SQIFF 2018: Preview

Scottish Queer International Film Festival 2018, Preview:

SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival) was formed with the aim of adding to the exciting and growing amount of queer film stuff happening around Scotland. Since 2015, the organisers have held an annual festival in Glasgow alongside providing year-round events across various locations. With the goal of getting people watching, talking about, and making more queer films. SQIFF seek to screen movies that people might not otherwise get a chance to see and to create inspiring and informative events alongside challenging inequality and barriers to accessing the arts.

SQIFF is not-for-profit. However, does receive project by project funding, which means they typically have around 4 months of funding to pay staff during the Festival period with the rest of their work done largely on a voluntary basis. The Festival and indeed year-round work is overseen by a committee, made up of members of Scotland’s LGBTQ+ communities. SQIFF is an organisation by and for those communities.

The 2018 festival runs from Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th December in venues across Glasgow including, the main festival hub at the CCA, Glasgow Film Theatre, The Art School, Scottish Youth Theatre, Kinning Park Complex and The Space on London Road.

The 2018 programme highlights include:

SQIFF Schools: Out (CCA)


December 6 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

“So much of young people’s experience of sexual and gender identity in the present day comes via the internet. However, the old pain and awkwardness of ‘coming out’ to friends and family remains the same. This new documentary from French director Denis Parrot combines the phenomenon of online queer culture with the intimacy of young people’s revelations about themselves. Out presents a collection of compelling videos posted online by young LGBTQ+ people, showing us their experience of telling loved ones about their identity.”



December 6 @ 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

“A gay Disabled teenage boy chooses to swap his body for that of a non-disabled cisgender woman, seeing this as the only way he can be loved. A deeply personal film written by and starring queer Disabled filmmaker Daniel Monks, Pulse explores thematic questions such as how much our bodies shape who we are, where the line is between compromising for love and changing yourself to be loved, and why we fall in love with the people we do. Pulse is a parable for young people, queer people, Disabled people; but also, for anyone who has ever struggled with their body, their appearance, their sexuality, their desires, and essentially themselves.”

SQIFF Workshop: Creating Online Content with BBC The Social

creating scoial content

December 7 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

“BBC The Social is an award-winning digital team based at BBC Scotland creating online content and developing new creative talent. The channel has a strong focus on allowing LGBTQ+ contributors to take the lead when it comes to creating content that covers topics such as LGBTQI+ rights, dating when gay and disabled, and comedy through a queer lens. This workshop will share with you the secrets to making successful online content and let you know how you can get involved creating your own content for BBC The Social. “

Dykes, Camera, Action! + BOOM BUST: Feminist Filmmakers Blowing Up the Canon

dykes camera action

December 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

“Lesbians didn’t always get to see themselves on screen. But between Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, they built visibility, and transformed the social imagination about queerness. Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, Jenni Olson, film critic B. Ruby Rich, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film.

With a special presentation from writer and activist So Mayer (Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema; curator, Club des Femmes), who brings their feminist film toolkit to SQIFF. With wise words and talking points from feminist filmmakers and critics from around the globe, So will set out why things need to change, and what we – as viewers, critics, programmers, and activists – can learn and do to take down mainstream cinema, while having ‘dykes, camera, action’-inspired fun on the way.”


desires and resistance

December 8 @ 3:00 pm4:40 pm

“Anonymous sexual encounters and flirtations with the camera, dress-up with Flawless Sabrina, and a night at the Stonewall Inn with Marsha P. Johnson: this programme proposes alternative modes of retrieving and disseminating a trans* past through an erotic gaze. Addressing an erasure of trans* legacies, these works place trans* sexual expression and resistances in conversation with a non-linear idea of history that is both real and fabricated, defiantly looking toward a future of pleasure, play, and beauty. Curated and presented by Finn Paul in partnership with Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival in LA.”

With so many other events planned, this is a true exploration of the LGBTQI+ community via the medium of Cinema check out SQIFF’s website and social media for more information including booking details.

The Scottish Queer International Film Festival, 5th – 9th December 2018 Glasgow , For further information go to:


Motown The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse Preview:

Motown The Musical, Preview:

Currently enjoying a successful run in London’s Shaftsbury theatre, Motown: The Musical is hitting the road around the uk and comes to the resplendent Edinburgh Playhouse from Tuesday 20th November, The musical is based on Berry Gordy’s autobiography To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown  and on the history of his founding and running of the Motown record label, and his personal and professional relationships with Motown artists such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson. The production’s music and lyrics are taken from selections from the Motown catalogue.

motown 1

We at Scotsgay arts were lucky to be able chat with Karis Anderson who will perform as the Icon that is Diana Ross, interrupting rehearsals to talk with us we had the following to ask:

What brought you to being on tour with Motown?

