Guest blog from Eilidh McAskill

It’s always an honour to be asked to contribute something artistic to an event and sometimes you know exactly what you’ll do and other times you have to go with your first idea and hope it pans out OK…

I’ve been asked to take part in Buzzcut’s 5 Minutes to Move Me which is part of the Ecstasis event taking place during THAT Festival. The idea is to create a 5-minute piece for one audience member at a time that happens at a small table and is repeated over a few hours. It’s already been successful at the Glue Factory as part of the Glasgow International Festival and at Hunt & Darton cafe during the Edinburgh Fringe, and now Buzzcut are bringing their own brand of live art to THAT Festival.

So my job is to create something new, short and hopefully interesting that can be repeated 24 times and responds to this:


Move me to action,

Move me to tears,

Move me somewhere else,

Move me closer to you.

So I’m making a piece about horses.

I don’t know much about horses – I’m not really a horsey girl or anything, but I do like them and I have a few toy horses knocking around the flat, so I thought I’d use them as inspiration. I’m planning to talk a little bit about horses, whinny a bit, play a horse racing board game called Escalado and then offer the audience member a horsey ride around the macrobert cafe. That’s the plan so far, but who knows what will actually happen at 5pm on Saturday?

I’m not sure if I’ll have enough time…

I’m not sure if it will be interesting…

I’m not sure if my knees will hold out…


Introducing our THAT Festival ambassadors: Rebecca, Callum and Jessica

macrobert has teamed up with a group of local young people to help spread the word about THAT Festival. Our ambassadors are going to be tweeting, blogging and podcasting their festival experiences. We asked a few questions to get to know them a bit better.



1) If you could see one event at THAT Festival, what would it be?

Do Not Feed The Trolls I was supposed to come and see it earlier in the year, however I couldn’t make it. Ever since I have been dying to see it, it sounds like a really thought-provoking but fun piece of theatre.

2) What THAT Festival event sounds the most intriguing?

It’s difficult to decide! Boy Magnet seems like a whole new experience, I really want to see how they’ll use light to help tell the tale. On the other hand The Holy Mountain is showing and I have heard all manner of things about that – it is one the movies on my 100 to watch before I die list (if that doesn’t sound too morbid). Both of these events have made me really curious.

3) Your dream festival: what would the line-up be?

Johnny Cash, Of Monsters and Men, My Chemical Romance, Glenn Miller, Bill Bailey, Arctic Monkeys, The Fratellis, The Modern Lovers, Amanda Palmer, Paramore, The Pythons and Young Blood Brass Band.

4) What’s the best live show you’ve ever been to?

I went to a contemporary theatre performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in May called From the wild fire winging swiftly on the wind: as a human I was immoral and sinful I deserve my second hell. The ferocity and intimacy with which the performers shared parts of their lives (all their fears, loves, hates and lusts were put in front of us to see) really made me think about all of my fears etc and I left feeling exhilarated, as if I had shared something amazing with not only the other members of the audience but the performers as well.

5) Fave film?

Four Lions – me and friend were laughing all the way out the cinema when we went to see it, and I am not exaggerating.

6) Fave band?

It’s really tough to pick because I like lots and lots of different types of music and it’s always chopping and changing, but I guess this month it’s Of Monsters and Men.

7) Fave sandwich?

Cheese and Tomato on brown bread and it has to have a little salt and pepper on it too, just to be awkward.

8) Give us a link to something random on YouTube (people falling over, a panda on a slide- you know the drill)

If you don’t go “Awwwww” at these you are made of stone.

9) What image would you like to be used to illustrate your blog?

A RUBBER DUCKY!!! (I collect rubber ducks.)



1) If you could see one event at THAT Festival, what would it be?

Don’t Feed The Trolls

2) What THAT Festival event sounds the most intriguing?


3) Your dream festival- what would the line-up be?

I don’t know…

4) What’s the best live show you’ve ever been to?

I can’t remember the name, but it was this thing about sugar and sweets and how terrible they are for you.

5) Fave film?

The Hangover / Bourne Identity / The Other Guys / Total Recall (2012 edition)

6) Fave band?

Green day / Tenacious D

7) Fave sandwich?


8) Give us a link to something random on YouTube

9) What image would you like to be used to illustrate your blog?

