The Hit List

Four-page pre­view of the big events of the next seven days

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Contents - by Na­dine McBay nadinem­cbay@hot­mail.com

The big events in Scot­land over the next seven days ... and why you’d be crazy to miss them

• Com­edy David O’Do­herty

Oct 14, Web­ster The­atre, Ar­broath; Oct 15, Old Fruit­mar­ket, Glas­gow

In 2014, David O’Do­herty tried to re­as­sure ev­ery­one with his show David O’Do­herty Will Try to Fix Ev­ery­thing.

If you are able to prise your hands off your face long enough to get a peek at the news, you will know that the Dublin-born comic has failed ut­terly at that task – and win­ning the bronze medal in East Le­in­ster’s un­der-14 triple jump in 1990 is not go­ing to make up for it.

What may, at least for an hour or so, is his new show You Have To Laugh, which he takes to Ar­broath’s Web­ster The­atre tonight af­ter two sold-out nights at the Aberdeen Com­edy Fes­ti­val.

Rather than hid­ing away from the re­treat of democ­racy, en­vi­ron­men­tal disas­ter and a world set to a spin-cy­cle of chaos, O’Do­herty says he wants to stride right up to the mad­ness and laugh in its face.

“What is laugh­ter, if not happy scream­ing?” he asks. Never with­out his shoo­gly key­board, he of­fers as­tute ob­ser­va­tions on how tech is em­bed­ded in our lives, Brexit’s im­pact on Ir­ish pol­i­tics, Aus­tralian traf­fic cones and how to, in the words of a cur­rent song, “Get Your Shit To­gether” by fo­cus­ing on achiev­able, ev­ery­day tasks of such as fix­ing the wob­bly screws on the toi­let seat.

• The­atre The 306: Dusk

Un­til Oct 27, Perth The­atre

Set on Novem­ber 11, Ar­mistice Day 2018, The 306: Dusk ex­plores the rel­e­vance of the First World War to con­tem­po­rary peo­ple, es­pe­cially young peo­ple.

A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Na­tional The­atre of Scot­land, Perth The­atre and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts pro­gramme mark­ing the cen­te­nary of the con­flict, the mu­si­cal play sees a preg­nant teacher go AWOL from a school trip to the Somme.

In a for­est in­spired by Delville Woods, one of the First World War’s blood­i­est bat­tle­fields, she is joined by an in­jured vet­eran of the Iraq war and a blind­folded sol­dier who has just wo­ken up af­ter 100 years.

He is Pri­vate Louis Harris, a young sol­dier who was ex­e­cuted for de­ser­tion on Novem­ber 7, 1918, just days be­fore the Ar­mistice. Harris was the last of “the 306”, the ex­clu­sively work­ing-class Bri­tish soldiers shot for mil­i­tary of­fences dur­ing the con­flict, and the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind a tril­ogy of re­cent plays by play­wright Oliver Emanuel and com­poser Gareth Wil­liams of which 306:Dusk is the fi­nal part.

Whereas the pre­vi­ous two parts told the story of three of the soldiers con­demned dur­ing the Bat­tle of the Somme and the trou­bles of their be­reaved and stig­ma­tised fam­i­lies back home, 306: Dusk is a “kind of con­tem­po­rary ghost story,” says Emanuel.

“These three char­ac­ters, the teacher, the sol­dier from the Iraq war and this sol­dier who is wak­ing up, are all there in the wood for dif­fer­ent rea­sons and you find out how they are all con­nected,” Emanuel con­tin­ues. “In north­ern France and in Bel­gium you have all these beau­ti­fully-kept, very mov­ing lit­tle ceme­ter­ies just on the edge of a field, at the side of a road, in a wood. Dur­ing the First World War they buried the men where they fell. So these memo­ri­als are ex­actly where it hap­pened.” Em­manuel says he is mo­ti­vated as a writer by ex­plo­ration and re­flec­tion.

“I want to find what I re­ally think about some­thing,” he says. “I start with the ques­tions. My ques­tion here was why we should re­mem­ber and why our chil­dren should re­mem­ber.”

• Event BBC Good Food Show Scot­land

Oct 19 to Oct 21, SEC, Glas­gow

Re­turn­ing to Glas­gow’s SEC for its 12th year from Fri­day to Sun­day is the BBC Good Food Show Scot­land, a cel­e­bra­tion of fine food and drink and culi­nary in­spi­ra­tion from pro­duc­ers, top chefs and restau­rants.

