Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival is staging a day-long event to herald the start of the first Year of Coasts and Waters.

14 highlights of the cultural year ahead in Scotland

The biggest ever celebration of Scotland's shorelines, 30 years of one of Scotland's most iconic venues and a new festival created in honour of country music legend Johnny Cash's ancestral links with Scotland are already shaping up to be among the highlights of the cultural year ahead.
Julie Fowlis PIC: Michael Gillen

Jim Gilchrist: Tidal wave of talent at this year’s Celtic Connections

In his enduring Gaelic lament, An Ataireachd Àrd, Donald MacIver potently evokes “The eternal surge of the sea... the sound of the high swelling waves / The ocean’s thunder is as I heard it in my youth /
Unchanging, pitiless, beating the sands on the shore.” That eternal surge against Scotland’s 10,000km of convoluted coast erodes, enriches, creates livelihoods, takes lives and, in the case of MacIver’s inspiration, disperses communities through clearance or other emigration. Inevitably, its tides ebb and flow through the music of our seaboard cultures.

Solaris at the 'Lyceum Theatre, 'Edinburgh

Arts review of 2019: Joyce McMillan on the year in theatre

In theatre, it’s surprising how often the worst of times is the best of times. This year, the political landscape has been grim, in Scotland and the wider world.  And in the smaller world of the arts, the funding situation seems to grow ever more stressful, as arts managements apparently resign themselves to the idea of managing what they see – perhaps unwisely – as an “inevitable” continuing decline in government support for the arts.

Cinderella at the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

Theatre review: Cinderella, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

In these austere times, many local pantomimes aren’t local enough; original scripts and sets cost money, and it’s often cheaper to buy in a panto ready-made. This year, though, the Brunton at Musselburgh offers a real little gem of local professional panto, set to play to packed audiences throughout the season.

Mary McCusker reprises her role as old Mrs Culfeathers

Theatre review: The Steamie, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

It’s a strange thing, to have seen The Steamie at its second-ever performance in a community hall in Dalmarnock, back in 1987, and to witness it now, playing to almost 12,000 in the huge arena of The Hydro, for a brief festive run that ends, fittingly enough, on Hogmanay.

Danielle Glover is an adorable Cinderella in Cumbernauld Theatre's panto

Theatre reviews: Snow White, SEC Armadillo, Glasgow | Cinderella, Cumbernauld Theatre

WHAT makes a great Scottish panto star? It’s a mix of familiarity, inventiveness and sheer love for the panto tradition and live theatre, combined with a mysterious touch of magic; but whatever the formula, it’s clear from the shenanigans, ongoings and general joy of this year’s Qdos pantomime at the SEC Armadillo that Greg McHugh, better known as Gary Tank Commander, is shaping up to join the ranks of Scotland’s true panto tradition-bearers.

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