Village Pub Theatre are bringing three evenings of exciting new writing to Rose & Grants. What is Village Pub Theatre all about I hear you ask? We found out from VPT Director Caitlin Skinner as well as Writers James Ley and Colin Bell.

Tell us a little bit about Village Pub Theatre?

Caitlin Skinner: The Village Pub Theatre is a pop up new writing theatre company based in a pub in Leith. We produce regular evenings of new short plays performed script in hand and usually accompanied by home-baking. We also develop full length plays and our notorious tweet plays – a whole play in 140 characters.

What can audiences expect from a Gay Fawkes Night (5 Nov)?

CS: Gay Fawkes night will be a fun, sociable evening featuring six ten minute plays by some of Scotland’s most exciting new writers. The plays are all inspired by the theme ‘Gay Fawkes Night’ and explore questions around protest, resistance, sexuality, fireworks night and taboo. Its an informal evening of fresh, stimulating theatre with work by Ellie Stewart, Helen Shutt, Louise E Knowles, Sophie Good and Samuel Jameson.

What was the inspiration for Alison and Paulo, Donald and Patrick, Fiona and Anyone?

James Ley: This play has evolved over a really long time. It’s one of those plays that is hard to get right, but equally hard to give up on. I started a layer of it in about 2006 as a response to the pension crisis. The pension crisis pre-dates the financial crisis. I wanted to write about a family on the brink of financial crisis that is also falling apart as a unit. A new layer came when I met and had a bit of a romance with a younger guy earlier this year. He found it really funny that I write plays and jokingly begged me to write one about him. He was very frank and very inspiring about living as an HIV positive guy. I was really inspired by his energy and wanted to use that in a character to confront perceptions about living with HIV and the remains of old and now defunct messaging that my generation (who remember the very early beginnings of HIV and THAT advert) have in their collective psyche. To tie this all together I added another layer this year to bring it all together as a play that addresses one generation standing in the way of the next. The play explores the problems of looking after your parents but having your own life too. I also just wanted to write something funny, naughty and sexually liberated.

Which taboos are explored in Samson?

Colin Bell: I wanted to write about masculinity, about the perceived ‘crisis’ in masculinity. Turns out masculinity has always been in crisis. I was fascinated by the aspect of power, which seemed to be central to masculinity, that becomes a force of violence and abuse. It feels to me that, despite the unending headlines about acts of sexual violence, we as a society fail to truly examine the root cause of violence. I wondered how ideas of masculinity related to the censorship of the male sex organs and the power that censoring the penis gives it. Samson was born from these ideas and hopefully asks society the question- what can we all do about it?

How do the three nights compare and contrast/complement with each other?

CS: The whole programme is very diverse! Gay Fawkes night presents a range of voices and mixture of quick comedy and thought provoking work and the evening will have our usual VPT informal feel. Alison and Paulo is a brand new play currently in development which is quite an epic exploration of sexuality, family and letting go. We’re sharing it for the first time and can’t wait to get an audience reaction to it. Samson is a play we have been developing for a while and is a hugely important piece about masculinity and power. It’s fully formed and completely original and should really round off the programme!

What other Glasgay! Festival events are you looking forward to?

CS: There is so much great theatre in the programme so we can’t wait for all of that, but particularly Slope and the Cardboard Fox double bill!

Tickets for Village Pub Theatre are only £8 including a glass of wine/soft drink. Come along as many nights as you can for different stories, witty writing and a warm welcome. 

Latest Competition

Competition time!

We’ve got a competition package to wine, dine and entertain you!

The prize consists of:

To enter this competition simply sign up to our mailing list. The winner will be chosen at random by 11am on Tuesday the 4th of November.

Good luck!

*Terms & conditions: The Arches tickets are for Wed 12th Nov and Jurys Inn Glasgow booking is for Wed 12th and Thu 13th Nov. Please discuss further terms & conditions with each of the individual competition sponsors.

The Madness of Lady Bright Q&A with Michael-Alan Read

Cardboard Fox have an exciting theatre double-bill at boutique performance space Rose & Grants Cafe, on Trongate, for Glasgay! 2014. Creator Michael-Alan Read talks us through these intriguing plays and how they find into this year’s theme of taboos.

