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Mark Fisher
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.
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Blog Archive

Monday, February 27, 2006

New director for the Edinburgh International Festival

The next director of the Edinburgh International Festival is Jonathan Mills, who takes over from Brian McMaster in October 2006.

His background is in music but he's had experience programming theatre as the artistic director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Also on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links today: a link to my first report on the National Theatre of Scotland's Home project published in The Guardian.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

National Theatre of Scotland gets under way

Spent the past few days racing up and down the country seeing five of the ten plays in the National Theatre of Scotland's inaugural Home project. In honour of the occasion I've set up a new page on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links dedicated to the National Theatre of Scotland. Over the next couple of days I'll be adding my reviews of the first week.

Also on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links today is a link to an interview with Linda Marlowe (insider insight: I did this interview in the summer and have patiently waited until now to use it) and the news that the new director of the Edinburgh International Festival will be announced tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

7:84 under threat/Lorca reviewed

Latest writing on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links. Thoughts about the future of 7:84, which has its funding threatened by the Scottish Arts Council. And, in my role as theatre critic, a review of Blood Wedding joins my Citizens' Theatre reviews

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lost in translation

Today you can find me saying something or other in Slovak in the Bratislava-based SME newspaper. English speakers should stick with me at Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Valentine's Romeo and Juliet

Published coincidentally on Valentine's Day, my review of Romeo and Juliet at the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, is published in today's edition of The Guardian. See Citizens' Theatre Reviews

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Polish performance art, a transgendered playwright and Edward Scissorhands

All life is there in the three articles by me published today. In Scotland on Sunday, you can read about playwright John Clifford as he translates Goethe's Faust with reference to his own experience of being transgendered. In the same paper, there's a short review of the National Review of Live Art - follow the link in the Latest Articles column on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links. And still with my theatre critic hat on, there's a review of Edward Scissorhands in the Sunday Times - also in the Latest Articles column.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

National Theatre of Scotland draws near

All praise to the wit of Paul Iles at the Blackpool Grand who's launching a National Theatre of Variety a matter of days before the launch of the National Theatre of Scotland. Whether his variety artistes will be able to upstage Scottish theatre's ambitious Home project remains to be seen. He's got stiff competition in the form of ten shows performed up and down Scotland in unconventional theatre spaces. I've written about four of them for the Hi-Arts journal. Follow the link on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links in the Latest Articles column.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Review of Communciado's The Memorandum

Gerda Stevenson's production of Vaclav Havel's The Memorandum for Communicado began a Scottish tour at the weekend. I caught it at a matinee at Perth Theatre and my review is published in The Guardian today. I interviewed Gerda Stevenson last week about the production - follow the link on the latest articles column on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sounds of Progress sounds like progress

The new show by Sounds of Progress is written by RSC actor Forbes Masson, stars four performers from Tanzania and a lead actor in a wheelchair. Read my article in today's Scotland on Sunday by following the link in my list of latest articles at Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Performance art, live art, avant garde . . . you name it

Today you'll find me huffing, but mainly puffing about performance art, which is suddently everywhere in Scotland: three festivals taking place this month. Are people intimidated by it and if so should they be? The article is published in The Scotsman and you'll find it here: performance art

Friday, February 03, 2006

How to get a credit card with the Royal Bank of Scotland

After nearly a year of trying, I finally got a credit card for my Royal Bank of Scotland business account today. Here is the story, one you won't find on my website, in all of its ridiculous detail.

♦March 2005: You set up your business account, request a credit card and sign various documents.

♦A few weeks later: you haven't heard anything about the credit card, so you call the business advisor. It seems you hadn't filled in the form, so he'll send you one in the post.

♦A few weeks later: you haven't heard anything about your application, so you call the business advisor. He tells you that head office had returned the form, but he could see nothing wrong with it, so he has resubmitted it.

♦A few weeks later: you haven't heard anything, so you call again. The business advisor is on holiday but his boss tells you that you've been given the wrong form and that for a business credit card you need to prove you have equity. She'll send you the right form.

♦Some time later: You're told there's a new type of credit card which doesn't need equity and you receive what you believe are the right forms.

♦A few weeks later: you haven't heard anything, so you call again. You are told the business advisor no longer works at the branch and his boss is away. Someone else calls you back to tell you that you are no longer the responsibility of anyone in your local branch but someone at a branch further away. This is news to you. They will refer your case to him.

♦Two weeks later: the business relationship manager in the second branch sends you a letter. He thanks you for your "recent" application for a business credit card. He probably doesn't get the joke. He gives you yet another form to fill in. Clearly the Royal Bank doesn't have enough information about you. You suspect the bank doesn't have business credit cards and is too embarrassed to admit it.

♦Around the same time: you see an advert for the Royal Bank telling you what a wonderful personal service it offers. It mentions nothing about waiting nine months to get the right forms or being moved without notification from one branch to the other. Your realise the new business relationship manager probably thinks it's a bit rubbish too, but he didn't commission the adverts.

♦Through all this time: you wonder why you've been paying bank charges every month on your Royal Bank personal account caused by not having a company credit card.

♦End of November: you fill in the latest form and send it to the man at the second branch in the vain hope that this will be the one that clinches it.

♦December: The business relationship manager calls you up, apologises for the delays so far, but promises that the card has been approved and it'll be on its way.

♦Some time later in December. Another call from the business relationship manager. It seems the whole process has gone on for so long that the application forms have been redesigned. So although your credit card has been approved, you can't get it until you've filled in yet another form. He'll send it in the post.

♦January: You fill in the new form, get it countersigned and returned to you, then return it to the bank.

♦February: Just before the year is out, the credit card arrives. Easy really, isn't it?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More on the National Theatre of Scotland

The new-look website of the all-new National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) is up and running. Follow the link here: National Theatre of Scotland And it's looking pretty good. Inevitably there are some areas still to be developed, but for now there's extensive details of the organisation's first few shows (including dates for Grid Iron's Roam, previously not announced) and some insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of the organisation. I've just finished an article for Hi-Arts, the Highlands and islands web journal, about the NTS opening production, Home, which takes place in ten locations around Scotland. In the Highlands and islands, you can see performances on a Shetland ferry and in a doll's house in a shop in Stornoway. The only frustration will be not getting to see all ten shows - it's physically impossible to see more than a handful. Keep track of new articles on my website

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Scottish theatre links update

New on the Scottish theatre links today is a rather nice picture from Glasgow's Arches Theatre to promote Inferno, the company's first in-house production of 2006, its 15th anniversary year. You can see it here Arches Theatre company

Yesterday's blog claiming the NTS detailed programme would be online proved to have been premature. The site says it'll be there today. National Theatre of Scotland