Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Commonwealth Games 5: Macbeth in the GOW Back Court

'How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellowes as I put them down.'

- John Aubrey

'Oh roads we used to tread, 
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws - fra' Govan to Parkhead! 

- Kipling, 'McAndrew's Hymn'

'Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, observe the puzzles in one’s head and find another kind of world with the camera.' - Tony Ray-Jones

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -


 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is damnyouebay@gmail.com. I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice. And you can follow me on Twitter if you wish: Edwin Moore@GlasgowAlbum.

Today is Thursday, 24 July 2014 and we are off to see a production of Macbeth by Handlebards - 



"4 men, 4 bikes and a 2000 mile adventure."

;After a hugely successful inaugural tour in summer 2013, the four-strong, all-male HandleBards company are back on their bikes and cycling the UK in May, June, July and August 2014, before setting out across Europe. On just four bicycles they will carry all the necessary set, props, costumes and camping equipment to perform two of Shakespeare's greatest plays – 'Macbeth' and 'The Comedy Of Errors'.

The HandleBards do Shakespeare differently - performing with eight very sore legs, and using their bikes to power various surprises and contraptions on-stage, whilst playing ALL the parts in Director James Farrell's (RSC, West End, Chichester Festival Theatre) wild 1930s indie-folk romp.

At most venues the HandleBards will be accompanied by a live local band. So grab a tasty picnic, your finest group of friends and come and watch some first-rate Shakespeare in the glorious (fingers crossed!) sunshine!

To get a feel for the HandleBards watch our short video here.

If you want to get in touch about anything HandleBards, then please email us.'



The only Glasgow performance is at the Back Court maintained by the Gow Community -

'GOW is the community group established by those who live around the backcourt bordered by Gibson Street, Otago Street and Westbank Quadrant.

Why ? We work for the physical and social improvement of our community. Our journey began with the transformation of our shared backcourt.'

For the GOW website see


The performance is of course only tangentially related - temporally linked - to the Commonwealth Games - I include  it within the Games stream narrative as the performance shows how cultural life in  the city continues even when the cameras are elsewhere.

Gibson St coming up.  For the Gibson St Gala see -











Round the corner we go

Down here we go

In here


There we are




































The actors are really very good. There is an element of playing for laughs - has to be in the context - but it works














We have an interval. 

Cakes from round in Gibson St 

Book stall for GOW - note Shetland flags, all over the back court











Fab cakes



We buy the Wood book and the Shapiro book  -  Contested Will - underneath. I had the  Collins Alexander text on my list when I was a senior editor at HarperCollins and had the whole thing read in the 90s,  which revealed some surprising misprints which had been there for decades, including  the Doctor referring to 'Duninsane' Castle.  We call such misprints 'self-correcting' errors.
The Robben Island Shakespeare - which inspired Mandela  and his fellow prisoners - was a copy of the Collins Alexander text. Not a lot of people know that.







Gathering the collection buckets










Macbeth meets the Three Witches again.  

Actors are of course often superstitious about the play and avoid its name and are leery about the witches's scenes. If there is a real  curse hidden in the play, however, it may not be where you expect it to come up

One person who does not believe in any curse in Macbeth is actor Mark Rylance, who also believes that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare. As it happens, Rylance's mid-90s production of Macbeth is the worst Shakespeare production I have ever seen.  At least in Glasgow we were spared the sight of Jane Horrocks as Lady Macbeth urinating on stage


















Incidental music is rather good





No Thanks






























































An excellent performanec - thanks Handlebars




















Thank you from GOW


Sunset on Great Western Rd



Stands Scotland where it did?  Whatever the result of the Referendum, the answer is surely No.




Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. 


My other barking wee blog is


(Cartoon by Katherine Grainger created for the St Wilfrid's Hospice annual Charity Auction 2014. No connection with my Scotland book - I just like it) 

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


RADIO AND TELEVISION

'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host 

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2

THE PRESS

'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008


'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008


'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008


‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008


'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB


www.Booksfromscotland.com (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'


Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Brief-Encounters-ebook/dp/B006CQ8G84/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322393003&sr=1-1

Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -


Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)


Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald


In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.


Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from Scotland.com