theatre in truck

Paisley’s flagship annual cultural extravaganza The Spree gets under way today….helped by National Theatre of Scotland offering a truckload of chances to see the area as never before.

The seventh year of the Spree (12 to 21 Oct) sees 87 shows in 17 venues in five towns around Renfrewshire over ten days – with music, comedy, theatre and much more.

theatre in truck

Big-name headliners include Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in conversation about his legendary career (Fri 12 Oct) and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the London African Gospel Choir performing Graceland (Sat 20 Oct), both at Paisley Town Hall.

The iconic Spiegeltent in County Square will host musical acts The Orb (Mon 15th), Traceyanne and Danny and The Pastels (Sat 13th), ex-Kraftwerk man Wolfgang Flur (Sat 13th), The Wandering Hearts (Sun 14th), Vieux Farke Toure (Tues 16th), The Leisure Society and Duke Special (Weds 17th), Big Minds (Thurs 18th), and Gang of Four (Fri 19th).

The festival also includes Rimini Protokoll and National Theatre of Scotland’s Do’s and Don’ts (12-14 and 16-21 Oct) – offering a unique experience touring the area in a mobile auditorium inside a remodelled truck, backed by the soundtrack of a local choir.

The show is presented by award-winning German documentary theatre specialists Rimini Protokoll and is part of NTS’s Futureproof festival, marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, and some of the young cast were on hand to help launch the festival yesterday outside Paisley Town Hall.

Other Spree highlights over the next 10 days include a sold-out comedy show with Des Clarke and Janey Godley (Spiegeltent Fri 12th), Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (Paisley Arts Centre, Sat 20th), the ModStuff festival-within-a-festival (Spiegeltent, Sat 20th) plus a visit from The National Whiskey Festival (Paisley Town Hall, Sat 13th).

Do’s and Don’ts is part of The Wee Spree programme over the October school holiday – with a list of (mostly free) shows for kids offering everything from comedy to ceilidhs, plus video game design, circus skills workshops and a dancealong to The Greatest Showman.

There’s also the Spree for All fringe festival, which includes the daily Danny Kyle Stage for unsigned acts in the Old Swan Inn, and taking top local musical talent to venues in Johnstone, Renfrew, Linwood and Lochwinnoch, as well as the pubs and clubs of Paisley town centre.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council as part of a major events programme also including Paisley Halloween Festival (Sat 27 Oct) – listed as one of the top Halloween events in the UK.

The council’s head of communications, marketing and events Louisa Mahon said: “This year’s Spree will be the biggest and best yet as our events continue to grow and attract more visitors to the area.

“The bill has something for everyone – from world-renowned musical talent to a diverse programme for kids of all ages, to some of the best local acts at a venue near you.

“We are also delighted to building partnerships with organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland and bringing some of the country’s finest performers to the town is helping cement Paisley’s place as one of Scotland’s go-to cultural destinations.”

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said: “DO’S & DON’TS has been co-created by the young people of Paisley as part of our Futureproof festival, marking the Year of Young People 2018, and I am delighted that it is part of the Spree programme.

“It was important to the National Theatre of Scotland that, as part of Futureproof, we had the opportunity to work with the Paisley 2021 Legacy team, and we are incredibly grateful to our partners Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure for making this uniquely special co-production possible.”

For tickets and full line-up info, see thespree.co.uk and nationaltheatrescotland.com/futureproof

A visit to Paisley’s Observatory gave theatre director Clare McGarry the inspiration for a new children’s show that will be touring locally next month.

Clare is the Artist in Residence at Paisley Arts Centre and had the beginnings of an idea to create a show for children that was set inside a teapot.

Then she was given a tour of the Observatory and saw a photograph of a group of the brightest stars in the Sagittarius constellation called The Teapot and that was a light bulb moment for Clare.

She explains: “I’d been toying with the idea of making a show set inside a teapot when, as part of my residency at Paisley Arts Centre I was given a tour of the Observatory.

“On the way up the stairs the tour guide paused to point out a photo of he Teapot constellation of Sagittarius. It felt like one of those magical moments when it was just meant to be and I love the idea there will be a link to one of the iconic buildings in the town.”

