNair, director Joe Douglas and musician Simon Liddell (Frightened Rabbit) takes a closer look at the poet and examines the nature of humour. Expect something in the vein of McNair's Donald Robertson is Not a Stand-Up Comedian.
Dundee Rep Theatre, Sat 31 Mar.
Stewart Lee: Content Provider
It dates back to 2016, but everything about Stewart Lee's current show Content Provider continues to be relevant. Originally conceived as a comment on digital consumerism and the cancellation of his own Comedy Vehicle television show, it was reworked to reflect the rise of Brexit and Trump – and, of course, we're still talking about them.
Dundee Rep Theatre, Tue 13 Mar.
Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert
At the opposite end of the spectrum from the complex and intellectual Lee, Ed Byrne is a master of breezy observational comedy, and yet his new show also attempts to capture something of the spirit of the times. He says he wanted to call it 'I'll Millennial You in a Minute' and his promoter suggested 'off-puttingly baffling'. But the gist of Spoiler Alert is, he wants to ask if his generation really is one of spoiled brats.
Dundee Rep Theatre, Fri 16 & Sat 17 Mar.
Sketch of Dundee
Artist Carl Lavia, aka Sketch, is attempting to illustrate and display images of all 69 cities in the UK as part of an epic road trip. Dundee is his fourth stop, and this made-from-memory aerial panorama of the city viewed from across the Tay will be on display at the McManus for the next six months.
McManus Art Gallery & Museum, until Sun 5 Aug.
Ingela Ihrman: We Thrive
The Malmo-based artist brings her first solo show to the UK, in which her mixed practice of performance, installation and writing combines with her recent fieldwork on the Isle of Eigg. Expect the show to reflect an output which has so far featured – we're quoting here – 'a giant hogweed, intestines, a giant otter giving birth before a human gaze and a toad doing gymnastics.'
Cooper Gallery at DJCAD, Fri 9 Mar–Fri 13 Apr.
Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness
Curated by the 'Alien Sex Club' artist John Walter (pictured, top), this new exhibition from the Hayward Gallery's touring strand looks at art which is deliberately clumsy, lo-fi and created against the slick aesthetics of much contemporary art. Artists and architects featured include Arakawa and Gins, Cosima von Bonin, Niki de Saint Phalle, Benedict Drew, Justin Favela, Duggie Fields and Walter himself.
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Sat 10 Mar–Sun 27 May.
Martin Metcalfe and the Fornicators
Edinburgh's Martin Metcalfe has a long and varied career in music, going back to his first band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie in the late '80s. Their number also included Shirley Manson, and the pair were also in GMM's successor band Angelfish before Manson joined Garbage. More recently, Metcalfe has co-fronted Isa & the Filthy Tongues, who released their album Jacob's Ladder in 2016, and now he plays 'solo' gigs and releases his two 'Unplugged' albums with backing band The Fornicators.
Beat Generator Live!, Fri 9 Mar.
As befits an artist who gave up life in Scotland's big cities to move with his family to the Western Isles, Idlewild's lead singer Roddy Woomble is playing venues that are slightly more out of the way this time. So you'll have to cross the bridge to hear live versions of songs from last year's solo album The Deluder, as well as other low-key solo and Idlewild tracks.
Rio Community Centre, Newport-On-Tay, Sat 17 Mar.
One for the nostalgic ravers out there (Dundee surely has plenty), QFX were a 90s-vintage rave group founded in Hawick in the Borders, who went on to have huge success at Scottish megaraves like Rezerection and crossed over into the national mainstream with the hits 'Everytime You Touch Me' and ' Freedom'.
Fat Sam's, Fri 30 Mar.