“I’ve always loved Motown music and being in a musical has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I went through a long audition process starting out for an ensemble role so when I was offered Diana I burst out in tears of joy, I just felt so blessed as I had manifested it for so long. A few friends of mine who had toured with a musical before said that it’s an amazing experience, so I really wanted to get on the road with a show. “

What’s it like to be playing the iconic Diana Ross?

“A dream! I feel so lucky to be excited to go into work every day and after being in a girl band which was heavily influenced by the Supremes & Motown music, I felt like this role was definitely perfect for me at this time in my life and wake up every day full of gratitude that I get to play such an iconic amazing Influential woman while working with the most brilliant cast. “

motown 2

What can audiences expect from the show and your character?

“Audiences can expect a musical like no other with songs that you will know and love whilst also being educated on the political state of Detroit in the 60s & onwards and how music changed it and brought people & races together.

The musical also beautifully tells Berry Gordy’s story and how he came about creating Motown and developing so many artists and now legends that we a know and love such as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, young Michael Jackson and many more. The show also tells the story of Diana Ross from a young 16-year-old girl as Diane in the Primettes, to the Supremes, to Diana Ross & the Supremes and eventually to ‘Diana’. For me it’s really fun to be able to portray the journey of her life and embody the different stage in her life from the young, bubbly & eager 16-year-old to the matured, strong, multi-talented woman. We also see the love story of Diana and Berry throughout the show.  “

If you could play any other role from the show what would it be and why?

“It would have to be one of the other Supremes. I love Flo’s character and wish her story was told more in the show, but I really love the energy that she brings to the Supremes and her singing tone, and the fact she always answers back and takes no shit lol!”

motown 3

 In 8 words or less sum up Motown the musical?

A sensational, one of a kind, must see musical

As the festive season approaches it’s a sure fire bet that Motown: The Musical will make a cracking start to night out or an early Christmas treat and you will leave the theatre humming many of those classic tunes from the heart of Detroit.

So, book those tickets now and get ready for the musical journey of a life time.

Motown The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse, Tuesday 20th November to Saturday 8th December for Tickets go to:


Oh, What a Lovely War! Preview:

Oh, What a Lovely War! Preview:

2018 marks the centenary of the guns falling silent at the end of the Great War. World war one was called the war to end all wars and its toll on humanity is still being felt 100 years on. Edinburgh based Captivate Theatre are marking the Anniversary by reviving their production of Joan Littlewoods and Theatre workshops universally acclaimed “Oh What A Lovely War!”.


Captivate last produced the show in the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it’s a brave choice for the company to tackle once more. There is no leaner plot line to Oh what a lovely war, its creation by Littlewood was via several session of improvisation which dispensed with the original script. What we have is ultimately a series of interconnecting sketches and musical numbers which depict the futility and horrendous cost of the first world war. Utilizing comedy, pathos and truth Oh what a lovely war is a piece of theatre which transcended the art form and blazed a trail for the power of ensemble theatre.


Speaking with the Director and Musical Director Sally Lyall and Tommie Travers they had the following to say, “We are proud to be reviving Oh, What a lovely war! In this centenary year. Joan Littlewoods original production, in 1963, not only had a massive impact on the form and content of British Theatre, but also challenged how the nation viewed the Great War. The poignant, bitter sweet songs, gallows humour and stark statistics remain as deeply moving and shocking now as they were in 1963. Much of what Captivate Theatre strives to create, from production to production, derives from the Spirit of this show and we are sure you will enjoy it, even as you brush away a tear and wave goodbye!”


The 2018 cast is drawn from across the Captivate company many of whom appeared during this years critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe season in Edinburgh’s Rose Theatre. With a live piano accompaniment, the production will play capital Theatres “The Studio” from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th November at 7:30pm with an additional matinee on Saturday 10th at 2:30pm.

One thing is for sure, Theatre truly is the place of no barriers or boundaries and one that can be used to make us reflect and learn from the past. Captivate theatres production of Oh, What a Lovely War! Is that very chance to reflect, learn and remember in equal measure so don’t let this chance slip you by and get those tickets now.

