Merchant City Festival offers bumper programme

08 Jul 2009

by Phil Miller, The Herald

More than 300 performances will be staged at 80 venues during this year's Merchant City Festival in Glasgow.

The event, which attracts tens of thousands of people to the part of the city centre regarded as the heart of its cultural quarter, returns for an eighth time, running from September 24 to 27.

Scottish Opera singers will be out and about performing in courtyards and bars in the area and will also give a Sunday afternoon performance at St Andrews in the Square.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, which is resident in the City Halls in the Merchant City area, will perform the score to a screening of Eisenstein's classic movie Battleship Potemkin.

A series of bars and hotels will play host to live music and the Scottish Comedian of the Year Grand Final will also form part of the festival.

The city's newest art centre, Trongate 103, will be the venue for a number of exhibitions over the four-day period. There will also be new arts installations, performance art displays, 3D film showings, fashion parades and activities for children.

Bailie Gordon Matheson, the chair of the festival and councillor for the area, said: "I am very proud of what is superb programme - the Merchant City Festival has come of age.

"The variety and quality on offer would not have been possible if it hadn't been for the sustained regeneration in recent years in what is now, without doubt, Scotland's principal cultural and residential quarter."

One of the main features of the programme is a work called The Memory Projector, created by the leading theatre company Wildworks.

They have worked with local communities and ex-pat organisations around the world on the project to gather stories of people who left their homes in Glasgow to start new lives across the seas.

Performances, to be staged in Merchant Square, include music, archive film and domestic footage of departures and homecomings.

The theatre programme includes two productions at the Tron Theatre, Motherland and White Tea, and there will be street theatre from The Hurty Gurty Man, Dot Comedy and French company Acid Kostik.

The festival also includes a parade, an Italian market, a French market and a farmers' market.

Produced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

  • Bailie Matheson with performers 'Conflux' at the launch of MCF 09, photo by Alan McAteer

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