SUPERFAN in association with Tron Theatre presents
A parrot says ‘I love you’. A dolphin tries to speak. A woman spends a lifetime trying to understand.
Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 17 April.
Newly announced National Theatre of Scotland Company in Residence SUPERFAN set off on tour from 4 April – 1 May 2020 with Like Animals: a funny and poignant look at love and communication in human (and not so human) relationships.
Directed by Herald Angel Award winner Ellie Dubois (No Show) and inspired by true accounts of research scientists working to communicate with animals, Like Animals weaves stories of human-animal communication around an exploration into the real-life relationship of performers Kim Donohoe and Pete Lannon.
Every night, Alex the parrot and Irene the scientist bid one another farewell with ‘be good, see you tomorrow, I love you.’ As time marches on and their relationship deepens, Alex begins to use the language he has learned from Irene to manipulate her. Peter the dolphin lives in a flooded house with Margaret, who is teaching him English. Working together in a bizarre NASA-funded experiment, their relationship garners unwelcome attention in the press with headlines such as ‘The Woman who lived in sin with a dolphin’ (The Telegraph, June 2014). Delving into the research, Kim and Pete tell these stories with only a paddling pool and a couple of wetsuits.
MJ McCarthy’s delicate score and Rachel O’Neill’s surreal, contemporary design draws audiences into the joy and heartbreak of trying, and sometimes failing, to understand another being.
Like Animals has been developed in association with Tron CREATIVE through their Scratch and Tron Lab opportunities, and with support from Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund.
SUPERFAN is a new Scottish performance company who create performances for adult and young audiences that blend theatre, live art, circus and dance. SUPERFAN won the 2019 Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award.
SHORTLIST – BEST THEATRE PRODUCTION, BROADWAY WORLD EDINBURGH FESTIVAL AWARDS 2019
“A quirky, thought-provoking two-hander” ★★★★ – The Telegraph
“Cleverly and deliberately entertaining …a production that asks chewy questions” ★★★★ – Herald Scotland
“Communication between animals may be important on a scientific level, but good communication with the ones you love is essential” ★★★★ – The Wee Review
“At a moment when we urgently need to reassess our relationship with the natural world, an exploration of human-animal connections feels timely” – Recommended Show 2019, The Guardian
“…Original and beautifully staged” – Fest Magazine
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Paisley Halloween Festival has been named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the Scottish Thistle Awards 2019/2020 National Final.
Organised by VisitScotland, the prestigious awards celebrate innovation, excellence and success in the Scottish tourism sector.
The popular event in Renfrewshire Council’s annual calendar picked up the National Award for its 2018 festival, which saw crowds of over 34,000 people flock to the town across two days to enjoy a bumper programme of spectacular aerial performances, thrilling live acts and a Mardi-Gras style parade with more than 500 costumed performers.
Inspired by the town’s dark and deathly 17th century witch history, the enhanced theme of ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ thrilled visitors from all over Scotland.
Judges were impressed with the seasonality of the event and the growth that it has seen in recent years. They also praised event organisers for their engagement with young people and the community.
The festival was a highlight of VisitScotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations, with young people at the heart of the festival’s development and delivery.
A 20-strong Youth Panel worked alongside Renfrewshire Council’s Events Team to design and deliver the programme, while more than 500 young people took part in a new creative learning programme. This provided young people with the opportunity to participate in all aspects of festival from performance to live event management and technical production.
The Scottish Thistle Awards is based on five regional programmes with the winners of each progressing to the National Final.
Paisley Halloween Festival was among 15 winners in the regional finals for the West in November – which included businesses and individuals from Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley, Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway and Argyll & Bute.
The National Final took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre last night (5 March), and saw 18 individuals, businesses and events honoured for their contribution to the tourism sector.
Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s Head of Communications, Marketing and Events, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Paisley Halloween Festival has won Best Festival in Scotland at the Scottish Thistle Awards. We were in a category with some of Scotland’s most amazing cultural events and are delighted to be keeping company with them. Well done to everyone.
“Paisley Halloween is one of the most highly anticipated events in our calendar – and is now regarded as one of the biggest and best of its kind in the UK.
“Winning this award continues to put Paisley on the map as a great place to visit and experience world class cultural events – and we look forward to continuing to welcome even more people to Paisley to enjoy.”
VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Gordon Smith, said: “Congratulations to everyone at Renfrewshire Council on winning the national Scottish Thistle Award for Best Cultural Event or Festival. This is a fantastic achievement for Paisley Halloween Festival which has become one of the most anticipated events in the region’s calendars which has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
“The Scottish Thistle Awards give businesses and individuals working within tourism in Scotland the opportunity to earn the recognition and appreciation they deserve from their own industry peers.
“The impact of tourism goes far beyond the holiday experience. It is vital to the Scottish economy, reaching every corner of the country, creating jobs and bringing economic and social change.”
The Scottish Thistle Award marks another celebration for the Paisley Halloween Festival after it won Best Festival or Outdoor Event at the EventIt E Awards in June 2019.
The Paisley Halloween Festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council and the 2018 event was supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
To find out more about the Paisley Halloween Festival, visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/halloween/
For more information on the Scottish Thistle Awards, visit: https://www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk/
DOZENS of secondary school pupils have taken to the stage to compete in the third Renfrewshire Schools Secondary Dance Competition.
The eight schools that took part in the contest held at Renfrew High were Castlehead, Paisley Grammar, St Benedict’s, Gryffe, Johnstone High, Park Mains, St Andrews and Renfrew High.
The dance competition organised by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Sport Services Active Schools staff allowed all year groups to compete, with more than one dance group from each school doing a routine in each category. The three categories were Junior, Senior and Mixed.
The event was judged by, Sam Duncan (Active Schools coordinator and assistant teacher at Jamdance), Jaime Stalley (Active Schools sessional coach and former dancer for Jazzle Dazzle), and Karen Moir (Owner of Karen Moir’s dance school).
The results were –
Junior category: 1. St Benedict’s High; 2. Renfrew High and 3. Castlehead High. Senior category: 1. Renfrew High; 2. Renfrew High and 3. Gryffe High. Mixed category: 1. Gryffe High; 2. Renfrew High and 3. Johnstone High.
Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “There were some great performances from all the schools and they performed a range of different dance styles.
“We encourage young people to get involved in dance as it is very creative and also a good way to keep fit and healthy.”
Go Kids – The Diane Mitchell Music School
Legendary artist and playwright John Byrne is in line to receive his hometown’s highest honour – the Freedom of Renfrewshire.
Provost Lorraine Cameron has submitted a motion, which will be considered at this week’s council meeting, to give the award to one of Paisley’s favourite sons in recognition of his contribution to the area.
The Freedom of Renfrewshire is an honorary title and is the highest civic honour that can be bestowed upon an individual or group. It has only been awarded five times previously.
John Byrne was born in Ferguslie Park in Paisley in 1940 and is best known for writing The Slab Boys Trilogy – a set of plays telling the story of young-working class Scots in Paisley and inspired by his own experiences working in Stoddard’s Carpet Factory in Elderslie.
Alongside being an accomplished writer of stage and screen, John Byrne is known for his distinctive painting style and continues to paint and exhibit new work regularly.
John returned to Paisley on Saturday 22 February to celebrate his 80th year as part of the inaugural Paisley Book Festival. The sold-out event in Paisley Arts Centre featured readings from his plays and live music.
He will also bring his new musical play, Underwood Lane, to Paisley Arts Centre from 25-28 June for its world premiere, in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure and Tron Theatre. The play tells the tale of a young skiffle band trying to make it and is written in memory of John’s Paisley buddy, Gerry Rafferty, who was born and brought up on the street.
Underwood Lane is the last event to be held at Paisley Arts Centre before it closes for refurbishment and is supported by Future Paisley – a programme of economic, social and physical regeneration building on the work already done to use Paisley’s internationally-significant culture and heritage story to change its future.
Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “John is a celebrated playwriter, painter, printmaker and theatre designer and has put Paisley on the map. He continues to be committed to our local community and is treasured by citizens of Ferguslie Park, past and present, as well as the wider Renfrewshire community and its civic leaders. I’m delighted to offer him this honour and thank him for the contribution he has made to Renfrewshire.”
Opposition party leader, Councillor Eddie Devine, who seconded the motion said: “I’m delighted to second Provost Cameron’s motion to award the Freedom of Renfrewshire to John Byrne, in recognition of his achievements and commitment to Renfrewshire. Throughout his successful career he has never forgotten his roots.”