Surprise me!



1) If you could see one event at THAT Festival, what would it be?

Titus – it sounds really interesting

2) What THAT Festival event sounds the most intriguing?

The Incredible Adventures of See Thru Sam

3) Your dream festival: what would the line-up be?

My dream festival would be completely bonkers: shows that would have you in stitches with laughter by the end, and lots of live music from different bands and solo singers.

4) What’s the best live show you’ve ever been to?

Take That – The Circus

5) Fave film?

Anchorman and Zoolander (epic films!)

6) Fave band?

We Were Promised Jetpacks and Fluorescent Hearts – I can’t decide between those two!

7) Fave sandwich?

Cheese and ham

8) Give us a link to something random on YouTube (people falling over, a panda on a slide- you know the drill)

9) What image would you like to be used to illustrate your blog?

A wolf – I love the wolves.

Explorers, polar bears, a dog called bog and a wee cheeky penguin…

Polar Molar is macrobert’s Christmas show for 3 to 5 year olds this winter and well, it’s just lovely! Written by Abigail Docherty and directed by Lu Kemp, this magical adventure has a clear sense that the environment is important and shouldn’t be destroyed and yet still full of silliness. Thom Dibdin from The Stage describes Polar Molar as “a charmingly imaginative adventure” you can read the full review here.

SO… It’s the year 2020. Captain Scot Scott and his dog Dogbog have been sent on a mission to find the last polar bear. But no one has seen a polar bear in years – they don’t know what it looks like or how to find it. You, the audience are the little huskies that help Captain Scot Scott drive the snowmobile and encounter some cheeky animals along the way…

Running until 31st December 2011

Still some tickets left, grab yours now online here or call us on 01786 466666

Cracking reviews for macrobert’s panto

Jackie and the Beanstalk is up and running and well it’s just pure magic! Receiving 4 star reviews from both The Herald and The Guardian there really is no excuse not to come along…

a panto with its finger on today’s pulse” Mary Brennan, The Herald, read full review here

If anyone still thinks panto is a throwback to a misogynist past, they need to take a look at the macrobert’s glorious giant-slaying romp” Mark Fisher, The Guardian, read full review here

an entertaining, intelligent celebration and deconstruction of the traditional Scottish pantomime.” The Stage, read full review here

a lively, rollicking show, with plenty of fine panto qualitiesThe Scotsman

Writer, director and star of this year’s panto, Johnny McKnight tells Stirling Observer;

“Well for me, when setting about writing this year’s panto, my first issue was that, traditionally, Jack and the Beanstalk is usually very male-heavy in terms of casting: Dame, Jack, his brother, the baddie, the baddie’s sidekick,”

“I really wanted to try and push more females into the story.” Read more of the interview here.

Make sure you get your tickets and see this hilarious, magical, raunchy and festive pantomime and fill your family full of festive happiness 🙂

Jackie and the Beanstalk runs until 7th January 2012

Meet the panto cast…

Jonathan Holt,  last year’s Prince Rupert Charming Darling will be starring in macrobert’s panto Jackie and the Beanstalk this year as the baddy! We asked Jonathan to tell us a bit about himself, so have a read and you will see he really isn’t a baddy at heart…

First theatre stage you stood on?  His Majesty Theatre, Aberdeen.
Last stage you stood on before the pantomime? The Traverse, Edinburgh.

First childhood memory? Two massive hands!

Best moment on stage? First standing ovation.

Most funny thing that’s happened to you on stage? Corpsing in a serious scene.

Last form you filled out? Tax return.

First job? Mace, shelf stocker.

First thing you think about each day?
My bed.

First thing you do each morning? Get out of bed.

Last song you listened to? Alive, Pearl Jam.

First show you fell in love with? Les Miserables, I was 10.

First big disappointment? Les Miserables, it wasn’t the original cast.

First lesson learnt? Shoe laces probably or walking actually came first.

Last lesson learnt? How to tie my shoe laces and walk after a few nippy sweeties.

Last really good meal you ate? Aberdeen Angus fillet steak.

First pantomime you saw? Jack and the Beanstalk.

Favourite place in Scotland? Any good pub with good friends.

Last creation? A monster.

First thing you quit? My high pressured job in the city, I was 6 ½.

First guilty pleasure? Last of the Summer Wine, I was 6 ¾.

