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The 21 best events for Glasgow’s Christmanay fortnight

Nathan Coley, Lamp of Sacrifice

The time surrounding Christmas and Hogmanay is an odd one: a time of irregular working hours, leftovers for every meal and scraps of wrapping paper and tinsel floating around your flat like tumbleweed. Glasgow's cultural calendar does slow down around the same time - heck, even culture-makers need to take time off at Christmas - but there's still plenty to keep you occupied, from big Boxing Day cinema releases to the inevitable Hogmanay clubs blow-out. 

Things to do

Rally and Broad, Stereo, Sun Dec 28
Poets Rachel McCrum and Jenny Lindsay launch an afternoon ‘Hangover Special’ of their regular performance night, with guests nick-e melville, Zara Gladman and The Wee Terrors, Leo Glaister, Sam Small and Becci Wallace.

Glasgow Loves Christmas
, city centre, until Wed Dec 31

The city centre festival of seasonal frolics runs right up until the end of the year, with illuminations and ice skating on George Square a particular highlight.

21 Revolutions, Platform, until Sun Dec 7
Exhibition of words and art celebrating over two decades of the Glasgow Women’s Library, with input from Ciara Philips, Corin Sworn, Janice Galloway, AL Kennedy, Karla Black, Lucy Skaer and more.


Christmas shows at the Arches, until Sun Jan 4
Glasgow’s finest multi-purpose venue is hosting two Christmas shows this year: ‘The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot’ (until Sun Jan 4) is a kid-friendly tale of  Christmas spirit gone AWOL, while Gary McNair’s ‘War on Christmas’ (until Sun Dec 28) is a more cynical, adults-only satire following a novice Santa working in one of Glasgow’s most deprived areas.

A Christmas Carol, Citizens Theatre, until Sat Jan 3
Charles Dickens’ famous festive tale is the inspiration for the Citz’ 2014 Christmas show, helmed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Dominic Hill.

Miracle on 34 Parnie Street, Tron Theatre, until Sun Jan 4
Local theatremaker and panto rejuvenator Johnny McKnight writes, directs and stars in his latest production for the Tron, a gender-bending Glasgow-set Christmas fairytale. 


Margaret Watkins: Glasgow in 1930s II, The Hidden Lane Gallery, until Thu Feb 6
Canadian-born photographer Watkins is the subject of this exhibition documenting the time she spent living in Glasgow, drawn from an archive of some 700 images. An invaluable look at what the city was like 80 years ago, and how it’s changed.

Alasdair Gray, various Glasgow galleries, until Tue May 25
The artist, writer and official National Treasure is the subject of no less than three exhibitions at the moment, in honour of his 80th birthday this month. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum hosts lifespan retrospective ‘From the Personal to the Universal’ until February, while the Gallery of Modern Art and Glasgow School of Art are hosting ‘Spheres of Influence I’ and ‘II’ respectively, providing context by looking at Gray’s influences and those who have been influenced by him.

Lucy Skaer, Hunterian Art Gallery, until Sun 25 Jan
The Turner Prize nominee and Glasgow School of Art graduate explores the relationship between representation and reality, with special inspiration from surrealist artist Leonora Carrington.

Manuel Chavajay & Rebecca Wilcox: This Might Be a Place for Hummingbirds, CCA, until Sun Jan 18
Two seemingly unrelated artists’ works are brought into direct comparison at this CCA: Guatemalan painter and sculptor Chavajay and Glasgow-based video artist Wilcox.

Nathan Coley: The Lamp of Sacrifice, Gallery of Modern Art, until Sun Mar 1
Coley’s 2004 installation – which involved the creation of 286 churchs and places of worship in Edinburgh – is revived in Glasgow’s GoMA as part of the Generation project, celebrating the last 25 years of contemporary Scottish art.

Art From Elsewhere, Gallery of Modern Art, until Sun Feb 1
Glasgow is the starting point for this UK-wide touring exhibition, which brings together international artworks from all disciplines in an effort to enhance the country’s contemporary collections. 

Music & Nightlife

Oxjam We’re Skint, They’re Skinter Boxing Day Bon Voyage, Stereo, Fri Dec 26
The Oxfam-supporting live music offshoot WSTS is wrapping up its activities in Glasgow, but not before throwing one last fundraising club night (this time in aid of Oxfam and Mary’s Meals). Guests for the finale include James Whelan (Mungo's Hi Fi) back to back DJ Greenman (Stay Fresh / iAM), Nativ (Tumble Audio), Breezak (Bass Alliance), Syndakit and Bruin (both Too Much Hype).

Pressure, Arches, Sat Dec 27
The Slam boys present a corking techno banger to wrap up 2014: their official End of Year party features Len Faki, Blawan, Slam, George FitzGerald, Marquis Hawkes and Silicone Soul.

Animal Farm, Sub Club, Sun Dec 28
Glasgow’s techno party-starters celebrate ten years in the business with this pre-Hogmanay bash, inviting techno dons Shifted and Sigha to the Subbie to spin (and we’re quoting AF themselves here) ‘LOADS OF FUCKIN’ TECHNO’.

Slowfest, Bar Bloc, Mon Dec 29
Wallow in the post Christmas, pre-New Year limbo with this celebration of acoustic songwriting, performed by some of Scotland’s most prominent, decidedly non-acoustic noisemakers (including Paws, So Many Animal Calls, Algernon Doll, Carnivores and TeenCanteen).

Hogmanay clubs, various Glasgow venues, Wed Dec 31
There are so many great club night taking place on New Year’s Eve that we simply don’t have the space to outline them all here. Thankfully, we do have that space over here.


Big Eyes, from Fri Dec 26
Tim Burton directs this biopic of 1950s artist Margaret Keane (here played by Amy Adams), whose husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) took credit for her popular paintings of big-eyed children.

Annie, from Fri Dec 26
'Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhane Wallis stars in this remake of the 1982 musical as the orphan who embarks on an adventure when she is adopted by wealthy Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx taking on the Daddy Warbucks role).

Exodus: Gods and Kings, from Fri Dec 26
Following on from of Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah', Ridley Scott delivers his own effects-laden biblical epic, this one focusing on Moses (Christian Bale) and the seven plagues of Egypt.

Unbroken, from Fri Dec 26
Angelina Jolie directs rising star Jack O'Connell ('Starred Up', '71') in this true WWII survival story penned by the Coen brothers.