Some Penicuik events in 2001

(click for today’s up-to-date events upcoming and recent)


December 2001


Christmas Decorations Workshop


PCAA presents


ARTS CENTRE 8 December




November 2001



Arts Centre: 24 November




Roger Kelly in association with PCAA presents




in 2 performances at


9 November: 7pm & 9pm

Tickets £8 (£5 conc) -refreshments

As a greenhorn Herald hack I was required by the editor to produce a lengthy obituary of Glasgow shrink R.D.Laing in short order on the evening we learned of his death. The piece has remained one of those of which I am most proud. Mike Maran’s new show puts that small achievement in overdue perspective.


Maran, in a masterpiece of storytelling to follow the huge success of his staging of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin has a simple thesis: that R.D.Lang’s great humanity and sensitivity has been buried beneath a reputation as a pop-psychologist,philosopher and sixties guru that does the man himself few favours.


Resplendent in a red suit and fuelled by regular measures of Glenmorangie, Maran draws on personal acquaintance as well as medical case studies to build an affectionate but objective picture of the man. His partner on stage is jazz pianist, Dave Milligan, with a part improvised soundtrack that takes in Billy Strayhorn, Keith Jarrett, and, crucially – Lang’s contemporary, Bill Evans. He accompanies a performance full of funny stories and witty lines – another touching triumph from Maran.

-Keith Bruce, Arts Editor, The Herald



The genre to which Mike Maran’s one man show about psychiatrist R.D.Laing belongs is the lecture. Not any lecture, but a blue-riband one, drawing on Maran’s talent as a communicator and his background knowledge of his subject, supported with live piano music by David Milligan. Maran begins with Laing’s funeral in 1989. ‘He should have been cremated,’ he says. ‘The whisky fuelled flames would have carried his soul into the air.’ aing grew up in Ardbeg Street, at the respectable end of the Gorbals. Maran calls him the Scottish pop-shrink, rebel, yogi, philosopher and healer and spell-blindingly proves that this was so. His script is quintessentially Glaswegian: mordant, pungent, orgiastically celebrating little day to day bits of grotesque. This is remarkable because Maran is not Glaswegian – but he’s thought himself into his subject. The short history of psychiatry that comes out as a by-product of Laing’s life story is fascinating.


Maran gives graphic descriptions of therapeutic techniques – accepted until very recently – that make medical malpractice look like mistakes in a high school first aid class. Laing spent much of his life in open opposition to fellow practitioners who espoused these techniques. Laing became a psychiatist because as an ordinary doctor he became intrigued by a head injured patient who thought she was a horse. He practised in a large mental hospital in Glasgow, which he missed mightily after moving to London to psychoanalyse middle class neurotics. Laing’s book The Divided Self had meanwhile taken the world by storm. When the drink finally got him he left behind four widows and many children and as Maran tells us, his obiturist, Clancy Sigal, wrote: ‘Laing often walked on the other side of madness. Anything less was voyeurism.’ As an epitaph, Maran sings – beautifully – What Kind if Fool Am I? to the sympathetic, almost talkative piano that has punctuated the lecture all along.

-Bonnie Lee, The Scotsman 2001

Tickets £7 (concessions £5) Box office Arts Centre 01968 678804                                        




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Some earlier in 2011

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