September 2008 Scotland on Sunday

Emma Pollock on post-natal depression

I'M ON the phone to Emma Pollock wondering how I'm going to ask about her state of mind. The ex-Delgados singer is one of the organising forces behind Vitamin B, a live music highlight in the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, so it's natural to wonder if she has experienced mental illness herself. Yet to ask the question seems rude. There'd be no problem inquiring about her history of broken bones or how often she'd had chicken pox, but mental health is a taboo.

January 2006 Scotland on Sunday

Simon Bent on Parkinson's Disease

SIMON Bent was in the pub when the truth first hit him. He'd gone for a pint with the actors after rehearsals for his play Sugar Sugar. What he really wanted to know was where one actor had got his characterisation from. What was his inspiration for such a slow, stuttering and incoherent performance? The other actors found it hilarious. Couldn't the playwright tell? At length, the actor confessed. He'd based his interpretation on Bent himself.

April 2005 Scotland on Sunday

Tom McGrath on recovering from a stroke

WE'RE in the Railway Tavern in Ladybank, Fife, and Tom McGrath is singing to me over our burger and chips. It’s a song from his play Laurel and Hardy at the point in which the two comedians are lamenting the onset of old age. "Growing old/ My jaws unfold/ My face is wrinkled/ Starting to crinkle/ But we’ll be bold/ Before we’re old/ We’ll show them what we’re made of."

June 2005 Scotland on Sunday

David Bryant on being HIV positive

OVER the coming weeks you're going to hear a lot of remarkable things about NVA's The Storr. But of all the remarkable things about this remarkable event on the high cliffs above Coire Faion - one part ramble, one part art installation, one part ecological regeneration - the most remarkable of all is the presence of David Bryant.

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