The Homecoming to Scotland is now complete and with a return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with what I called my Burns Cabaret Hour, I feel that I have now made a real start at living and working again in my own country. (Check out YouTube: Henderson’s Coffee with Cairney & Joyce Cairns Gunn with John Cairney.) The welcome I’ve been given by audiences has been so warm that I feel I should go away more often in order to enjoy this kind of reception.
This was also evident at the Milngavie Festival, where there was a full house for ‘The William McGonagall Story’ followed by ‘Open to Question’ at the Milngavie Bookshop. And two nights later, extra seating was brought in for ‘Blackout’, A Boy’s Eye View of World War Two. This was all the more poignant because it played only two days after the 70th anniversary of the Second World War. I was even more delighted by the success of these evenings because of the way it reflected well on Susan Frize, the owner of the Milngavie Bookshop and the mainspring of the Milngavie Festival. She is certainly a force to be reckoned with and lovely with it.
My current working day couldn’t be fuller in that when I’m not performing, I’m busy writing and when time allows, painting. The latest writing commission was ‘The Boyhood of Burns’, nine five minute playlets involving young school children to be performed in Maybole at Halloween. I’m really quite excited by this as it’s an aspect of Burns that hasn’t been dealt with much and the Boyhood gives a good opportunity of this charismatic and prismatic figure.
The painting exhibition at the Cockburn Gallery in Maybole has now finished, with a good local reaction and one sale. This little Gallery is Maybole’s main street and well worth a visit. The current show is by Gordon Cockburn himself, dealing with Auschwitz. It is extremely powerful. I’m now working towards my next exhibition at The Ceilidh Place at Ullapool next summer.
But most exciting is the launch of this upgraded website, which I hope you will enjoy. Over the coming weeks I shall be adding more video content including live performances, discussions about writing and acting as well as answering questions. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will join me on this new adventure into Web2.0!