Jonathan Trew: Weekend Recommendations

This weekend marks the start of Perth 800, a year-long series of events designed to celebrate the fact that King William the Lion granted Perth its Royal Burgh Charter back in 1210. My view of Perth has always been coloured by the fact that I once floated through the city clinging to the carcass of a dead sheep. It was in the 1980s and I was on a weekend canoeing trip. The details escape me but, somewhere along the line, I parted company with my canoe and hooked up with the sheep as it bobbed

A less chilly, but still gritty, way to get to grips with Perth can be had at the city's Museum and Art Gallery, which is hosting the Skin and Bone: Life and Death in Medieval Perth exhibition, with exhibits such as King William's charter.

Street theatre company Mischief La Bas will be taking over Perth's King Edward Street this afternoon and setting up their Market of Optimism. The performers will hand out their Neuros currency, which can be spent on products such as the Heavenly Estate Agents.

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After last year's Homecoming shenanigans and the attendant celebrations surrounding the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns's birth, you might not have much appetite for Burns nights this weekend. At the risk of being marched to the border and told never to return, I suggest John Hegley's gig at the Cat Strand in Castle Douglas.

In the evening, he will perform pieces from his book, The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet. In the afternoon, he will be hosting a poetry workshop.

On a different note, this weekend's shows by the Chinese State Circus and the Total Non-stop Action wrestling crew, which both take place in Glasgow, got me thinking. A large part of the Chinese State Circus's show revolves around martial arts skills. Their current show, called Mulan, is based on a Chinese legend about a peasant girl whose fighting skills help save her nation from invasion. Perhaps one day, American wrestling will enter legend in the same way. Who wouldn't pay to see Hulk Hogan and, Homicide re-enact the American War of Independence?


• This article was first published in The Scotsman on 23 January, 2010