Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Intrepid members of the public are being given the chance to experience a piece of medieval archaeology up close in celebration of Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

To mark Doors Open Days 2019, experts from Guard Archaeology will lead guided tours of the historic Abbey Drain on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

The expedition down the drain follows on from the success of the tours as part of Doors Open Days 2018 – and as places on the tours will be in high demand, spaces will be allocated via a ballot.

The 100m long underground passageway, thought to be more than 700 years old, was unearthed in the 19th century and rediscovered in the 1990s.

This summer, an eight-week excavation – the Big Dig – unearthed a well-preserved 14th century archway marking where and how the drain met the River Cart, around three metres from the banks of the present-day river.

Archaeologists can now pinpoint the end of the drain and the boundary wall of the monastery, which informs what we already know about the infrastructure and layout of medieval Paisley.

The dig was managed by Renfrewshire Council, run by Guard Archaeology with help from Renfrewshire Local History Forum volunteers, and supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Abbey Drain tour is a very exciting opportunity for anyone interested in Paisley’s architecture, archaeology and heritage to experience a medieval structure first-hand.

“I’ve been into the inner workings of the drain myself and it was a fascinating experience.

“There will be plenty going on all over Renfrewshire as part of Doors Open Days. I would encourage people of all ages to get out and about across the weekend and support local businesses while learning more about our heritage and culture.”

To be in with a chance of going down the drain, visit https://paisley.is/listing/win-a-tour-of-the-great-medieval-drain-in-paisleys-abbey-close/ and fill out the ballot form. The ballot will close on Friday 23 August.

Tours will run between 10am and 4.30pm on both Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Participants must be aged 12 or above.

paisley haloween parade 2020
Renfrewshire community groups are being invited to take centre stage at Paisley’s Halloween Festival…by joining the spooktacular parade.

paisley haloween parade 2020

The award-winning festival – the biggest of its kind in Scotland and one of the UK’s must-see Halloween events – will take over Paisley town centre on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.

The event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is being supported by EventScotland as part of their National Programme funding, which will allow an extended programme of outdoor performances.

Last year’s festival was the biggest yet – with 34,000 visitors to Paisley and worth more than £1.9m to the local economy.

paisley haloween parade 2020

This year’s event will have a theme of ‘dark circus’ – with the parade co-ordinated by internationally-acclaimed performance specialists Cirque Bijou, who want school and community groups to work with them in the run-up to the event and take part in the parade on the day.

They are looking for people to take part in carnival workshops and street theatre, dance and musical performances. Any interested groups should contact events@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Julian Bracey, artistic director of Cirque Bijou, said: “We are really excited to be part of this year’s celebrations. We have some amazing workshop leaders and are looking for local schools, groups and individuals to work with to make this years festival the spookiest yet.”

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events, said: “We are proud of how our Halloween Festival has grown to become the biggest of its kind in Scotland and an event with UK-wide profile.

“But we are also proud of the way it allows the many talented community and youth groups in Renfrewshire to work with and be inspired by artists of national standing. Our local groups will love working with the talented team at Cirque Bijou and help make this year’s parade as colourful and lively a spectacle as ever.”

The full programme for this year’s festival is currently being finalised and will be announced in August – along with changes to the event site for this year.

The Halloween Festival is one of the top dates within Renfrewshire’s major events programme, which brought 160,000 attendees and a £4.7m economic impact into the area in 2018 alone.

For more information on Halloween and all local events, see www.paisley.is

Sma Shot Day 2019

A crowd of thousands enjoyed an all-day family spectacular of parades, performances and pyrotechnics as one of the world’s oldest workers’ festivals took over Paisley town centre on Saturday.

The annual Sma’ Shot Day event turned the town into a hub of activity as the sun shone, with more than 50 events taking place across 20 outdoor stages and venues.

Sma Shot Day 2019

The event – which celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers in a 19th-century industrial dispute – celebrates the town’s rich textile heritage and had the theme ‘let’s party like its 1856’.

