Glasgay! 2013

Press Release for immediate use                                 glasgay20thann-logo-240px


Scotland’s annual celebration of LGBT culture. 
Festival runs:  9 Oct – 9 Nov 2013

Brief:  Scotland’s Glasgay! Festival announces its dates plus Commissions from three top female Scottish writers and highlights for its 20th Anniversary Festival. 

 “Glasgay! is a beacon of sanity in a hypocritical and naughty world.” Ian McKellen, The Late Show BBC TV – 1993

Founded in 1993, with appearances by Sir Ian McKellen and Rhona Cameron, Glasgay! celebrates its TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY in 2013.  The central theme to the programme will be “LEGACY”.  We will celebrate the particular legacy that gay, lesbian and transgendered artists have made to the festival.  We also note the progress of LGBT Equality and the emergence of our artists from the artistic side-lines to mainstream success and visibility.

Under the stewardship of Producer, Steven Thomson, since February 2004, the festival has grown in reputation, strength and quality.  The festival receives regular public funding from Creative Scotland and Glasgow City Council both of whom recognise the importance of the festival in commissioning new theatrical work by leading Scottish artists.  In the last decade it has staged work by Alan Bennett, a major Tennessee Williams Festival in 2008, and produced works by Louise Welsh, Zoe Strachan, and Tim Fountain.  In 2011, it celebrated the life of the late Edwin Morgan in a commissioned play by Liz Lochhead, Edwin Morgan’s Dreams And Other Nightmares. 

For the 2013 festival we have commissioned a number of new works by leading Scottish artists:   From Jackie Kay MBE, a brand new musical, THE MAW BROON MONOLOGUES (2013); from Stef Smith CURED; and from Martin O’Connor and Donna RutherfordMOTHERSON.

Central to our legacy is Scottish writer, Jackie Kay.  Born to a Scottish mother, Nigerian father and adopted by white Scottish parents, Jackie grew up in Glasgow surrounded by a strong working class community of socialist principles and family values. As a prolific writer, her work has covered her early life and experiences starting with THE ADOPTION PAPERS and later, her search for birth parents, in RED DUST ROADShe now returns to the eponymous MAW BROON MONOLOGUES, first staged in 2009 and now substantially re-written and updated for 2013, to once again challenge, in word and song, our notions of the Scottish identity, female emancipation, motherhood, love, loss and life.  The new musical will be directed by Liz Carruthers, starring Terry Neason and Suzanne Bonnar as the two Maws, with music by Tom Urie and Alan Penman.  The production will be designed by the award-winning Amanda Stoodley and will be staged at the Tron Theatre 30 Oct-9 Nov 2013.

Glasgay! has, since its inception, always championed new lesbian writers such as Louise Welsh, Zoe Strachan, Stella Duffy and Jackie Clune.  Joining that illustrious list is Stef Smith, an emerging new Scottish talent, who has been commissioned by the festival to write a new all-female, two-hander, CURED.  Stef Smith’s recent awards include a Laurence Olivier for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2012, Writer-on-Attachment for National Theatre of Scotland and New Playwright Award from Playwrights Studio Scotland in 2011.  She is also currently part of the Royal Court Theatre’s National Writers Group.  As a writer and director, Stef has been involved in many projects including writing ROADKILL (2010), TEA AND SYMMETRY (2011) for BBC Radio Scotland and writing and directing SILENCE OF THE BEES (2012).  CURED will explore the experiences of Susan on the eve of her 40th birthday, as she walks into a clinic that claims it can cure her of her ‘homosexual tendencies’.  CURED is an intimate new drama about love, identity and The Golden Girls.  The play will be directed by Ros Philips (My Name is Rachel Corrie) and staged at The Arches 23-27 October 2013.

The festival has always embraced heterosexual writers and artists who are sensitive to LGBT issues.  Scottish writer/performers, Donna Rutherford and Martin O’Connor are already both well known for their separate works investigating family, femininity, male-ness and sexuality.  In a co-commission, entitled WILFUL FORGETTING, they will together explore the often troubled and dramatic relationships between mothers and sons.  Fertile ground for many, their work promises to look at contemporary issues of emerging troubled teens, family breakdown, and the pressures of coming out and homophobia.  The work will be staged at the Tron Theatre 6-9 November 2013.

NEWS:  The festival is also proud to welcome TWO NEW HONORARY PATRONS to its ranks. Joining Louise Welsh (2007) and Jackie Kay (2009) we welcome JO CLIFFORD, (formerly John) who is a prolific writer, performer and teacher who lives in Edinburgh. Jo is an Associate Playwright of the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland.  Her recent work includes The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven (Glasgay! 2009); and Sex, Chips and The Holy Ghost for Pie Play & A Pint.  We also welcome CRAIG HILL, the renowned kilted, Scottish comedian with a razor sharp wit, who tours the world appearing at International Festivals as far afield as Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Cape Town, Montreal, New York, Switzerland, Norway, Madrid and Paris!

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR 2013 PROGRAMME, via partner organisations, will be as follows:

19 Oct:  THE WIZARD OF OZ with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra – the movie with live orchestra and the whole, enchanting score in full orchestral Technicolor. For “friends of Dorothy” and all the family.

