Eastgate Hosts National Artists’ Residency

Rough Mix is led and curated by Magnetic North’s artistic director Nicholas Bone who has developed a distinctive and widely-respected approach to developing new work and creating links between artists and art forms.

This year’s Rough Mix sees a core group of five experienced artists from across Scotland, plus two Borders-based early-career artists – Felicity Bristow and Sue Scowcroft. Between them, the participants have expertise in visual arts, writing, film-making, dance, music, theatre and contemporary art.

With support from the National Theatre of Scotland, Rough Mix offers two prioritised places: one for an artist identifying as deaf or disabled, and one for an artist from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.

The artists are resident at the Eastgate Theatre for two weeks from 19 June, and are accompanied by additional performers, including Peebles-based actor Scott Noble.

“We are delighted to be the first venue in the south of Scotland to host this innovative national residency,” commented Caroline Adam, the Eastgate’s General Manager. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for local artists as well as those from around Scotland to observe and participate in the process of creative work.”

Each experienced artist brings an idea or starting point for a project, or a new approach that they are interested in exploring, with the emerging artists having practical involvement in the creative work. This exciting residency ends with a work-in-progress showing on Friday 30 June.

The Crackling Tale of an Electronica Pioneer

Developed by Blood of the Young at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre and live-scored by electronic sound artist Anneke Kampman, Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound is a journey through the amazing life of one of the great, unsung composers of the twentieth century.

In 1942, a 17-year-old Daphne attended a séance which inspired her to forge a career in music, later becoming the first director of the most famous electronic music studio in history – birth-place of many of television’s early sci-fi themes, including Doctor Who.

Daphne began her BBC career as a ‘music balancer’ during the war, turning down a place at the Royal College of Music to do so. After her promotion to studio manager in the 1950s, she began pestering the BBC to follow the lead of French broadcasters and provide a facility for the production of electronic sound.

She teamed up with a like-minded studio manager and between them the pair used borrowed test oscillators and tape-splicing techniques to produce sounds that had never been heard before on the BBC. Daphne’s nagging paid off, and in April 1958 she co-founded the Radiophonic Workshop in the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios.

In a remarkable career spanning more than 30 years, Daphne worked with opera singers, classical composers and rock and roll stars. A true pioneer, she released records, influenced the teaching of music in schools, wrote a book on her personal sound philosophy and always sought to innovate – often as the only woman in that professional environment.

Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound is performed at the Eastgate Theatre, 7.30pm, Wednesday 31 May. Tickets £14, available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or online.

Dazzling Danes Descend on the Eastgate

 A band to discover and truly savour, the dazzling Danish folk/roots foursome Basco tell stories about loves won and lost with an intoxicating mix of high-speed reels and sweet, melancholy tunes full of texture and layers. Although in truth, a lot of their songs are also about sex.

With members also hailing from Sweden and Australia, Basco’s material is nearly all original, stealing frivolously from Scandinavian, English, Celtic and American idioms to create what the band describes as “a kind of organic, soupy stew – full of vitamins and anti-oxidants”.

Basco often join forces in Big Basco with three horn players, known for their work with Denmark’s Radio Bigband and the Odense Symphony Orchestra; a coming together of folk, jazz and classical music in one rather magical mess.

Currently on a UK release tour for their new album, Interesting Times, Basco play the Eastgate Theatre on Sat 10 June – a chance for Borders audiences to experience a band that one recent music festival described as having “arrived as complete unknowns and left as deservedly conquering heroes”.

Not that that’s the case in the band’s home country where they have been busy gathering awards ever since their first album, The Crow in the Walnut Tree, was nominated for Debut of the Year at the Danish Music Awards 2009. A follow up album in 2011 helped the band scoop Singer of the Year, plus nominations for Album of the Year and Live Act of the Year at the same awards, while a third album, released in 2013, saw band member and cittern maestro Ale Carr collect the hugely prestigious Artist of the Year.


Basco play the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles on Saturday 10 June. Tickets £14, available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or online.

Peebles on a Postcard

All drawings should be on card (max 10.5 x 14.8cms), with free, postcard sized boards now available for collection from the Eastgate Theatre. Just return the completed drawing to the theatre by Friday 11 August 2017 to be part of the Big, Big Peebles Draw challenge.

The postcard drawings will then be exhibited at the Eastgate Theatre during this year’s Creative Peebles Festival from Monday 14 August until Friday 8 September, after which three of them, chosen by the public, will each be awarded an art prize.

