23 January 2009 The Guardian

Visit Scotland: Land of cliches

IF you feel like a laugh, do check out the 60-second advert promoting Homecoming Scotland, an embarrassing attempt by the Scottish government and its official tourist agency to lure expats to the country upon the 250th birthday of Robert Burns.

12 January 2009 The Guardian

Funding drama turns into a crisis for Creative Scotland

THE relationship between artists and funding bodies is rarely smooth – just look back at the hoo-ha when Arts Council England tried to clean out its cupboards last year. But you can tell things have reached a pretty sticky stage when no fewer than 440 artists band together to protest about what's going on – or rather, what isn't – at the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) and Scottish Screen, as they endure an amalgamation process designed to produce a new body called Creative Scotland.

January 2008 The Scotsman

Environmental Studies

WHEN it comes to saving planet, we fret about petrochemical plants, long-haul flights and supermarkets. Few of us think about the arts. Yet the creative industries create more than just a good time. The leaflets, ticket stubs, heated halls, stage lights and interval drinks have their consequences. That's before the miles clocked up by artists, promoters and audiences. Does our cultural well-being make it all worthwhile?

February 2007 The Guardian

Theatre and the environment

PITY John Moffat. As chief engineer at the National Theatre, in London, he's the one who has to open the electricity bill. Last year, it came to £600,000. When the National's two-year deal with its supplier ended in September, the theatre was stung with a rise of £200,000. That's the cost of an entire production on its Lyttelton stage.

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