10-12 Oct:  THE GATES by Rachel Jury- a dramatized musical inspired by the infamous London women’s club The Gateways.  (Venue: Classic Grand Cinema)

15-16 Oct:  HANDEL’S CROSS – Theatre North’s new show which mixes gay fetish and theatre in an exhilarating take on the musical and personal life of the composer of MESSIAH.  Following on from the award winning BILLY BUDD SAILOR, and NAKED HOMO.  Theatre North are Martin Lewton and Andrew McKinnon.  (Venue: CCA)

28 Oct- 9 Nov:  KILLING ME SOFTLY by John Binnie –a powerful story of two lonely individuals, a gay boy and a straight girl, set in the early days of AIDS. Clyde Unity Theatre toured KILLING ME SOFTLY extensively to community and theatre audiences after it was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987. This new production is in association with the Scottish Youth Theatre.  (Venue: SYT + Community Tour)

31 Oct:  SCOTTEE  – L’Enfant terrible of the London live art scene, Scottee is a 27-year-old provocative performer, broadcaster, director and writer from Kentish Town, North London. He is currently an associate artist at Olivier award winning company Duckie and the iconic Roundhouse.​ His work references broken limbs, police questioning and the loss of hundreds of pairs of high heels.  He has a brash, naff and obnoxious approach to light entertainment and art, leaving audiences elated, confused and covered in glitter. He has performed at the Barbican, Royal Opera House, Tate Britain, Roundhouse, ICA and the Royal Festival Hall.  (Venue: The Arches)

The full festival programme will include a FILM PROGRAMME, COMEDY, CLUBS, VISUAL ART and TALKS AND DEBATES and will be announced in late July 2013.


SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT: Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“Glasgay! is well established as one of Scotland’s annual cultural highlights, championing creativity by and for LGBT people. Its 20th anniversary programme includes a wealth of insightful, interesting and entertaining work that celebrates the festival’s legacy and influence on wider Scottish culture.”

 CREATIVE SCOTLAND:  Iain Munro, Acting Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, said:

“Creative Scotland is proud to be supporting the Glasgay! festival in its 20th year.  We have seen the festival grow into a leading event in the annual festival calendar and this year’s programme is the diverse, high quality, thought provoking and entertaining mix we have come to expect from Scotland’s festival celebrating LGB&T culture.”

notes to editors – Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts , screen and creative industries.


Bailie Aileen Colleran, Executive Member for Communities at Glasgow City Council, said:

“The Council has always supported a diverse range of cultural events which celebrate the many different communities within our city. The annual Glasgay! Festival brings the best of new and established LGBT work to the city every autumn. I’m sure this year’s programme of events – marking the festival’s 20th anniversary – will be a tremendous success.”

GLASGOW LIFE:  Jill Miller, Director of Culture at Glasgow Life, said:

“For 20 glorious years, Glasgay! has flown the flag for the very best in innovative theatre, performance, film and debate for LGBTI artists and audiences and for those who are sensitive to the issues.”

“The world has changed since 1993, but there are still considerable challenges faced today by many of the individuals and communities Glasgay! gives voice to. The festival has a considerable legacy, not least in ground-breaking productions and I look forward to this year’s programme and what lies ahead in the next 20 years of Glasgay!”


 JACKIE KAY                                                                (Patron since Feb 2009)

“Maw Broon holds an interesting mirror up to Scottish society. Am excited to have the chance to see what Maw Broon’s take on independence, Cameroon and Osbroon might be! Good for Glasgay! allowing us a brand new production. Maw Broon has mair tae say!”

 JO CLIFFORD, playwright                                   (Patron since Feb 2013)

“When I first knew I would be more myself living as a girl, I wanted the earth to swallow me up. I was so ashamed I wanted to disappear and leave not a trace behind. This is what many of us feel at some stage, if we’re L or G or B or T or I; and what saved me was the fact I could write. Like many of us, I internalised my oppression and so had hardly any self-esteem. And so for many years assumed what I was writing was crap. And one of the many immense services Glasgay! performs for our community is give us an outlet for our creativity and remind us we are not rubbish and that our work stands up there with the best of them. I am so proud I was able to create and perform The Gospel According To Jesus Queen of Heaven for Glasgay! and that we were able to stand up to the bigots who picketed the theatre and then deluged our emails with their hatred. It’s one of the most important plays I’ve ever written and I’m proud it’s in the company of the work of writers like Louise Welsh, Jackie Kay and Edwin Morgan. All of this is our legacy: our love letter to the future. It’s part of what we leave for those who come after us; part of what I leave my grandchild. We may not live in a just society or one that’s free of prejudice and hate. But our work can help dream it into being.”

CRAIG HILL, Comedian                                       (Patron since Feb 2013)

“I’m over the moon about being asked to be a Patron for Glasgay and thrilled to support the Festival that was gay way before festivals were gay! And truly very impressed that it’s now in it’s 20th year! Glasgay! has admirably promoted the work of LGBT performers that may otherwise never have had a voice or an outlet with challenging thought provoking pieces presented on a very professional creative platform that’s been impossible to ignore. Even in the years before I performed at it I was always aware of Glasgay! and when it was on and intrigued by the line-up and the content. It’s a great statement for Glasgow that this Festival has thrived and developed and been supported by it’s people for so long. Weegie believe it! Congratulations Glasgay! A patron should never patronise but ‘yez ‘uv done awfy well!’ All the best for the coming years (pun fully intended!).”

LOUISE WELSH, writer                                        (Patron since 2007)

“Glasgay is a high spot on my calendar. It reflects the richness and variety of LGBTQ+ cultural engagement and welcomes audiences of all sexualities. A stimulating, challenging, fun festival that is one of the jewels in Glasgow’s crown.”

GLASGAY! IS FUNDED BY Creative Scotland; Glasgow City Council.  Glasgay! is a legacy project as part of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.

MEDIA:  PRESS:  Alan Miller, Press Consultant | Tel +44 (0)141 946 5533  |  Mobile: +44(0)7970 931 537

Office Address:   Glasgay! t/a GALA Scotland Ltd, * 27-29 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5EZ

Tel 0141 552 7575  |  |  Web:

A Limited Company Registered in Scotland № 157153  |  A Recognised Charity № SCO 23620


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