Fab range of activities, music and much Muir!

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The Thomas Muir Festival is now in its third year and a fantastic range of activities are taking place in East Dunbartonshire this week.

Thomas Muir is known as the ‘father of Scottish democracy’ and two of the flagship events at the 2013 festival are the Symposium taking place at Douglas Academy in Milngavie today (Wednesday, November 13) and the Festival Concert on Saturday (November 16).

The programme for 2013 also features events in Bishopbriggs Library, the Fort Theatre and the Thomas Muir Coffee Shop at Huntershill Village.

Jimmy Watson, chairman of the Friends of Thomas Muir and co-ordinator of the 2013 festival, said: “The festival has grown each year since we started and gone from strength to strength.

“We have a wide range of events, including music, theatre, kids shows, concerts, play readings, history talks, canal cruise, etc.

“One of our aims is to encourage local kids to engage in creative and artistic projects. We provide a platform, where they can create and participate in music, theatre, debate and art. There’s loads for all the family – in all it’s a great wee festival on the doorstep of Glasgow.”

The Thomas Muir Festival is concentrated in Bishopbriggs, but has extended East Dunbartonshire-wide in recent years.

This year’s Symposium – ‘The Scottish Radicals and the Rebellion of 1820’ – takes place today (Wednesday) from 1.30pm–4.15pm at Douglas Academy, Milngavie.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration for the council, said: “I’m pleased that the festival is growing year on year and celebrating the works of this important historical figure.

“I’d encourage everyone to take part in the festival programme, whether it be a trip to the theatre, a canal trip or attending the Symposium or Festival Concert.”

The Festival Friday Concert – ‘An Evening in celebration of Thomas Muir’ – takes place in Cadder Church, Bishopbriggs, on Friday from 7.30–9.30pm – featuring Kirkintilloch Male Voice Choir.

The Festival Saturday Concert takes place at the Fort Theatre, Bishopbriggs, on Saturday from 7pm and features ‘The Big Shoogle and Rallion hosted by comic Lewis Macleod’.

Rallion – one of the most respected bands on the Scottish music circuit – bring a unique and powerful folk sound, starring Stevie Lawrence from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Headline act The Big Shoogle are a four-piece ceilidh band, but with a twist!

This band might be best described as “when William Wallace meets the Rolling Stones” – an electric mix of traditional Scottish and well-known pop and rock anthems.

For full details of the festival activities visit www.thomasmuir.co.uk

Meanwhile, organisers are celebrating funding success – with support from East Dunbartonshire Arts Council (EDAC) and the Community Grants Scheme.

The EDAC funding is specifically to assist the Bishopbriggs Academy plays being performed at the Fort Theatre and the Auchinairn Primary School Art Exhibition at the Thomas Muir Coffee Shop.

Other highlights include a ‘Cinderella’ panto presented by Hopscotch Theatre from 2.30pm-3.30pm on Saturday – only £5 a ticket.

One of Scotland’s leading children’s theatre companies, Hopscotch has been creating high quality, hilarious, cross-curricular performances and drama workshops for young people for the last 24 years.

Also on Saturday you can ‘Cruise the Thomas Muir Heritage Trail’ for £5 per person.

There will be a talk from local expert Don Martin, stopping off to visit Cadder Church where Thomas Muir was an elder. The Rev. Graham Finch will also talk about Muir’s incredible life.

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