The Beatles’ fourth visit to the city in December of 1965 turned out to be their last as a group.

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John Lennon and Ringo Starr leave Glasgow’s Odeon Cinema by the side door.

What would turn out to be The Beatles’ final UK tour began in December 1965 with two shows in one night at Glasgow’s Odeon Cinema. Opening in 1934 and closing in 2006, the Odeon was situated at the junction between Renfield Street and West Regent Street in the city centre’s heart. The Beatles had played the Odeon Cinema three times previously. In June 1963 with Roy Orbison, then in their own right when they packed two houses in one night in both April and October of 1964.

Paul McCartney remembered their first appearance in the city when talking with John…


Russell T. Davies’s latest series set in the 1980s to the backdrop of the growing AIDS epidemic captures a world of fun, excitement and terror in a tale of coming of age and coming out.

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Picture copyright Channel Four.

The five-episode miniseries is set in London from 1981 to 1991. A group of 18-year-olds begin their new lives. As they live and love a virus begins to loom over them. It premiered on Channel Four in January and comes to HBO Max on 18th February.

After a decade in children’s television and soap operas, Russell T. Davies made his reputation with Queer as Folk (1999–2000), a show that moved gay characters on television from the shadows and placed them front and centre. …


A character actor throughout the 70s and 80s who held his own alongside everyone from Robert Mitchum to Frank Sinatra.

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Steven Keats in Starsky and Hutch (1975). Copyright Spelling-Goldberg Productions.

“Nobody told Kirk Douglas to fill in the dimple on his chin, so why should they tell me to fill in the gap between my two front teeth? I can put caps on them, the same as I can put a hump on my back. That’s what an actor does; he changes physically and psychologically from role to role”.

1970s American films threw up a number of reliable character actors whose faces seem familiar even if you can’t always recall their names. Steven Keats may well fall into that bracket. …


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Al Pacino in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? Photo by AP.

A cinema legend with roles in movies such as The Godfather, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and Heat Al Pacino has never been far from the theatre. It was where he first displayed his outstanding acting talent, with blistering performances that rivetted crowds. Over the years, however, his screen presence, while a draw for audiences, could overwhelm the roles he took on.

When he uttered his first line on stage in front of a paying audience, in a 1963 production of William Saroyan’s Hello Out There Pacino had such a shock he might never have gone on stage again.

“The audience…


Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon on a motrocylce in Harold and Maude (1971)
Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon on a motrocylce in Harold and Maude (1971)
Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Released in late 1971 Harold and Maude portrayed the relationship between the 20-year-old death-obsessed Harold (Bud Cort) and the 79-year-old life-loving Maude (Ruth Gordon) who meet while attending the funerals of strangers for fun.

It was director Hal Ashby’s second film following 1970’s The Landlord. The movie, while unpalatable to a lot of viewers’ tastes on release has over the years transcended cult classic status to become simply a classic.

Here are fourteen points of interest in the film’s history.

The Script Was Written by a Pool Cleaner

Speaking to Peter Biskind for his book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls vice-president of production for Paramount Pictures Peter Bart said…


Eric Bana leans against a railing in a still from movie The Dry (2021).
Eric Bana leans against a railing in a still from movie The Dry (2021).
Eric Bana in The Dry. Picture by Made Up Stories Pty Ltd

Recently released to Australian box office success The Dry sees Eric Bana star as Federal Agent Aaron Falk returning to his home town after twenty years away. There’s a mystery to solve, not just in the present day but from his past in this adaptation of Jane Harper’s bestselling novel.

Here’s a look at nine other films where the lead character returns to their home town. It doesn’t always go well.

Get Carter (UK, Mike Hodges, 1971)


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Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash.

Once you’ve got an idea for a play the next thing to do is get it down on the page. The first draft. For some writers the easiest stage, for others the most daunting. Here’s how some playwrights go about it.

First Drafts

“Plays often have no more words than a longish mid-length short story so it is possible to write a draft in a week or less. I wrote Temptress’s ten thousand words in three days of lying on a couch, napping, listening to music, reading and writing the occasional burst of dialogue. I write a first draft by hand and…


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Photo by Mike Tinnion on Unsplash.

How do playwrights get ideas? How do they begin writing their plays? What do they do to get the first draft completed? Below are some thoughts from playwrights on how they begin.

Ideas and Getting Started

“I’m a thorough planner. I don’t write from nothing onto the page. There are five stages of the writing process for me. There’s a lengthy period of months and months of mulling. I move from what Peter Brook describes as “a formless hunch” to starting work on a play. I’ve got to go very slowly with it. The slowness is key. Then I will start researching — reading…


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Morrissey performing at the Hop Farm Music Festival in July 2011 by Man Alive! on Flickr.

There was a time not so long ago when Morrissey’s lyrics inspired fans to have them tattooed on their skin. Now Morrissey’s words are more likely to generate a sickening feeling in even the most die-hard Mozzerite. But for the length of this article let’s overlook his support of the far-right and his numerous racist comments and focus on what I think are his ten best songs, in chronological order, that can stand alongside his work with The Smiths.

“It makes me sound like a racehorse.”

Morrissey on being asked by Nick Kent if he minded being called ‘Mozz’.

Suedehead


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England embarked upon a three-game tour of South America in June of 1984. They would play Uruguay and Chile, but their only win would be in this their first match.

Played on Sunday 10th June this game in front of around 60,000 spectators at Rio’s Maracana was a friendly in aid of the Brazilian football association’s 70th anniversary. The match was live on UK television, but only the second half. ITV showed Cillia Black’s hit show Surprise, Surprise and then the News while the first half played out.

England lined up as: Peter Shilton, Michael Duxbury, Kenny Sansom, Ray Wilkins…

Tom Brogan

Writing about writing, films, music, football and television.

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