Favourite prop used on stage? Assault rifle.

Last impulse-buy? The Best of the Replacements, music album.

Last thing you did for the sake of the environment? Turned off the generator I use to power my giant neon self portrait.

Last time you had to eat humble pie? Not a fan of pudding.

Last argument?
1993, it was over a bag of Skips.

Last thing you’ll ever do? Breathe.

Last request? Some sort of breathing apparatus.

A quote that inspired you? Climb, climb up sunshine mountain, where the little daisies grow.

Last (famous) words? Our own question, if you have one! I came, I saw, I bought the T-Shirt, took it home, tried it on, it didn’t fit, took it back, got a refund and went to the pub.

Jonathan in macrobert’s panto Snow White  of the Seven De’Wharffs 2010

Jackie and the Beanstalk 2011/2012 is on sale now, for more information and online booking head to macrobert’s website.

Markus Stitz on Mind Walking…

‘The longer you stay here, the more you forget who you were, the more you become to know who you are.’

This quote was scribbled on a wall in a rather lonely mountain hut in New Zealand. A hut on a wall in a country. A country I lived in for only two years of my life, much shorter than the time I spent in Scotland and much less than I have spent in the place I was born in, Germany. But somehow it beautifully describes with a few words what happens to you once you decide to leave known waters and venture out into the world.

Writing down some thoughts in this blog was triggered by a show coming to macrobert this Friday 28 October. Mind Walking reflects the problems and opportunities connected with our own cultural identity that we experience living away from the place we were born in. It tells the story of an elderly relative growing old in a foreign country, now suffering from Alzheimers, who is trying to relive his early, hitherto unknown, life. But apart from the interesting subject matter it also contains aerial pieces, something I am really looking forward to see. You can find out yourself by reading this review first and find out more about the show on the macrobert website.

The deeper meaning behind the show got me to reflect on my own personal experience living abroad ever since I left university in 2006, first in New Zealand, then Scotland, again in New Zealand and finally again in Scotland from mid 2009. I was trying to reflect on the opportunities and problems that eventually come with your decision to leave friends and family behind to explore the world, but at this moment in time I simply haven’t got the time to write them all down, but just some instead.

Overall it has been a great experience, I would not radically change the decisions if I would have to make them again. It will be an experience to see the show tomorrow to explore how much of my own personal findings are reflected in there. In my case I have developed a whole new cultural identity for myself, containing bits from my time in Germany, but also heavily influenced by the last five years abroad. I have become to hate the term foreigner, as it puts you in a box with many others that might be totally different from yourself. I am still struggling to apply the term home to any of the countries, and I will possibly do that all my life. Any time I go back to visit people in Germany I get this strange feeling you get once you leave nice people behind, but I am also glad to head back to my ‘normal life’ in Scotland. Life abroad comes with many opportunities, but also sacrifices. Maybe this is as much as needs telling at this stage. Every time you see a ‘foreigner’ keep in mind that there is a unique history behind any person. The best way to find this out is asking questions. The longer you ask questions, the more you forget who you thought this person would be. And the more you become to know who you are.

Fri 28 Oct 7.30pm / Tickets (friends) £9.50 / £12 full / £9 conc / £7 U18 & students

More information and online booking here

Markus Stitz, macrobert marketing manager – check out Markus’ blog here.

iRIDE: Pedal Driven and more delights on the big screen, not only for lovers of two wheels

Pedal DriveniRIDE has been going for a while at macrobert, and we have some good movies heading towards Stirling in the next months. The first one will be at macrobert’s filmhouse this Wednesday 19 October at 7.30pm. If you are a keen mountain biker like me, or even a freerider (I am not there yet), you might know the ongoing argument about who owns the forest. Pedal Driven is a bikumentary that digs deeper into the issue, following freeriders in Washington always on the lookout for rangers threatening their trails. The film will give a good insight into both sides and their arguments and take you behind this confrontation, trying to offer a solution how opposing fractions can find common ground in the defence of the beauty of hills and forests. Knowing from experience how difficult that or any consensus can be when it comes to mountain biking, I am interested in the answers the film might have, as the trailer ends with a pretty bold statement: more than a movie, a movement. I am keen to find out myself, and the take the mountain bike out for a ride! Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: