Aug 172015

Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo return to Aberdeen for the first time since performing at Queen’s Cross Church in November 2011

With thanks to Paul Kohn.

Monday 24th August sees the return after four years of Tibetan Monks to Queen’s Cross Church Sanctuary in Aberdeen.

The dances and music are performed by Tibetan monks from the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, a sacred world filled with the chanting of Buddhist texts, the recitation of mantras, ringing of bells, blowing of trumpets and beating of drums.

Recreating the mysteries of Buddhist monasteries, Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo offer a dramatic presentation of sacred dance, music and prayer with traditional costumes and ceremonial masks.

Founded by the first Dalai Lama in the 15th Century, Tashi Lhunpo is one of the most important monasteries in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Re-established in exile in South India it is becoming one of the major centres of Buddhist learning, best known for its artistic tradition of masked dances and sacred learning.

The show comes straight from the Edinburgh Fringe and is part of a three month tour
of UK and Europe organised by Tashi Lhunpo UK Trust.

The performance will be held at Queen’s Cross Church Sanctuary, at the corner of Albyn and Carden Place, at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 24th August. Tickets on
the door cost £8.00, concessions £5.00. Doors open 7.00pm

Mar 202014

With thanks to Jonathan Russell.


As part of Aberdeen Festival of Politics, Aberdeen and District CND will host a public meeting to discuss the future of Trident and Nato.
Speaker, John Finnie MSP (Independent, Highlands and Islands region), who is well known for his opposition to both Trident and NATO, will be helping us navigate the multiple security questions confronting humanity in the 21st Century.

With escalating tension between Russia and the US over developments in Ukraine, anxiety about nuclear war inevitably begins to loom.

These two superpowers still retain vast arsenals of these weapons of mass destruction.

Time & Date:  7pm, Friday, 28th March
Venue: the Seminar room, Belmont Cinema, AB10 1JS

For more info, contact: Jonathan Russell,  on 0758-245-6233 or email Aberdeen and District CND.

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May 172013

Moray based theatre company Right Lines Productions, in association with Eden Court, are touring a powerful new play throughout Scotland in May.  Be Silent or Be Killed, written by Euan Martin and Dave Smith, and is based on the true story of Roger Hunt as told in his book by Roger Hunt and Kenny Kemp.

A production of intense, dramatic theatre, Be Silent or Be Killed concerns the impact of international terrorism on the individual and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
The production is a multi-media project, with the audio/visual aspects being an integral part of the process from the outset.

In November 2008, Roger, a North East businessman set off from his home in Macduff destined for Mumbai, to set up a new project for the Royal Bank of Scotland in the country’s financial capital.  However, little did Roger know that this routine business trip would turn into an extraordinary, life-changing experience.

Shortly after his arrival in Mumbai, Roger became caught up in a deadly terrorist attack which claimed the lives of many innocent people.

For 40 hours, Roger lay hidden and alone in his hotel bedroom as terrorists moved from floor to floor seeking Western targets. Amazingly, he was able to communicate via his BlackBerry with colleagues at RBS headquarters in Edinburgh, and it was this support, along with Roger’s calculated decision-making, personal resilience and determination to survive that led to his eventual rescue.

The fourth anniversary of his ordeal was in November 2012.

Euan Martin commented:

“We were absolutely delighted when Roger agreed to Right Lines adapting his story for the stage. He and his wife Irene have been 100% behind the project from the outset.  He has seen the script and is comfortable with it which is a great relief! 

“Needless to say, there are some difficult issues to tackle in the story and we deal with that in an interesting theatrical way.  However, there are also lighter moments in the show – believe it or not we manage to cover Aberdeen Football Club and disco dancing at different points in the play – so it’s not all about a man hiding behind a sofa for 60 minutes!”

“Be Silent will really appeal to a teenage and young adult audience because it is relatively short, but action-packed.  The sound design by Forres man Dave Martin is fantastic and the video projection work by our colleague John McGeoch from Arts In Motion is really innovative and engaging.”

The tour will commence in Inverness and other venues include Musselburgh, Perth, Cumbernauld, Falkirk, Greenock, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Findhorn and Paisley, before finishing in Aberdeen.

The highly talented Scottish cast includes James Mackenzie, who plays Roger. The other cast members are Helen Mackay (Irene) and Ewan Donald (Chris) and the play is directed by Ian Grieve, all of whom have worked with Right Lines previously. Set and Video Design is by John McGeoch, Sound Design by Dave Martin and costumier is Kay Smith.

