When: October 2017
Where: Across Scotland
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, will take place from Sunday 1st to Tuesday 31st October with film, music, dance, art and theatre events.
Festival highlights will include Luminate Short Encounters; new to Luminate this year, this specially curated series of short films will explore life in older age and the range of issues and challenges that affect us all. Films will include Hotel Salvation, a humorous, life affirming drama of a son and his father seeking salvation in the holy city of Varanasi, and from Sweden, A Man Called Ove the story of a man who decides he’s had enough of this world but an unlikely friendship saves him.
This year, spoken word features across the festival; take part in Reading Muriel Spark at the National Library of Scotland focusing on selections of work from Scotland’s archive, or a workshop at the Scottish Poetry Library, focusing on Edwin Morgan’s poetry. Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, celebrates Luminate with four intriguing lunchtime entertainments featuring musicians, actors and a storyteller, and acclaimed poet, writer and performer Brian Johnstone’s Double Exposure Casting Off turns a poet’s eye on his childhood and explores his parents’ lives before and during World War II at Waterstones in Inverness.
Dance and music have always played a major role in the festival and this year is no exception as the iconic Lindsay Kemp leads free contemporary dance and performance art classes at Dance Base in Edinburgh. Part of a series of free classes, Freedom of Movement also features classes led by Chris Stuart Wilson, Morag Deyes and Matthew Hawkins.
At City Moves, Aberdeen and Tramway, Glasgow, the great American choreographer, writer and speaker Liz Lerman will lead a workshop Dancing Across Borders, bringing together professional dance artists and elder community dancers. Aditi Mangaldas: Inter_rupted is a high-octane fusion of the ancient art of Kathak with 21st century rhythm and sound, also at Tramway.
Have a go with Appalachian Autumn, Scotland’s only Appalachian dance group Kick the Cat and learn some percussive ‘clogging’ steps at the Dean Bowling Club, Edinburgh. W’Hat About?, a new interactive-dance-theatre piece from Fuora Dance Project, will take place at Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling.
The recently restored St Cecilia’s Hall will host the Scottish premiere of John McHugh’s multi-media composition Hidden Voice, giving voice to people living with dementia and featuring musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, there’ll be an opportunity to meet and sing with The Vintage Chorus, led by Wendy Weatherby.
Watch out for a series of theatre and performance events, including the first visit to Scotland by London-based Entelechy Arts’ Older People’s Company with their travelling installation BED, which is being presented in Dundee in collaboration with Dundee Rep.
An Audience With… is a rare opportunity to take a journey through the Festival Theatre’s Empire Rooms, and enter a world filled with the past, the present and the future, alongside three professional dancers from the variety era who are all now in their 90s. Luminate and Eden Court Theatre have collaborated with the North Coast Connection and Tongue Primary School to explore the generations’ stories of nearby Castle Varrich, and the projections they have created will be screened on the castle walls during the festival.
Touring Scotland, Blanche & Butch are backstage in a mist of hairspray and sequins as they discuss life as a couple of disabled drag queens in Birds of Paradise’s production by Robert Softly Gale; the final show of their tour is at Summerhall and will be followed by an unforgettable cabaret, presented by a group of inter-generational performers. Also, Hearts & Minds’ exquisite production, Curious Shoes, designed for people living with dementia, goes on its first tour as part of Luminate. And, with an international cast aged 30 to 75, Dammed Rebel Bitches, by Sandy Thomson, celebrates the independent risk-taking women of the war years generation.
Once again HM Frigate Unicorn, Dundee, sails into Luminate with a number of events, including Arborantics: Traditional Wood Working on National Grandparents Day and Woven Tapestry Workshops. In Spinning a Yarn at the Dovecot Studios, storyteller Jan Bee Brown, accompanied by the Broughton Spinners, shares stories from around the world inspired by their latest exhibition.
The Luminate programme features an increasing number of dementia friendly events, aimed at people living with dementia in care homes and day centres as well as those supported by family carers. Amongst these is the launch of Glasgow Film Theatre’s new dementia friendly programme, with a special screening of Whisky Galore!
More info: www.luminatescotland.org