Obituaries: Andy Mackie, director who taught some of Scotland’s biggest stars

Andrew Gourlay Mackie, writer, director, teacher and artist. Born: 29 May 1956. Died: 21 August 2022, aged 66

A uniquely creative and versatile teacher, writer, director and artist, Andy Mackie started life in Lincoln but his heart was Scottish through and through. A graduate of Stirling University, which he proudly said transformed his life from black and white to colour, he discovered his future in theatre, writing and performing.

After a year of teacher training at Callander Park, he worked as a community drama worker and performer for Brassneck in Livingston before he joined a circus.

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Then, much to his surprise, he became a lecturer for the first one-year National Certificate Drama course in Scotland at Kirkcaldy College of Technology.

Andy Mackie leaves a mark on Scottish culture
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There he taught everything from stage management to acting to publicity to theatre games, writing and directing numerous plays for his students including, among many others, Ewan McGregor, Shirley Henderson, Sharon Small, Dougray Scott, Kenny Glenaan and Michael Nardone.

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He was an active force in the early days of the Scottish Student Drama Festival in a working partnership with fellow lecturer Lynn Bains. It was a time of enormous creativity for the course, which earned praise throughout Scotland.

Andy continued to write, teach and direct at Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh University, winning awards at the Edinburgh Fringe with such plays as his Utter Guide To Theatre and directing everything from Metamorphosis and Bouncers to Arabian Nights at QM.

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If comedy was his forte, politics was his passion, as co-writer of Cleaning Up for Wildcat Theatre Company, directing the award-winning Titania’s Women for St Leonards School (St Andrews) and David’s Gift set in Auschwitz for Theatre Workshop, where he also taught and directed for their innovative Integrated Theatre Company.

Andy was also writer in residence at Milestone House, Edinburgh’s first Aids hospice (and was honoured to join residents for afternoon tea with Princess Diana.)

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He taught drama courses at Saughton Prison, wrote for BBC’s Naked Video and was a key facilitator with Theatre of Ideas.

During the last decade of his life Andy studied art with Derek McGuire and Paul Keir, proudly exhibiting and selling his work at the Gallery on the Corner, Dundas Street. He never stopped learning, experimenting, being inspired by art and artists.

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A passionate traveller, Andy managed to make time to circle the planet three times, twice by sea and once by train. Antarctica, Fiji and Cuba were favorite ports of call.

Right to the end Andy Mackie dreamed of, marched and fought for an Independent Scotland.

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