from Falmouth

At first I thought I should begin this blog post with an apology for the slightly rambling nature of this writing about the first Glasgow Buzzcut festival. However, I’ve changed my mind, because in my opinion, Nick and Rosana and everyone else who made Buzzcut quite the amazing event that it was, deserve every damn congratulatory word that ever popped into anyone’s thoughts.

Created in response to the ending of two major live art festivals in Glasgow last year, the National Review of Live Art and New Moves International, Buzzcut took place at the Old Hairdressers (opposite Stereo on Renfield Lane) and the Glue Factory in Maryhill over five days from the 14th-18th March.

And what a five days. The range of artists took in those who – like myself – are still studying and beginning to establish a practice, recent graduates (especially from the RSAMD contemporary theatre course) more established artists 5 or 10 years down the line, and even veterans of the performance art scene such as Richard Layzell. Also, the fact that almost every performance I saw was more interesting than Layzell’s was heartwarming and brilliant and exciting: and fitting for a festival with such a fresh outlook. I refuse to be disappointed by the fact that the emerging can overtake the established!

Nick and Rosana, both graduates of the RSAMD course mentioned above succeeded in creating an event that worked without money, that ran smoothly without being totalitarian, that relied on volunteers who loved what they were doing and artists that wanted to be there. I wanted to be there, and feel incredibly honoured to be a part of the programme for the first ever Buzzcut, for I am sure that there will be more, how could there not be?

Even the programme design was stonking. (by Oona Brown and Christopher Melgram)

A few highlights for me were Ira Brand’s fantastic Keine Angst, a one woman show about fear that stirred something very real inside me; and Andrew Houston’s In Charge which involved very clever play between the projected video-Andrew and the real one on stage, taking the format of a slightly ridiculous job interview.

In return for my work I received support in the form of the fantastic warm network that I really feel in Glasgow, a free bowl of soup from Stereo, everyone giving me the time of day all the time, tech support, and my work was documented in both video and stills by the prolific documentation team involved (all volunteers, again).

This was the first outing of a newly worked performance lecture called ‘How to Achieve Redemption as a Scot through the Medium of Braveheart’, something that for a long time refused to be written, but eventually became something I had quite a lot of fun doing, even when making the accompanying powerpoint presentation at 4am on the day of the performance (ahem).

Its an exploration of Scottishness, nationalism and my time as Mel Gibson, centering  around the various Braveheart videos (here) and the comments provided by Rangers fans after my Ibrox performance (here). At the moment it is a piece for Scotland, as it undeniably works better when people A. have seen Braveheart and B. Know that Ibrox is a very inappropriate place to perform like this, but I would like to find a way of making it more suitable for a wider audience.

At the end we all went out onto the street in the centre of Glasgow and performed my old favourite Braveheart Freedom Speech as a call and response piece of shouting and facepaint. It made me very happy. Hopefully I will get some documentation up here soon.

Look out for Buzzcut, it’s ace. Thankyou thankyou Nick, Rosana, Jo, Jeni, Corrie, Daisy and everyone else. x