Flying start to arts festival

To tie in with the Year of Young People 2018, this year's festival will feature a number of events by young people for young people. Pictured are Young promoters David Whitaker, Victoria Bennet, Elizabeth Gordon, Lauren Asher�and Ethan Thorpe Davies with Councillor Adam Wilson.
To tie in with the Year of Young People 2018, this year's festival will feature a number of events by young people for young people. Pictured are Young promoters David Whitaker, Victoria Bennet, Elizabeth Gordon, Lauren Asher�and Ethan Thorpe Davies with Councillor Adam Wilson.

The 2018 Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival got off to a flying start over the weekend with a packed house at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, on Friday and an al fresco circus aero-spectacular in the town’s high street on Saturday.

The annual 10-day festival is hosting 66 high quality performing arts events in 44 venues across the region and continues on Thursday with music, comedy, theatre and dance until Sunday, 3 June.

Two festival shows are up for a gong in this year’s Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland. Award-winning writer and performer Alan Bissett’s More Moira Monologues has been nominated for best new play. Alan will be performing the show at the CatStrand, New Galloway, on Thursday, 31 May and at Thomas Tosh, Thornhill, on Friday, 1 June.

Apphia Campbell has been nominated for Best Female Performer for her performance in Woke, which comes to the Fullarton Theatre, Castle Douglas, on Saturday, 2 June, and will play out the festival at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, on Sunday, 3 June.

BBC personality and Gaelic singer, Mary Ann Kennedy, comes to the Gordon Memorial Hall, Castle Douglas, on 31 May. She will be supported by young Stranraer singer songwriter Catrìona McGhie.

Composer, musician and songwriter Michael John McCarthy will take his audiences on a sentimental musical trip down memory lane with Turntable – exploring the joy of music over five decades through his record collection. The show takes place at the CatStrand on 2 June and there will be two free afternoon pop-up Turntable installations at The Stove, Dumfries, on 1 June, and Thomas Tosh, Thornhill, on 2 June.

Anda Union are a nine-piece band of musicians all the way from Mongolia. They will be showcasing their unique musical culture, including the skill of throat singing, at Lockerbie Town Hall on 1 June and at Newton Stewart Cinema on 2 June.

Multi-award-winning trad band Talisk come to the region for two concerts during the festival. They will be supported by Robyn Stapleton and Stranraer band The Cl’yholers at the town’s Ryan Centre on 1 June and by the talented Kate in the Kettle at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, on 2 June.

Jenny Lindsay and Hannah Lavery of Flint and Pitch Productions visit the CatStrand on 3 June or an afternoon of spoken word entertainment, presenting brand new works from these two critically-acclaimed Scottish poets.

As part of the new STAGE iT Young Promoters Group project, Amy Conway brings her show Super Awesome World to teenagers at Wigtown County Buildings on 31 May and The Usual Place, Dumfries, on 2 June.

In addition, there is dance from the Scottish Dance Theatre in The Theatre Royal, Dumfries; high jinks comedy at the Royal Four Towns Hall, Hightae; drama from Conscious Theatre at the Old Well Theatre, Moffat; music from local band Taagan at the Live Lounge, Dumfries; traditional sounds from Jenn Butterworth and Laura Beth Salter at Loch Arthur, Beeswing; a concert at Davington Schoolhouse, Eskdalemuir, with Greg Lawson and Pete Garnett; a showcase of young musical talent in Thornhill; and a Dad’s Army Radio Hour in Whithorn.

Tickets (core events half price to the under 26s, group discounts and three for four passes) are available from the Midsteeple Box Office on 01387 253383; Wigtown Festival Company 01988 403222; or online from www.dgartsfestival.org.uk