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Some Things for the Weekend

Always be prepared for tales of the unexpected

Vlad headOn Monday I travelled from Edinburgh to Glasgow in the belief that I was going to be taking part in a benefit gig to raise money for charities supported by Radio Clyde.

However, when I arrived it transpired that the “gig” in question was merely an excuse to get me to The Stand for a surprise sixtieth birthday party and a comedy “roast”.

This delightful emotional whirlwind of an evening has led to a late new year’s resolution for 2016, to expect the unexpected, and to be willing to step outside my comfort zone.

Some of my weekend’s selections ask audiences and performers to do likewise. Enjoy your weekend, however it may turn out.


Dundee Rep   Friday 22nd January 7.30pm
Burns’ songs and poetry are celebrated in a show which at first sight appears quite traditional. However, the ceilidh also involves actors from the Dundee Rep Company, so expect some unexpected twists and audience participation.


Breakneck Comedy, The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen   Saturday 23rd January 8.30pm
John Gordillo is one of the finest stand-ups currently working on the UK. He’s joined in Aberdeen by Ed Patrick (who supported Jimmy Carr in 2015), quirky local act Martin Bearne and the effortlessly likeable Ray Bradshaw as compere.

The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd January 8.30pm
The affable Irishman is joined in the line-up at the Glasgow Stand by former Eddie Murphy look-alike Rudi Lickwood, compere Jojo Sutherland and outrageously monickered novelty act Dogshit Johnston.

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh   From Friday 15th January to Saturday 6th February 7.30pm
Ten years younger than me, The Lyceum’s Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations continue in the New Year with this chilling, and at times hilarious play by Conor McPherson, hailed in many quarters as a modern classic. Set in rural Ireland, it involves a young woman from Dublin sharing ghost stories with the locals in a country pub, some of which become disturbingly true.

Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh Until 27th January
Myself and The Lyceum are not the only Edinburgh arts institutions celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2016. The Open Eye Gallery, on the corner of Dundas Street and Abercromby Place in the New Town, celebrates its thirty-fifth year with an exhibition of the work of a selection of the artists who have contributed work to the gallery over the past three-and-a-half decades, including John Byrne, John Bellany and Adrian Wiszniewski. There is also an exhibition of some of John Bellany’s work at The Scottish Parliament, where you can take in the inspiring cultural event that is the freedom camp outside on the lawns of Holyrood, where a group of hardy souls are living in tents until Scotland becomes independent. They could be there for some time.

Vladimir McTavish will be appearing at Burns Night shows in Larkhall on Friday 22nd January, and Craigton Of Moikie, Angus on Saturday 23rd January. 

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