Captivate Theatre presents: Oh What A Lovely War! The Studio, Edinburgh, Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th November 2018. For tickets go to:


Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Preview:

Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Preview:

In April 2014, Lets face the music and dance took to the stage of Edinburgh’s Church Hill theatre raising and incredible £7,500 for Leukaemia Care. This was a hugely personal project for the production’s producer and Director Janice Bruce. Four Years later Janice and her team, Musical Director Alison Rushworth with Musical arrangements by James McCutchen are back bigger and better and are aiming to raise £10,000 with second spectacular production.

Janice spoke with Scotsgay Arts ahead of the shows run in late November saying “In 2010 I lost my mum to Myelodysplasia, in 2012 I then lost my job as a Visual Merchandise Manager at John Lewis in Glasgow due to redundancies. I’d worked for 36 years in the company and they decided to take out the level of Managers. So, it was time to go and venture into new and exciting things.

face the music 2

My hobby has always been dance and amateur dramatics as a choreographer in the Edinburgh musical theatre scene, I decided to showcase my choreography on the Church hill theatre stage and donate all proceeds to Leukaemia care.

Let’s face the music and dance was staged in April 2014 and raised a whopping £7,500. The show included 50 musical numbers with a cast of 50 singers and dancers, many of whom I had shared a stage with over the years. The cast and band gave up their time for free which was a great support for this worthy cause.

On the back of the show’s success, 4 years later I have decided to stage Let’s face the music and dance part 2, Nov 27th to 1st Dec 2018, again for Leukaemia care but this time hoping to raise £10,000.”

face the music 1

The 2018 production draws on talent from across Edinburgh and further afield, and the show will feature six sections of dance and song split into “Glitz and Glam” featuring One night only, we are what we are, The Jersey boys. “Taptastic” -Drawing from 42nd Street, stepping out, We’re in the money that is followed by a section titled “After dark” featuring the music of Little shop of horrors, Addams family, Thriller. Next up is a look at the cinema with section named “Danger” and will draw from James Bond, Mission Impossible, and The Matrix. The penultimate section is titled “Bright and beautiful” – Colour my world, Jai ho, Who and to close the show and seeing as we are about to enter that special time of year “Christmas” featuring Santa baby, All I want for Christmas, Slade, Wizard and so many more.  The production will feature a full live band and stunning costumes everything that’s needed for the best night of musical theatre goodness.

face the music 3

So, for an early Christmas treat and to support a truly worthy cause why not book those tickets now and be royally entertained and once again help Janice to for fill her dream of helping others and creating a real legacy.

Lets Face The Music And Dance, Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh, Tuesday 27th November – Saturday 1st December (Saturday Matinee Only) For tickets go to:


Kinky Boots Preview:

Based on the original 2005 British film, and inspired by true events, Kinky Boots the musical tells the story of Charlie Price. Having inherited a shoe factory from his father, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business. In the process, Charlie and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.

With a book by the legendary Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics from the princess of pop Cyndi Lauper this story of love and acceptance and being who you want to be has wowed audiences on both Broadway and London’s west end as well as several international productions around the world.

kinky boots 2

(photo curtesy Edinburgh Evening News)

Now for the first time the most heart warming and joyous of shows comes to the Edinburgh Playhouse in the famed Christmas slot. We at Scotsgay arts were invited to a sneak preview in the plush surroundings of Brewhemia bar. Where it was confirmed that star of the west end and Australian productions Callum Francis will dawn Lola’s heels for the Edinburgh run. From what we saw we can assure you that your in for a real treat!

Joining Francis on stage will be Joel Harper-Jackson as “Charlie Price”, Paula Lane (of coronation street fame) as “Lauren” with a full supporting company including Lola’s Angels this production will sprinkle its magic this festive season.


Kinky Boots marks yet another Scottish premier for the Playhouse, and while the title might suggest this is more an adult show, in reality its for all the family with a strong story at its heart that has brought audiences to their feet at every performance in London’s Adelphi theatre, its sure to have tickets flying out the door. So, hurry and book for the ultimate festive treat!

Kinky Boots, Edinburgh Playhouse Wednesday 5th December to Saturday 5th January 2019. for tickets go to:


The Edinburgh Fringe, Preview:

The Edinburgh Fringe, Preview:

It’s that time of year again for Edinburgh when the biggest collection of Arts Festivals arrives into town, with the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh Arts Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo all getting into full Swing. As is a traditional to give our little team the chance to enjoy the festivals, we hand over to our friends at, who will provide all the reviews, news and coverage.

