Examples of Mark Fisher's writing on books, authors and literature, including articles on James Kelman, Denise Mina and Irvine Welsh.
31 August 2010 Scotland on Sunday
Interview with the Lord of the Rings actor about Sunshine on Leith. A Dundee Rep preview
IT WOULD be less of a problem if Billy Boyd wasn't such a big fan of the Proclaimers. The Lord of the Rings star has landed a lead role in a revival of Dundee Rep's Sunshine On Leith, the superb musical based on the songs of Craig and Charlie Reid. It's a dream job - one that's lured him back to the theatre for the first time in six years - but getting his mind around arrangements that are not quite the same as the records he has loved for so long is proving tough work.
Interview with choreographer Ashley Page
ONE weekend last summer, Ashley Page was sitting at home playing some CDs. The choreographer credited with revitalising Scottish Ballet was searching for some music to slot into Off Kilter, a show celebrating Scottish dance. He had, perhaps unsurprisingly, ruled out Hebridean psalms. "They did nothing for me in terms of choreography," he says. So he put on Ludo, a 1967 album of strange songs and poems by the late cult poet Ivor Cutler.
Interview with John and Zinnie Harris about Death of a Scientist.
IT'S NOT every interview that gets interrupted by the delivery of a box of Lego. But at the Edinburgh home of John and Zinnie Harris real life carries on even as Death Of A Scientist, their collaboration on Scottish Opera's Five:15 series, reaches fruition. Unlike the other collaborators – such as composer Stuart MacRae and novelist Louise Welsh – on this compilation of five 15-minute operas, John and Zinnie have been unable to leave their work in the office. Their opera has taken shape in between family meals, day trips and ordering building bricks for their two young sons.
THE scene shouldn't look out of the ordinary. We're in the main rehearsal room of Scottish Opera, a gymnasium-sized space with sound-proofing panels lining the walls, where a dozen or so singers are trying on costumes. They're squeezing into corsets and parading around in flamboyant dresses. One tenor poses for a photograph wearing a horse's head.
INTERNATIONAL travellers, fear not. When you see the drummer from Travis ahead of you in the queue for airport security, do not worry. Although Neil Primrose's neck is made largely of metal, he will get through the detector just fine. "It's actually OK," says Primrose, who broke his neck diving into a hotel swimming pool in 2002 and had to be revived by fellow band members Dougie Payne and Andy Dunlop.
THIS is what it's like at the Edinburgh festival. One minute you're getting all intense over My Name is Rachel Corrie, the true-life tale of a woman killed by an Israeli bulldozer, the next minute, you're out on the town with Kylie Minogue, fending off autograph hunters and getting nasty looks from neighbouring tables for making too much noise in an Italian restaurant.
TIM Albery swings into the Scottish Opera canteen, orders a baked potato and banters in German with a couple of soloists. You get a quick glimpse of the cosmopolitan world the director inhabits. Last weekend he was in talks about a production of The Magic Flute in Santa Fe.
AS far as Michael Nyman was concerned it was going to be just another collaboration.There was nothing new about writing for contemporary dance for a composer who has routinely associated himself with artists of other disciplines. Prominent among his collaborators is filmmaker Peter Greenaway for whom he scored The Draughtsman’s Contract, Drowning by Numbers and The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover. He also teamed up with Blur’s Damon Albarn on the soundtrack to Antonia Bird’s Ravenous, with Indian master mandolin player U. Shrinivas for an album in 2003, and with Jane Campion for her film The Piano.
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