114 articles

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Why has Creative Scotland been under sustained fire during 2012?

18 Sep 2012

The questions surrounding the debate over Scotland's arts funding body

The appearance of Creative Scotland’s chief executive Andrew Dixon in front of the Scottish Parliament’s education and culture committee on Tuesday 18 September reflects the arts community’s deep concern about the competence of the national funding…

Edinburgh Festival of Politics event charts history of political satire

11 Jul 2012

Talk with Martin Rowson, Tom Shields and Tommy Sheppard

There was a moment during an especially bitchy session of Prime Minister’s Questions in April that said much about how satire can influence the centre of British political debate. With David Cameron reeling during an angry exchange on the Budget, Ed…

Young People’s Day debate at Edinburgh Festival of Politics

11 Jul 2012

Does the world of British politics cater for country’s young people?

Young voters are valuable. At their first election, many teenagers choose the political party to which they will align for life; it would be wise, surely, for the parties to make sure they get them early. But there is obviously still a failure to…


25 Jun 20124 stars

Incisive TV politcial satire by comedy writer Armando Ianucci

Armando Iannucci recently stated that Veep should not be viewed simply as a US The Thick of It. Certainly, there’s no obvious Malcolm Tucker figure bellowing and bullying all and sundry and while the language is ripe, the swearing is not quite so…

International Women's Day 2012 events

29 Feb 2012

Round-up of talks, exhibitions and events surrounding Thursday 8 March

In Glasgow, Scottish Women’s Aid will be running an all-day seminar to discuss perceptions of domestic abuse (Thu 8 Mar, Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow, 9.30am). Talk of the Steamie, a new series of talks at the People’s Palace, are…

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Interview: Doug Stanhope on politics

16 Feb 2012

The controversial comedian discusses his political beliefs ahead of his UK tour

How would you describe you political views? I don’t really like describing myself in those terms, but if I had to, I’m kind of an anarchist, just in a quiet way. I’ve been following the election at the moment [for the Republican presidential…

Opinion: MSP Joan McAlpine on same sex marriage

6 Jan 2012

The need for equal marriage rights for Scotland's same-sex couples

The introduction of civil partnerships in 2004 meant many people believe we already have gay marriage. Lots of us have celebrated the union of gay friends and family. Thirty years ago, few gay people were allowed to be open about their sexuality. Thank…

Wigtown Book Festival: Beyond the Arab Spring

6 Oct 2011

Rosemary Hollis, Martin Bell, Robert Irwin and Robin Yassin Kassab

This year has changed many of us who only had a vague idea of the kings and dictators who have made life hell for many people in North Africa and the Middle East, suddenly we are much better informed as the electrifying events of the year have unfolded.

Life and Debt

22 Sep 20114 stars

Heartbreaking and pertinent documentary about Jamaica's economic misfortunes

Made the year after the launch of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel third world debt at the beginning of the new millennium, Stephanie Black’s agitprop documentary looks at the case of Jamaica. In 1977, fifteen years after achieving independence from…

You've Been Trumped - Anthony Baxter interview

22 Sep 2011

Director of Donald Trump doc on being shunned by Scottish film bodies

‘I live in Montrose and it’s 40 miles south of the Menie Estate, where Donald Trump was planning to build his golf course resort. I read the newspapers every day and I was surprised that the coverage was so one-sided. The other side of the story, as I…

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Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

13 Sep 2011

Annual arts festival returns for biggest year yet

Unless you’ve been gently nestled under some rock for the past several years, you will probably be aware of the annual autumnal arts treat that is the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF). This year’s brochure boasts almost 300 events…

Take One Action Film Festival 2011

25 Aug 2011

Event highlights from the political film fest

Radical, committed, and delivering a great, high-quality programme, this year the Take One Action Film Festival, celebrating, as patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts it ‘the people and movies that are changing the world’, has an excellent programme of…

The Kennedys fares poorly in comparison to The West Wing

28 Jun 2011

BBC TV series can only trundle its way to various fiery denouements

Were you to catch a distant earful of the string-laden theme tune for The Kennedys (BBC2, Fri, 9pm), and glimpse, out the corner of one eye, some swimmy stars and stripes, you could be half-forgiven for thinking that someone has stuck on a West Wing…