We at Scotsgay Arts will still be out there with our reviewers writing for SGFringe and our social media will still be in action throughout the month ahead. To keep you all going here is a little preview of some local talent bringing their productions to the Fringe!

Captivate Theatre at the Fringe!


Captivate have become fringe stalwarts, having progressed from the out of town Broughton Theatre, to the unique spegieltent in St Andrews Square to moving to their current home of the Rose Theatre as part of the Gilded Balloon family.

Growing year on year with a mixture of old shows, new shows and self-written shows, the company brings a company of 100’s of children, adult actors, crew and production team to the heart of the fringe and in 2018 the company is presenting an Octology of shows, Starting with 13 the Musical, Annie The Musical, Brave MacBeth, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, Rabbie, Rent and Whistle down the wind. Truly this company has something for everyone who loves a musical and all productions come complete with live bands! Truly not to be missed!

Remembering Legends!

Elsewhere in the fringe, the international Smash hit “I Ran with the Gang” returns to Le Monde for its 5th Anniversary and for the first time following the passing of Bay City Roller Legend Alan Longmuir, it promises to be an emotional and fitting tribute to man who was always a plumber from Edinburgh who lived he most incredible of dreams.


Le Monde also have a varied programme with cabaret, and a double bill from local writer Robin Mitchell with “May I have the Bill Please” and the Acclaimed children’s Show “Princess Pumpalot and the quest for the purple super farting bean” also taking to the stage above George Street.


The historic Hill Street Theatre which is nestle away on Hill Street Lane in the heart of the new town has a brand new operator this year and refreshed programme from its resident company “Edinburgh Little Theatre” who will offer several productions from Late Night Cabaret to Gin Nights. One stand out is the Fringe Premier of Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo’s acclaimed pop opera “Bare” taking to the stage.

The Hill Street Theatre will also host visiting companies with Liam Rudden’s emotional and dark tale known as “Thief” performing nightly. For those looking for some audience Participation why not don your fishnet and heels and pay a visit to “A Virgin’s Guide to Rocky Horror” a camp fun hour is assured.


Finally, in what must be the bravest new adventure, “Tenacious D – The Musical of Destiny makes its world premier on the Fringe from an exciting new local company, and the Space on Niddry Street will be hosting this epic comedy musical!

tenacious d

Our picks are just a drop in the ocean, with 3000 plus productions on offer the fringe gets ever larger and brings the magic and power of live performance to all those who are willing to open there minds and leap into the Unknown.

What ever you choose to see during the festivals do keep an eye on and the social media on twitter with @SGFringe and @Scotsgayarts  as we explore the plethora of choices.

Have a wonderful festival season and we shall you see all again for our regular reviews, news and previews in September.

The Edinburgh Fringe 2018, Friday 3rd to Monday 27th August  2018. for tickets go to: for full Scotsgay Fringe Coverage head to or twitter @sgfringe.


The Band, Edinburgh Playhouse, Preview

The Band, Preview:

THE BAND opened at Manchester Opera House on 8 September 2017 to critical and public acclaim, the advance box office for the tour has now topped a record-breaking £10 million. Making it one of the most successful musical theatre tours ever, it now arrives in Edinburgh the last stop before its summer break where the UK tour will continue in Southend and the show will also play a strictly limited 50 performance engagement in London’s west end at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The musical stars Rachel Lumberg as Rachel, Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, Emily Joyce as Heather, Jayne McKenna as Zoe, AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon, collectively known as Five To Five, winners of BBC’s Let It Shine, as The Band, Faye Christall as Young Rachel, Katy Clayton as Young Heather, Rachelle Diedericks as Debbie, Sarah Kate Howarth as Young Claire, Lauren Jacobs as Young Zoe, Martin Miller as Jeff and Andy Williams as Dave.

The Band 1

THE BAND is a new musical about what it’s like to grow up with a boyband.  For five 16 year-old friends in 1992, ‘the band’ is everything.  25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

The Band is the second musical to feature the music of Take That, with “Never Forget the Musical” making its debut in 2007, this time around the band themselves are onboard as producers and with critically acclaimed Tim Firth writing the show, this promises to be something very special.

The Band 2

THE BAND is directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder, designed by Jon Bausor and choreographed by Kim Gavin, with lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video design by Luke Halls and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

THE BAND is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Robbie Williams. So for a night that could be the greatest night of your life hurry and book those tickets!

The Band, Edinburgh Playhouse Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th July 2018. for tickets go to: