Scottish People Can’t Rap?! – Preview

Sounds ridiculous, right? Scottish people, rapping. No, seriously. And not only is it accurate, but Scottish hip-hop is an exceptionally underestimated blending of nuanced storytelling, cultural portals and progression of lyric, rhythm and rhyme – and now, with the arts embracing the digital medium, Scottish People Can’t Rap?! takes things to a new, virtual level.

To change the preconceptions of the genre and its place in Scotland, award-winning rapper, poet, music producer and songwriter Dave Hook (a.k.a Solareye) is working with Edinburgh based filmmakers Neon8 to create a selection of documentaries which challenge the eye-rolling stereotypes, and supposed novelties of Scottish hip-hop.

Any struggling with the concept haven’t experienced the Scot’s capability of fusing their natural storytelling, adoration of music and culture with interpreting another form of expression, melding them into something wholly authentic, inspiring, and often sensational. And so, utilising Hook’s PhD research, the production team of Scottish People Can’t Rap?! set about to reflect on his practice as a rapper, and infuse a sense of dramatic dissection and cultural critique into a VR experience.

So why VR? By now we’ve mostly concluded that 2020 is a bit of a write-off, but there is a spec of hope many creatives and talented producers have harvested from the ashes. Ingenuity and necessity have encouraged arts online, away from their ‘natural’ home and forced a realisation that other mediums and methods of communication are perhaps what was missing all along. Consuming entertainment has never been easier, and through Virtual Reality, viewers are able to advance and drawn themselves into an immersive venture like never before. Going beyond the confines of usual frameworks, Neon8 shares an interest in empowering VR films and their place as educational tools, and not simply gimmicks, exploring the further possibilities of the digital life of live performance.

On the subject, creative director Kelman Greig-Kicks has said; “VR really does allow the viewer to be right there, in the room where it happens. And as we’re living in a time when we physically just aren’t able to be, we feel the moment is here for this technology to become a part of the live arts & music arsenal to fight through and survive this crisis”.

Spectacularly, and in no small testament to the support and curiosity surrounding the project, the team have been staggered by the overwhelming faith in the planned documentaries – even more so by the success in obtaining the initial £5,000 in crowdfunding in a little under 24 hours. With Creative Scotland offering to match with their funding initiative, this enables the team to get underway with creating the premiere, readily lunging into work. With the first episode now underway, they seek to secure funding to produce further episodes and broaden Scottish People Can’t Rap?! to further audiences.

Crowdfunding for the event can be located here

Want to find out how to team are doing, and catch some sneak-peaks and support the project further? Give them a follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and from their Website

Romantics Anonymous – Live Broadcast

Fresh out of the gate and championing a return of Live Theatre (from the comfort of home), Emma Rice’s Wise Children will perform the critically acclaimed Romantics Anonymous live from the Bristol Old Vic. Together with Plush theatricals, Rice’s adaptation brings together lyrics from Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman in a ‘digital touring’ event between September 22nd – 26th. For Scottish audiences, both our treasured Royal Lyceum & Capital Theatre will partake in the ticket sales, sharing a percentage in return. 

Originally produced by Shakespeare’s Globe, Romantics Anonymous finds gifted chocolatier Angélique, crippled by social anxiety meet Jean-René, the boss of a failing chocolate factory and ofcourse, a fragile love affair unfolds. Humourous, delightfully awkward and tender, Romantics Anonymous is a sumptuously love story about shattering expectations and sourcing the courage to be happy and fulfilled. 

Speaking about the production, Emma Rice said: ‘I have devoted my life to the live experience and the collective imagination – things that have proved impossible over the last few months. Whilst nothing will be able to replace the thrill of a night out at the theatre, this live broadcast is going to be as close to that delicious experience as we can possibly make it! Live, fresh, fun and intimate, this will remind us of what it is to share stories, hear music and, if true love has its way, even kiss.’

On the necessity for Theatre to adapt to the ongoing climate, artistic director Tom Morris is quoted in saying: ‘Theatre has to reinvent itself in order to survive. That’s always true, of course, and one of the great pioneers of theatrical reinvention over the last 20 years has been Emma Rice.’

Ecstatic to be the Artistic Director of her new company, Wise Children, Emma Rice has adapted, directed, and worked with countless industry performers. In 2019 she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre at the UK Theatre Awards. With lyrics and music crafted by Christopher Dimond (lyrics) and Michael kooman (music) have been a screen and stage writing tea, reaching a wealth of viewers across 115 countries.

The live screening for Scottish audiences will take place on Tuesday, September 22nd at 19.30 pm, and information and tickets can be found here from Capital Theatres, The Royal Lyceum

For our dear friends south of the border at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton (along with a host of other theatres) can watch the event from Wednesday, September 23rd and tickets can be purchsed here.

Following the news of further postponements for Capital Theatre’s productions in the Winter season, a minimum of 90% of the Theatre’s income has been lost as its two primary income sources (ticket sales & trading) vanish. With the postponement of Sleeping Beauty, the traditional Panto, the brutal reality is that the core business, community projects and future of the King’s Theatre is now in jeopardy. 

Similarly, after closing its doors for 2020 and aiming to return for a spectacular Spring 2021 return, The Royal Lyceum too faces closure and has already entered the process of staff redundancies. As official partners, along with various other Theatres, both The Royal Lyceum and Capital Theatres will receive a percentage of ticket sales in what could be an income boost that allows the curtain to rise, the drinks to pour and the spirit of the industry to flourish once more.

A ticket for Romantics Anonymous is not only the opportunity to catch an exceptional piece of Live Theatre but a small part in reconstructing the industry and saving jobs and cultural souls across Scotland and the UK.

Live in Your Living Room with Magic Gareth – Preview

Feeling like this year has sucked a bit of magic out of the summer? Perhaps after all that home-schooling, some of the little (and older) ones could do with some energising, phantasmic entertainment? Well, ready those special magic words, hold on tight and prepare to be astonished at the wizardry of Magic Gareth Live.

Despite the Edinburgh Festival Fringe taking a hiatus for 2020, that’s no reason not to conjure up your own magic with Gareth! Direct from your home, there’s now the chance to become your very own ‘virtual magician’s assistant’, without even leaving your Pjs. Take your place in a new Magic Circle live on Zoom with up to fifty other guests as you all try to figure out the sorcery before you.

No stranger to the digital medium of performance, and while other acts are still finding their footing with the change in scenery, Gareth has already hosted over 300 live virtual shows to tremendous appreciation and enjoyment. Magic Gareth has been crafted with a whole hat full of tricks, illusions and secrets which have been specifically designed with the viewers in mind.

Spellbinding the nation from August 2nd, Magic Gareth will be hosting his virtual events each morning at 11 am each day until August 9th.

A full list of information relating to shows can be found from Magic Gareth’s website here:

And if you’re feeling social, why not give Magic Gareth a follow on Facebook?