Tell us a little about The Madness of Lady Bright?

The play is in its 50th anniversary year having been written in 1964 by Lanford Wilson. The play was first produced at Joe’s Cafe Chino in Greenwich Village in New York City and is considered by some to be one of the forerunners of the “gay play” movement that began in the very young years of the off off Broadway scene. Pre-dating Matt Crowley’s Boys in the Band, The play acts as one of the first pieces of dramatic literature that portrayed homosexuality as something that was matter of fact. Although sensational, Bright is affected by aspects of homosexuality that gay men still struggle with today.It portrays acceptance, physicality, and morality, while at the same time linking it to the human condition that we all deal with as opposed to the “sickness” that people felt homosexuality sprang from at the time of its writing.Where did the inspiration for come from?

Where did the inspiration for Mr & Mrs. Laughton come from?

Mr. & Mrs. Laughton is a labour of love. Having first been made aware of the actor while working at Studio 54 (as front of house, long after its heyday as the club of note). Patrons would come up to me and ask me if I knew who I looked like. This lead to a lot of research on Charles and then eventually his wife, the amazing Elsa Lanchester. Doing all of this reading while closeted in a five year relationship with my own version of Elsa, I was overpowered with the similarities between the Charles and I, and when I came out, I began to write the show. I used my own experiences to flesh out the dynamic of these two individuals that, although knowing full well of their situation, continued to stay in it for thirty-three years.

In what ways do the two shows complement each other?

The two shows are both memory plays. They use similar conventions that allow theatre makers to tell a story that can break the rules of time. In “Lady Bright” we see various characters that have effected Leslie throughout her life with the use of the Boy and Girl, who act as phantoms echoing her past lovers, her family, friends and, at some points, her tormentors. “Mr. & Mrs” uses a pivotal event of Charles playing King Lear at the RSC in 1959 as a window into He and Elsa’s dynamic. Using that point as the fulcrum, Elsa ebbs and flows out of her memories of Charles in a sort of carousel that gives us passing glimpses of their work as actors, and as spouses.

Which taboos are explored in these pieces?

The primary taboo that seems to arch between the two works is self-loathing. While perhaps not often thought of as a taboo, in an age of equality and pride, it is highly controversial to be a homosexual who doesn’t embrace who they are. Even at 26, when I came out, I met several men who considered me “damaged goods.” Yet it is a very real thing for many gay individuals who have issues finding their footing in today’s world of instant app induced sex and tribes that label you more animal than man. It’s interesting that the plays indicative of the times they occupy. Charles’ self loathing in a closeted 1930’s manifests itself very differently than Leslie’s in a very out New York City thirty years later.

What other Glasgay! Festival events are you looking forward to?

I am very much looking forward to seeing Josh Armstrong’s These Delicate Things. I am a big supporter of Cryptic‘s work and The Astrid String Quartet. Combining them both into a piece about the fascinating and unfortunately short life of Francesca Woodman will make for an amazing evening.

Catch Michael-Alan Read performing in Cardboard Fox’s theatrical double-bill of The Madness of Lady Bright and Mr & Mrs. Laughton WED 29 OCT – SAT 1 NOV, 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm) at Rose & Grants. Tickets are a bargain at £8 including a glass of wine/soft drink – book online now

Twitter Competition

We’ve got a special competition for all you Tweeters!

The prize is:

To enter this competition simply RT a competition Tweet. The winner will be chosen at random by 11am on Monday the 27th of October.

Good luck!

*Terms & conditions: Arisaig Restaurant voucher valid till end of April  2015 (not valid between 5th December 2014 and 8th January 2015; Jan 25th 2014 or 13-15th February).

*Other terms & conditions: please discuss these with each of the individual competition sponsors.


Competition time!

We’ve got a competition package to wine, dine and entertain you!

The prize consists of:

To enter this competition simply sign up to our mailing list. The winner will be chosen at random by 11am on Monday the 27th of October.

Good luck!

*Terms & conditions: please discuss these with each of the individual competition sponsors.

Cardinal Sinne Q&A with Raymond Burke

We were lucky to have Writer Raymond Burke chat to us about his play Cardinal Sinne, which is Glasgay! Festival 2014’s main commission. Read on, if you dare…

Tell us a little about your new show Cardinal Sinne?