The show for five to eight year olds is called Cosmopot and tells the story of a young boy called Chip, who lives with his mum and has an impressive of space. One day Chip clumsily knocks over his mum’s precious teapot and it smashes to pieces.

That night Chip sees The Teapot constellation through his telescope and decides to build a rocket and travel into space and find a replacement teapot for his mum.

Clare reveals the names of two of the main characters in the show – Chip and Mrs Silver – came from children from Gallowhill Primary School.

Clare, who is also the lead artist in the Cosmopot continues: “The whole show takes place inside a teapot and encourages the audience to interact at various points of the performance.

“The inside of the teapot dome where the show takes place will be multi-sensory with the set design and visually spectacular lighting effects.

“Cosmopot is a truly magical experience for children as I believe live theatre like this should always be about firing young imaginations.

Cosmopot is presented by Paisley Arts Centre in association with Imaginate as part of Paisley’s The Spree festival and is funded by Creative Scotland

Cosmopot opens at Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14 at 10.30am and 1.30m. The show then goes on to play Foxbar Community Centre on Wednesday, October 17 at 1.30pm; Tweedie Hall, Linwood, on Thursday, October 18 at 1.30pm.

The show also plays Renfrew Town Hall, on Friday, October 19, at 1.30pm and Johnstone Town Hall on Saturday, October 20, at 1.30pm and Sunday, October 21 at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Tickets costing only £4 are available online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts or by calling 0300 300 1210.

A VISIT to Paisley’s Observatory gave theatre director Clare McGarry the inspiration for a new children’s show that will be touring locally next month.

Clare is the Artist in Residence at Paisley Arts Centre and had the beginnings of an idea to create a show for children that was set inside a teapot.

Then she was given a tour of the Observatory and saw a photograph of a group of the brightest stars in the Sagittarius constellation called The Teapot ands that was a light bulb moment for Clare.

She explains: “I’d been toying with the idea of making a show set inside a teapot when, as part of my residency at Paisley Arts Centre I was given a tour of the Observatory.

“On the way up the stairs the tour guide paused to point out a photo of he Teapot constellation of Sagittarius. It felt like one of those magical moments when it was just meant to be and I love the idea there will be a link to one of the iconic buildings in the town.”

The show for five to eight year olds is called Cosmopot and tells the story of a young boy called Chip, who lives with his mum and has an impressive of space. One day Chip clumsily knocks over his mum’s precious teapot and it smashes to pieces.

That night Chip sees The Teapot constellation through his telescope and decides to build a rocket and travel into space and find a replacement teapot for his mum.

Clare reveals the names of two of the main characters in the show – Chip and Mrs Silver – came from children from Gallowhill Primary School.

Clare, who is also the lead artist in the Cosmopot continues: “The whole show takes place inside a teapot and encourages the audience to interact at various points of the performance.

“The inside of the teapot dome where the show takes place will be multi-sensory with the set design and visually spectacular lighting effects.

“Cosmopot is a truly magical experience for children as I believe live theatre like this should always be about firing young imaginations.

Cosmopot is presented by Paisley Arts Centre in association with Imaginate as part of Paisley’s The Spree festival and is funded by Creative Scotland

Cosmopot opens at Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14 at 10.30am and 1.30m. The show then goes on to play Foxbar Community Centre on Wednesday, October 17 at 1.30pm; Tweedie Hall, Linwood, on Thursday, October 18 at 1.30pm.

The show also plays Renfrew Town Hall, on Friday, October 19, at 1.30pm and Johnstone Town Hall on Saturday, October 20, at 1.30pm and Sunday, October 21 at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Tickets costing only £4 are available online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts or by calling 0300 300 1210.

Tetra-Decathlon (age 12+), which will be performed at Paisley arts Centre Thursday 20th September at 7.30pm.

Tetra-Decathlon | Trailer from Showroom on Vimeo.

Ticket information here (https://tetradecathlon.com/dates/) and more information about the show below:

Tetra-Decathlon By Lauren Hendry

Having never set foot on a running track in her life, Lauren Hendry decided to sign up for the Tetra-Decathlon, a gruelling 14-event track and field competition. This audacious solo show charts Lauren’s journey as she trains for and competes in this most taxing of sporting events, whilst asking pertinent questions about the psychology of sport and what drives us to compete.

