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P H O T O :



11 V/DA Empowering and energised, the work of V/DA (Various Dance Artists) fuses bold choreographic, theatrical, musical and design choices. One of the few UK dance companies giving voice to black stories, pieces such as VOID, Sonic Séance and Grin by dancer/ choreographers Mele Broomes and Claricia Parinussa and costume designer Sabrina Henry should be seen far and wide. (KA) 10 FERN BRADY She once joked on stage about being placed behind a park in our Hot 100, but finally the Bathgate stand-up is gracing its upper echelons. After another blazing month on the Fringe, this time at Monkey Barrel with Power and Chaos, Fern Brady ended the year touring Europe and having a run at London’s prestigious Soho Theatre. (BD)

9 CHARLOTTE PRODGER SaFO5 was the name of Charlotte Prodger’s deeply personal film that represented Scotland at this year’s Venice Biennale. After winning the 2018 Turner Prize with Bridgit, and the Margaret Tait Award before that for Stoneymollan Trail, this film commissioned by Cove Park completed the trilogy with a visual poem that revealed Prodger as an inventive explorer of inner and outer landscapes. (NC) 8 FREE LOVE Although their recent extended EP Luxury Hits missed out on the Scottish Album of the Year Award, Suzi Rodden and Lewis Cook consolidated their position as one of Scotland’s most eclectic and distinctive electronic groups with the Extreme Dance Anthems album on Optimo, a collision of contemporary techno and folk-horror ambience. (DP) 7 AUNTIE FLO Brian d’Souza has been a mainstay of electronic music in Glasgow for a decade, so it’s quite an irony that a move to London has coincided with his greatest success yet back home. His Radio Highlife album on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label very deservedly took home this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award. (DP)

38 THE LIST 1 Nov 2019–31 Jan 2020

6 KIERAN HURLEY The Glasgow playwright had another landmark year with Mouthpiece, which was staged to much acclaim at the Traverse and Soho Theatre, as well as with the film adaptation of Beats. The future likewise looks bright with the launch of new production company Disaster Plan with long-time collaborator Julia Taudevin, and their upcoming show Move~Gluasad. (DC) 5 LEWIS CAPALDI


: R Y A N J O H N S T O N

The self-deprecating and charming ‘Scottish Beyoncé’ became a sensation even before the release of his debut album, thanks to his delightfully funny Instagram stories and interviews, and of course his number one heartbreak hit, ‘Someone You Loved’. The media darling also famously ‘feuded’ with Noel Gallagher and became the face of everything from Oreo to Deliveroo and Tinder. (MF) 4 RICHARD GADD Three years after winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award, Fife-born Gadd moved to the theatre section for Baby Reindeer, a solo show that examined his own experience of being stalked. Throughout his career, Gadd has always balanced between the comic and the disturbing aside from his increasingly familiar appearances on television and Baby Reindeer was praised for its emotional honesty and distressing lack of resolution. His approach (autobiographical but resisting the temptation to justify his behaviour) has been consistent throughout his comedy monologues, but the shift to a theatrical format demonstrated both his imaginative command of dramaturgy and a willingness to challenge his artist potential. (GKV)