Cardinal Sinne is a fictional character, the highest ranking Catholic clergyman in the country, respected and revered by all, but who has been abusing his position for many years. The play is set in his offices and chambers as he prepares to leave for the Rome conclave to help elect the next Pope. As allegations regarding his sexual conduct are revealed, he tries to lie, bully and coerce his way out of trouble but simply makes the situation worse.

What sparked the idea behind Cardinal Sinne?

Recently, when one of the most outspoken homophobes in the country was outed as a hypocrite who had been abusing younger men, we discussed the possibility of creating a biographical account. However because of the veil of secrecy that has been cast over events and ongoing investigations, it was more appropriate to create a fictional character, Cardinal Sinne, who is placed in a similar situation. This allowed us to compress the full story into less than two hours and present it as a twisted kind of farce.

Religion is far too easy a target for comedy and has just about been given its last rites as far as Scotland is concerned. Therefore it is the hypocrisy of senior members of the clergy rather than the belief system that is the main focus of the show. Although, the church, like many institutions and corporations, is undoubtedly guilty of protecting itself regardless of the pain and suffering it may cause to individuals.

How does the piece relate to sexual and religious taboos?

Organised religion is perhaps the main perpetrator of taboos concerning sexuality and, as western civilisation progresses, the inherent bigotry and homophobia are evermore obvious in contrast to the egalitarian attitudes of modernity. Paradoxically, the perpetration of homophobia may actually serve the church in a number of unexpected ways. As laity is inculcated with ideas of marriage and procreation in order to produce the next generation of believers, anyone with any unorthodox sexual preferences may find themselves drawn to a life of celibacy as a means of hiding their guilt.

The piece is a mix of ‘comic farce, serious soliloquy and ludicrous litany’; how do these elements work together?

Farce and soliloquy are uncomfortable bedfellows but we have chosen to adopt elements of these genres to represent the inherent duality of the main character. The show will thus on occasion cut sharply from comedy into prayer or litany. The external narrative will consequently portray the internal struggle of the Cardinal in the show as he tries to balance his beliefs with his own natural urges.

What other Glasgay! Festival events are you looking forward to?

Craig Hill. Since he’s always a good laugh. (And he’s from East Kilbride – which has a street named Craig Hill.)

Cardinal Sinne is showing at Tron Theatre Wed 22 Oct- Sat 1 Nov, as part of Glasgay! Festival 2014. Get your tickets now!

Slope Q&A with Stewart Laing

We are thrilled to welcome Stewart Laing, Artistic Director of Untitled Projects, as our first Glasgay! Festival 2014 Q&A blog. Stewart chats about revisiting Slope – Untitled Project’s first ever commission, originally produced in 2006 – and what to expect from this new production.

Tell us a little about your show Slope?

It is a play that Untitled Projects commissioned – the first play we ever commissioned – it is Pamela Carter’s first play; and when we originally produced it in 2006 it was the first time Pamela and I worked with each other. It is a really special play for me – I’ve wanted to come back to it for years now – to have another go – to spend some more time with these characters and these words.

Can you give us some background about the poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud and their love affair?

In 1871, Paul Verlaine was living with his young wife Mathilde and their small child in a bourgeois apartment in Paris. Arthur Rimbaud, a 19 year old poet, came into their lives and blew their marriage apart. Arthur and Paul ran away together and set up home as a couple in a flat in Camden Town, but that relationship in turn fell apart. The play explores the beginning, the middle and the end of this experimental relationship.

How will this production differ from the Tramway production of Slope in 2006?

The original production was played in one of the largest performance spaces in the uk – Tramway 2, which is the enormous gallery space at Tramway. This time we are playing the Citz Circle Studio and the Traverse Studio – which are really small spaces – so it will be more focused, more claustrophobic, more intimate. The audience will be very close to the action – and i’m hoping this will be exciting for the spectators and the actors.

Which taboos are explored in this piece?

The play is set in the 1870s – so in terms of taboos I think it is dealing with taboos of a past era – when it was not socially acceptable for men to have sex with each other and live with each other as partners and lovers.