“As thrilling as it is enjoyable… the production is a great tribute to the determination of the human spirit.” – Across The Arts

“A lovely, affecting piece… Hendry, in an energetic solo performance, leads us through the highs and lows of her training and competition.” – Fest Magazine

Directed by two-time Fringe First Winner Jenna Watt. Presented by Showroom in association with Macrobert Arts Centre. Supported by Festival 2018, the cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, Creative Scotland and Tron Theatre.

After a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of Made in Scotland and fresh back from a run at this year’s AWESOME International Arts Festival in Perth, Australia, Indepen-dance 4 is delighted to be back out on tour this autumn with Four Go Wild in Wellies.
 
Four Go Wild in Wellies is for children aged 3-5 years and is a playful look at the joy of inventiveness and curiosity; the negotiation of social structures; how friendships are built, broken and mended; the spectrum between collaboration and competition; as play emerges from interaction with each other and with the world around, including particularly the natural world.
 
The performance has been created with the company by director Anna Newell (2017 Tonic Theatre Award winner for ‘women who are changing the face of UK Theatre’), award-winning composer David Goodall and choreographer Stevie Prickett, who have worked together for more than 20 years creating work for younger audiences that has toured as far afield as South Africa and off Broadway.
 
Indepen-dance 4 are the professional inclusive performance company wing of Indepen-dance, Glasgow’s leading inclusive dance organisation. The company is quickly growing a reputation for innovative and high quality touring productions with its four dancers – Hayley EarlamEmma SmithNeil Price and Adam Sloan and over the years, have worked with some of the UK’s leading choreographers and musicians. Julie Spence will replace Emma Smith for the performances on Saturday 20 October at the Aros Centre, Isle of Skye and on Sunday 28 October at Mossblown Community Centre.
Wed 24 Oct | Paisley Arts Centre |  1.30pm
£3 | 0300 300 1210 | renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

Renfrewshire’s major events programme has created a £1.25m boost for the local economy so far in 2018 as the ongoing work to use the area’s cultural and heritage story to transform its future continues to deliver results.

More than 70,000 people have come to the area from across Scotland and beyond to attend big days with April’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival, May’s British Pipe Band Championships and Sma’ Shot/Weave festival in July, each attracting five-figure crowds.

Those three events alone created more than £850,000 of local spend plus almost £400,000 of spend by visitors to the area – boosting the coffers of local businesses.

This year also saw Scottish Opera bring a unique outdoor production of Pagliacci to a specially-erected tent in Seedhill Playing Fields for five sold-out nights in July, which also attracted a five-figure crowd and Scotland-wide profile.

The figures are listed in a report going before the council’s leadership board next week updating members on progress with the wide-ranging Paisley 2021 legacy plan.

The council and its partners have agreed to use the resources set aside during the town’s UK City of Culture bid to host the title had Paisley won on projects which will deliver on its vision and aims, and create long-term economic, social and cultural benefits for the whole area.

Other key strands of the legacy plan referred to in the report include:

– the push to promote the area as a visitor destination continues through the area’s new destination brand and website www.paisley.is, which has already smashed its first-year target for views;

– a new arts and culture in health steering group led by the NHS is now up and running, and has secured funding to expand its pioneering community connectors programme allowing GPs to ‘prescribe’ creative activities to patients suffering from social isolation;

– work to build the area’s creative business sector, which has already – thanks to the work of the council’s business incubator InCube – seen a sharp rise in the numbers of creative businesses seeking funding and support in the past few years;

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid did a huge amount to lift the town’s profile, reputation and self-confidence, but it was only ever one part of a major plan designed to use culture and heritage to make us a destination and drive new footfall.

“We said that journey would continue – and the numbers attending major events in the area are one of many ways we can now demonstrate that. To have £1m pumped into the local economy so far this year will have had major benefits for traders throughout Renfrewshire.

“We’ve also a new fund designed to build capacity among local creative groups as well as investment to transform key outdoor spaces and transport links as part of the £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next few years.”

