4 star Stage Award nominated show to appear at Paisley Arts Centre.

After appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe, the humorous, ambitious and universal story, Pirates and Mermaids is now on tour in the UK and North America and will be stopping off in Renfrewshire on 8 April.

If home is where the heart is, what do you do when your heart is all over the place?

On a bench in a park, a young man in a kilt is grappling with one of life’s big questions, aided only by his mobile phone, a bottle of whisky, some sweets and an old storybook.

Pirates and Mermaids

Cameron and Eilidh live in different countries divided by an ocean and, perhaps even more so, by the differences between their rural and city lives. Their parents remember when the only way to keep in touch across the world was by letter, postcard and a short phonecall at Christmas and even now video messaging doesn’t quite have the ‘cuddle’ option.

Pirates and Mermaids, hailed as a ‘fairytale for adults’, is an uplifting and surprising story about love, loyalty, family and national identity. It challenges the audience’s assumptions about their nearest and dearest and questions the judgements we all make on those we consider simply as passersby.

Written by Poorboy’s Artistic Director Sandy Thomson and Associate Director Jeremiah Reynolds, the play continues the company’s decade long exploration of ideas of belonging and has received 4 star reviews across the Edinburgh Fringe press, was labelled a ‘Must See’ show by The Stage and Jeremiah was nominated for The Stage Award for Acting Excellence for Best Solo Performer.

Pirates and Mermaids will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Tuesday 8 April, 7.30pm. The show is suitable for ages 12+ Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked at the Box Office (located at Paisley Arts Centre) by calling 0300 300 1210 or going online to

Glasgow Youth Film Festival visits Paisley.

Known as one of the ‘Fests within the Fest’, Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF) is just one of a number of spin-off celebrations that fall under the world famous Glasgow Film Festival umbrella.

Devised entirely by Glasgow teens, Glasgow Youth Film Festival offers young people affordable access to exclusive film premieres, free workshops and special guests.

And this year Renfrewshire Arts & Museums are delighted to announce that GYFF will visit Paisley Arts Centre to present a day of free film activities on Saturday 8 February.Glasgow Youth Film Festival

Beginning at 2pm, film fans can catch ‘Dawn of the Fegs’, an award-winning short film about a deadly zombie invasion at St. Mirren football stadium. The movie was written and directed by a team of inspired youngsters from Ferguslie Park in Paisley.

Thereafter the audience will enjoy the similarly creepy animation ‘ParaNorman’ created by stop-motion specialists Laika (Coraline). Young horror geek Norman Babcock prepares to ward off ghosts, zombies and grown-ups, with help from his motley crew of friends, including his Grandma – who just happens to be dead.

Post film, the zombie theme continues with a movie-make up workshop: a masterclass in how to make yourself look ghoulish, create realistic bruises and scare your friends and family senseless!

All GYFF activities at Paisley Arts Centre this Saturday are free to attend.

For a full overview of the day’s events please visit

Paisley Arts Centre in New Street

A true story inspires World War II survival tale.

Coming to Paisley Arts Centre on 29 Oct, Lifeboat is based on the extraordinary true story of Bess Walder and Beth Cummings.

Set in World War II, it is a story of courage, survival and enduring friendship brought to life by Musselburgh-based Catherine Wheels Theatre Company.

On Friday 13 September, 1940, a ship, The City of Benares set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the relentless bombing and dangers of war torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only eleven of the evacuees survived.

Paisley Arts Centre in New Street
Two fifteen year old girls, Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, spent 19 terrifying hours in the freezing waters of the Atlantic on an upturned Lifeboat, willing each other to survive.

The inspiration for Lifeboat came when Catherine Wheels Director Gill Robertson came across a ‘how we met’ article in the Sunday papers in 1999. In the article, Bess and Beth (who were then in their 70s) explained how they first met on the evacuee ship, The City of Benares in 1940, bound for Canada.

Bess and Beth credited their survival on the fact that they were both together and willed each other to survive, and that they were young and did not realise the direness of their situation. The article ended by saying, ‘we were not in the business of giving up…we hung on’ which of course went on to become a key line in the play.

Both Gill and Catherine Wheels writer Nicola McCartney couldn’t ignore Bess and Beth’s compelling, true-to-life story and subsequently brought Lifeboat to life on stage in 2002.

Lifeboat will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Tues 29 October, 7.30pm. Tickets to the show cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be purchased at the Box Office in Paisley Arts Centre, on 0300 300 1210 or online at

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.