What other Glasgay! Festival events are you looking forward to?

There are lots of artists I admire involved in this year’s festival – Ron Athey, Drew Taylor, John Byrne, Josh Armstrong, Al Pacino and Rosana Cade to name a few. So lots to look forward to.

Catch Slope as part of Glasgay! Festival 2014 at Citizens Theatre, Wed 12 – Sat 22 Nov 2014. Tickets on sale now!


Glasgay, SMHAFF and drew taylor present
By Drew Taylor and Julia Doogan

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the streets at dawn looking for an angry fix” – Allen Ginsberg, HOWL, 1955

HOWL[ing] is an epic poem for post referendum Scotland
Using beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s seminal piece “HOWL” as a basis…

We present a concert of words and music,
We present a concert of Yes and No
We present a concert of a changed national financial, mental and social health
We present a celebration of where we find ourselves now, and how,
…We feel about that

Written and directed by performance poet/theatre director Drew Taylor, performed by leading Scottish acting talent and accompanied by acclaimed Glasgow musicians Julia and the Doogans: HOWL[ing] is a performance constructed by old, responding to the new, reflecting the current view.

HOWL[ing] is supported by Glasgay! and the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Following the success of 44 Stories [* * * * – The Scotsman] Drew Taylor’s exploration into performance poetry in contemporary theatre continues in HOWL[ing]: collaborating with rising musical stars Julia and the Doogans [recently featured on the Lip Service soundtrack] creating a new unapologetic epic poem for the stage.


“a thrilling mix of burlesque, cabaret and agitprop that deserves to be seen again, and soon.” * * * * Joyce Macmillan, The Scotsman, on “44 Stories” July 2014

“the on-stage quartet excel in delivering everything from poetry to polemic by way of disco-swish” Mary Brennan, The Herald on “44 Stories” July 2014

“poetic masterpiece…utterly flamboyant, brutally honest and totally endearing” * * * * *
ThreeWeeks, Edinburgh 15/08/10 on Markus Makavellian’s International Order

“His voice is raw, clever and disturbing, and we will be hearing much more of it in years to come.”
Joyce Macmillan, The Scotsman, 26/10/09 on Markus Makavellian’s International Order

“A Glittering Colossus” * * * * Metro 22/08/10

Listings information:
Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Thursday 16th October, 7.30pm, £8-£13 www.traverse.co.uk
Arches Theatre Glasgow, Tuesday 21st October, 7.30pm, £8/£10 www.thearches.co.uk
Performance last approximately 50 minutes

Editor’s Notes

DREW TAYLOR – writer/director:
Drew graduated from the RSAMD. A former performance poet Drew primarily works as a director. Drew has created performance for some of Scotland’s leading theatre and dance companies: Conflux, Untitled Projects, Glasgay!, CityMoves Aberdeen and Dance House. Centred in creating cross-art form dance and physical theatre, Drew’s recent credits include: “44 Stories” as part of the Commonwealth Games Culture Festival, “Number By Colours” [ANKUR / CCA], Associate Artist for “The Salon Project” [Untitled Projects / Traverse Theatre / Barbican / Citizens Theatre], “JAMP” at Watch This Space [National Theatre, London] and Theaterszene Europa [Studiobühne, Köln] and “8” by Dustin Lance Black [Glasgay!]. Drew is currently developing “South Cumburgh Green” with choreographer Jack Webb – a dance theatre love-letter to broken Britain.

Julia and the Doogans:
“All timid, lovely folk pop, Julia and the Doogans are as blissful and beautiful as a band can be. Ever evolving, and embracing new sounds and instruments, this collective is united by the voice of Julia Doogan – both hopeful and heartbreaking when the mood calls for it, and always welcome.”
Thomas Meek – The List

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival:
Now in its eighth year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival is one of Scotland’s most diverse cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature. The annual festival takes place in venues across Scotland throughout October, aiming to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

A-Z of Past Artists


Please note some leading artists listed below are separately listed with their own detailed entry. This archive is still under construction.

