Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


The closure of the Arches in Glasgow will be felt around the world

The Arches in Glasgow has gone into administration following the withdrawal of its late licence. The news is a significant blow to British theatre and performance, and to Glasgow’s reputation as a city that has always seemed to understand better than many others that it defines itself through the culture it makes and that it sends out across the rest of the UK and the world. Joyce McMillan, the influential theatre critic of the Scotsman, has described the loss of the Arches as “cultural vandalism”.

It is. The loss will not just be to Glasgow itself and the other Scottish cultural institutions that it feeds so regularly, but the whole of the UK theatre and performance ecology. Its tentacles spread out far and wide. For many English, Welsh and Northern Irish artists it is the place that they call home north of the border. Chris Goode was there last weekend with Stand, and artists from Chris Thorpe to Coney pass through. Major international artists including Gob Squad and Ann Liv Young perform there too.

But the traffic is always two-way. The Arches does more than invite and host. It has supported brilliant artists such as the late Adrian Howells reach their potential both as artists and mentors, and nurtured wave after wave of young artists, many emerging from the Royal Scottish Conservatoire’s influential contemporary performance practice course. It has done it with a generosity and a beady eye for the radical and distinctive that has helped them fly. People like Nic Green, Rosana Cade, Kieran Hurley, Gary McNair, Pete McMaster and Rob Drummond.

Many of those working in live art and performance across the UK got their earliest work seen via the National Review of Live Art, which made its home there for many years, or via the Behaviour or Arches Live programmes. The Arches was one of the reasons that in recent years Glasgow has become a magnet for young performance-makers; many of those who forge careers there take the work on to festivals and theatres across the world. It is as significant as Battersea Arts Centre, in London, in the way it nurtures tomorrow.

The great irony is that at a time when the government is always calling upon artists and arts organisations to look beyond subsidy and be more entrepreneurial, it is the Arches’ commercial business model – in which the club side of the business supported the art – that has resulted in this disaster. The Arches simply does not receive enough subsidy to keep supporting artists and presenting their work.

If there is no way back, the loss will be felt for years to come. No wonder there is such grief in Glasgow and across British theatre tonight.


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

You May Also Like


Professing to be the lead in Thai relationship with over 1.5 million enrolled single people, Cupid Media’s ThaiCupid brings the one in every of...


Read more about switzerland women here. Swiss ladies and men are not reknown for being the most chatty, outgoing or spontaneous when meeting strangers...


In food, if there is one thing you can say without fear of contradiction, it is this: Britain loves burgers. The UK market is...


An exclusive article form Orestis Karipis In the 1930’s and 1940’s acid was the weapon of deceived husbands and wives in the Western world...

Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved