The security guys in black suits turned up first. I’m not sure the idea of the Deputy First Minister playing a Fringe show in a yurt was making them happy.
‘What will you do if there’s a heckle?’ said one of the guys.
‘I don’t know,’ I said. ‘I don’t think our audience do heckle.’
(I politely ignored the esteemed audience member and former elected parliamentarian who coughed ‘he’s a c***’ in a previous show.)
‘What will you do if someone does heckle?’
‘I think I shall say… ‘it sounds like you’re angry about something. Would you like to elaborate?’
He raised an eyebrow.
Fortunately, today’s polemicist, John Carnochan, who’s an ex cop of 30 years, turned out to know them. When John spoke they visibly relaxed. I think they thought, if somebody goes for Nicola this hippy won’t be able to do anything but at least Carnochan will be able to sort it. Which was both true – John radiates authority – and ironic – John’s polemic is a brilliant picking apart of Scottish masculinity and its reliance on violence.
With Jo Clifford, PastaChips, Kate Higgins, Harry Giles, Julia Taudevin, Kirstin Innes, Rachel Amey, Gordon McIntyre.Movie All Is Lost (2013)
We said that Wham Bam, Thank you Ma’am was going to be about ‘gender and the indyref’, and immediately started feeling limited by that. What you’re about to listen to is the articulation of marginalised voices who may or may not have found a platform or common grounds with others during this campaign. Yes, most of these voices came from ‘gendered’ places, but they were talking about social and political alienation, and the possibilities for overcoming those in a future Scotland.
Playwright and performer Jo Clifford starts us off, with a passionate, lyrical polemic analogising her own journey as a trans woman to the transformation beginning to happen in Scotland. On the panel, blogger and Women For Independence co-founder Kate Higgins speaks about forging a voice for herself as a woman and single mother within the campaign, poet Harry Giles voices skepticism about mainstream politics, while activist PastaChips articulates the difficulties current legislation is causing sex workers in Scotland today. There’s cynicism and gnashing of teeth, but also a lot of hope for the future, all rounded off beautifully by Rachel Amey‘s rousing feminist poetry and songs of gentle victory from Gordon McIntyre (ballboy). Rather than trying to define ‘gender’ and its relationship to the campaign, we asked the audience to complete the sentence ‘An equal Scotland is…’
Your hosts for the hour are actor, activist and playwright Julia Taudevin and writer and journalist Kirstin Innes, who between them make a lot of terrible Bowie puns.
A lively and honest exploration of the concepts and many faces of the Scottish Establishment, this episode brought to light the problem of class issues that dominate Scottish society and questioned whether the interests of our establishment lay in Westminster. Do the people need to ask permission or is power something the people can in practice give to our representatives to enact on our behalf? What might a new establishment look like, and are the grass roots movements ready and capable of defining the shape of a new system?
With contributions from the media leader and economic prophet, Mandy Rhodes; private-sector head and educator of the future establishment, Cameron Wyllie; and constitutional law expert and wryly self-described ‘cybernat’ Andrew Tickell. Featuring poetry by radical thinker and journalist, Bram Gieben. Brought to life with gorgeous music and personable stories from Chrissy Barnacle.
Wow. I felt very nervous on this show but the crowd were glorious. Rachel’s song got us off to a fine start and Davey Anderson’s polemic was a stormer, picking apart the cliches of referendum language. The panel was fascinating – Janice Galloway talking about metaphor and Hannah McGill about narrative. We got some things wrong in the first 20 minutes and we ran over time so we couldn’t read the audience’s ‘Scotland is like…’ sentences. But check them out at the end of the podcast because there are some beautiful ones. ‘Scotland is like a macaroon…’ Phew! We had a crowd of about 30 in the yurt. It was a beautiful sunny day and the Fringe was beginning… we are all optimism and hope!