Be Silent Or Be Killed

The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen Friday 24 & Saturday 25 May 7pm 

£12/£10 + booking fee
Box Office 01224 641122

Post show discussion with Roger Hunt Saturday 25 May

Nov 162012

The silver anniversary of an Aberdeen Grades Cricket tour of India has been commemorated by the release of a slim volume JALDI, JALDI – 25 not out. The booklet was officially launched on 9th November at the annual Grades dinner and trophy presentation. Alan Barron takes guard as Voice’s David Innes applies the chin music by digging in a few questions short of a length.

“Fourteen of the 22 players who toured attended the reunion. Matthew Cohen was there to represent his parents. Sadly, three players have passed away in recent years and three more are currently working in far-flung places, proving there is life beyond the far boundaries of the Duthie Park and the Links. Two UK-based players were unable to attend due to work commitments but a good night was had by all.”

JALDI, JALDI – 25 not out chronicles the 1987 Grades Tour of India during the cricket world cup, when the Aberdonians played nine fixtures against carefully selected opposition.

As well as the 22 players in the party, four matriarchs made the trip which took in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Bombay and Goa.

The book was such a success the first print run has completely sold out.

Heavy stewarding had to be employed to deal with the throng clamouring for autographed copies”, claims Barron.

This has left Von Trapp Publications with a twin dilemma, he explains:

We’re considering organising a second print run, but that would adversely impact on the eBay value of first edition copies, already escalating in value. A Kindle edition is also a possibility but we fear this may confuse our ageing target readership, still reliant on coal fires.”

All proceeds after covering printing costs were said to be going to the little-known local aid agency Save the Hapless, Innocuous Trundlers which was, says Barron,

“Set up to ensure adequate lubrication for ageing participants in the activities of the Aberdeenshire Cricket Association.”

If and when the book is reprinted, Voice will carry details of how to obtain a copy.


Feb 232012

UTG Debate – Unearthing the hidden truths between the lines, or…

More puerile crap musing as to why the City Gardens Project will be the greatest thing to hit Aberdeen since the third one went in against Bayern Munich.

Dave Watt and an Italian gentleman muse on some more even-handed, totally neutral articles on the UTG debate from our two august local newspapers, The Depressing Journal and The Evening Suppository.

Col. Gaddafi was a supporter of UTG
A document has been found in a secret box in his Tripoli palace in which Col Gaddafi revealed his support for Union Terrace Gardens. The Colonel’s note admits that he did not want UTG dug up as he had a secret storehouse of Nazi gold which he used to finance the Miners’ Strike in 1983/4 buried under the grass just across from HMT.

– The Depressing Journal 02/02/12

Travellers support unchanged UTG as future camping ground
Joe the gypsy and his family have declared their support for UTG as they intend to have summer camps there for the next ten years. Joe said today,

“UTG is a great camping place and it’s only a short hop from there to the DSS where I and my family can make fraudulent benefit claims by day and roast small babies stolen from Aberdeen citizens over open fires by night”. 

– Evening Suppository 22/02/12

Indian and Aussie Tourist Boards worried about City Gardens Project
A spokesman for the Indian Tourist Board in Delhi expressed the Indian government’s worries that the completed City Gardens Project would draw tourists away from the Taj Mahal to the Granite City. Tourism Director Lal Singh said yesterday,

“This is a very worrying development indeed. If this goes ahead it will be the eighth wonder of the world, and who’s going to pay thousands of rupees to visit the Taj Mahal when something concrete built by Stewartie Milne Sahib is on offer.”

The Sydney Bridge’s Press Officer was rather more blunt, however, saying,

“Stone the crows, mate. It’s not bad enough that you whingeing Poms get off stealing our Ashes last year but now you’re going to build something that will make Sydney Harbour Bridge look like the Sheilas’ toilets in Wollamaloo. It’s enough to make a man give up ill-treating Abos and complaining about immigration all day long”. 

– The Depressing Journal 22/02/12

Dead rise ruse to praise Gardens raise
Legendary dead Aberdonians have been queuing up at dozens of reliable, scientific and not in the least bit hooky séances across the NE to endorse the City Gardens Project, the ES can exclusively reveal. Local medium, the mysterious, yet oddly familiar, Madame Ina Wood has found that local spooks are unanimous in their support for the cement vanity project. She said that famous Japanese, Kung Fu mannie Thomas Glover explained to her,

“I’m Thomas Glover and I’m dead now, but I look forward to my eternal spirit flitting hither and thither like a divine zephyr around the concrete gardens that will totally put Aberdeen on the map as it wasn’t on one before apparently.”

Long dead architect Scott Sutherland said,

“Jings I wish I’d built something half as good as the City Gardens Project. It’s going to look wonderful, and not at all be a hideous concrete abortion. I can’t wait to tell Bernini and Frank Lloyd Wright all about it at our next Jenga evening.”

