Wellbeing, A Musical Interlude?

Mental Health – The Musical? Since Cathy Come Home launched Shelter, there have been countless examples of the arts making that change by holding a mirror up to the world. People have seen aspects of the world being exposed and brought to heel by the dramatic arts time and time again. Whether it be yet […]

The Globe is wrong.

Let’s be fair. When she arrived, Michelle Terry said as the Artistic Director of The Globe that she would not be directing. She was always going to be, ironically, an acting Artistic Director. Some of us therefore thought the title was odd. But then she began. There were productions which were the first at the […]

From Scotland: Another Fine Show To Follow…

In December 2022 I went off to watch, in the Southside of Glasgow, a disabled theatre company – handily called the Southside Group –I had seen virtually online and had loved their work. With the return to live performance getting the opportunity to see them up close was too good to miss. Here we hear […]

Lockdown for many theatre companies was one of the most challenging times, however for some it was an opportunity to spread their wings and do some new things. And there was something stirring in the Southside of Glasgow, where a learning disabled group took to the internet and showed themselves off with a wonderful piece […]

The Importance of Being An Earnest Reviewer – Kind of…

(With apologies…Kind of…) In April of this year, the Oliviers were back. After three years of not celebrating those who have got to the be seen as the best in theatre … We celebrated them publicly and without Zoom. But… There was one story that was deep in my heart. It reminded me that the […]

Anti-semitism – Still a Stain…

I write a column or many for an American website. One of the articles I used to write included a man we got to call the Mango Mussolini. Donald J Trump, for it was he gave people a new reason to be stupid. He emboldened huge numbers of people who were challenged by Velcro. I […]

Keep em keeping on…

I wear a mask. I always have. I possibly always will do. I also have had COVID. Most of those closest to me have also had the positive test from the throat and back of the nose jobby. It was unpleasant and it was uncomfortable, but it was a reminder of how easily we can […]

Faithless, Faith

Over the last week or so the tribunal has judged actress Seyi Omooba’s case against venue and her former agents. She lost. I could have guessed what the outcome would be. Predicting the result was as obvious as case was fascinating. There are emerging themes which I think are quite unnerving. Firstly, Omooba admitted that, […]

The place may go, but the feeling remains…

The other day I went past the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow. It is my favourite place of theatrical magic. Since being a very young lad, I was transfixed by the venue, at one point buying my son a birthday present of the same seat for a season of productions at a venue where I saw […]

We can’t can we? Or should we?

When the world shifts from should we to we can’t, it becomes a dangerous place. There has been a lot of noise around should we. Should we follow up the applause with proper pay for NHS staff? Should we put money into furlough schemes for workers? Should we save all the artists as well as […]

Theatre Returns? A Tribute?

I once wrote a tribute to tribute bands. It was not my best work. It was in many ways simply a tribute, but the tribute fell away When I started to look at how they were copies and how they weren’t the same, I decided I wouldn’t call them out, And I wouldn’t mention them […]

One in, one out?

By Fringe Review, Scottish Editor, Donald C Stewart Right now I would normally be working through my big book of Fringe possible and whittling down to the top 10 Scottish and the top 10 Youth theatre shows for Paul to put up on our website but I am not this year. The Fringe is, however, […]

Me, Beckett and Aye…

By Donald C Stewart I can’t stand the work of Samuel Beckett. There I said it. Make me an artistic pariah if you want but I don’t care. This week I may have had an epiphany because I suddenly got an insight into his work that hitherto I had never had. I have not seen […]

Equality, Diversity, Artistry?

By Donald C Stewart The last season of Silent Witness was again heralded by the appearance of Liz Carr in a central role. Such a mainstream win for a disabled actor and activist was seen as evidence that the tide was turning; we were becoming more inclusive. She decided to pursue other challenges at the […]

Lockdown Black and Blues

“Hibernation will allow us to conserve the limited resource we have through the dark winter of Covid-19” artistic director David Greig Theatre is bruised by the whole experience of COVID-19, however twice as many people go to the theatre annually than attend football. Let that sink in for a second. The reality is, however, that we […]

Dear Cabinet Secretary…

Friday, May 8, 2020 Fiona Hyslop MSP Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture The Scottish Government St. Andrew’s House Regent Road Edinburgh EH1 3DG   Dear Cabinet Secretary, Firstly, let me apologise. I am no great thinker and no great philosopher. My reason for writing is, however, both personal and professional; such a […]

To thine ownself be careful with your opinions?

