The Steamie Press Release

Anne-Marie Feeney, Marianne Boyle, Alison May.

Anne-Marie Feeney, Marianne Boyle, Alison May.

I’m either fuming at the press or courting them – such is showbiz…:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Govanhill Theatre Group presents

‘The Steamie’ by Tony Roper

Songs by Dave Anderson

Directed by Jennifer Joyes

21st – 26th July 2014 at 7.45 pm

The Steamie @ Govanhill Baths

99 Calder Street, Glasgow, G42 7RA

Tickets: £10/8 www.brownpapertickets.com

Staged on location in Glasgow’s last remaining wash house

Tony Roper’s iconic play ‘The Steamie’ is a hilarious, bittersweet, portrait of working class Glasgow in the 1950s, centring on four women who have gathered at the local Steamie on Hogmanay, completing one last laundry load before the New Year.

They share stories of men and mince, dreams and aspirations – as the shadow of the new laundrettes threatens their tight-knit community.

Coming second in an online poll for ‘STV’s Best Loved Shows’ this site-specific revival, performed by an experienced local cast, takes The Steamie back to its heartland, with a set comprised of reproduction pieces and genuine Edwardian fixtures.

NOTES:

Govanhill Baths was closed by Glasgow City Council in 2001, and after a strong local campaign, is now run by Govanhill Baths Community Trust. It has played host to The National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera and a version of Hamlet supported by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages programme.

Rolf Harris and Cheap Fame

two satyrs by Rubens

two satyrs by Rubens

UPDATE UPDATE : It turns out that a respectable journalist – Ben Leapman – has been convicted of rape… The story is here : 

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/content/former-sunday-telegraph-deputy-news-editor-ben-leapman-convicted-rape

Maybe hacks have their own sex scandal to cover-up? Or they’re being loyal to friends they hoped were innocent… 

UPDATE : In some quarters the media reaction has been shocking…

Peter McKay in the Daily Mail conflated consensual sex with rape and said we were foolish to bother prosecuting it – sex crimes being ‘instinct’ in a way that theft and murder – apparently – aren’t :

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2682779/Peter-McKay-Sex-increasing-national-obsession-Is-nation-planet-preoccupied-copulation.html

and now Simon Jenkins in The Guardian has this to say :

Yet we deal with sex crimes by licensing anonymous accusers and staging celebrity show trials, with lawyers in gladiatorial legal combat before juries. From the attendant publicity, no reputation survives. It is judicial barbarism.

Accusers – not victims… Show trials – not trials… Legal combat – not our justice system… What other crime is treated this way? 

The rest of it is here : 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/08/inquiries-child-sex-abuse-theresa-may-victims

I’m soiling my blog with unpleasantness again – but I was pondering about the conviction of singer/tv presenter/artist, Rolf Harris, for sexual assaults on (mostly) underage girls – and I’ve made a list :

1. Journalist Amanda Platell has admitted that – when she was a newspaper editor – she killed a big story about his unhappy family life because he phoned her up and cried… Who knew the press were that easy to emotionally blackmail?

2. His wife and daughter seem to have lost their sanity (to various degrees) and been crushed by his fame – while developing a dependence on it.

3. Women are so used to abuse that we mostly take it in our stride – it’s the vulnerable or vengeful ones that crack… Normally we’d dismiss them as cranks and crooks but the Savile Panic has made us take them seriously. The OTT nature of the panic is like a dam bursting… Will we go back to denial and silencing?

4. Rolf seemed so nice and cheerful – but now I look at some of his pictures and I see the hard gleam of a man who just wants fame and will do anything to get it.

5. In the pursuit of fame he’d made himself such a naff, childlike, ridiculous figure that any sign of his sex life would revolt us… it’s the queasy mix of jumpers and Rolfaroos with groping and porn that really destroys our faith in entertainment… he’s like some ugly satyr panting after us at a village fete.

6. Satire has always told us that ‘nice personalities’ are never that nice… Children’s authors hate children, jolly Uncles are really a bit pervy… and yet still we fall for it… They smile like goofs and we watch like it isn’t a hideous charade.

7. Who next?

8. Are sex pests still getting away with it because Jimmy Savile was in light entertainment? When will we purge Parliament? Or Hollywood? Or fashion?

9. How sad that he’s featured on Kate Bush’s albums ‘The Dreaming’ and ‘Aerial’ – but then – she’s a serious artist and it probably doesn’t matter… My ears will adjust.

10. Dismay.

Random Headline Unrelated To Post

MedTheGuardian

UPDATE : The mods woke up and removed the comments below! 