Refugee Week Scotland

27 May 2011

The week-long events programme sets its stall, 60 years after the UN Refugee Convention was signed

We’re huge supporters of Refugee Week – so it’s with a happy heart that we can report it’s back bigger and better than ever before. As well as all the special events, activities and talks, this year’s programme boasts Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee…

Countdown to Zero

23 May 20113 stars

Documentary highlights the problems with nuclear weapons, but proposes no solutions

Following the success of last year’s Oscar-nominated Waste Land, British filmmaker Lucy Walker returns with a persuasive argument for nuclear disarmament in her latest documentary, Countdown to Zero. Featuring a range of high-profile talking heads…

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The Pipe

23 May 20114 stars

Risteard O’Domhnaill's stirring documentary shows a community's fight against big business

(12A) 83min In 1996 natural gas was discovered off the west coast of Ireland. Shortly afterwards, Shell UK announced plans to run a pipe through the waters and land of Rossport in County Mayo to an inland refinery. Risteard O’Domhnaill’s remarkable…

Scotland's biggest ever Refugee Week celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the UN Refugee Convention

17 May 2011

This year, Scotland’s ever-expanding programme of films, performances, music events, exhibitions and club nights celebrating the contribution that refugees have made to our society is marking a very important anniversary: it’s 60 years since the UN…

UK playwrights fight government cuts

18 Feb 2011

Theatre Uncut features work by Mark Ravenhill, David Greig, Lucy Kirkwood and Jack Thorne

Scotland’s art scene seldom stands on ceremony and next month looks set to be just as impressive as Bedlam Theatre hosts a day of theatre, music and talk, as part of a nationwide stand against the Government spending review. Playwrights including Mark…

Dominic Streatfeild - A History of the World Since 9/11

9 Feb 20114 stars

Explores victims caught in the less than friendly fire raging since 9/11

(Atlantic) Penning histories of mind control and cocaine can hardly be described as flights of literary fancy, but Dominic Streatfeild has now hit the mother lode of seriousness with his new work. Ever since those two towers came tumbling down, the…

George Clooney happy to stay out of politics

22 Jan 2011

Celebrity Gossip

George Clooney would never want to be president because he doesn't want to answer to anyone else. The American actor has always been quite vocal with his political views but says he has no intention to run for office as he sees what immense pressure…

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Creative Scotland director Andrew Dixon: Why successful cities make creative places

11 Jan 2011

The head of the replacement body for the Scottish Arts Council offers a view on the year ahead

Some of the most successful modern cities in Europe, from Amsterdam to Barcelona, Madrid to Venice, have come to be defined by their artistic and cultural lives. Likewise here in the UK there are many examples of cities that have, in their own way, used…

Scottish Parliament building hosts exhibition exploring Jacobites' international legacy

13 Dec 2010

Rare chance to see historic artefacts from University of Aberdeen

The Scottish Parliament building hosts an exhibition of historical pieces from the University of Aberdeen's Jacobite collections for the next month.

Storyville: Mandelson - The Real PM

22 Nov 2010

Channel Hopper

Winston Churchill once described Labour’s postwar deputy PM Herbert Morrison as a mix of ‘genius and venom’. A lot worse has been said about Morrison’s grandson Peter Mandelson, the Prince of Darkness (aka the Dark Lord) and key architect of New Labour…

PJ O'Rourke - Don’t Vote! It Just Encourages the Bastards

19 Nov 20103 stars

Caustic witticisms from Ohio-born Gonzo graduate not for everyone

(Grove Press) They say that the natural tendency is to get more right-wing with age. Few American political commentators embody this ethical shift more than PJ O’Rourke. A former ‘hippie’ turned Republican Party Reptile, it would be easy to loathe…

Steve Bell - If . . . Bursts Out

19 Nov 20104 stars

Hilarious and hurtful collection of vibrantly satiric strips

(Jonathan Cape) When Ed Miliband was elected leader of the Labour Party, the Guardian website ran footage of cartoonist Steve Bell turning his observations of the new man at the podium into a mocking cartoon. As Bell takes up his spot near the front…