By Scottish Editor, Donald C Stewart It was last year that I was compelled to write about the case of Seyi Omooba. Seyi was the actress sacked or let go, depending upon your point of view, as she had expressed feelings on homosexuality that many, I among them, found incompatible with playing the central role […]

Summer? Cancelled…

My summer is finished. It didn’t even begin but now it has come to a stuttering end. The Fringe is aff. Not just a wee bit aff, not just a little delay, not even just a postponement whilst we think of something a little more creative. It’s done, dead, no longer and ceased for 2020. […]

Whatever Happened to Jaggy Nettles Interview

Scottish Editor, Donald C Stewart caught up with Alan and Carly to talk about their new play by a care experienced ensemble that will bring punk back centre stage in February in Glasgow!! “We’re a punk band. A politically motivated Marxist punk band that want tae bring doun the rich by any means necessary!” It’s […]

Peril at Perth…

“I would like to thank both Mark and Robert for their service and commitment during their time with us … and wish them every success in the future.” * No such announcement comes when there is a parting of the ways with Boards of artistic companies. Resignations and leaving for a mutually acceptable reason seem […]

Oh Theatre of Scotland – Can You Hear Me???

The last season of Silent Witness on the BBC was again heralded by the appearance of Liz Carr in a central role. Such a mainstream win for a disabled actor and activist was seen as evidence that the tide was turning; we were becoming more inclusive. For years on the Archers on Radio 4 there […]

Out from the Shadows Comes…

The results are in, the shutter down and Edinburgh, the Festival city is getting ready for whatever extravaganza is happening next – Hogmanay anyone? And the hidden things that people don’t see have had their fanfare. What has been hidden? This year during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019, 85 sensory packs were provided for autistic […]

Up The Junction!

It would be easy to over exaggerate and suggest that there is not a year goes by without yet another creative tragedy as this project, that venue or this company have folded due to THE CUTS. I have performed and directed in venues that are closed from the Civic Theatre in Ayr to the Ramshorn […]

Donald Stewart talks to Simon Weir about Benny Lynch

Donald talked to Simon Weir. Listen to Donald Stewart’s interview with Simon Weir It’s always an immense pleasure to catch up with one of the most enthusiastic theatre makers in Scotland and Simon never disappoints. Following his hit tour of The Benny Lynch Story I caught up with him for over an hour of hearing […]

I Start to Get to the 1%

The postman walked away much lighter afterwards… The letterbox groaned, just a little as it swallowed it up… Before spewing it onto a mat which became less heavy after it was lifted up… It’s here and it is hefty. We are but two months way from the opening weekend and it has new venues, new […]

Thankfully, let there be no forgiveness…

Saturday 8th June 2019 The headline did it for me. “ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DAVID LEDDY ENDS HIS THEATRE CAREER.” Surely, say it is not so, I thought…And yet, who can blame him? I, theatrically, grew up in an age of Wildcat, 7:84 Theatre Company, Borderline and the continuation of cash that was the annual Scottish Arts […]

I Got Taken Somewhere and It Was Lovely…

There was much gnawing of teeth and gnashing of brows when the Arches closed their doors thanks to the overbearing and ridiculous decision to refuse a licence to the venue for fear of further drugs deaths when the venue had been at the forefront of trying to prevent them. It deprived the theatre world of […]


It’s that time in the frozen north, whilst FringeReview is down in Brighton, we get something like the following from those hoping to be a hit in August: – Dear Fringe Reviewer person, The company who have employed me because they have enough money to spend on me sending emails in the hope that you […]


Award season is rife for most of the arts and we have BAFTA things going on the TV. It’s exciting for people and not to be outdone, Scottish theatre have their own awards night and ceremony for the “best” in Scottish theatre coming up soon. I have best in italics for a simple reason. The […]

Subsidy Junkies or Toadies… Or Sirs of the Realm…

At what point is it all right to bite that hands that feeds you? I remember many years ago I spent a weekend in Fintry in a log cabin. It was a weekend of working as a volunteer Tory – I know… The local MP was Mike Forsyth, arch Tory and Thatcherite and he was […]

What’s D’pigging, Point?

If there is a theatrical and creative equivalent of marmite, Mrs Brown’s Boys is it. I went to see it onstage at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow, many years ago and unashamedly laughed out loud and constantly. I was an Assessor for the Scottish Arts Council at the time and felt I was perhaps slumming […]

It’s No Laughing Matter…

Friday 19th April 2019 My partner, Lorna, has the soul of a saint. I am quite sure that every time she hears the starting phrase, “Do you fancy going to…” that her heart sinks a little. In the last few years we have seen some cracking theatre. We have also seen some things that have […]

Donald’s Blog

Last week an actress got sacked – not once but twice. Her crime? On the surface, her beliefs. Seyi Omooba was the actor, who was due to perform at the Birmingham Hippodrome as Celie in Color Purple. Those that know the book and the play know that Celie is an iconic character who escapes the […]

Access Denied? By Whom?

Thanks for accessing my blog! Here I recount tales, tell stories and reflect upon all things fringe theatre that comes my way. I hope to be able to promote things theatrical and can be contacted through my email on CommuneArts@GMail.com if people wish to take offence, make comment or offer advice! All will be welcomed… In the […]