Early photographer George Washington Wilson added,

“I took photos of Union Terrace in the nineteenth century and I only wish these hideous gardens had never existed. If there had been nothing there to photograph, I may have been able to follow my original dream of taking lots of photos of naked ladies for bongo mags. My spirit shall haunt the development like a bad smell.”

Madame Ina Wood told the ES,

“Cross my palm with silver dearie – about £50m should do – the spirits don’t lie. This is all absolutely true, and not a pile of hooey designed to fool the gullible. I’ll stake my hoop earrings and bizarre sideburns on it”. 

– Evening Suppository 23/02/12

Nostradamus predicted City Gardens Project
A recent study revealed that the seer Nostradamus predicted the rise of the City Gardens Project in Les Prophecies (1555) where he stated,

“A mighty stone mountain shall arise in the north like a phoenix from a deep valley frequented by ne’er-do-wells and assorted rascals in a city made of granite. The rising of this stone shall herald a Golden Age for the city. Poverty and want shall be a thing of the past and by God and Sweet Sunny Jesus, will those jammy Jock bastards be coining it in? I should f**king say so. Shekels galore, more funny black stuff than you can shake a stick at and four straight European Cup wins for the local calcio team added to a seventeen-nil home win over some recently impoverished followers of William of Orange. Go for it, you hairy kneed Caledonian caber tossers”.

– The Depressing Journal 23/02/12

City Gardens Project means absolutely phenomenal number of jobs and money for everybody
A recent study by the totally neutral Vote For The City Gardens Or We’ll Come Round To Your House, Rape Your Dog And Scatter Your Garbage Group has discovered that the City Gardens Project will actually generate jobs for around nine billion people. A spokesperson for the group told us that there was a slightly worrying shortfall with less than eight billion people on the planet at present but it was hoped that some sort of shift system might be introduced allowing people to breed during working hours.

The same study showed that the knock-on effect of this huge project would encourage tourists from all over the Solar System to visit Aberdeen with many hotels in the Granite City receiving bookings from Mars, Venus and Mercury already. With this increase in tourism plus the work situation the group also estimated that each household in Aberdeen would be £17m better off once the Project was completed.

– The Depressing Journal 24/02/12

Pro-UTG groups to establish labour camps for opponents
Reports have reached the Evening Suppository that supporters of the City Gardens Project have been subjected to threats and intimidation by shadowy figures in trenchcoats at three in the morning brandishing voting forms.

Speaking in stock ludicrous 1960’s movie German accents they have announced:

“Zat for you, Scottische schweinhund, ze Union Terrace Gartens debate is ofer” and “Ve haf vays of making you vote nein”.

If their demands have not been immediately agreed to by the unfortunate victims they have been threatened further,

“Perhaps your family und household pets vould benefit from ein kleine holiday in ‘ze camps’”.

– Evening Suppository 24/02/12

Nov 112011

With thanks to Elizabeth Lindsey.

A group of Tibetan monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in South India, on an extensive UK and European tour, will be giving a performance at the Sanctuary, Queens Cross Church, on Monday 21st November. Their performances of masked dance and sacred chant have enthralled audiences from all over Europe.

‘The Power of Compassion’ offers a taste of Tibetan monastic culture with dramatic and colourful costumes, masks and musical instruments – including the great Dungchen or Long Horn, traditionally played from the roof of Tibetan monasteries.

The dances are interspersed with prayers and chants from the monastery using traditional instruments such as bone trumpets, drums and cymbals. The performance has been described as “A psychedelic whirl of chanting, dancing, drums, cymbals and processions” (The Times)

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tibet was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447, and became one of the major centres of Buddhist learning with over 6,000 monks and students, and the seat of the Panchen Lama, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama.

Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949, and the 14th Dalai Lama’s escape into exile ten years later, it became impossible for the monks to have freedom to practise their religion inside Tibet. Consequently, several of the monks escaped into exile and re-established their monastery in 1972 in the large Tibetan refugee settlement of Bylakuppe, South India.

Now numbering around 300 monks, the monastery is once again regaining its reputation as a great centre of learning. It is internationally renowned for preserving the unique Tibetan culture and the tradition of masked dance and sacred music.

The UK and European tour in 2011 is organised by the Monastery’s UK charity. Proceeds from the tour are sent directly back to the monastery to support the monks in their day to day work, ministering to the spiritual and physical well-being of the local Tibetan community, and also to help with building projects as their numbers expand.

The performance at the Sanctuary, Queens Cross Church on 21 November will be at 7.30pm with tickets at the door: £8/£6 concession.