WIGTOWN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKS Borders celebration of books and people Our list of seasonal cultural highlights begins with a celebration of the written word in Scotland’s National Book Town. Wigtown’s first book festival was launched in 1999 and there have been no glances back the way since. Among the highlights for this year’s beanfeast are actress Celia Imrie discussing a life which has featured dancing, shock therapy and kidnapping; Robert Twigger’s desert survival guide; a celebration of 50 years since The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, plus appearances from David Mach, Alan Bissett, Janice Galloway and Tam Dalyell. (Brian Donaldson) Various venues, Wigtown, Fri 23 Sep–Sun 2 Oct. wigtownbookfestival.com
SCOTTISH BALLET DANCE Double-bill of dynamic, accessible dance Ballet doesn’t come more dashing than Ashley Page’s 2008 work Pennies from Heaven. Inspired by music from the 1970s TV show of the same name, this romantic and fun work sees the Scottish Ballet dancers dressed up in some very fine togs, serving up a touch of 1930s glamour. Alongside Page sits Kings 2 Ends, Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo’s quirky and likeable work set to the diverse sounds of Steve Reich and Mozart. A big hit at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, the piece is classical ballet with a very modern twist, and gives the dancers ample opportunity to show off their increasingly formidable technique. (Kelly Apter) Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Thu 29 Sep–Sat 1 Oct.
1 OCTI SCOTTISH MENTAL HEALTH ARTS AND FILM FESTIVAL FESTIVAL Social justice arts fest brings biggest programme yet
With over 300 events taking place across the country, 2011 is a big year for SMHAFF. The programme includes music, film, dance, theatre, comedy, art and literature happenings scheduled for the Highlands, Forth Valley, Fife and countless other locations, as well as trusty Glasgow and Edinburgh. The annual open film submission is a unique opportunity to see new cinema from Scotland and around the globe, with award recognition for the most innovative ideas which explore all different sides of mental illness. See Around Town, page 39, for more highlights. (Lauren Mayberry) Various venues across Scotland, Sat 1–Fri 21 Oct. mhfestival.com
7 OCTI ADMIRAL COCHRANE, THE REAL MASTER AND COMMANDER MUSEUM The secrets behind the Scottish naval officer
Forget Russell Crowe for a minute. Although things like Master and Commander, Captain Horatio Hornblower, and Mr Midshipman 16 THE LIST 22 Sep–20 Oct 2011
Pennies from Heaven, part of Scottish Ballet’s Autumn Season
Easy are (semi-)memorable fictional depictions of Admiral Lord Cochrane’s life, his reality is really just as interesting. The Scot (pictured, left) was a hero of the Royal Navy, an innovator, inventor and explorer, and dabbled in radical politics.
One of the most daring captains during the Napoleonic Wars, he
championed new nations like Brazil, Chile and Greece. Discover more about his rise, fall and
inevitable rise again by visiting this unique collection of personal possessions, paintings and other artifacts. (Lauren Mayberry) National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Fri 7 Oct–Sun 19 Feb.
SCOTLAND LOVES ANIME FILM Animation takes centre- stage at cross-city film fest
October sees the return of Scotland Loves Anime, a year after the festival kicked off in multiple venues in
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.
On 9 October the town of Oundle in Northamptonshire will host the 46th annual World Conker Championships. Legions of hardened locals and conker-daft foreign competitors do battle each year, all fearlessly risking bruising their knuckles. The current world record for the largest
conker collection is held by 12-year-old brothers Mason and Jordan Latter who gathered a staggering 7,500 conkers in one week. worldconkerchampionships.com
With a slowly growing fan base over the last 10 to 20 years, Japanese animation has forged a firm place for itself in British film culture. Scotland Loves Anime, the creation of festival producer Andrew Partridge, will include UK premieres of Japanese flms, a mystery movie and writing workshops. Look out for themes of blood vengeance, enchanted forests, murdered prostitutes-turned-cyborgs or talking deer. They’re all in there. (Robbie Lawrence) Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 7–Sun 9 Oct, and Edinburgh, Fri 14–Sun 16 Oct. lovesanimation.com ▼