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Monday, 22 December 2014

Top acts for New Year

HOLD onto your hats for a storming good season to kick off 2013 at the Buccleuch Centre in Langholm.

It’s Complete Madness, as the name of the first act of the year suggests, and it just gets better with every turn of the page.

There is the usual mix of drama and music of all genres, with the return of a few favourites and the excitement of new acts on the horizon.

Now Christmas is past, it’s time to turn to the Buns supper season and there’s no better way to celebrate than with the Ideoms Theatre Company’s Instant Burns – Just Add Haggis, an evening of poetry, comedy and music followed by a traditional supper.

Take a musical trip through the decades with groups such as Showaddywaddy who have been rocking and rolling for 40 incredible years, relive the hits from the Blitz with the team from We’ll Meet Again on their final tour and catch up with The Manfreds, led by original front man Paul Jones, who will perform many of the tracks from the acclaimed album The Five Faces of Manfred Mann.

There are plenty of tributes to some of the world’s greatest performers, including Hank, Cash and Cline; High School Rocks; Jackson; The Billy Fury Years; John Denver; and Ultimate Eagles.

For something more original try new kid on the block Nathan Carter, Irish singer and musician, or an afternoon classical music recital with violinist Mathieu Van Bellen and pianist Omri Epstein.

From the swirling plains of South Africa come Zulu Tradition from KwaZulu Natal who are rekindling the spark of Zulu culture and heritage through traditional song, dance, drums and drama.

For a taste of the sea dip your toe into the music of Kimber’s Men who are favourites on the folk and sea festival circuits, while the Wood Pines from North Carolina will bring their ‘fiery moonshine spirit’ to the stage.

Britain’s Got Talent fans will be clamouring for tickets to see 2011 winner Jai McDowall.

The mutual dislike between novelist Agatha Christie and actress Margaret Rutherford is the subject of Murder, Marple and Me, written by Philip Meeks and starring Janet Prince.

John Godber is the playwright again favoured by the Happy Hour Theatre Company who present his Men Of The World which delves into the world of coach drivers.

The annual exhibition of paintings from the Stewartry Museum fine art collection has opened in the Tolbooth Art Centre in Kirkcudbright and runs until February 23.

The exhibition shows some of the best paintings in the collection and comprises many of the exhibits shown in Kirkcudbright 2000’s Gifted exhibition, shown earlier this summer in the town hall.

The selection includes paintings from the large bequest made by the late William Brown Kirkpatrick OBE, among which are landscapes by three Glasgow Boys: Alexander Mann, D Y Cameron and James Paterson. The same bequest has provided more contemporary Scottish painting, represented by works by the late Alexander Goudie, Duncan Shanks and George Devlin.

Artists who worked particularly in Kirkcudbright and the Stewartry are well-represented with works by Lena Alexander, including her fine portrait Mrs Stitt, Archie Sutter Watt, John Maxwell, David Sassoon, Helen S Johnston, Robert Sivell, W S MacGeorge and G P H Watson.

The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm but closed on December 26 and 27 and January 2 and 3. Admission is free.

Opera Highlights celebrates 50 years of Scottish Opera with a retrospective romp through music from some of the company’s most memorable productions.

It is coming to the Heart of Hawick, Tower Mill, on Tuesday, January 22. Tickets are available on 01450 360 688.

Sitting alongside familiar favourites from Verdi’s La traviata, Bizet’s Carmen, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers will be lesser-known gems mined from the archives, like Bernstein’s Candide, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, MacMillan’s Ines de Castro and Weber’s Oberon.

To complete the celebrations Opera Highlights will feature the world premiere of a new piece of music by Scottish Opera’s first composer in residence Gareth Williams, created especially for the tour.

Four singers and a pianist will visit Hawick. Packing their scores into their suitcases for the tour are Scottish tenor Nicky Spence, Scottish Opera emerging artist Katie Grosset and making their Scottish Opera debuts soprano Eleanor Dennis and baritone Duncan Rock. Claire Haslin and Ruth Wilkinson share the role of music director and pianist, while Adrian Osmond directs.

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