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
FB @superfanperformance | T @wearesuperfan| I @superfanperformance
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/
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.
MEMBERS of the LGBT+ community network group working for Renfrewshire Council have chosen two films to be shown at Paisley Arts Centre as part of LGBT History Month.
The film, But I’m A Cheerleader is being screened on Thursday, February 13 and the following night the movie, Pride is being shown.
The Renfrewshire Council LGBTQIA+ staff network group aims to improve the opportunities for LGBT+ staff to be involved in how the local authority supports and celebrates its diverse workforce.
The staff network group chose But I’m A Cheerleader as it highlights the fight against discrimination using creativity and humour.
And the film, Pride has been described as ‘an inspiration’ to members of the network group. The film celebrates the power of community and how two very different communities can work together to overcome prejudice and persecution.
Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We support both the council’s LGBT+ staff and the wider LGBT+ community and these films are excellent choices for people to see.
“It’s well worth everyone coming along to Paisley Arts Centre to see these thought-provoking films.”
Visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com or call 0300 300 1210 to book tickets for these film showings.
The first images showing how a vacant former retail unit at the heart of Paisley’s High Street will be turned into a 21st-century community facility housing library services are today revealed.
Construction will start soon on the £7m Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub – a new modern community and educational facility which will bring new footfall to the town centre.
When it opens in summer 2021, the building will provide a new digitally-connected home for a range of services, including those currently offered at Paisley Central Library.
As the images released today show, that will include:
– a comprehensive internal remodelling of the existing building, over four floors;
– an attractive ground-and-first-floor frontage with a modern look – which complements the High Street surroundings and preserves the historic features on the building’s upper floors;
– children’s library with areas for areas for reading, play, storytelling and learning;
– IT areas and suite – offering free public digital access in the heart of the town centre
The new facility is the latest example of how Renfrewshire Council is helping repopulate the town’s High Street by finding new cultural and community uses for vacant retail property.
It follows Paisley: The Secret Collection – the UK’s first publicly-accessible High St museum store –which opened two years ago in the basement of the town’s former Littlewoods store.
The four-floor unit at 22a High Street which will house the learning and cultural hub was last occupied by clothing chain Internacionale – but has been empty for a decade.
The work is part of a wider investment in the town’s venues and outdoor spaces which will see Paisley Museum transformed into a world-class home for the town’s internationally-significant collections, and Paisley Town Hall kept at the heart of local life as a landmark entertainment venue.
The project includes £1.5m funding from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and is being delivered on behalf of the council by hub West Scotland who have appointed Collective Architecture to create the new design and main contractor CCG to deliver the refurbishment.
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, which will operate the facility, said: “We are delighted to be able to reveal these images, which show a modern and accessible community resource for people of all ages to learn and be inspired.
“We are putting the power of culture to change lives at the heart of everything we do – so putting a building offering library services at the heart of Paisley High Street is a bold statement of intent.
“The Learning and Cultural Hub will bring back into use a building which had been empty for some time, and had been allowed to deteriorate by previous owners.
“The future for Paisley town centre is in finding new ways to repopulate vacant retail units with cultural, leisure and community uses which will give people a reason to come into the town centre.
“As well as hosting library services, it will be able to host events and book readings – helping bring footfall into the High Street and supporting surrounding businesses.”
Iain Marley, hub West’s CEO said: “We are delighted to partner with Renfrewshire Council and lead the delivery of this very important project.
“The council has a very clear and powerful vision for the role the Learning and Cultural Hub will play in the rejuvenation of the High Street and the benefits that the investment that it will bring for residents and visitors.
“We are proud to help make this vision a reality and ensure the project maximises employment, training and other opportunities for local communities and businesses.”
Paisley Central Library is currently operating from a temporary building next to the Lagoon Leisure Centre, having moved from its former home next to Paisley Museum in 2018.
Renfrewshire Heritage Library remains open at Abbey Mill and will move into the museum when it reopens in 2022.
The former Paisley Central Library building at the top of the High Street will form part of the expanded Paisley Museum when it reopens in 2022.
For more information see www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley
Plans to completely transform Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor destination telling the town’s unique stories including that of the globally admired, Paisley pattern, have taken a major step forward as The National Lottery Heritage Fund today announced £3.83million support for the project.
The four buildings which make up Scotland’s first municipal museum, including the country’s first public observatory, will be ambitiously re-designed and extended by an award-winning international team, including the architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, to create an exciting new experience for visitors.
The new, contemporary galleries and exhibitions will double the number of objects on display and be fully accessible so that visitors can explore the town’s rich heritage and its part in the story of the famous teardrop Paisley pattern textile, from the shawls of Kashmir to the haute couture of rock stars. Inspiring learning zones, improved social spaces, a new cafe, shop and cloakroom facilities will add to the Museum’s appeal, as will a new, welcoming entrance surrounded by a courtyard and gardens.
The revamped museum is forecast to attract 125,000 visits a year, almost four times the current numbers, and create a £79m economic boost over 30 years. It is the cornerstone of Renfrewshire Council’s vision to bring new life to the town through investment in heritage and culture. This has included the opening of the UK’s first publicly accessible high street museum store, Paisley: The Secret Collection, and the conservation and repair of key buildings which make up the town’s historic core through a scheme funded with £2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“This project has been driven by the passion of the Paisley community to put their unique heritage on an international stage. With the help of National Lottery funding, new life will be breathed into these heritage buildings giving Paisley’s wonderful textiles and other treasures the prominence they deserve, while also bringing a new confidence to the town.”
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, said: “We want to thank everyone connected to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their fantastic support.
“It will help us deliver a world-class museum which will take the town’s unique and fascinating stories to new audiences, showcase Paisley’s internationally-significant collections, and bring new life and footfall to the wider area.
“It will create a new accessible hub at the heart of life in the town for the local community – local groups are already co-producing the incredible stories which will populate the reopened museum, and we look forward to continuing to work with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and others over the years ahead to deliver on that.”
The new museum is expected to open in 2022.
PAISLEY’S Shawl Collection has been given high praise by the national body that helps develop Scotland’s museums.
Museums Galleries Scotland made the comments as they unanimously renewed the Recognised Status of the shawl collection held by Renfrewshire Museums.
Chair of the Recognition Committee, Dr Katie Stevenson also said that the review submitted by Renfrewshire Leisure, who operates museums locally, was of such a high quality, it may be sent to other museums as a model for them to follow.
Dr Stevenson said: “The committee felt that throughout the report there was a strong cultural voice, a clear curatorial succession plan and that digitisation of the collection was impressive.
“Committee members noted that the importance of curatorial and research expertise was very strong in the work of the Paisley Shawl Collection and highly commended the approach to supporting the collection.”
Feedback to Renfrewshire Leisure from Museums Galleries Scotland also said that the approach to Recognised Status was commendable; the enhanced collection knowledge and international visits and links were impressive, as was the curatorial expertise and the committee welcomed the strong entrepreneurial approach.
The Recognition Scheme is run by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government to celebrate, promote and invest in Nationally Significant Collections.
Susan Jeffrey, Research and Collections Co-Ordinator for Renfrewshire Leisure said: “This is an important recognition of what an amazing collection we have.
“It’s fantastic that our Paisley Shawl Collection continues to merit Recognised Status.”
Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes added:
“Our staff work extremely hard to share their knowledge of the collections with visitors both at home and from all over the world, by carrying out research, giving talks and providing learning activities.
“We’re delighted to see their work to promote and preserve the Paisley Shawls collection being recognised.”
The Paisley Shawl Collection is a central part of the Paisley Museum Reimagined Project and the public will have the chance to see enhanced displays of the collection, as well as other collections, when the museum reopens in 2022.
People can see examples of Paisley Shawls together with looms and other weaving equipment by booking a tour of Paisley: The Secret Collection museum store, at 9 High Street Paisley by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 0141 618 5129.
Indepen-dance 4 is back out on tour with GROW this Autumn and is heading to Peebles, Johnstone, Edinburgh, East Kilbride, Lockerbie, Musselburgh and Banchory.
It’s the first day of spring and tiny tendrils of new life are peeping out of the ground, stretching their way into the sunshine and producing a riot of glorious colour. GROW is a curious, hypnotic and playful adventure for 3-5 year olds!
GROW is brought to you by Indepen-dance 4, Scotland’s inclusive professional dance company. It is directed by Anna Newell, who has been described by the Guardian as ‘a hero of children’s theatre.’ Award-winning composer, David Goodall’s entrancing musical score reflects Sunday Herald Culture Award winner, Hayley Earlam’s mesmerising choreography. GROW is set in an array of springtime colours by theatre designer Brian Hartley.
Johnstone Town Hall
Fri 11 Oct
0300 300 1210 | renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on
JENNIFER Wilkie fears that one day she will be completely deaf.
But the 29-year-old from Paisley is determined that if and when that day comes she’ll be prepared and still be able to communicate.
Jennifer has joined Renfrewshire Leisure’s Sign Language Club, which meets several times a week at Paisley Arts Centre.
She is joined by dozens of other people who want to learn British Sign Language (BSL) in a fun and relaxing way.
An Early Years Excellence and Equity Lead, at a local children’s centre, Jennifer explains:
“My main reason for learning BSL is to prepare me for the day I don’t have any hearing at all.
“I have profound hearing loss that is helped by two hearing aids, which I use every day and I can’t function without them.
“My hearing has slowly become worse over the years and there is no way of knowing if I will lose all my hearing and when this might happen.”
She continues: “It became apparent when I was young that I had hearing problems, but no one knows what has caused my deafness.
“I joined the Sign Language Club so I can communicate with people if my hearing ever goes completely. My mum comes to the club with me and we both pass on what we have learned to our family, so if the day ever comes that I am completely deaf, they will be able to communicate with me as well.”
Jennifer is urging other people to join the Sign Language Club and learn BSL from profoundly deaf tutor Graham Dow and BSL qualified David O’Rorke.
She says: “I would encourage everyone to come along and learn BSL. It’s such an essential skill to have to allow everyone to communicate and to lessen the barriers for deaf people.
“Graham and David who run the classes are very motivational, but make the classes very relaxed for everyone. The have inspired me to learn even more about sign language and I want to go on to gain a BSL qualification”
A new family BSL group has recently been started at Paisley Arts Centre, every Saturday, between noon and 1pm. Beginners meet on a Saturday, between 11am and noon and a Monday between 7pm and 8pm. The intermediate group meets on a Monday between 6pm and 7pm.
Anyone interested in coming along to the Sign Language Group should contact Emma Armstrong, on 0300 300 1210.