Pick of 2018


The Wee Review team tell us what they’re most looking forward to culturally this year.

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As the festive season disappears off into the distance behind us, thoughts turn to the cultural treats that lie ahead. With a packed schedule of festivals, shows and new releases to choose from, we asked our team to tell us what they’re clearing space in the diary for in 2018. 

Claire WoodThere’s lots to look forward to in Scotland this year! I’m really interested to see where Mark Thomas and Joe Douglas get to with their intriguing Showtime From The Frontline at the Traverse in February [also at the Tron in March]. I’m delighted that NTS are touring Prudencia Hart again and that the EIF are presenting a new staging of David Grieg and Cora Bissett’s Midsummer which is one of the most charming plays with music I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. The final part of NTS’s The 306 is full of promise and I can’t wait to see what the Gob Squad serve up in Glasgow in the summer. Plenty to keep this theatre-goer riveted on her very doorstep.

Joe GardnerYear on year, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival seems to grow and grow. With plenty of television names and Scottish talent appearing at the festival, it’ll be a busy and popular year. I’m looking forward to seeing (to name just a few) the latest work in progress from 2016 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd, Shappi Khorsandi’s latest show and the Scottish premiere of David Baddiel’s Olivier-nominated My Family: Not The Sitcom. I also couldn’t possibly talk about comedy in 2018 without mentioning the almighty return of The League of Gentlemen to the live stage. Following the success of their three television specials last year, the foursome are touring the UK in the autumn with a brand new live show including dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Keeping my fingers crossed for some appearances from Pauline, Tubbs & Edward and Papa Lazarou.

Hugh Kerr: I’m looking forward to Scottish winner of Singer of the World Catriona Morison give her first recital at the Queens Hall on 19 January. Catriona is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, recently ranked number three in the world. I’m also looking forward to the programme for the greatest arts festival in the world to be launched in March. New director Fergus Linehan has placed opera right at the centre of the Edinburgh International Festival with nine operas last year; let’s hope he can keep it up this year!

Jonny Sweet: After the release of the raucous terrorism farce Four Lions in 2010, it seems like Chris Morris has been doing a whole load of heehaw (though I bet he even manages to make that hilarious) in the eight-year interim. Fortunately, there are rumblings from the unlikely location of the Dominican Republic that he’s roped Anna Kendrick, Denis O’Hare, Jim Gaffigan and several others into a new screenplay which is being kept under the closest of wraps. What’s it going to be called? Don’t know. What’s the plot? Not the foggiest. Will it even be released in 2018? Here’s hoping. Will it be hysterical? You bet. I can’t wait.

Tamarin FountainThis year I’m looking forward to even more food and drink festivals and pop ups. I tucked into some tasty street food at the new festive venue Fireside (along with some ping pong, mulled rum and retro games) at the very end of 2017. There are so many innovative ventures happening and I can’t wait to discover the likes of the Scot Gin and Pizza and Prosecco festivals in 2018.

Camilla Irvine-FortescueHaving followed the 2017 Venice Biennale across various digital channels and social media uploads, I am excited to see Scotland’s representative and Edinburgh College of Art graduate Rachel Maclean’s work coming to Talbot Rice Gallery in February. A multimedia artist whose work is often rooted in social and political commentary, Maclean’s Biennale commission Spite Your Face references the classic tale of Pinocchio, whilst interweaving it with themes of Brexit, post-truth and the Trump regime.

Rae Cowie: Delighted to discover that following the massive success of Aberdeen’s inaugural crime fiction festival, Granite Noir is set to return from 23-25 February with another stellar line up, including headliners Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and Anne Cleeves. Innovative and entertaining, the weekend includes film screenings, family events, writing workshops, a poisoned high tea, or for those who prefer their tipple a little stronger – a poisoned cocktail party, Granite Noir TV and more… A crime packed weekend to enjoy.

Dafydd Jenkins: Of all Glasgow’s diverse events I personally skipped in 2017, I won’t be sleeping on Counterflows this time around. 2018’s city-wide celebration of “amorphous live music happenings” will feature appearances from avant-R&B artist MHYSA and impressionistic percussionist Susie Ibarra, to name a few. It’s anyone’s guess what performers will wind up doing come festival time though.

Kirsty Moore: From 24 March to 16 September 2018, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will be displaying NOWthe third in a series of contemporary art exhibitions. NOW will feature an impressive array of works by British artist Jenny Saville from the last 25 years of her career. The exhibition will also display work by five other artists, exploring themes surrounding the body, performance, process and materiality.

Robert Peacock: I have the new Field Music and Django Django albums cued up ready for review as soon as I get a spare couple of hours, so I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to offer, but first priority will be sorting out what I’m going to see at Glasgow International Comedy Festival which launches this Wednesday. I’ll be clearing some diary space for that. It’s an opportunity to catch up on some of last year’s Fringe shows that I missed, and pick up some tips for this year.


/ @peaky76

Robert is the Managing Editor of The Wee Review and has been writing for the site since early 2014. Previously, he was manager of the Yorkshire arts website, digyorkshire. He pays bills by working for a palliative care charity and lives in Edinburgh.


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