Our critics roundup the best entertainment on offer in Scotland
In an Alien Landscape
Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, 1-2 February; MacRobert Theatre, Stirling, 8 February; Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, 9 February; and on tour until 26 February.
DESPITE its hard image as a centre of declining heavy industry, Greenock has always had a thriving literary and cultural life; and now it also has a beautiful new theatre space, in the newly-opened Beacon Arts Centre. First show up is In An Alien Landscape, by mixed-ability touring company Birds Of Paradise, about a man who emerges from a coma with an irresistible urge to paint; expect strong performances from Paul Cunningham, Morag Stark, and Paralympics Opening Ceremony star, David Toole.
• Tel: 01475 723723 (Greenock date only), or visit www.birdsofparadisetheatre.co.uk for info on other shows.
Glasgow Youth Film Festival
Various venues, 3-13 February
Now in its fifth year, this upstart spawn of the Glasgow Film Festival provides another eclectic youth-oriented lead-in to the main event with a wide-ranging choice of films and events selected and organised by its team of teen volunteers. Among the highlights are previews of new Disney animation Wreck-it-Ralph, a special late night screening of cult fave Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and masterclass by the cast and crew of Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat.
• Tel: 0141-332 6535, www.glasgowfilm.org
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 1 February Until 14 April
Massimo Bartolini is an Italian artist who specialises in large-scale installations and his new exhibition at the Fruitmarket includes one of these: La strada di sotto (The Street Below), coloured lights which are inspired by lights used during street celebrations in Sicily. This main work is supplemented by a number of smaller works and works on paper.
• Tel: 0131-225 2383
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, tonight
The Bergen Philharmonic makes its Edinburgh debut tonight with music director Andrew Litton at the helm. It’s a rare opportunity to hear what the former Dallas Symphony Orchestra maestro has done in raising the profile of the historic 250-year old Norwegian band, especially in a programme that combines Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Richard Strauss’s magnificent tone poem, Ein Heldenleben. But look out, too, for Norwegian pianist Christian Ihle Hadland, whose rising reputation is borne out in some impressive recent recordings.
• Tel: 0131-228 1155
Mitchell Library, Glasgow, 6-7 February
Not since Bon Iver recorded his debut album in a cabin in the woods has such a cloistered songwriter popped his head above the parapet. London-based Keaton Henson is your archetypal bedroom bard, writing fragile acoustic break-up songs delivered in quavering, lachrymose tones. He once played a gig in a box (it’s art, darling) and has now progressed to shows in museums and libraries. Given his rising popularity, with an extra date added in Glasgow to meet demand, he might actually have to play a regular concert before the year is out.
• Tel: 0141-353 8000