The fun began with the colourful parade – featuring colourful characters, floats and costumes and led by the Charleston Drum – from Brodie Park to the town centre.

This year’s event was taking place in a new event site in the streets around the town’s historic Sma’ Shot Cottages.

Sma Shot Day 2019

Huge crowds gathered at Paisley Arts Centre for the spectacular pyrotechnic Burning of the Cork, featuring an effigy of one of the middlemen who demanded payment from the town’s weavers for the Sma’ Shot – the unseen thread which held together the Paisley Patterned shawls.

The outdoor stages saw performances from groups including PACE Youth Theatre, Right2Dance, Starlight Music Theatre and a drumming finale from the Charleston Drummers School of Rock.

Families enjoyed kids’ activities including an outdoor beach, circus skills and carnival workshops in the streets around New Street, Shuttle Street and Brown’s Lane

The pubs and clubs along Shuttle Street opened their doors for the day to join in the fun – with The Bungalow hosting a family ceilidh with local group Fèis Phàislig and kids workshops in Faction nightclub.

Local businesses across the town have been throwing open their doors for the Creative Craft Trail, with designers from Renfrewshire’s InCube creative business incubator showing off their skills at various venues around the town today and tomorrow.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who joined the parade on the day, said: “Once again, there was a wonderful family atmosphere along the parade route and at the event itself as we celebrated this important part of Paisley’s heritage.

“The new event site worked really well and helped spread the activity and benefits throughout the town centre.

“We were delighted this year to work with many of the pubs, shops and cafes to make them venues for event activity and drive footfall directly through their doors.”

Sma’ Shot Day is part of Renfrewshire Council’s major events programme which last year brought around 160,000 attendees and an economic boost of around £4.7m to Renfrewshire.

sma shot day 2019

The Sma’ Shot celebration always takes place on the first Saturday in July – to mark the time of year when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

This year will be no different – everyone is invited to join the annual party this Saturday 6 July from 12 noon to 5pm. And with almost 50 events taking place across 20 different venues, this year’s celebration promises to be the best yet!

sma shot day 2019

Festivities will get underway at noon as the colourful parade leaves Brodie Park, heading for Paisley Arts Centre led by the tuck of the Charleston Drum. The parade this year will feature local groups, performers, spectacular floats and giant puppets, all co-ordinated by parade specialists Bridgeman Arts.

2019 will also see Sma’ Shot Day return to its roots, quite literally, by moving to the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley’s town centre; with Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane all set to come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family-friendly activities.

sma shot day 2019

Amongst these activities there will of course be the Burning of the Cork (1.20pm within the grounds of Paisley Arts Centre) which sees the ‘Corks’ – the middlemen between the owners and the weavers – meet their fate at the hands of the working weavers in spectacular fashion. Right2Dance will deliver a short pre-Burning of the Cork performance with live music in front of Paisley Arts Centre at 1.15pm.

sma shot day 2019

Plus, there will be lots of opportunities to learn a new craft at a series of artists workshops taking place all over Paisley. Follow the Creative Craft Trail for mural painting, jewellery making, embroidery and loads more.

The Sma’ Shot Cottages will also be open 12 noon til 5pm for your chance to see what life was really like for the weavers in the 19th century. Catch a guided tour and watch live weaving demonstrations with Paisley Museum’s textiles expert, Dan Coughlan. We also recommend a trip to Paisley Thread Mill Museum to complete your weaving experience on the industry’s most celebrated day of the year.

Download the Paisley.is handy event map and start planning your day!

 

Katherine Pentney and Lynn McGrady

It’s an annual celebration which harks back to the time weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

And this year, alongside all the music, dance and theatre on show, local businesses will be getting involved in Sma’ Shot weekend by opening their doors to members of the public who are keen to learn new skills.

Katherine Pentney and Lynn McGrady

Bars, restaurants and businesses on the stretch from Gauze Street, onto Shuttle Street and Brown’s Lane, and up to the High Street, are preparing to host bespoke creative workshops and classes from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July.

