This Saturday, Greenock’s Beacon Arts Centre hosts a double-bill of shows, Up, Up & Away, and Broth, both of which involve and focus on the experiences of older members of the local community, yet which approach the issues raised by ageing in strikingly different ways.

Developed as a collaboration between All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre and the Beacon’s Platinum Project, a weekly 60+ dance group, Up, Up & Away promises an exciting participatory performance involving material trapezes and aerial harness flying, proving that no one is ever too old to get air-bound and that it is never too late to dream of running away to the circus!

The show is followed closely by Broth, and reduced price tickets are available for the double bill. Devised and delivered by video and performance artist Donna Rutherford, Broth explores the experiences of elder people in 21st century Scotland, blending a series of intimate storytelling conversations with soup-making traditions. Such recipes reveal the rituals passed from one generation to the next, and reflect and trace the changes undergone in the lives of individuals, families and wider communities.

Speaking about Broth, Dr Pete Seaman of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has said: ‘There was not sympathy, but identification: a shift from “them” to “we”. In an era where youth is elevated, I was struck by people whose youth has never left them although their bodies have aged … The perspectives in Broth provide material to begin a re-imagining of all our later years.’

The performance concludes with an informal discussion and an invitation to the audience to share in some freshly-made soup!

As well as representing a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking item in this year’s SMHAFF programme, Broth is also touring as part of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival. Furthermore, both Up, Up & Away and Broth are listed on the bill for Inverclyde’s Galoshans Festival 2015, a two-day celebration of the area’s Halloween traditions.


Written by Mark Jones


Up, Up & Away (2.30-3.30pm) and Broth (3.45-4.45pm) are showing at the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on Sat 31 Oct. Tickets cost £5 for individual performances or £8 for the double bill. Book via this link or call the box office on 01475 723 723.