Patience Agbabi
Andrew Agnew
Scott Agnew
Ken Alexander
Rachel Amy
Alisa Anderson
Pam Ann
John Antiss
Penny Arcade
Robyn Archer
Fernando Arias
Andy Arnold
Tina Ayars
Maria Bakker
Ida Barr
Russell Barr
Margaret Barron
Dianne Barry
Neil Bartlett
Tommy Bastow
Rikki Beadle-Blair
Sawnay Bean
Sebastian Beaumont
Graham Bell
Colin Bell
Alan Bennett
John Binnie
Claudia Bliss
Rabbi Lionel Blue
Suzanne Bonnar
Tristan Borrer
Bette Bourne
Matthew Bourne
Lorraine Bowen
Christopher Bowen
Cathie Boyd
Charlene Boyd
Fraser Boyle
Oliver Braid
Raymond Branton
Monica Brett-Crowther
Lucinda Broadbent
Lorna Brooks
Stuart Brown
Andrea Brown
Laurie Brown
Peter Burton
Tina C
Yvonne Caddell
Rosana Cade
Daniel Cahill
Gowan Calder
Stephen Callaghan
Susan Calman
Jenny Campbell
Bob Cant
Scott Capurro
Alan Carr
Michael Cashman
Paul Chaal
Angela Chadfield
Margaret Cho
Company Chordelia
Emilyn Claid
Jo Clifford
Jackie Clune
Alun Cochrane
Richard Conlon
Amy Conroy
Michael Crookes
Carmen Cuenca
Helen Cuinn
Gram Cumming
Nicola Daley
Julia Darling
Divine David
Toni Davidson
Marcelo De Melo
Tam Dean Burn
Christopher Deans
Alistair Dearie
Bruce Devlin
Ann-Marie di Mambro
Kate Dickie
Jack Dickson
Emma Donoghue
Rebecca Donohue
Claire Dowie
Stella Duffy
Stephen Duffy
John Epperson – Lypsinka
Simon Fanshawe
David Ferrard
Leslie Finlay
Simon Fisher Turner
Gracey Flair
Donovan Flynn
Tim Fountain
Allen Frame
Rachel Frances Sharpe
Helena Fraser
Toni Frutin
Diamanda Galas
Patrick Gale
Ellen Galford
Madame Galina
Viv Gee
Paul Godfrey
Isolde Godfrey
Kerry Godliman
Pauline Goldsmith
Helena Goldwater
Richard Good
John Grant
Richard Greenberg
Lisa Gregan
Alan Greig
Noel Greig
Godfrey Hamilton
Ellie Harrison
P-P Hartnett
Joey Hateley
Giles Havergal
Matthew Hawkins
Iain Heggie
Barry Henderson
Nelson Henricks
Craig Hill
Christopher Hodgson
James Holmes
Lucy Holmes-Elliot
Sophie Holmes-Elliot
Adrian Howells
David Hoyle
Kamal Hussain
Lucy Hutson
The Irrepressibles
Derek Jarman
Sean Tuan John
David Paul Jones
Barb Jungr
Rachel Jury
Jackie Kay
David Kay
Dillie Keane
Deborah Kelly
Johnny Kerr
Kris Kesiak
Bryony Kimmings
Paul Kindersley
David Kinloch
Bernard Krichefski
Mark Kydd
Robin Laing
Gregor Laird
Amy Lamé
Gary Lamont
Gary & Larry Lane
Carol Laula
Sadie Lee
Harris Lees
Shaun Levin
Martin Lewton
James Ley
Kathleen Little
Liz Lochhead
Simon Lovat
Maggie Lovell
Rosie Lugosi
Zoe Lyons
Eilidh MacAskill
Cyndra MacDowall
Simon Machabelli
Jane Mackay
Bridge Markland
Camille Marmié
Dani Marti
Ruth Martin
Ursula Martinez
Jonathan Mayor
Patsy McArthur
Val McDermid
Bob McDevitt
Grant Alexander McDonald
Horse McDonald
Kathy McKean
Sir Ian McKellen
Andrew McKinnon
Johnny McKnight
Garry McLaughlin
Kirstin McLean
Derek McLuckie
Alan McPartlan
Donna McPhail
Alan McPike
Matthew McVarish
Lorenzo Mele
Robert Melling
Sarah Milican
Tim Miller
Kenny Miller
Wendy Miller
Joseph Mills
Snookie Mono
Steffi Moore
Edwin Morgan
Magnus Mork
Susan Morrison
