In Full

Culture in Full

Botanic Garden told to rethink after Inverleith House closure

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has been urged by experts to overhaul its entire approach to the arts after the controversial closure of its long-running gallery.

VisitScotland's new Harry Potter campaign has been launched ahead of the 20th anniversary of the first novel on Monday.

Harry Potter holiday itinerary unveiled ahead of 20th anniversary

Scottish tourism chiefs have unveiled their first Harry Potter holiday itinerary to coincide with the 20th anniversary of JK Rowling’s famous creation.

Donald Iain Brown, chair of M�d Ghlaschu 2019, is joined by school children from Gaelic School Glasgow to unveil the new logo for the festival. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

Mod festival returns to Glasgow for first time in 30 years

Glasgow is set to celebrate the Gaelic community as a festival takes place in the city for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The finale of the Edinburgh International Festival will be staged in two parts in August - the first without any fireworks.

Shake-up revealed for Edinburgh International Festival fireworks finale

The grand finale of the Edinburgh International Festival is to be extended by around 20 minutes - for a special musical sequence unaccompanied by fireworks.
Edinburgh festivals
Tom McCarthy

Book review: Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish: Essays, by Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy is one of the few novelists whom I would not just describe as good, but significant. He is a game-changer, rather than someone playing the game. This collection of 15 essays offers an insight into his various concerns and complexities. It is about flickering signals and what systems leave behind (detritus is a major theme), about the difficult legacy of the 20th century and the possibilities still to be gleaned, about how there might yet be the possibility of radicalism in both aesthetics and politics.

Scottish historian and writer William Dalrymple at his farm house in New Delhi. PIC: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

William Dalrymple on the Koh-i-Noor diamond, colonialism and Brexit

On 29 March 1849, the ten-year year-old Maharaja of the Punjab, Duleep Singh, was ushered into the magnificent Shish Mahal, the Mirrored Hall throne room at the centre of the great Fort of Lahore. The boy’s father, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was long dead, and his mother, Rani Jindan, had been forcibly removed and incarcerated in a palace outside the city. Now Duleep Singh found himself surrounded by a group of grave-looking men wearing red coats and plumed hats, who talked among themselves in an unfamiliar language. In the terrors of the minutes that followed, the frightened but dignified child finally yielded to months of pressure. In a public ceremony in front of what was left of the nobility of his court, he signed a formal Act of Submission. Within minutes, the flag of the Sikh Khalsa was lowered and the Union flag run up above the Fort.

JK Rowling at a book signing session at the Assembly Halls in Edinburgh, 10 July 2000 PIC: David Moir

From the archives: The Scotsman reviews Harry Potter, 28 June 1997

On Monday 26 June 2017, it will be 20 exactly years since the publication of JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Here’s how The Scotsman reacted to the story of the boy wizard...

Books 3
The Book of Henry dubiously exploits tragedy for cheap emotional pay offs.

Film reviews: The Book of Henry | Hampstead | Souvenir

It is difficult to know where to start with The Book of Henry, a film so satisfied with its own toxic levels of quirkiness that all involved seem oblivious to how deranged it actually is. Revolving around a child genius who devises an elaborate plan to kill his next door neighbour, this description barely scratches the surface of a plot that includes child abuse, terminal illness, comedy alcoholism, a cutesy school talent show, improbably elaborate tree house construction and a single mother being trained in the art of assassination by her dead son. If this sounds in any way intriguing, then please pause for a second, re-read the previous sentence and imagine how one might go about weaving such tonally disparate story strands into a coherent movie. If you think you have an idea, then congratulations: you’re doing better than Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, who throws everything together into a sugary concoction that’s about as appetising as the peanut butter and breakfast cereal sandwiches Naomi Watts’ character makes for her kids.

Ewan Bremner attended the opening film. Pictures: Ian Georgeson

Stars on red carpet as Edinburgh film festival launches

The Edinburgh International Film Festival has launched its 70th anniversary celebrations with the UK premiere of a gay romance hailed as the “British Brokeback Mountain.”

Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians 1
Alec Secareanu and Josh O'Connor in God's Own Country, the opening film of the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival: God’s Own Country

British director Francis Lee makes an auspicious debut with God’s Own Country, a gay love story about a Yorkshire sheep farmer whose tough existence is transformed when he falls for a Romanian migrant worker. Opening this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, it’s a movie that has the unmistakable ring of truth to it – both in its unsentimental depiction of rural life and its matter-of-fact approach to sexuality.

Detail from Burning the Kailyard by Aiden Milligan at the Gray's School of Art Degree Show 2017

Art review: Gray’s School of Art Degree Show 2017

Well, I’ve got my comeuppance. No sooner do I write a review bemoaning the near complete absence of artist statements at the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show than I find myself in Aberdeen at Gray’s School of Art, where they take the opposite approach. Here, every student has been drilled to write a summary of their practice and their degree show work in 125 words. What is more, they’ve clearly been instructed to make it accessible to the lay person, and as far as possible, devoid of art-speak.

Art 1
Brian Cox played Winston Churchill in the new big-screen biopic, which was shot in and around Edinburgh.

New Scottish film and TV fund delivers £17.5m boost for economy

A new incentive fund to help bring films and TV productions to Scotland has generated a £17.5 million return on investment in its first 18 months - 10 times more than was put in.
Actor Alan Alda. Picture: Getty Images)

M*A*S*H actor Alan Alda gets honorary degree from Dundee Uni

US actor Alan Alda, famous for his roles in M*A*S*H and The West Wing, has received an honorary degree from Dundee University for his work promoting the communication of science.

Dundee & Tayside 2
Jackson Browne

Music review: Jackson Browne at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

There was a certain comfort to be drawn from the presence of Jackson Browne, even as he shook his head at the craziness of the world and prescribed Carlos Varela’s MOR ballad Walls and Doors for the times. With his “alltime favourite band” in tow and way more stringed instruments lined up than they could reasonably require for one set, this quintessential Californian roots rocker dispensed the easy mid-paced listening of Just Say Yeah, embellished with the soft eloquent twang of lead guitar, the wistful nostalgia of The Long Way Round and Before the Deluge’s gentle paean to hopeful, holistic living, all delivered with a casual dexterity and the occasional splash of modest heroics.

Piping championships to attract thousands to Forres. Picture: GnBri Photography/Supplied

European Piping Championships in Forres to attract thousands

THOUSANDS are to descend on a tiny Highland town to witness Moray’s biggest one-day event, Piping At Forres, the European Pipe Band Championships.

Inverness, Highlands & Islands
Author Adam Thorpe. Picture: Geraint Lewis/Writer Pictures

Book review: Missing Fay, by Adam Thorpe

This novel is packed with great characters and a strong sense of place but the central mystery runs out of steam

Surgeons Hall by Hugh Buchanan at the 
Scottish Gallery

Art review: Hugh Buchanan at the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s civic masterpiece is celebrated in this wonderful show, writes Duncan Macmillan

The Glue Factory  is an independent arts workspace in Glasgow

Rob Morrison: Breathing life back into the city’s empty spaces

Glasgow used to be the second city of the British Empire, an industrial powerhouse with a population of more than two million. This has now shrunk to around 600,000, a change clearly articulated by the vast number of vacant buildings and sites.

Opinion 1
Mr Campbell, an unemployed brickworker, outside the closed Walkinshaw brick works near Paisley. Picture: Larry Herman/Contributed

Industrial decline of Glasgow and Clydeside captured in pictures

Clydeside, stretching from Glasgow, through Paisley, Renfrew and out to Greenock - was once the engine room of the British Empire. A land of shipyards, foundries, factories, mills, and brickworks. But by the 1970s the empire was gone and so to was much of Scotland’s heavy industry.

People & Places 2
Alex Maxwell

Under the Radar: Alex Maxwell

Hailing from Dumfries, Alex Maxwell first came to our attention at our Wide Days conference, where he was one of only a handful of artists to receive positive feedback about his music on our “A&R You Brave Enough” session.

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