The Pure, The Dead, and The Brilliant

15 Jul

The Pure, The Dead, and The Brilliant

What would happen if the bogles, banshees, demons and selkies of Scots folklore were involved in the independence referendum? Elaine C Smith leads a cast of some of Scotland’s finest actors, and surprise cameos, in Alan Bissett’s sparkling satire.

The Pure, The Dead, and The Brilliant runs from July 31st to August 24th at The Ballroom, The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Tickets are available here and you can RSVP here.


29 May

Grab a drink and pull up a chair for a group therapy session with a difference!

Jacqueline (pure name “Jacquoranda”) has seen the light. She’s conquered her demons, achieved inner peace and met the man of her dreams. Or has she?

Put yourself in Jacquoranda’s hands in this highly interactive and entertaining play by Alan Bissett and let her guide you through a voyage of self-discovery. Or something like that. Just make sure you keep an eye on your drink at all times!

As Jacquoranda teeters on the edge of the wagon, she slowly reveals the truth behind her newly enlightened status and the audience, in turn, achieve a breakthrough of their own. Just not the one you’re expecting…

Various venues:
Tue 17 Jun: 8pm The Green Hotel, Kinross
Wed 18 Jun: 8pm Kenmore Hotel, Kenmore
Thu 19 Jun: 8pm McKays Bar & Restaurant, Pitlochry
Fri 20 Jun: 8pm The Famous Grouse Experience, Crieff
Tue 24 Jun: 8pm Blair Atholl Village Hall, Blair Atholl
Wed 25 Jun: 8pm Dunning Hotel, Dunning
Thu 26 Jun: 6pm Taybank Hotel, Dunkeld
Fri 27 Jun: 8pm Redrooms, Perth Theatre
Fri 28 Jun: 8pm Redrooms, Perth Theatre

£5; no concessions
Age guidance: 16+

Tickets are available to book here.

Yes in the Park

28 May

Yes in the Park is an event being organised centrally within Lanarkshire to promote the benefits of Scottish Independence. It will take place in Strathclyde Park on Saturday 7th of June, featuring guest speakers and live music, and I will be onstage at 1:20pm.

Tickets are free and available here.

April Dates

21 Mar

At this years’ Aye Write Festival I’ll be discussing masculinity alongside Luke Brown on Friday, 4th of April. Tickets and more information are available here.

If you missed my solo show Ban This Filth! at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe you can see it again on:

Wednesday 9th of April, Thursday 10th and Friday 11th @ The Arches, Glasgow. Tickets are £12/10 and available to book here.

Then, the following week, I’ll be taking the show on the road, and you’ll be able to see Ban This Filth! on:

April 15th (Tues) @ Glen Urquhart Public Hall, Drumnadrochit. Doors open at 7:30pm and tickets are available here.
April 16th (Wed) @ Mull Theatre, Tobermory. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are available here.
April 17th (Thurs) @ Dunoon Burgh Hall, Dunoon. Doors open at 7pm and more information is available here.
April 19th (Sat) @ Strathpeffer Pavilion, Strathpeffer. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are available here.
April 20th (Sun) @ The Drouthy Cobbler Bar, Elgin. Doors open at 7:30pm and tickets are available here.


March Dates

26 Feb

I’ve got a couple of gigs on:

March 5th (Wed) @ Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh. Come along and hear the case for a Yes vote in September’s referendum, then put your questions to speakers Feargal Dalton (Ex Lieutenant Commander R.N. (Submarines)), Michelle Thomson (Director of Business For Scotland), Robin McAlpine (Director of Jimmy Reid Foundation) and myself. For more info and to RSVP, click here.
March 6th (Thurs) @ The Counting House (Pear Tree), West Nicholson Street, Edinburgh.
The Significant Seven – 7 of Scotland’s most exciting writers, including me, Vicki JarrettGraham FultonAllan WilsonRachel McCrumDickson Telfer and Samuel Best. Free and unticketed. 7:30pm start.
March 7th (Fri) @ The Glad Cafe, Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow.  Greendig 2 – a comedy night hosted by the Glasgow Green Party. Featuring me,  Ally Houston, Patrick Rolink and Andy Reid (compere). £8 waged, £5 unwaged/NMW. Pay on the door. Reserve your place by RSPVing here.
March 11th (Tues) @ Dobbie Hall, Main Street, Larbert. Yes Stenhousemuir and Larbert public meeting. Chairing the meeting is Michael Matheson MSP and on the panel are Sarah-Jane Walls (Business for Scotland and Women4Independence), Allan Grogan (Leader of Labour for Independence), Fiona Hyslop (Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs), Connor Cloughley (Larbert High School Pupil) and myself. Doors open at 7pm.
March 26th (Wed) @ Dalkeith Arts Centre. Yes Dalkeith public meeting. Speakers include Joan MacAlpine MSP (Journalist), Natalie McGarry (Women for Independence), and myself. Doors open at 7pm.
March 27th (Thurs) @ St Bryce Kirk, Kirkcaldy. Yes Kirkcaldy public meeting. Doors open at 7pm .
March 28th (Fri) @ MacRobert Building, University of Aberdeen. Aberdeen’s weekend of Yes. Speakers include Patrick Harvey MSP (Scottish Green Party), Allan Grogan (Labour for Independence), Natalie McGarry (Women for Independence) and myself. Doors open at 7:30pm.