I’ve been commenting on Comment Is Free… And it’s not… They censor us for annoying the sensibility of the mods… Sometimes you can get round it by re-phrasing your original comment using whatever rhetorical tricks you think this particular mod will respond too… But that takes stealth and planning and why should we? If it’s not hate speech, it’s not libel, and if it was prompted by the article or a discussion that evolved from the article – it shouldn’t be pounced on and silenced in a way that makes you think the paper has total contempt for its readers and likes to laugh at them for stupidly trying to engage with their above the line superiors… It’s not as if they spell better than us!!!

It’s become so prevalent – and so many of us have been unfairly burned – that it’s turned into a joke… Here’s a copy and paste sample of two comments that are clearly doomed – the word ‘mod’ is verboten.  :

if the Guardian believe in a free press and free speech then it should show it by extending what it demands to the CIF section.

Im not talking about letting every comment be published, but thoes that are not breaking any rule other than annoying a moderator.

But again this comment will be removed and for what ?

Talk about freedom of the press but you know and I do its only really the freedom to say what you would like to see and hear!

The moderators make a mockery of the very princaples the guardian claim to support.

Said by modssuck at 1.06 am on the 3rd of July 2014 – when the mod was probably asleep… and this cry in the dark by jackiscool at 11.47 pm on the 2nd of July 2014 :

The Guardian routinely uses moderation to shape the argument in its comment section in a way which suits the agenda of said article. This is increasingly the case lately. The best example which comes to mind is the CiF article in which a woman who claims to have been in some abused by the photographer Terry Richardson was so heavily moderated that even people who were raising concerns that she doesn’t even appear to have reported this to the police, or that people are innocent until proven guilty, we’re being deleted.

So basically. Don’t act like a bastion of free speech whilst manipulating free speech to suit an agenda.

There were lots of comments pointing out that non-violating comments were being removed – irony of ironies – under an article complaining about google censoring The Guardian. Some lasted a while but they all went in the end (obviously the mod came back from lunch, or dinner, or the loo) :

Behold the cheek of it here :

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/02/eu-right-to-be-forgotten-guardian-google?commentpage=1

mod_dq_copy

 

 

 

 

Savile Redux

savile1

Wtf headlines.

Leering pictures of a deeply weird yesteryear ‘personality’.

Another report has been released about the behaviour of the late DJ Jimmy Savile – and it’s so baroque that it reads like a penny dreadful from the 19th Century… Sex with dead bodies, making rings out the glass eyes of victims, dragging small children to uncertain doom… What’s certain and true is that children’s homes and hospitals were so awestruck by a light entertainment star (& in the case of the 80s Tory government) so hostile to the Trade Unions that they’d allow him unlimited access to vulnerable people.

I wonder if part of the story’s strangeness is due to the showbiz world Savile became famous in – smut and sick jokes furtively prevailed from the sexy schoolgirls of St. Trinian’s to the mock-rock-horror of Screaming Lord Sutch… It was a tasteless, confused era negotiating it’s way from overt Victorian prudery to pill-popping permissiveness… England was also clinging to the old faith in enthusiastic amateurs, welding it to the new meritocracy of teen-pop-telly.

I don’t doubt that Savile was a sex pest… and the last vestiges of his slap and tickle chase the secretary round the table universe of unwelcome fumbling needs obliterated… but I do wonder if our reaction has reached a pitch of Gothic excess that will seem embarrassing and unbelievable in years to come… And I’m clinging to the hope that some of his sicker jokes may truly have been jokes, whatever else he was up to…

Although – I may be delusional – here’s a brilliant and surprisingly self-aware interview conducted by Lynn Barber – where Jimmy does seem to have an almost Dennis Nilson attitude to the dead (they’re all yours) as well as some footage of Screaming Lord Sutch – a lost soul who spent the 1980s and 1990s standing in parliamentary elections under the name ‘The Monster Raving Loony Party’ :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/it-was-a-relief-when-i-got-the-knighthoodbecause-it-gotme-off-the-hook-an-exclusive-interview-with-savile-from-1990-has-a-new-meaning-9571057.html

The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know Show – 23rd June 2014 !

Kieran Hurley and the late, much missed David McLennan discussing The Great Yes, No, Don't Know Show...

Kieran Hurley and the late, much missed David McLennan discussing The Great Yes, No, Don’t Know Show…

The National Theatre of Scotland (I know – I keep posting about them – but I think they’re great) is curating a Live Streamed 24 hour non-stop drama-sketch show in five minute segments – some live, some filmed before a live audience – all inspired by the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum but – I’m fairly certain – not in a parochial, too-literal way.