If approved, the Freedom of Renfrewshire will officially be awarded to John Byrne later this year. Find out more about the Freedom of Renfrewshire at http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/freedomofrenfrewshire
Musicianship – The Diane Mitchell Music School
A commitment of over £1million to support culture and events is helping to bolster Paisley’s reputation as one of Scotland’s top destinations for culture and events with a jam-packed programme planned for 2020.
A range of exciting projects, events and collaborations are being supported by Future Paisley – a programme of economic, social and physical regeneration building on the work already done to use Paisley’s internationally-significant culture and heritage story to change its future.
Following the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid Future Paisley, funded by Renfrewshire Council, earmarked more than £1million to invest in supporting cultural and events programming in the town as part of a three-year funding package until 2022. Some projects supported through this funding come to fruition in 2020.
Next week the town will host the first-ever Paisley Book Festival supported through the Future Paisley programme and delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure. The ten-day event, taking place from 20 – 29 February at various town centre venues, will be centred on the theme of Radical Voices and Rebel Stories – drawing on the Paisley Radicals of 1820 as inspiration. The impressive programme will feature the likes of Jackie Kaye, John Byrne, Janice Galloway, Kirsty Wark, Alan Bissett and even a performance from the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.
One of Paisley’s favourite sons, John Byrne, will bring his new musical play, Underwood Lane, to Paisley Arts Centre from 25-28 June for its world premiere, in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure and Tron Theatre. The play tells the tale of a young skiffle band trying to make it and is written in memory of John’s Paisley buddy, Gerry Rafferty, who was born and brought up on the titular street. Underwood Lane is the last event to be held at Paisley Arts Centre before it closes for refurbishment.
The Paisley People’s Theatre Project, a large-scale participatory arts programme will launch this summer as part of a collaboration between National Theatre of Scotland, Slung Low and Renfrewshire Leisure. It will engage with the local community offering classes and courses via Slung Low’s mobile Cultural Community College and months of in-depth workshops and rehearsals with professional actors and creatives leading to a performance in 2021 telling the story of Paisley’s momentous past.
Future Paisley Lead for Renfrewshire Council, Leonie Bell, said: “The quality of events and collaborations taking place in Paisley in 2020 demonstrates how culture is thriving in the town. Through Future Paisley we are nurturing and supporting creativity in communities, the cultural potential of Paisley and opening-up opportunities for everyone to benefit from the transformative power of culture.
“By working with partners, communities, artists and creative and cultural organisations, locally and nationally, we are making changes that will benefit everyone in Renfrewshire by supporting brilliant art and culture through a programme of events, festivals and collaborations.”
Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This year offers so many opportunities for the people of Paisley and Renfrewshire to enjoy and engage with a fantastic and diverse range of cultural and creative events.
“The first-ever Paisley Book Festival will bring some of the most prestigious names in the Scottish literary scene to the town for what is sure to be a fantastic event. We’re all very excited to be hosting the first ever performance of celebrated Paisley Buddie, John Byrne’s, Underwood Lane production to Paisley Art Centre for what I’m sure will be a sell-out show.
“The impressive and extensive range of activity taking place supports the aims of Renfrewshire Leisure to help build cultural capacity and public participation in the creative arts in the town.”
Co-Producer of Paisley Book Festival, Keira Brown, said: “It’s great that Future Paisley have committed to funding the Paisley Book Festival. Having that level of commitment to reading, debate, learning and discussion in Renfrewshire is key to see a beneficial change in wellbeing, and reading development.”
Over the next few years, Future Paisley will continue to deliver exciting new cultural collaborations, events and programmes to celebrate Paisley’s unique stories, support local creative groups to grow and thrive through existing cultural funding programmes and create opportunities for everyone to benefit from all that culture has to offer.
Future Paisley investment will also supplement the town’s existing major events programme which already includes Paisley Halloween Festival – one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK.
The programme also complements the ongoing £100m investment in Paisley’s cultural venues and outdoor spaces, currently being overseen by Renfrewshire Council, and which includes the work to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination bringing new footfall to the town.
The support, commitment and investment by Future Paisley in the cultural and creative sector continues to build on the work of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.