Craig Hill

After experimenting with a Boots home bleach kit on the front of his hair in an effort to look like David Sylvian from Japan in the 80’s and obsessing with his cousin’s Girls World for most of his childhood, Craig eventually gave in to his passion and became a hairdresser. Much as he loved the patter and the reward of perming an otherwise dull, flat bob he then went on to explore his real passion- performing.

At 20 he enrolled at Langside College in Glasgow and had a ball playing ‘Scrooge’, ‘Haemon’ in the Greek Tragedy ‘Antigone’ and an excitable man with Tourettes! This whetted his appetite and he went on to train as a professional actor at Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh. Three years of stretching, dancing, singing, acting, and exploring ‘your inner self’ (he was in heaven- and he and his inner self got on really well) he then went out into the big bad world of acting. Several roles later in Panto, short films and Theatre including the Edinburgh Grassmarket Project’s Festival show ‘Mad’, he was then bitten by the comedy bug.

After years of Sunday afternoons in The Blue Moon Cafe reading out the Sunday Post letters page to amuse a bunch of his friends, one of them decided to do something about it! Fully aware if she left him to it, it would never happen, his friend Sinead booked his first gig for him and sprung it on him two days before! The fear was overwhelming but not as much as the curiosity. The cat was killed, the gig was booked and a new comedian was born.

Craig very quickly started doing gigs and was encouraged to enter The Comedy Store’s ‘Stand Up For Hooch’ competition where he was first runner up. Yippee! He was gobsmacked that after only three gigs his fourth was at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow and 5th was at London’s famous Comedy Store. He was hooked.

Two years having fun doing Julie Andrews singing Punk songs and Shirley Bassey singing The Smiths followed, when BBC Scotland picked him up to join four new comedians for their much loved Friday night stand up show ‘Live Floorshow’. Two series later it went National and Craig was joined by Al Murray, Men In Coats, Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III and a host of comedians and bands for ten weeks on BBC 2 and loved it.  This lead to stints on the BBC’s coverage of the ‘T In The Park’ music festival where he interviewed such luminaries as Pink, Alison Goldfrapp, The Scissor Sisters and The Darkness.

Later on this interviewing practice was to pay off when he got his own Friday night comedy show on BBC 1, ‘Craig Hill’s Out Tonight’, a chat show cum what’s on guide to the best of Scottish entertainment. This was followed by the BBC Radio Scotland series ‘Craig Hill’s Passionate Encounters’ (a quirky look at people and their passionate hobbies!)

While he was having all this fun, Craig managed to do the Edinburgh Festival every year for the last 14 years, with such memorable titles such as ‘Craig Hill Makes Your Whole Week!’, ‘Kilty Pleasures’ and ‘Why Don’t You Come Down The Front?’.

Craig regularly tours throughout the UK as well as appearing at International Festivals as far afield as Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Cape Town, Montreal, New York, Switzerland, Norway, Madrid and Paris!

Craig Hill became a Patron of the Glasgay! Festival in February 2013.

Jo Clifford

Jo Clifford is a writer, performer and teacher who lives in Edinburgh. Jo is an Associate Playwright of the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland.

Current work inlcudes: “The Gospel According To Jesus Queen of Heaven. A personal history of a controversial play” in Out of the Ordinary: Representations of LGBT Lives edited by Ian Rivers and Richard Ward. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven performances at the Nightingale Theatre, Brighton as part of the 2012 Pink Fringe. Sex, Chips and The Holy Ghost Opening play of 2012 “Play, Pie and a Pint” season at Oran Mor, Glasgow. Also performer. Currently developing show for Channel 4.

Jo Clifford became a Patron of the festival in February 2013


Jackie Kay

Since appearing at the inaugural year for Glasgay! in 1993, Jackie Kay has returned to the festival in 2009 and 2010.  She became one of our patrons in 2009.

Her Glasgay! commissioned piece, “The Maw Broon Monologues” premiered at the 2009 festival to great acclaim, which sparked her return the following year with “Red Dust Road,” a memoir about meeting her Nigerian birth father.

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published five collections of poetry for adults including THE ADOPTION PAPERS (winner of a Forward Prize, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award) and most recently FIERE (short listed for the Costa Award.)

Her memoir RED DUST ROAD won the Scottish book of the Year award and the JR Ackerley prize and was selected as a world book night title for 2013. She’s published several collections of poetry for children including RED CHERRY RED, winner of the CLYPE award.

Her first novel, TRUMPET (Picador, 1998) won the Guardian Fiction Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and The Author’s Club First Novel Award. Her collections of stories include WISH I WAS HERE ( winner of the Decibel British Book Award) and most recently REALITY, REALITY.

MANCHESTER LINES, her most recent play was produced last year by Manchester Library Theatre and won a Stage Award. She is a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. She was awarded an MBE in 2006. She lives in Manchester.

Louise Welsh

Appearing at the festival in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009, Louise Welsh is one of Glasgay!’s patrons.

Her play, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ALFRED was performed at Glasgay! in 2006. in 2007 the festival commissioned her novella TAMBURLAINE MUST DIE in a new play directred by Kenny Miller. In 2009 she was commissioned to write a new play, MEMORY CELLS which appeared to critical acclaim at The Arches and later transferred to The Edinburgh Festival. In 2010 the feetival again commissioned Louise to co-write with her partner Zoe Strachan a new drama entitled PANIC PATTERNS. The production was directed by Alison Peebles and staged at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. PANIC PATTERNS was later commissionedby BBC Radio 3 for its afternoon drama slot.

Louise’s work has been translated into twenty languages and she has been the recipient of several awards and international fellowships. Louise Welsh became a Patron of the Glasgay! Festival in 2007