BookMark Book Festival

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BookMark Book Festival

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The Makar Maks a Grand Start

21st Oct 2013

On Friday Scots Makar and veteran of the book festival circuit helped launch BOOKMARK, the first book festival of its kind for Blairgowrie, Rattrray and The Glens. And she did it in predictably dramatic style. 

She began her performance with ‘The Choosing’, an autobiographical poem which traces the development of two bright schoolgirls who share the top place in the class. As in so much of Lochhead’s writing, here she starts with a familiar narrative with a recognisable setting and then deftly weaves in a telling social commentary on the human condition. The future of both girls depends on ‘choices’ and these are, in part, determined by social class and economic power.

She kept the capacity audience entertained with a range of poems, from those in Scots dialect (a word she dislikes, preferring to call it ‘home-town’ speech) to dramatic monologues which wittily displayed her capacity to replicate a cast of voices from Glasgow’s landscape. Perhaps the most entertaining of all her pieces was the exchange between two women who meet up after many years at a reunion: the affected accent of the social climber from the affluent suburbs gloating over the misfortunes of former acquaintances from the past prompted much laughter from the audience. Lochhead excels at using satire to expose human frailties such as snobbery, bigotry and greed. But she does so gently, without malice and with enormous humanity. And the audience loved her for it.


It was absolutely first class in every way and sincerely I wouldn't change a thing about Bookmark! Honestly!

Alex Gray (author)

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