Jonathan Trew: Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival
It’s not just T in the Park-style music festivals that have exploded in popularity over the last 15 years or so. Small scale regional arts festivals have also mushroomed – they just tend to involve less lager.
At the risk of incurring the wrath of Haddington residents who are also hosting their festival from this weekend, we will concentrate on the arts festival taking place in Dumfries and Galloway instead. Most of their theatre strand starts later on next week, but there is much to tickle music lovers. Tonight, opera fans should make tracks for the Theatre Royal in Dumfries where Opera a la Carte tackles Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. Alternatively, rush to Sanquhar Town Hall where veteran singer songwriter and tall tale teller Michael Marra will weave his magic with the help of a grand piano.
Marra is from Dundee, the Tayside city which is currently in the throes of hosting the second Ignite festival. Designed to showcase the cultural and creative happenings in Dundee, Angus and Fife, the highlight of this weekend looks likely to be tomorrow’s talk by thriller writer Jeffrey Deaver, a man whose novels have sold more than 25 million copies. He recently added to the Bond canon with Carte Blanche. Tomorrow evening he talks James Bond, country music and murder, three topics with much in common.
Meanwhile, in the Borders, Traquair House is super-sizing on Shakespeare. This weekend, bard groupies can feast on Elizabethan and medieval concerts; a series of Shakespeare-related productions on an open-air stage and, this is the biggie, promenade performances of Twelfth Night by the amateur group Shakespeare at Traquair.
If you’d rather bodyswerve high culture, try for tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse where funny guy Dara O’Briain is the Craic Dealer. Before finding fame as a comic, O’Briain studied maths and theoretical physics at University College, Dublin. He was so promising that tutors still refer to his abandonment of science for entertainment as the O’Briain drain. I’ll get my coat.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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