Anyone could pitch an idea so the show will be a crazy mix of amateur, professional, collective and individual art works – like The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – but with more costumes.

It starts at 5 pm on the 23rd June 2014 and you can watch it here :

http://fiveminutetheatre.com/

(As well as getting scheduling information etc.)

I was in the last Five Minute Theatre – playing a fat blonde girl sitting drinking a latte in a cafe (aka myself ) – and I watched the entire 24 hours… It’s a fun endurance ordeal – like The Oscars, The Eurovision Song Contest or Wagner’s Ring Cycle – by the end you will truly feel part of an international community bound by a shared history and culture. Which is a lovely way to explore a Nationalist issue.

And here I am – STEALING THE SHOW – from some actors singing :

The Tin Forest 2014

Some young Tin Foresters in the South Rotunda, Glasgow

Some young Tin Foresters in the South Rotunda, Glasgow

The National Theatre of Scotland is running a festival this Summer called ‘The Tin Forest’… The festival is about post-industrial Glasgow and is inspired by a children’s book about a man who lives in a dump and dreams of better things.

Community groups in Springburn, Govan, The East End and The South West were asked to create new work – some of which will be shown in the South Rotunda in July.

I’ve heard brilliant things about the events held so far – and it does sound incredibly magical and welcoming – once you grasp the concept (I was slightly confused about why I kept hearing about it – and why so many people seemed to be involved).

More information here :

http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/content/default.asp?page=home_thetinforest

and this is the book :

tin forest

and here is a quote from the back of the book :

‘There once was a wide, windswept place….but where there is a dream, hope can grow… ‘

Press Release Hyperion

I’ve been doing P.R. again! I’m still not sure about the social media etiquette of it all – I learned the trade in 1990s before it existed – so I’m going to whack the full and proper press release for Hyperion on my blog (with some contact details changed) … mainly because it’s a brilliant show – everyone should see it – and cut & pasting content is a lazy girl’s delight!

Alexa bringing Romanian tops & Scottish trews together.

Alexa bringing Romanian tops & Scottish trews together.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Govanhill Theatre Group presents

Hyperion
Adapted from Luceafarul by Mihai Eminescu by Alexa Ispas
Govanhill Baths
99 Calder Street G42 7RA
24th – 28th June at 7.30pm
Tickets £8/£6 from www.brownpapertickets.com

Romanian immigrant adapts poem for the stage to ease political tension
When Romanian-born Alexa Ispas came to Scotland in 2001 as a student, she fell in love with Scottish culture. Over a decade later, with UKIP on the rise, she felt it is time to introduce Scottish people to a Romanian gem through adapting Mihai Eminescu’s magical 19th century poem Luceafarul for the stage.

Luceafarul tells the love story between a beautiful young girl and the morning star. Hyperion, the title of the stage adaptation, uses hip-hop, movement, video projections, found objects, and comedy to bring the romance to life and make it relevant to a contemporary Scottish audience. The voice of God will be played by acclaimed performer and playwright Jo Clifford.

In writing and directing this stage adaptation, Alexa was motivated by her desire to bring Romanian and Scottish culture together in a positive way, reaching out to young Scots and easing the tensions caused by alarmist anti-migrant political rhetoric.

She says ‘Having lived in Scotland since 2001, I was disturbed by the recent explosive upsurge of scare-mongering among the media due to the UK’s granting of work rights to Romanian nationals. I thought of Eminescu’s magical poem, and decided that this is the time to introduce my Scottish friends to the beautiful gifts that Romanian culture has to offer the world.’

Alexa is a writer and theatre maker living in Glasgow. She is a published author, with her book ‘Psychology and Politics: A social identity perspective’ published by Routledge and drawing on Alexa’s PhD thesis and academic research background. Alexa was one of the artists selected to contribute to 3rd Ring Out, a science-based drama presented by Metis Arts at the Edinburgh Fringe, and had her writing exhibited as a Picture Window as part of Sonica.

FOR FURTHER PRESS INFO/IMAGES/INTERVIEWS/FOOTAGE, CONTACT:

www.hyperionshow.com

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Govanhill Baths was closed by Glasgow City Council in 2001, and after a strong local campaign, is now run by Govanhill Baths Community Trust. It is currently in redevelopment as a Wellbeing Centre and multi-purpose cultural venue. It has already played host to The National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera and a version of Hamlet supported by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages programme.