The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant

14 Feb
Dear Yes Scotland/Alan Bissett supporters! A special shout-out. My team and I are calling upon you to help fund our  pro-indy play The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant at the Fringe this August, one month before the referendum. It’s a great, rambunctious, rallying-call of a script, but it needs you before it can reach a stage! There are lots of goodies in return for your donation and you can pledge support here

I’d appreciate it so very, very much.

Alan x

Alan Bissett

Glasgow University Rectorial Election

7 Feb

I have been nominated for the position of Rector at Glasgow University by the Glasgow University Yes Society, which campaigns for Scottish independence on campus. I plan to run on a platform of reining in senior management pay, promoting gender equality on campus and upholding the rights of immigrant and refugee students. You can read my full manifesto below and follow my campaign on Facebook and Twitter, or get in touch via email at
The election will be conducted electronically over two days from Monday 17 February until 4 pm on Tuesday 18 February 2014.


I’m thrilled to be standing to become the next Rector of Glasgow University, a fantastic institution which makes a great contribution to Scotland and to the world. My first and foremost priority as Rector would be to actively represent the interests of students on campus. I want to hold regular surgeries, aiming to have a surgery at least every three weeks, with dates of surgeries set out far in advance so that students know when they can come to me for advice or to air their concerns.

As Rector, one of my main aims would be to improve gender equality on campus and make Glasgow more inclusive. It’s striking that less than 25% of members of the University Court are women, which is below even the poor national average. For a body responsible for governing the University, the fact that it is so unrepresentative of the student population is unacceptable. If elected Rector, I want to use my position to pressure the University to change this, and would aim to get at least 40% of University Court members to be female by 2017. I want to support the Glasgow University Union in implementing the findings of its independent review, which discovered sexist practices, and work alongside the Union to make it more inclusive. I’m also interested in looking at how we can encourage more female participation in classes and tutorials. As a former tutor at Glasgow, I saw first-hand that male students were often more likely to participate in tutorials than female students. There’s no easy way to alter this situation, but if elected Rector I would want to hold discussions with academic staff and student bodies on how to change this. Finally, I think it’s important that we look at reforming the nomination procedure for Rector. The fact that all four candidates for Rector at a university with a predominantly female student population are male is quite an anomaly, and whilst I asked the University to extend the nomination deadline so that a female candidate could be nominated, this was not permitted. I’d be looking to change the nomination process to ensure a greater gender balance in future.

At a time when University staff are facing a real terms wage cut, I don’t think senior management should be awarding themselves substantial pay increases on their already-immense pay packets. As Rector, I would seek to use my position on the University Court to pressure senior management to show pay restraint in solidarity with staff.

I also want to help student asylum seekers and refugees to feel welcome coming to study here, and to stand up for their right to come and study in this amazing city. In doing so, I think it’s important that I listen to student asylum seekers and refugees, as well as groups such as GU Amnesty International, Student Action for Refugees and Crossing Borders, to find out what I can do as Rector to help.
I’d like to see the University add its support to the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, and to review its procurement procedures to ensure that it isn’t sourcing electronic goods produced with conflict minerals, particularly from the war-torn Congo. Since 1996, the International Rescue Committee has calculated that approximately 5.4 million people in the Congo have died from war-related causes. Further to this, the trade in conflict minerals earns armed militia groups, some of those behind the worst human rights violations in the conflict, tens of millions of pounds a year. It is crucial that the University acts as a voice to pressure its suppliers to source their raw materials ethically in order to stop groups like these profiteering from violence and suffering.

Finally, I will do my best to support arts activities on campus, whether these are theatre groups, creative writing magazines or live music nights. These things, after all, form the lifeblood of a thriving student experience.


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