The next events taking place in the area are The Spree festival, which sees nine days of music comedy and more at various venues in Paisley from 12 to 20 October, and the Paisley Halloween Festival on 26 and 27 October.

Plans to bring new life to Paisley town centre by transforming key outdoor areas have been revealed, as the ongoing £100m investment in the town’s venues and infrastructure moves forward.

Renfrewshire Council is leading the investment as part of wider plans to transform the area’s future using its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.

Work to turn key venues including Paisley Museum and Town Hall into 21st-century facilities hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year is well under way – and will be complemented by a £10m investment to improve the outdoor streetscape and transport links.

The plans – aimed at driving new footfall and boosting the evening economy by growing the area’s already-successful events programme and creating more attractive spaces to keep visitors, students and workers in the town – include:

– unlocking the enormous potential of the area around Abbey Close by creating a larger and more flexible events and gathering space around the Abbey, town hall and river, including improvements to the Abbey Green;

– a new and improved town gateway in County Square – creating a decluttered town square to welcome visitors and expand events capacity, and create a more attractive space for pavement cafes and people to dwell;

Details have also been revealed for major improvements to the town’s transport infrastructure, with upgrades to key road junctions at Mill St/Glasgow Rd, Mill St/Lonend, Canal St/Causeyside St and Renfrew Rd/Mill St/Incle St.

The aim is to improve traffic flow and road safety, while linking the town centre to its surroundings by making it easier to walk or cycle into the heart of the town and creating a better sense of arrival for people visiting Paisley’s attractions.

The projects will go to public consultation next year, followed by a detailed design phase. There will also be a feasibility study to look at further-reaching longer-term changes to the town’s road system.

The council last year set aside £10m for the above public realm projects but wants to top that up by applying to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Councillors on the leadership board will be asked to approve that application when they meet next Wednesday (19 Sept), where they will also be updated on other projects in the £100m investment.

That includes the £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections, and the £22m plans to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by becoming a landmark performance venue.

The museum is planned to close later this month and reopen in 2022, and the town hall will close at the end of the year and reopen in 2021.

Other projects coming in the next few years include a new learning and cultural hub offering library services on the heart of the High St, and a refurbishment of Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Our £100m investment in Paisley town centre is the backbone of everything which will happen in the next stage of our regeneration journey, the benefits of which will be felt around the whole Renfrewshire area.

“Over the next few years, we will transform our unique and much-loved venues into 21st-century facilities to host the expansion of events, visitors and activity the area will be at the centre of – we are also this week revealing plans to grow the capacity of Renfrewshire’s independent creative sector through a new fund.

“We have already seen investment in culture deliver results – with visitor numbers and attendees at our already-successful major events programme on the up, and the UK City of Culture bid boosting the town’s profile, reputation and self-confidence.

“And put simply – it’s the way we have to go. Changes in the way people shop mean town centres everywhere have to reinvent themselves. We cannot turn the clock back but we can create a vibrant destination around our unique culture, heritage and events, and that is what we are doing.

“The public realm projects we are revealing details of today are key to that – they will create key outdoor spaces allowing our already-successful major events to be even bigger and better.

“At the same time, Paisley already has large populations of students and workers, and a growing number of visitors – this investment will support traders by creating more attractive spaces which encourage them to spend more time and money here.

“And the improvements to the transport infrastructure will make the town easier to get around and through, while we look at a longer-term masterplan to improve the road system further.”

Paisley Museum and Central library are due to close later this month as part of a major investment in the town’s venues. Here’s a Q&A on what that means…

You can find out your answers here https://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/culturalservicesupdate/

By Apphia Campbell and Meredith Yarbrough. Performed by Apphia Campbell.


Apphia Campbell’s incredible Fringe First Award winning show embarks on a summer UK tour, including a date at London’s Greenwich Theatre, prior to a return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Woke won the coveted Scotsman Fringe First Award for its premiere season in 2017, and was highly commended by the judges of the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award. Against stunning gospel and blues sung live, two women 42 years apart join the struggle for American civil rights: notorious Black Panther Assata Shakur and a present-day student enrolling as the Ferguson riots behind. Both challenge the American Justice system, become criminalised through political activism; and ultimately are faced with a choice to stay and fight or to flee. Created by Apphia Campbell whose previous shows include the hit Black is the Color of my Voice which has received critically acclaimed runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and on National Tour.


