Music without frontiers

It is not easy for world musicians to enter Britain. So Scotland is lucky to be hearing the remarkable music of the Sufi band that survived the Taliban – and overcame obstacles to getting a visa. And we are luckier still to get the chance to hear them on our own doorstep.  Thanks to Swietlica, the Ahmad Sham Sufi Qawali Group will take a detour to play at Fort Community Centre on Monday 25 May at 6.30 pm.  It’s free but money raised from home-baking and books will go to help victims of war in Afghanistan. Continue reading “Music without frontiers”

Women in harmony


Zawadi Women’s Choir rehearsing for their first public appearance  – membership of the choir is open to women from different ethnic backgrounds.

At one end of the hall they are preparing a banquet.  At the other end the choir is warming up for their first public performance.  Rachel Milne quickly gets rid of any nerves by making them laugh, “That sounds very nice,” says the musical director  firmly asking them to start again with a bit more oomph, “You sound like nice Scottish ladies. Now try again.”    Continue reading “Women in harmony”

Exits and entrances in the theatre

…the woman and man in the street do not know that they are speaking theatre. Augusto Boal April 16 1931 – May 2 2009

The pioneering Leith community theatre group, Active Inquiry is making its debut with SPACE, the story of Maggie, an ordinary woman who finds it difficult to persuade people in the local community to help her save the neighbourhood park from being turned into a car park. (Next performance Wednesday 13th May). Continue reading “Exits and entrances in the theatre”

Red Eye re-opens on Friday

Good news for film buffs, the Red Eye film club begins a new season at 7pm on Friday 3 April.  For the first showing of 2009, Mike Cowley has chosen Bertolucci’s beautifully made, but chilling, Conformist. With the wonders of new media you can see clips on YouTube of the film made in 1970 and generally regarded as Bertolucci’s masterpiece. But come to Pilmeny Youth Centre for the whole film and a chance to talk about it afterwards.  All completely free of charge.

Treasures of the Lost World


Suddenly out of the darkness, out of the night, there swooped something with a swish like an aeroplane. Ed Malone in the Lost World

It’s the stuff of dreams:  you are travelling in time to a place where dinosaurs crash through forests of dripping trees. Ok, so The Lost World Read won’t really bring you face to face with a live dinosaur (or even a stuffed one for that matter) but the trail leading from Palm House in the Botanics to Poetry Garden in St Andrew Square is full of excitement all the same.  Join the adventure beginning on 31 January. And pick up your free copy of Conan Doyle’s Lost World at the same time. Continue reading “Treasures of the Lost World”

Poetry garden comes indoors for winter


Beautiful but cold for outdoor poetry events during the winter, fortunately there is somewhere much warmer just around the corner…

Thanks to the National Portrait Gallery, (conveniently situated in York Place) the poetry garden is coming indoors for at least some of the winter, starting with a lunchtime event on Friday 19 December between 12 and 2pm. So that’s food, warmth, a chance to pick up some last minute presents plus the inspiration of poems chosen specially for you. What more could you possibly need? Continue reading “Poetry garden comes indoors for winter”

Open books, open minds


This is London, in Edinburgh the living books wore black T shirts

Multicultural Leith produced some of the best read books on offer at Scotland’s first Living Library. We don’t yet have any pictures of the event which was probably the highlight of the Edinburgh Festival of Libraries, but these excellent images from the Living Library website give you some idea of the atmosphere. What’s a living book? Read on! Continue reading “Open books, open minds”

Join the Poetry Army in St Andrew Square

Poetry in St Andrew Square   LOGO small

Here’s an invitation you can’t refuse. Come to St Andrew Square and find a poem chosen specially for you. “It personal, it’s fast and it’s absolutely free,” says Lilias Fraser of the Scottish Poetry Library who will be one of the ‘poetry army’ celebrating National Poetry Day on Thursday 9 October in Edinburgh’s very own Poetry Garden by handing out poems and poetry postcards. Better still, why don’t you join the army for the day? Continue reading “Join the Poetry Army in St Andrew Square”

Red Eye Friday

Make a note. If it’s the first Friday of the month it’s Red Eye Friday. The new radical film club opened in September with Who Shot the Sheriff. This month’s screening in Pilmeny Youth Centre on Friday 3 October offers a UK Cold War thriller Defence of the Realm which teeters on the brink of nuclear disaster in the days of dear old Ronald Reagan. Continue reading “Red Eye Friday”

Poetry afloat in St Andrew Square



Wring the Scottish rain clouds dry…Ron Butlin

Some hope. It rained of course but the sun shone too so Edinburgh’s new Makar, Ron Butlin, brought the perfect poem to launch Poetry in St Andrew Square: A Recipe for Whisky, laced with all the elements of Scotland’s weather. Come rain, hail, sleet or sun, the poetry garden is now open for business and waiting for you to help it grow… Continue reading “Poetry afloat in St Andrew Square”