Review: Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella Rating 70%

Review: Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella

There are three options when presenting a Christmas ballet, especially Cinderella… Appeal to those for whom this kind of theatre visit is a rarity – or indeed a one off. Fill it with glitz, glitter and every familiar trope and expectation of the dearly loved story, complete with opulent costumes and epic, grandiose sets. Second, take a fresh look at the narrative with a starker, darker, more real and arty interpretation, likely to please frequent ballet goers who tire of samey, traditional versions of well known classics they’ve seen so many times. Third, do something in between. Scottish Ballet’s 2018 festive offering takes this latter option and while it’s undoubtedly impressive, I fear the middle ground doesn’t quite leave us satisfied.

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Persistent & Nasty: I realised something had to give and that’s when Persistent & Nasty was born

“I have been angry for a very long time,” says Louise Oliver, in a firm and steady tone. Looking around at the current cultural discourse, with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements gathering speed and acquiring as many detractors and supporters along the way, it may be hard for some to remember a time before this landscape. However, this anger has been building for a long time and is finally not only being noticed but also heeded. That is the nature of a cultural shift, much like the tectonic plates. Slight movements, barely noticeable, before, one day, unpreventable and irrevocable change.

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The Violet Kind: It’s always exciting to see what you can create in the studio

The Violet Kind have released EP OXTR, via Kindness Records to shout a powerful message about rape culture, pushing boundaries, about those that survive and come out the other side of sexual violence.
The band spoke with The Fountain about how they acquired their name, their favourite gig at The Old Hairdressers and what we are likely to expect from them later in the year.

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Rebecca O’Connor: Definitely a bit of both but I wouldn’t have had it any other way

Co-founder, editor and designer of The Moth magazine, Rebecca O’Connor, has a novel out next month, which centres around an adolescent in small town Ireland in the nineties. Published by Canongate Books, He Is Mine And I Have No Other is a tale of first experiences whilst living out in the back of beyond.
Rebecca spoke with The Fountain about how she finds editing helps with the writing process and how the novel is intrinsically linked to her past, having written it many years prior.

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Review: Passing Places Rating 88%

Review: Passing Places

As with any road trip the journey is more important than the destination. In Stephen Greenhorn’s 1997 play, the journey of two underachieving lads from Motherwell to the highlands has a transformative effect.

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Review: Belle & Sebastian Rating 79%

Review: Belle & Sebastian

When I heard Belle and Sebastian’s first EP, as an opinionated teenager, I dismissed it as sounding too much like Love’s Forever Changes. I was similarly sniffy about subsequent releases declaring them as too ‘Fey’ and ‘Arch’ and I refused to reconsider my position. I was just too cool for Belle and Sebastian and too cool for school (although my mum did still insist I attend).

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Review: Stewart Lee – Content Provider Rating 87%

Review: Stewart Lee – Content Provider

To anyone who hasn’t been to one of Stewart Lee’s shows before it’s worth pointing out that in his stand up Lee plays an amped up version of himself that is more bitter, angry and insufferably woke than he is in person, and in the process he often berates and taunts the audience. Tonight is no exception as he kicks thing off by threatening to do hilariously unspeakable things to any mobile phones he finds in use during the performance.

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Jan Rutherford: Those writing now for digital media can transfer skills to those who are not digital natives

Creative Scotland and Scottish Review of Books have for the second time round requested submissions for their Emerging Critics programme, which provides a mentoring opportunity to enable an new generation of reviewers in Scotland.
Jan Rutherford from the Scottish Review of Books spoke with The Fountain about the change in programme, the programme in more detail and who it is geared towards.

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Review: Sleep in the Park 2017 Rating 100%

Review: Sleep in the Park 2017

On arrival at the East Gate of Princes Street Garden we were met with a queue of maybe 50-100 people. Although the night was cold, I was wrapped up warm and the traffic and huddle of people kept the temperature bearable. What was less bearable was the Scottish tat shop across the street that on a loop played Wham’s Last Christmas on a loop for the entire duration of us waiting in the queue – approximately 20-30 minutes. I felt sorry for the poor folk who work there.

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Review: Edinburgh’s Christmas Ice Adventure Rating 55%

Review: Edinburgh’s Christmas Ice Adventure

Christmas has well and truly landed in Edinburgh, as eighty-metre-high attractions scrape the skyline, market stalls glow invitingly, delicious smells waft on the breeze, and Christmas tunes blast from every door as shoppers go about their festive business. Not only is Princes Street bedecked to the hilt – but George Street and St Andrew’s Square are stuffed to the brim with everything you could need to make the festive season just that little bit more festive.

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Review: Jury Play Rating 85%

Review: Jury Play

Learning by experience is arguably the best way to understand. Here Grid Iron in association with the Traverse Theatre, give us the opportunity to see, hear and feel a murder trail through the eyes of a jury.  I’ve seen Making a Murderer and watched bits of Oscar Pistorius’ lengthy court drama and I like many others believed the business of a murder trial to be gripping and fascinating. Not so, for we soon discover in this production that a high court trial is an interminably dull affair. As a staged piece it has to be clever though, to walk us through the essence of the tediousness involved, while still being entertaining. Director Ben Harrison and legal expert and writer Dr Jenny Scott ensure that this happens, simultaneously raising questions, exploring areas for change, presenting the reality of jurors’ journeys and making us laugh – a lot more than you’d expect with so much talk of murder.

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