Apphia Campbell is a singer, playwright and actress from Florida. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre performance from Florida International University and minored in Political Science. After college, she moved to New York where she pursued theatre and performed in Off-Broadway houses. In 2009, she moved to Shanghai, China where she sang blues, jazz, and pop in various venues including The Cotton Club, Park Hyatt, Le Meridian Hotel, and JZ music festivals. In 2012 she formed Play The Spotlight Theatre Company (PTS), a theatre company that focuses on new works and musical pieces. In 2013 she wrote her critically acclaimed piece, Black Is The Color Of My Voice and opened it in Shanghai to sold-out performances and rave reviews. She brought the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it sold out and has been touring the U.K and selling out in prestigious houses such as St. James Theatre, Wiltons Music Hall, and Oxford Playhouse. Her theatre credits include The Color Purple (James Harkness, WBTT Theatre), Black Is the Color Of My Voice (Edinburgh Festival and London), Holiday Hitch (PTS theatre), No Exit (Blue Lane Theatre), The Deciders (New York Fringe Festival) and Beehive (Temple Theatre). www.apphiacampbell.com

 

14-June Paisley Arts Centre Paisley renfrewshireleisure.com/arts / 0300 300 1210

Praise for the show includes:


★★★★ ‘Campbell is the most powerful voice of this year’s fringe.’ The Scotsman

★★★★★ Inspiring! A fast, exciting and engaging play that ended with most of the audience standing and applauding.’ British Theatre Guide

★★★★★ ‘Both roles are brilliantly performed by Apphia herself.’ British Theatre

★★★★ ‘Campbell is a formidable performer.’ The List

CLAIRE FROM STEPS, MARTINE MCCUTCHEON,

GRAHAM NORTON, DAWN STEELE & MICHELLE MCMANUS

GUEST STAR IN ‘GARY LAMONT: DROPPING THE SOAP!’ TOUR 2018

Taking in an extensive tour of Scotland join Gary Lamont: Dropping the Soap! opening at Falkirk Town Hall 16 February. It’s the starriest show in town with guest appearances from 3 chart-topping popstars and the king of chat himself!  

Gary Lamont recently left the popular BBC Scotland soap opera ‘River City’ last year, his character Robbie Fraser leaving Shieldinch in a limousine with popstar Claire Richards.  

But while Robbie’s been hired as the hairdresser for the latest Steps tour, what’s next for Gary himself?  That’s the focus of his new comedy cabaret which sees Gary ponder his next move with the help of his pals.

Says Gary, “I’m loving doing my new show and especially working with all my amazing guest stars.  Claire from Steps is my childhood idol, Graham Norton is my favourite TV host, Dawn Steele is my favourite actress, Martine McCutcheon is my spirit animal and Michelle McManus is normally so expensive I can’t afford her.  So to have them all agree to take part and send themselves up has been incredible”.

Interview with Gary Lamont by Peter Greenwood of www.paisley.org.uk

Claire Richards “Gary managed to rope me in to film his exit from River City and now he’s made me take part in his show.  I have rather a lot on at the minute with the Steps tour so hopefully this will be the end of it all. If not I will consider a restraining order!  Seriously though, I loved having the chance to take part in Gary’s new show”.

Graham Norton “I absolutely loved Gary’s last show so I was happy to help out with his latest.  Who needs soap when you’ve got buckets of charm, hilarity and song like Gary? His show is a joyous revelation”.  

Fri 04 May – Adam Smith Theatre – 7.30pm www.onfife.com

Fri 11 May – Lochgelly Centre – 7.30pm www.onfife.com

Sat 12 May – Basement Theatre Edinburgh – 7.00pm www.gildedballoon.co.uk

Fri 25 May – Livingston Howden Park 7.30pm www.howdenparkcentre.co.uk

Sat 26 May – Byre Theatre St Andrews – 8pm www.byretheatre.com

 

Competition: