Mark Brown

SNP is culpable in the coronavirus catastrophe

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Edinburgh has tail-ended the disastrous Covid-19 policies of Westminster

It is a given that the coronavirus crisis has exposed the rotten, inhuman priorities of Boris Johnson’s Tory government at Westminster. It is less obvious that Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) administration at Holyrood also has difficult questions to answer.

Covid-19 has been allowed to ravage Scottish society in essentially the same way it has in the other countries of the UK.

Born to Manifest

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 
Born to Manifest

Born to Manifest is the latest dance work by the acclaimed choreographer and performer Joseph Toonga and his company Just Us Dance Theatre. A hip-hop piece for two dancers (Toonga and Dani Harris-Walters), it is a powerful, invigorating, enraging and almost unbearably moving evocation of the experience of young black men in Britain.

As a performing arts critic, I see a lot of stage works. Consequently, I hope, I have developed a strong sense of the difference between cheap sentiment and the real deal.

Understanding and feeling in film

Issue section: 
Author: 

In her review of Terrence Malick’s movie A Hidden Life (January SR), Jessica Walsh contends that “you could easily lose over an hour without losing any plot points.” This argument betrays a rather functional approach to cinema.

Jessica is closer to the truth, I think, when she acknowledges that Malick’s contemplation of the anti-Nazi stance of religious conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter is “a meditative hymn”.

Oscar Marzaroli

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Oscar Marzaroli (1933-1988) is, unquestionably, one of the finest photographers Scotland has ever produced. His pictures of Glasgow and its people, in particular, are an intrinsic and iconic party of the city’s self-image. It is extraordinary, therefore, that this brilliant exhibition in Glasgow’s pre-eminent photography gallery is the first major show of his work in 30 years.

The Irishman

Issue section: 
Author: 

The Irishman, the latest film by the legendary American director Martin Scorsese, has been eagerly anticipated. Now that it has finally hit screens large and small (the movie is a Netflix production, and transferred to the online streaming service shortly after its cinema release), it reveals itself to be a genuine masterpiece.

Marching into the dustbin of history?

Issue section: 
Author: 

Recent Loyalist riots and disturbances in Glasgow and a subsequent ban on Orange and Republican parades in the city have the shaken the image of Scotland as a modern, inclusive democracy. Mark Brown considers how revolutionary socialists should respond to recent events.

On 30 August of this year an Irish Unity march by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band through the working-class community of Govan in the south-west of Glasgow descended into chaos as it was attacked by hundreds of Loyalist thugs. Smoke bombs and other missiles were thrown at the Republican marchers in what can only be described as a Loyalist riot.

Scottish theatre’s modern renaissance

Issue section: 
Author: 

Mark Brown, author of Modernism and Scottish Theatre Since 1969, gives the run down on how Scotland’s particular kind of Reformation stunted the development of dramatic writing for centuries, not really recovering until the early 1900s.

To talk about Scottish theatre in the late 20th and early 21st centuries we must, paradoxically, start in the 16th century. For it was then, amid the ferocious indignation and granite moral certainties of the Calvinist Reformation, that a new course was set for Scottish society and culture.

In the case of theatre, it meant no course at all. For the virulent Protestant reformer John Knox and his fellow Calvinists, the theatre was a cesspit of godless recreation. Consequently, as the roofs were ripped from the Catholic abbeys, the theatres, too, were closed down.

In defence of degenerate art

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The so called “alt-right” project is an attempt to throw an ideological blanket over a range of deeply reactionary political tendencies. These range from racist right wing “mainstream” conservatives (such as Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg in Britain), to far-right populists (like US president Donald Trump and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán) and outright fascists (such as Marine Le Pen in France and Austrian vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache).

Political theatre returns

Issue section: 
Author: 

La Maladie de la Mort (The Malady of Death), based upon Marguerite Duras’s 1982 novella (which was, famously, written in the depths of the author’s alcoholism), was one of the highlights of last month’s Edinburgh International Festival. Staged for the leading French company Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord by acclaimed English director Katie Mitchell, it is an atmospheric and discomfiting hour of theatre.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mark Brown