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The Big Takeover ticked all the boxes

Young Shetland rock band Sheer's performance on Friday night was exceptional. All music photos: Chris ColesThe Big Takeover was one of Shetland's largest events for young people yet, spread across various venues and held as a part of the national celebration of the Year of Young People 2018 in Scotland.

Wallace and Gromit draw Screenplay crowd

Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park at Mareel this weekend. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsAN EAGER crowd got a real treat on Saturday morning at Mareel as Screenplay guest Nick Park brought his feature-length adventure Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit to Screen 1, writes Ryan Nicolson.

Screenplay: a superb array of local short films

Some of Shetland's amateur film makers introducing their films ahead of the Home Made screening on Friday evening. Photo: Shetland NewsSCREENPLAY curator Mark Kermode said on Friday that the Home Made sections were "always the highlight of the festival", and that proved to be the case once again later the same day, as a varied crowd sold out Mareel's Screen 1 to enjoy festival's annual signature showcase of the best short films made entirely by local amateur filmmakers.

Screenplay 2018: film festival well under way

The Work They Say Is Mine director Rosie Gibson at Mareel on Saturday. Photo Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsTHE 12th annual Screenplay film festival got underway at Mareel on Saturday morning with a special family screening of Aardman animation's prehistoric hit Early Man.

The first screening, however, was actually Best In Show at the Skeld Hall the night before as the festival spread its wings outside of Lerwick.

Review: the audience loved every second

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards were part of an 'incredible double-bill' at mareel on Tuesday night. Photos: Alex Garrick-WrightMusic fans were left clamouring for more after an incredible double-bill on Tuesday night, which saw Americana string quartet Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards take to the stage in Mareel's auditorium with acclaimed folk outfit Drever McCusker Woomble, writes Alex Garrick-Wright.

Review: delicate lines and subtle use of tone

Mighty Gullifoss by Richard RowlandTHROUGH the alchemical process of etching, Richard Rowland explores the dramatic tone and texture of landscape in his Recent Prints exhibition currently on view at Vaila Fine Art Gallery in Lerwick, writes Alex Purbrick.

A fitting monument to a friend of Shetland

Georges Dif's widow Nelly hanging one of his photos at Islesburgh Community Centre last week. Photo: Jonathan WillsGeorges Dif's many friends in Shetland will remember his endless patience, his skill - and his habit of getting up very early in the morning to get the pictures he wanted, writes Jonathan Wills.

An exhibition to launch the English edition of Shetland – a spectacular new book by the French photographer, ornithologist and author's work is currently on show in the foyer and staircase of the Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick. It runs until this Saturday (14 July).

Georges first came to Shetland in 1969. He was captivated by the scenery, the wildlife and the light in storms, fog and sunshine.

Hunt exhibition a 'powerful reflection'

Angela Hunt.SHETLAND's rich archaeological heritage and diverse natural environment are stunningly portrayed in the latest exhibition at Da Gadderie from Shetland based artist Angela Hunt, writes Alex Purbrick.

Locations is Angela's first exhibition in Shetland since moving here in 2008 when she came to work as a senior lecturer in Creative Industries at Shetland College UHI.

Review: US band bring 'sparkle of hope'

Birds of Chicago's Allison Russell on stage at Mareel. All photos: Dale SmithROCK and roll might not save the world, but there is no harm in giving it a chance. With this philosophy behind their new album Love In Wartime, Americana band Birds of Chicago bring a sparkle of hope into the dark days of today's world, writes Zdenka Mlynarikova.

Energetic tenderness and flawless harmonies

Siobhan Miller 'makes traditional folk music sound incredibly fresh '. All photos: Zdenka MlynarikovaTHE THIRD night of this year's Shetland Folk Festival brought an eclectic international mix of acts to the Clickimin stage. Featuring some of the festival's headline acts, the musicianship on show was outstanding, writes Zdenka Mlynarikova.