High­lights this year in­clude the re­turn of The Big Kitchen where vis­i­tors can learn tips from TV chefs such as Miche­lin-starred Tom Ker­ridge, MasterChef’s John Torode, chef, au­thor and TV pre­sen­ter Nadiya Hus­sain and Great Bri­tish Bake Off judge Paul Hol­ly­wood.

Each will host half-hour cook­ery demon­stra­tions over the course of the week­end, which can be booked in ad­vance or signed up to on the day, sub­ject to avail­abil­ity.

New demon­stra­tions for this year in­clude Trav­el­sphere’s A Taste Of Italy, hosted by Mar­cus Bean with guest chef Eleonora Galasso.

Also new for 2018 is Taste The World, a “sam­pling the­atre” pre­sented by mem­bers of the Glas­gow Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion and hosted by Anne Mul­h­ern from The Wil­low Tea Rooms.

Some of Glas­gow’s best restau­rants will host pop-ups, with Chez Mal, Mal­mai­son Glas­gow’s French-in­spired restau­rant, on Fri­day, Two Fat Ladies At The But­tery on Satur­day and, on Sun­day, Grill On The Cor­ner, based on the city’s Both­well Street.

• Film Make Me Up

Oct 14, Glas­gow Film The­atre; on tour

Make Me Up, the new film by multi-me­dia artist Rachel Ma­clean, was not made in re­sponse to the al­le­ga­tions made against Brett Ka­vanaugh or Har­vey We­in­stein or to the elec­tion of a man to high of­fice who says he grabs women by their gen­i­tals.

In fact, she had writ­ten a large part of it be­fore the We­in­stein scan­dal erupted. And even if Trump hadn’t been elected, the cul­tural pres­sures and con­tra­dic­tions faced by con­tem­po­rary women which her film satirises would still be there.

The bru­tal­ist, candy-coloured world de­picted in Ma­clean’s film feels just a few steps re­moved from the real one as viewed through our hand-held de­vices: a world of In­sta­gram fil­ters, of rigid con­form­ity and where vi­o­lence and ex­ploita­tion are but a few clicks away.

Ma­clean will fol­low to­day’s screen­ing of Make Me Up at the GFT with a Q&A, as she will af­ter Oct 16’s screen­ing at Ed­in­burgh’s Film­house. Fur­ther screen­ings in Scot­land this month be­fore BBC4 broad­casts it later this au­tumn are at An Lan­ntair, Stornoway (Oct 18), Taigh Chearsab­hagh, North Uist (Oct 19), and The Barn, Ban­chory (Oct 31).

The film stars Ma­clean along­side Christina Gor­don and Co­lette Dalal Tchantcho, per­form­ers who play make-up vlog­gers Siri and Alexa. Trapped in­side a cutesy “Dream­house” they must com­pete for sur­vival in a se­ries of de­mean­ing tasks.

Pre­sid­ing over the group is a fuschia-haired au­thor­i­tar­ian (Ma­clean) who lip-syncs to the voice of Ken­neth Clark from land­mark 1960s se­ries Civil­i­sa­tion.

Both recog­nis­able and sin­is­ter, this is a place where the dom­i­nant, money-mak­ing cul­ture de­fines and con­stricts women. There’s sub­ver­sion and fem­i­nist back­lash here too – among those voices that come from the pinked-up Siri and Alexa are those of suf­fragette Mary Richard­son, Rose Mc­Gowan and a mem­ber of fem­i­nist art group The Guer­rilla Girls.

• Fes­ti­val

Kirkcud­bright Fes­ti­val Of Light wraps up to­day with a clos­ing con­cert by lead­ing string orches­tra Scot­tish En­sem­ble at Kirkcud­bright Parish Church.

In a pro­gramme in­spired by the theme of light, the En­sem­ble will play the clas­sic clar­inet quin­tets of Mozart and Brahms and The Wind In High Places by John Luther Adams.

The con­cert will be a ma­jes­tic sound­track to the fi­nal evening of the fes­ti­val, which has seen the town glow with il­lu­mi­nated de­signs beamed onto his­toric build­ings and artis­tic light in­stal­la­tions – not least Alex Rigg and Trevor Leat’s 18-foot wicker horse (pic­tured), which tow­ers over vis­i­tors at Kirkcud­bright’s Har­bour Square.

Ir­ish comic David O’Do­herty de­scribes his new show You Have To Laugh as ‘made up of talk­ing and songs played on a crappy key­board from 1986’

From left: The Good Food Show is at the SEC from Oct 19; Danny Hughes in First World War play The 306: Dusk, at Perth The­atre un­til Oct 27

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