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 a venue that was incredibly challenging and decidedly creative.
The influence that came from first Andy Arnold (Now of the Tron) and then Jackie Wylie (Now of the National Theatre of Scotland) and their wish list of better and more “out there” theatre led to an amazing array of artists who were given a chance, a space and a platform.
Right now, the Take Me Somewhere Festival of contemporary international performance is taking the cudgels up and giving us a taste of what we have been missing. I have seen one thing and it was really good – the rest might not be as good – in fact reviews suggest they aint all as good as what I saw – but hey festivals are festivals and The Arches should be more than fondly remembered it should be celebrated from the rooftops.
All credit to Take Me Somewhere doing just that!! I cannot put it better than they do – so I won’t… They explain thus, “The festival provides a crucial support structure and platform for Scotland’s most vital artists, combined with some of the world’s most cutting-edge contemporary performance makers. Take Me Somewhere’s presence pulsates across the city with inspirational work igniting the city’s main stages, arts venues, churches, nightclubs and gardens. The festival – which has innovative performance at its core – acts as a connector between people, work and ideas, and is inspired by the talent, energy and voracity of the city’s arts community. It’s a space for crucial, diverse voices from here and abroad that take us somewhere in our personal and collective journeys, understanding the globalised and multicultural world we live in; voices that allow us to consider where we are now and envisage what a future somewhere could be.”