During the exhibition, visitors will also be invited to bid to buy their favourite pieces with the results of the silent auction revealed by the Eastgate on Sunday 3 September (the final day of this year’s festival). All proceeds from the auction will go towards developing the festival in 2018.

Held from 24 August to 3 September, the Peebles Creative Festival (formerly Peebles Arts Festival) sees this small but incredibly creative town celebrate the work of its many artists, art groups, musicians, poets, film makers, craftspeople and more. As well as indoor performances and workshops, the festival also offers opportunities for locals and visitors alike to explore the fascinating history, architecture, nature and landscape of Peebles through a series of talks, walks and tours.


Star Turn as American Classic Comes to the Eastgate

Well known to audiences from her appearances in the likes of Rebus, The Night Manager and Batman Begins, Sara has also recently appeared on the West End stage in Hay Fever, and played opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof.

The latest production from Glasgow’s Rapture Theatre, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? marks something of a homecoming for Sara as she takes on a role perhaps made most famous by Elizabeth Taylor who appeared opposite Richard Burton in the Oscar-winning film version of the play 50 years ago.

Often considered the finest work by one of the greatest American playwrights of his generation, Albee’s play centres on a marathon night of drinking, debauchery and duplicity that ensures when Martha and her middle-aged professor husband George invite an unsuspecting young couple, Nick and Honey, around for a nightcap.

As the drinks flow – spiked with vicious humour, acerbic wit and verbal sparring – and night turns to morning, searing secrets are exposed. A scathingly funny and at times brutal portrait of relationship dysfunction, the work is an intimate, visceral experience.

The play is part of Rapture’s ‘Iconic Season’ of productions that celebrate some of the most formidable, complex and flawed characters ever to feature in American drama. In addition to Sara Stewart in the lead role of Martha, Rapture’s production also features Robin Kingsland (as George), Rose Reynolds (Honey), and Paul Albertson (Nick).

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is performed at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30pm Sat 13 May. Tickets £14 available from Box Office on 01721 725777 or www.eastgatearts.com




Eastgate Café is Dementia-Friendly – It’s Official

The Food Buddies project aims to develop peer support for people living with dementia in the Borders around all aspects of food and keeping well. The project works with staff in catering establishments to make them aware of symptoms of dementia, and how to help and communicate with people to ensure they have a comfortable experience when eating out.

The project is run by national organisation Outside the Box whose Borders Development Worker Jan Laing said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Food Foundation to further strengthen the reputation of the Eastgate Theatre café as an accessible venue with warm, welcoming staff. Staff training has gone beyond the café and the theatre has committed to incorporate dementia-friendly features in any future redevelopment of any part of the building.”

Eastgate Café Manager Mikuni Uehara added: “I think we are already well known as a fully accessible café, welcoming everyone from people with buggies to those using wheelchairs and muddy bikers. We are proud to add dementia friendly to the café description. It has been very useful to work with Food Buddies, with café and theatre staff learning a lot of useful tips from the training.”

After their light lunch, a packed audience was entertained by a performance of easy listening music by the Gerard Dott Trio featuring Gerard on clarinet, Robbie Tatler on double bass and Lorraine Mulholland on piano.





Eastgate Welcomes All for Engage Open Day Sat 8 April

The Eastgate Theatre is offering free fun for the whole family on Saturday (8 April) when it throws open its doors for a special Engage Open Day – a chance to sample different arts activities, with exciting taster sessions in music, drama, dance and crafts.

A Farmer’s Tender Tale of Love and Loss

The foot and mouth epidemic that ripped through farms up and down the land in 2001 serves as the devastating background to a critically acclaimed play touring rural Scottish venues in April.

Penned by exciting young writer Bea Roberts, And Then Come the Nightjars is performed at the Eastgate Theatre on 12 April. Set in South Devon just as Foot and Mouth takes hold, the play follows Jeff, a dairy vet with a problem and Michael, a cattle farmer, who is a problem.

Bite Sized is Back

The Eastgate Theatre’s popular series of Bite-Sized Entertainment events makes a welcome return every Wednesday lunchtime in April.

Take the Time, Take a Chance, Take Part

With a packed programme of live events, screenings and films Peebles Eastgate theatre welcomes audiences of around seven thousand in an average season. But watching and listening are not the only things people can do in the busy venue.