Roddy Woomble to perform ‘Listen to Keep’ tracks live at Paisley Arts Centre.

Don’t miss an intimate live performance from Roddy Woomble on 23 Oct as he performs tracks from his third solo album, Listen to Keep.

Familiar to many thousands of music fans as the front man in the Scottish rock band Idlewild, Roddy Woomble is also a celebrated solo songwriter and performer.

His first solo venture came in 2006 with the album, My Secret is My Silence; a record which won rave reviews throughout the music press and saw Roddy move away from the melodic rock style of Idlewild towards a softer, lyrical vein of songwriting.


He was also the key instigator behind the acclaimed 2007 album Ballads of the Book, bringing together leading Scottish poets and musicians to collaborate on new songs.

Roddy went on to record and release the album Before the Ruin with Kris Drever and John McCusker in 2008, which they toured extensively around the UK to critical acclaim.

Woomble’s second solo album The Impossible Song and Other Songs was released on Greenvoe/EMI in spring 2011. It was written and recorded at the An Tobar Arts Centre on the Isle of Mull. Along with his band (Sorren MacLean, Seonaid Aitken, Gavin Fox and Danny Grant), Roddy toured the album extensively around the UK, playing over 100 shows in 2011 and 2012. The Guardian described the record as “a moving and quietly joyous collection of pieces weaving together strands of folk, jazz and country.”

A regular at Paisley Arts Centre, Roddy’s show this week will feature songs from his latest album, Listen to Keep as well as songs from his earlier solo work and several Idlewild numbers.

Roddy Woomble will be at Paisley Arts Centre on 23 October, 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12 (£10 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.

A Buddy Good Laugh at Paisley Arts Centre Photographs.

Father Ted actor and comedian Michael Redmond as he performed at Paisley Arts Centre’s dead sheep comedy club the other week as part of Dead Sheep Comedy’s ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ at Paisley Arts Centre

All photographs taken for Paisley on the web by Alex Kyle Photography.


Thought provoking theatre: Mess is coming to Paisley Arts Centre.

Written by Olivier Award nominee Caroline Horton
Performed by Caroline Horton & Company

Based on her own experiences of anorexia nervosa this funny and poignant play with songs explores obsession, despair and letting go, offering an authentic insight that challenges popular misconceptions about dealing with and recovering from the condition.

Mess was developed with the help of experts from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, one of the leaders in eating disorder research, and with funding from a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.


Josephine, Boris and Sistahl are catapulted from the depths of despair and bafflement to the heights of joy and hope and back again as they struggle to tell the story of Josephine’s anorexia and recovery. Mess is wickedly funny and deeply moving, providing a window into an internal world of addiction and control, which is finally rejected for the messy, chaotic and rich world outside.

Following its award-winning debut at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012 and subsequent tour and London run in spring 2013, Mess is touring to schools, colleges, theatres and arts centres with workshops and discussions. Caroline Horton says, “I decided to make Mess when I spoke about my experience of anorexia and recovery at my old school. I realized people wanted to talk about these issues but didn’t feel they could. Taking Mess into schools can help open up those conversations.”

Caroline is joined by Australian actor Emily Goddard (Victorian Green Room Award nominee and Melbourne Fringe Best Cabaret nominee). Musician Seiriol Davies previously collaborated with Punchdrunk, writing songs for and performing in The Black Diamond (2011).  His original score and songs are performed live.

Mess will be at Paisley Arts Centre on 24 October, 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or visiting Suitable for ages 13+

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.

Paisley Arts Centre in New Street

Paisley Arts Centre in New Street

Formerly The Laigh Kirk, Paisley Arts Centre in New Street was very busy on Doors Open Day providing activities for the children through drama and handcrafts. The café was also open, serving snack lunches and coffees on a lovely sunny afternoon.

All photographs taken with parents’ permission, by Anne McNair for


Mystery headliner launches new comedy strand ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’

Laughter, Buddy Guaranteed! Top Scottish comedian to launch Renfrewshire’s latest comedy strand 

Renfrewshire Arts & Museums and local comedy promoters Dead Sheep Comedy are delighted to be working in partnership this autumn to bring you a fantastic new brand of live comedy at Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Town Hall.

A+Buddy+Good+Laugh_482With each gig MC’d by Dead Sheep Comedy creator and comic Scott Gibson (regular performer at The Stand Comedy Club), ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ will feature some of the best names in Scottish stand-up over four nights between September and December.

And to mark the launch of this brand new comedy strand, we have arranged for a special mystery comedian to take to the stage on the opening night.

Although their identity is a closely-guarded secret, we can reveal that this act has performed to sell-out audiences all over Europe, Australia and South East Asia and has appeared on numerous TV shows including Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow (2010), 8/10 Cats and the Rob Brydon Show.

Comedy fans will have to wait until the opening night of ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ to find out exactly who this act is!

Joining the mystery headliner on September 26 will be Chris Forbes and Michael Redmond.

Widely regarded as one of Scotland’s hottest comedy talents, Chris Forbes gained a legion of new fans when he supported Kevin Bridges on his 2012 tour The Story Continues… Charismatic and confident, Chris’ conversational style never fails to engage his audience or deliver laughs loud enough to bring the house down.

Well known for his portrayal of Father Stone in the classic channel 4 comedy, Father Ted, Michael Redmond is lined up to deliver his own brand of deadpan humour. A regular performer on the Scottish comedy circuit, Michael is currently resident host of his own show Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow.

The very first A Buddy Good Laugh comedy night will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Thursday 26 September. Doors open 8.15pm and show starts 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

Tickets for the following ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ show on Oct 31 will be available at the Box Office in Paisley Arts Centre immediately after the first show, costing £6.

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.


Paisley Arts Centre Jazz Gig Review

Review of Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock jazz musicians gig in Paisley Arts Centre, Sunday 8th September 2013, Review by Peter Greenwood of

When I first walked into the Paisley Arts centre the first thing that struck me was the emptiness of the stage. All that greeted me was an upright piano, bathed in red and blue light, with a chair that wouldn’t look out of place outside a small France boulangerie, yet on a stage in Paisley looked slightly alien.


“It’s a stripped back performance, just me and Brian on stage” Tommy Smith shared, setting the scene. But there wasn’t a microphone, how are they going to do this and be heard? I thought to myself. And with the house almost full, Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock walked out onto the stage to an almost thunderous applause.

Greeting the crowd enthusiastically Tommy introduced us to Brian and then launched enthusiastically into their first song, their take on Michel Legrand’s You Must Believe In Spring. And suddenly everything made sense.

The lack of microphones, the stripped back stage, listening to those two men perform together, completely in tandem and yet free to explore their own melodies inside the song and support each other was a revelation. I closed my eyes and I was almost outside that small bakery, the wind blowing through my hair with a glass of wine in my hand and my beautiful lady sitting opposite me.

And the show continued like that. Every piece they played, whether it was an original composition, a yet to be released song from the duo’s new album or even covering a Nat King Cole classic, was effortless. Each player acknowledged the other while still maintaining their individuality, and at no point did either drown the other out. In between songs they spoke candidly to the audience about Paisley which Tommy’s played in before, or the difficulties of sticking to a pre-decided playlist.

By the end it was obvious the audience didn’t want them to leave, but after two encores including a very special moment when the duo played a song requested by an audience member, both Tommy and Brian left the stage.

The great thing about these two is that you don’t need to have a knowledgeable ear to appreciate the music they’re playing. You still recognise the song and then appreciate their stripped down variation on it.

Interview with Tommy Smith by Peter Greenwood.

Links to useful information.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland |

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra |

Spartacus Records Ltd |

Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra |


Participate in a theatre Q&A with The Weegie Board Director, Mary McCluskey.

Next week, Scottish Youth Theatre will be stopping off at Paisley Arts Centre to perform their latest show, ‘The Weegie Board: A West of Scotland Ghost Story’ written by BAFTA Scotland winner David Cosgrove.

Plus drama fans will get the unique opportunity to put their questions to Mary McCluskey, Artistic Director of Scottish Youth Theatre and director of this edge-of-your-seat Glaswegian ghost story, straight after the show.

1878-sytweegieContaining frightening scenes, ‘The Weegie Board’ depicts the exhilarating experience of six Glasgow teenagers who meddle with an Ouija Board.

Both funny and shocking at points, ‘The Weegie Board’ is set in a big old empty house, where the six teenagers indulge in a little bit of drinking and some flirting before conducting a séance with their spirit board – but what could possibly go wrong?

The Weegie Board: A West of Scotland Ghost Story will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Wednesday 11 Sept at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7.50 (£3.50 conc / students) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to The performance is suitable for ages 14+ and does contain some strong language and sexual content – parental guidance is advised.

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.