The classes are pit stops on the Creative Craft Trail – an initiative which gives members of the public the chance to meet designers from InCube, Paisley’s creative business incubator.

The Bungalow, The Lane, Bar Pre, and Faction in Shuttle Street; The Cave in New Street; Bianco e Nero, Blend and Brew; Fairfull Café, Helen’s Haberdashery, and TaTa Bella’s Café on the High Street; and The Workshop in the Old Fire Station, will all be hosting activities across the weekend. Sma’ Shot Cottages and Paisley Abbey will also be involved.

Katherine Pentney

The venues in Shuttle Street and The Cave will provide food and drink at their events.

Classes and workshops will include jewellery-making, knitting, weaving, embroidery, sewing, painting and pottery.

Textile artist Katherine Pentney (also known as The Canny Squirrel) will be running classes in free motion embroidery at Helen’s Haberdashery on the High Street on Saturday 6 July.

Katherine said: “It’s great to be involved in what’s going on creatively in Renfrewshire at the moment. People are definitely more interested in crafting now and activities that develop creative skills are really making a resurgence.

“To be hosting these workshops in Paisley, home of the famous pattern, and an area with such a rich textile history, is a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to meeting the students.”

Lynne McGrady, sales assistant at Helen’s Haberdashery, said: “The Sma’ Shot festival is a massive event for Paisley and these creative activities will help shine a spotlight on local businesses.

“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of what Paisley businesses are providing for the people of Renfrewshire, and to encourage people to buy from local entrepreneurs to keep Renfrewshire’s economy healthy.

“We’re very proud to be involved in this year’s activities and look forward to being at the centre of what’s happening on the High Street.”

The main Sma’ Shot Day party will take place on Saturday 6 July between 12pm and 5pm, with around 50 events taking place across 20 different venues.

Festivities will get underway when the parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, heading for Paisley Arts Centre, led by the tuck of the Charleston drum.

As the fun progresses, the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley’s town centre – Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane – will come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family friendly activities.

grandad pic

Real-life grandads and their grandsons from the Paisley area will take to the stage to become stars of a theatre show about the relationships between men and boys.

The show Old Boy is being performed at Paisley Arts Centre on Wednesday and Thursday, June 5 and 6 at 7.30pm.

grandad pic

And three local granddads and their grandsons will be on stage performing in the shows presented by the Glasgow-based theatre company Glas(s) Performance.

The men and boys taking part are grandfather, Ray Brown, aged 65, from Quarrier’s Village, near Kilmacolm and his two-year-old grandson, Harvey Millar, from Paisley; Patrick Head, aged 66 and his nine-year-old grandson, Dalton, from Penilee along with 82-year-old Monty Colvan and his grandson, Owen Fyfe, aged 21, from Crookston.

Ray Brown looks after Harvey three days a week and he takes his grandson along to various activities like swimming, Bookbug sessions and the Gym Joey’s classes at the ON-X sports centre, in Linwood.

Rays said: “I’ve never been on stage before and neither has Harvey, since he’s only two. But we’re really looking forward to it and I’ve no doubt Harvey will enjoy himself, as he loves mixing with people.

“I’ll be doing all the talking on stage and Harvey will be enjoying himself playing with toys.”

Ray has been used to being in front of a large audience as before he retired he was a senior manager with a large insurance company and has spoken to audiences of hundreds at conferences all over the world. He even shared a stage with Nelson Mandela in 1997 during a conference held in Zimbabwe.

Ray added: “I spend a lot of time with Harvey and I thought it would be exciting for him to take part in the show. I’m quite looking forward to it myself!”

Jess Thorpe, Co-Artistic Director of the show said: “We’re excited to introduce audiences in Renfrewshire to the real-life relationships of three local sets of grandfathers and their grandsons and to share the stories of love, legacy and tenderness in their family relationships.

“Old Boy is a show about love, tenderness and care between men. This is a side of masculinity which we rarely get to see on stage and something that feels important to celebrate.”

Since the show is about men and boys, Renfrewshire Leisure is offering children into the performance for free when they are accompanied by a paying adult.

Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com or call 0300 300 1210 to buy a ticket at only £5.

Old Boy. Glass Performance. Platform, Glasgow. October 2017

This award-winning company present a show about men, boys and emotion featuring a cast of real-life grandfathers and grandsons focusing on legacy, inheritance, history and ageing

Devised and Performed by a local cast of men and boys from Renfrewshire

 

Paisley Arts Centre

5th and 6TH June

7.30pm

£5

Running time: 1 hr

 

“Utterly life-affirming” ★★★★ The Herald

Old Boy. Glass Performance. Platform, Glasgow. October 2017

 

OLD BOY is a show which is re-made and performed by a new cast local to each venue it visits. It was originally created at Platform in Glasgow which was then featured as part of the Made in Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It has since toured to Northumberland, will visit Washington DC and London this summer and in June will come to Paisley Arts Centre.

OLD features real-life grandfathers and grandsons aged 2 – 82 as they perform this tender performance about making memories together, exploring what men and boys have meant, might mean and do mean to each other, what has been difficult and perhaps not talked about before. OLD BOY reflects on the legacies passed down through generations, received notions of masculinity and how these ideas impact on real lives lived.

Jess Thorpe, Co-Artistic Director, said: “We are delighted to be bringing OLD BOY to Paisely Arts Centre as every time we make it in a new place it feels new and we learn loads from the men and boy we get to work with. We are excited to introduce audiences in Renfrewshire to the real-life relationships of three local sets of grandfathers and their grandsons and to share the stories of love, legacy and tenderness in their family relationships. OLD BOY is, amongst its many aspects, a show about love, tenderness and care between men. This is a side of masculinity which we rarely get to see on stage and something that feels important to celebrate.”

Old Boy. Glass Performance. Platform, Glasgow. October 2017

Glas(s) Performance is an award-winning Glasgow based theatre company run by performance directors Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore. Glas(s) Performance work with real people in the place of fictional characters to tell human stories that resonate with audiences of all ages and experiences. They have been making this work for 14 years now and have produced over 30 pieces of new work inspired by the people they have met.

 

Past shows include: Life Long (2010) a show about love featuring Tillie and Ronnie Jeffrey, a couple who have been married for 55 years. Hand Me Down (2011) about the things women pass down to each other in families with Margaret Hendy, her daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces and cousin.

Albert Drive (2013) A large-scale project looking at the idea of neighbours from the perspective of one street in Pollokshields, Glasgow. GLIMMER (2014) The story of two sisters at Christmas with Rosie and Megan Reid. Recent co-production include The Happiness Project (2015) with the Roundhouse and SPOTLIGHT (2015) with Rogaland Teater in Norway.

Glas(s) Performance also produce award-winning Junction 25, a company of young performers aged between 11 -18 based at Tramway. www.junction-25.com.

 

Company

 

Devised and performed by local cast of grandsons and grandfathers from Renfrewshire

Designer Rachel O’Neill

Sound Design Harry Wilson

Lighting Design Kate Bonney  

 

Web and social media links: www.glassperformance.co.uk | @glassperform | #OLDBOY

 

 

Listings information

 

Old Boy  – a coproduction between Glas(s) Performance and Paisley Arts Centre

Paisley Arts Centre

5th and 6TH June

7.30pm

£5

Running time: 1 hr

surrogate productions presents The Guitar Man. Performer Renee Williams. Photo credit Daniel Brecher (1)

The debut production from surrogate productions, The Guitar Man, opens as part of Platform’s Outskirts Festival on Saturday 27 April, before embarking on a tour around Scotland in May.

‘Everything has its time, a man and a piece of music…’

surrogate productions presents The Guitar Man. Performer Renee Williams. Photo credit Daniel Brecher (1)

A man makes his living singing the same songs day after day on the edge of town. He plays to an audience that is always on the move, always passing him by. People call him The Guitar Man.

On a winter’s night, he takes shelter and tells us his story: he came here because of a woman, and stayed here because of a son. Searching for answers to the past, present and future, he reaches a decision: to stop playing.

In a world made up of winners and losers, The Guitar Man asks what is left when we reject the role we are expected to play? Written in 1997, by Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, the play speaks anew to a post-industrial society in crisis, where rootlessness and homelessness have become a common experience.

surrogate productions presents The Guitar Man. Performer Renee Williams. Photo credit Daniel Brecher (1)

Weaving text, song and silence to create an intimate, physical and disquieting
theatrical experience, this tender study of a so-called ‘outsider’ traces the delicate balance between loneliness and longing, loss and salvation.

The Guitar Man will be played by female performer Renee Williams, and is directed by actor and director, and Artistic Director of surrogate productions, Nora Wardell. The production features a composition of vocal and guitar fragments by artist, composer and performer, Hanna Tuulikki with sound design by Kevin Murray. The creative team also includes dramaturgy by Eszter Marsalkó, set and costume design by Sarah Beaton and lighting design by Emma Jones.

Paisley Arts Centre | Wed 1 May | 7.30pm | £10/£8 (+ bkg fee)
0300 300 1210 | renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

The Guitar Man

The debut production from surrogate productions, The Guitar Man, opens as part of

Platform’s Outskirts Festival on Saturday 27 April, before embarking on a tour around Scotland in May.

The Guitar Man

‘Everything has its time, a man and a piece of music…’  

 

A man makes his living singing the same songs day after day on the edge of town. He plays to an audience that is always on the move, always passing him by. People call him The Guitar Man.

 

On a winter’s night, he takes shelter and tells us his story: he came here because of a woman, and stayed here because of a son. Searching for answers to the past, present and future, he reaches a decision: to stop playing.  

 

In a world made up of winners and losers, The Guitar Man asks what is left when we

reject the role we are expected to play? Written in 1997, by Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, the play speaks anew to a post-industrial society in crisis, where rootlessness and

homelessness have become a common experience.

 

Weaving text, song and silence to create an intimate, physical and disquieting

theatrical experience, this tender study of a so-called ‘outsider’ traces the delicate balance between loneliness and longing, loss and salvation.

 

The Guitar Man will be played by female performer Renee Williams, and is directed by actor and director, and Artistic Director of surrogate productions, Nora Wardell. The

production features a composition of vocal and guitar fragments by artist, composer and performer, Hanna Tuulikki with sound design by Kevin Murray. The creative team also includes dramaturgy by Eszter Marsalkó, set and costume design by Sarah Beaton and lighting design by Emma Jones.

Renfrewshire Council Sheltered housing tenants have taken starring roles in their own theatre production, thanks to funding from Renfrewshire Council.

Tenants from four complexes across Renfrewshire took to the stage to perform ‘UpLIFTing Renfrewshire Folk’, performing two sold out performances at the Starlight Youth Theatre to rave reviews.

Karen Herbison, Director of H-Arts has been involved in working with the tenants, using their life experience and stories to write and produce the show, with many tenants appearing in performing roles.

Assisted by her core team, Karen and the tenants developed a performance telling stories that touched audiences, showcasing new and original sketches and featuring monologues, poetry and song.

Sally Logan, Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator for Renfrewshire Sheltered Housing Service, said:

“All the tenants worked really hard to produce an unmissable piece of theatre and had a great time in the process.

“It has provided our tenants with the opportunity to channel their inner creativity. It also shows how important it is to keep active and socialise to reduce the effects of loneliness and Isolation.”

The project was supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF). Launched in 2016 to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021, CHEF has supported over 100 projects across Renfrewshire with the aims of increasing participation in cultural activity and showing how creativity can boost education, social inclusion and quality of life.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Iain Nicolson said:

“The CHE fund has been key in involving local people in cultural and creative activity and I’m pleased to see our sheltered housing tenants benefit.

“Involvement in culture has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and it’s fantastic that the tenants have had this opportunity to take part in what was a new experience for many of them.”

Applications for the next round of the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund are now being accepted. More information about the fund is available online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CHEF.