Top Things To Do

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By Tracy Mukherjee

Little did I know when writing the last edition of Top Things that it would be some two years before I would type those words again. There has been precious little ‘top’ anything to look towards in the past 24 months. Therefore, I hope that the small sample of ever-growing events, festivals and activities chosen will put just as much of a smile on your face, as they did on mine whilst writing. Fingers crossed normal(ish) service has resumed!

Top for Cinema 

After a two-year absence (a phrase I feel I may be using frequently) the Glasgow Film Festival returns. For the first two weeks in March the festival will showcase not only the best of homegrown talent but as always celebrate world cinema. Venues this year range from the sublime Glasgow Film Theatre to selected cinemas across the city and indeed, screenings nationwide. There will also be an online player Glasgow Film at Home, though I suspect, if possible, most of us will be sprinting to the cinema doors rather than watching from home. 

What is so loved about the festival is its diversity. Whilst always being a trailblazer for breath-taking new talent in cinema, the festival never forgets classic film. Look out for Jack Lemon in the heartbreakingly poignant Days of Wine and Roses and Robert Mitchum in arguable his best performance in the original and best Cape Fear

The programme opens this year with The Outfit. Starring the sensational Mark Rylance, this will be the UK premier of this ‘Coen Brothers-style yarn’ from screenwriter turned director Graham Moore (The Imitation Game). Other highlights to look out for are an In Conversation Q and A session with the insanely talented Armando Iannucci at the GFT. The wealth of Scottish and world cinema is simply too enormous to detail but head to the festival’s website and enjoy the show.

Glasgow Film Festival runs from Wed 2nd – Sun 13th March, various venues

W: glasgowfilm.org

Top for Comedy

Making a welcome return after a two year… (you get the gist), is the Glasgow International Comedy Festival. And my goodness, we all deserve a good old belly laugh. Back for their 19th year (which was supposed to be 2020), the sad news is this will be the last, with the organisers of the event, the Scottish Comedy Agency announcing that there are no further plans to run the festival beyond this year. This is, in no small part down to the impact of the two-year pause on the festival. The organisers are now looking at using their resources to continue promoting new talent, supporting Scotland’s established comedy scene and bringing live comedy to the public in a variety of settings. 

Nevertheless, the shows which did not go ahead in 2020 are finally rescheduled for this March and there are some good ‘uns. In particular Jim Smith with his hilarious show Back To The Teuchter. If you haven’t caught Jim on BBC Radio Scotland’s Breaking the News or on BBC Scotland’s The Farm Diaries, you are in for a treat. The ‘comedy farmer’ gives an agricultural take on Internet dating for farmers, village life, not to mention pimping your Land Rover. It’s guaranteed to put a smile back on your face.  Also look out for the dead pan humour of the marvellous Stewart Lee and of course the woman who took the de-press-ed out of Nicola Sturgeon’s press conferences, Janey Godley. Frank, get the door!

Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Thurs 10th – Sun 27th March 2022

W: glasgowcomedyfestival.com

Top for Easter

Following two lockdown Easters and many restricted school holiday periods throughout the year, the kids really deserve some fun activities that don’t involve Prit-stick, lollipop sticks and mum losing the crafting-rag! Fear not, there are plenty of events on for young and old alike.

The Dog Lover Show returns to the SEC this April. It’s the event’s third year and is filled with entertainment, education and activities. The main stage is back with agility, stunts and action. There are famous Instagram doggies, a chance for the kids to meet their canine heroes. Meanwhile, the Childrens Zone is partnered with Animals and You and Animal Planet Magazine, keeping them entertained and learning at the same time. Head down to Clydeside for a great day out.

Should the weather not be on our side over the holidays, The Puppet Animation Festival 2022 will run throughout the Easter holidays and is entirely online. It’s the UK’s longest running performing arts event for families. With puppet shows, workshops and film, there are tons of opportunities for interaction through zoom. Head to the website to view the fantastic line-up on offer this Easter.

The Dog Lover Show

Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd April, Glasgow SEC

W: thedoglovershow.co.uk

The Puppet Animation Festival 2022

28th – 16th April, online

W: puppetanimationfestival.org

Top for Theatre    

A Play, a Pie and a Pint at Oran Mor spring season 2022 brings us stories from all over Scotland. Man’s Best Friend by Douglas Maxwell is a story of Ronnie, a man who like many of us, has been helped through lockdown by walking his neighbours’ dogs. After one such walk, a series of events leads to Ronnie having to face some truths. This is writer Douglas Maxwell’s third foray at Oran Mor and is presented in association with Traverse Theatre.

Opening Time is a play by Scottish playwright royalty Dave Anderson. The premise of the play is an interesting one: the people you meet at opening time in the pub are a very different breed from those who are still there at closing time! This is billed as ‘a story told in song’ from one of a Play, a Pie and a Pint’s great contributors. One not to be missed.

At Webster’s Theatre Addicted The Musical is a story of siblings struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. A musical both dramatic and comic, it’s a story of a group of characters caught without knowing how to escape their addiction hell.

It’s great to see stage productions back again across the board. Check out the websites for lots of other great productions.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Oran Mor

Man’s Best Friend Mon 21st – Sat 26th March

Opening Time Mon 18th – Sat 23rd April

W: playpiepint.com

Addicted The Musical, Websters Theatre Thurs 7th – Sat 9th April

W: webstersglasgow.com

Top for Art

Climate Change – The Plastic Age is a piece of artwork by artist Gail McGregor-Mason. Highlighting the global climates crisis affecting the oceans, seas and coasts, it’s an arresting piece of work. Using the pollutants that litter our coastlines – plastics, metals and glass – the artist has created a female sculpture interwoven with the debris. On tour throughout Scotland, McGregor-Mason’s stunning piece will be on display in the Mitchell Theatre until the 17th of April.

Climate Change – The Plastic Age, exhibiting until 17th April, Mitchell Library

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