Julia Morrison
James Morrow
Richard Move
Alexandra Muirhead
Lady Munter
Keara Murphy
Terry Neason
Mrs Barbara Nice
Ian Nulty
Cathal O Searcaigh
Paul O’Connor
Martin O’Connor
Belinda O’Hooley
Tamsin Omond
Adura Onashile
Lynne O’Neill
David Oswald
Robert Pacitti
David Paisley
Anya Palmer
Colin Parr
Andy Paterson
Vivian Pedley
Alison Peebles
Stephen Petronio
Ros Phillips
Mark Pinkosh
Judith Plint
Chloe Poems
Jon Pope
Eric Presland
Andrew Printer
David Rankine
Ian Reekie
Helen Reeves
Jade Reidy
Jenny Roberts
Craig Robertson
Abbe Robinson
Kieran Rose
Yiannis Roussakis
Sam Rowe
Laurance Rudic
Gina Ryan
Edwin Sanchez
Helen Sandler
Tom Sapsford
Louise Scott
Amanda Scott
Errin Scrutton
Paulita Sedgewick
Dmitry Ser
Neil Shackleton
Peggy Shaw
Ian Shepherd
Menelas Siafakis
Paul Singh
Grant Smeaton
Ali Smith
Matthew Smith
Salon Society
Annie Sprinkle
Al Start
Alan Steele
Zoe Strachan
Clare Summerskill
JoJo Sutherland
Vari Sylvester
Peter Tatchell
Drew Taylor
Clare Teal
Stephanie Theobald
Warwick Thompson
Andrew Tobert
Ernesto Tomasini
Diane Torr
Lucy Trend
Susan Triesman
David Trullo
Suzie Ungerleider
Tom Urie
Phillippa Vafadari
Bert Van Gorp
Estelle van Warmelo
Stephen Vargas
Anita Vettesse
Mauricio Virgens
Vanity Von Glow
Patrick Wallace
Lois Weaver
Tom Wells
Louise Welsh
Mark Whitelaw
Rosie Wilby
Natalie Wilson
Lanford Wilson
Barry Wolfe
Jonny Woo
Jason Wood
Graeme Woolaston
William Yang
Atta Yaqub
Maureen Younger
Sandy Taylor Trio
Deborah Kelly
Tina Fiveash
7:84 Theatre Co. Scotland
Acoustic Affair
Belle Star Band
Borderline Theatre Co.
Borders Books
Bourgeois & Maurice
Byre Theatre
Citizens’ Theatre
Clyde Unity Theatre
Cottier Theatre
DJ Hushpuppy
Duckie & The Readers Wifes
English Touring Theatre Company
Gallery of Modern Art
Gay Sweatshop
Gay Times and DIVA
Gillmorehill Center for Theatre, Film and Television
Glasgow Film & Video Workshop
Glasgow LGBT Centre
Glasgow Museums
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Glenmorangie Glasgow Jazz Festival
Goncalo Ferreira De Almeida
Hopscotch Theatre Company
Lock Up your Daughters
Marimacha Band
Markee De Saw & Bert Finkle
MCT Theatre Company
Mika & Rietta
Move It Productions
Mr Helium & The Holy Gliders
Nonsuch Productions
Our Story Scotland
Pacitti Co.
Paisley Arts Centre
Pantomime Productions
Paul MacAlindin
Playwright’s Studio Scotland
Queer Up North
Ramshorn Theatre
Random Accomplice
Recoat Collective
Royal National Theatre
RSAMD and the Bi-G-Les Youth Group
Ruby Tuesday Productions
Scottish Ensemble
Scottish Screen
Sindy and Barbie
Slack Dynamics Theatre
Split Britches
St Brides Episcopal Church
Starving Artists
Stephen Duffy Big Band
Strathclyde Theatre Group
Street Level Photoworks
Tangerine Productions
The Arches
The Creative Martyrs
The Mrs Reilly Company
The Redettes
The Stand Comedy Club
Thunder Productions
TransAction Theatre Company
Tron Theatre
West Lothian Youth Theatre
X-Factor Dance Company
X-Tant Theatre