Live performance returns to Scotland

Published: 4 October 2020
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Ken Gouge, Chair of the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival
Edinburgh Horror Festival 2020 can be watched from the safety of your own home!
Doctor Bonks Lockdown Die-ary.jpg

Dumfries and Galloway Council's Major Festivals and Events Strategy sees some £108,000 of funding spread across two years supporting live events in the region next year.

Key to the recovery of local arts, this injection of cash will mean that 2021's Spring Fling and Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, the largest rural performing arts festival in Scotland, will be able to go ahead.

This year, a postponed Spring Fling went online and the Festival had to be cancelled in its entirety. Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival is also behind, Arts Live a year-round local programme of performing arts and Stage iT engaging young people in the industry.

Ken Gouge, chair of the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, said, “we recognise the strong and ongoing relationship we have with the Council in Dumfries and Galloway and are keen to continue to provide opportunities for people across the region to have access to the performing arts.

“As Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival, we are able to ensure our communities have opportunities for relevant, meaningful arts experiences, from spectacular large-scale events to shows in small village halls that are tailored to that specific local audience.

“Although our event will be on a smaller scale in 2021 due to the current situation, we aim to focus on reconnecting individual communities in the region with the vital performing arts and cultural events they missed out on this year."

The Council is providing an additional £30,000 to Together Again, an arts season curated by DG Unlimited, focusing on community-based events for rebuilding social cohesion and economic regeneration.

Also recently from north of the border, The National theatre of Scotland will stream live performances as part of its 2020–2021 programme.

A new co-production with Edinburgh International Festival and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh will see Hannah Lavery’s Lament for Sheku Bayoh streamed from Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre. Lavery is one of three newly appointed associates. Johnny McKnight and Wezi Mhura are the other two.

Lavery's work is paired with Adura Onashile’s Ghosts, a live walk through Glasgow’s Merchant City experienced via a bespoke augmented reality smartphone app. Both pieces look at race, identity, and social justice.

The National theatre of Scotland season also includes a new dramatic podcast music, work with schools and elders and a special festive programme in December.

Live performances and major tours across Scotland are planned to start in the spring of 2021. In the meantime the Edinburgh Horror Festival is going online. Running for ten days from 22 October the Festival offers pre-filmed theatre, comedy and storytelling from local and international artists.

Many shows will première during the opening weekend and then be available on demand. Amongst these are Doctor Bonks Lockdown Die-ary, Andromada Mystique's Cabaret Cabin, Noni Townshend's adaptation of H P Lovecraft’s Pickman’s Model and Las Vegs comedian Trudy Carmichael's improvised one woman show How Death became Her.