Exhibition of ‘cultural treasure’ opens today

Curator of Shetland Museum, Dr Ian Tait, and the director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, admiring Holbein's masterpiece during an exhibition preview on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News AN ARTISTIC masterpiece from the Tudor period arrived in Shetland this week giving islanders the unique opportunity to gaze upon a national treasure from one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century, Hans Holbein the Younger.

Emma Leask is Young Fiddler of the Year

Emma Leask - 2018 Young Fiddler of the Year. Photo: Melvyn LeaskTHERE was a full house at Mareel on Saturday night as Shetland Folk Society celebrated another record-breaking year for their Young Fiddler of the Year competition with 175 entries from 100 young fiddlers, writes Christine Laurenson.

Review: making magic out of the mundane

Jon Richardson on stage in Lerwick on Saturday. Photo: Davie GardnerA COMEDY gig which ends on the dos and don'ts of stacking a dishwasher doesn't sound like the most exciting Saturday night out - but then again, Jon Richardson isn't your average comedian.

The acclaimed Englishman, perhaps best known for his captain role on Channel 4 quiz show 8 Out of 10 Cats, made magic out of the mundane at a packed Clickimin Leisure Centre as he brought his Old Man tour north to Lerwick.

The show's name was supposed to reflect that he had recently become a dad, but the evening instead touched more on his public persona of a man stuck in the wrong era, an ultimate worrier who prefers routine over revelry.

Review: ballet for every generation

Bethany Kingsley-Garner as the Sylph and Nicholas Shoesmith as James in Scottish Ballet's production of Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling. Photos: Andy Ross FOR the first time ever, Shetland got the unique opportunity to host a full-scale Scottish Ballet production when Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling visited the isles at the weekend, writes Zdenka Mlynarikova.

Review: an intimate portrait of local wildlife and flora

Peter Biehl's drawings can be seen at Vaila Fine Art until early July.BORN in Denmark in 1941 and trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen, Peter Biehl first fell in love with Shetland 20 years ago and became a frequent visitor, finally settling in the isles since his retirement as a college art teacher in Denmark.

The landscape enchanted him as he found himself "drawn to the rugged coastline, the shift between the mildness and cruelness of its temperament, seduced by the light, the contrast, the unfolding drama between life and death".

Review: a reminder of life’s tragic truths

Marion Brewster-Wright (Stephenie Pagulayan) makes her presence known to Eva and Geoffrey Jackson (Donna-Marie Leask & Martin Summers). All photos: Austin TaylorI grew up in the university town of Cambridge, where amateur dramatics were ten a penny. In studying Romeo and Juliet at sixth form college, I managed to see at least three different versions of the play in the space of as many months. And trust me, the quality varies some.

So, when you decide to see any amateur dramatic performance, I'm more aware than anyone that you have to take the view that you might just get what you pay for.

Review: a gripping performance from young cast

The Free9 is showing at Mareel this week ahead of a performance in Inverness next month. Photo: Stuart Hubbard.MAREEL this week welcomed a brand new play written for the National Theatre Connections project - The Free9 by In-Sook Chappell - writes Zoe Spence. Directed by John Haswell and Izzy Swanson, the play opened in Shetland on Tuesday (20 March), with a second performance on Wednesday (21 March) followed by a performance at Eden Court in Inverness on Tuesday 10 April.

The play follows eight teenagers from North Korea who escape and endeavour on a long journey through China and Laos with the help of “Big Brother” to try and seek refuge in South Korea. A harrowing story leaving the audience in stunned silence throughout.

Shetland IV: a grim and ruthless triumph

The fourth season of the popular crime drama concluded on Tuesday night. Photo: BBC.IT'S MURDER and it’s personal - it must be Shetland, writes Jordan Ogg. As the final episode spooled into view, you could have forgiven DI Perez for thinking he had it all figured out. But it was never going to be that easy.

After all, there was a full 60 minutes to get through and his theory was rather troublesome, not to mention complicated, as it rested on dodgy Duncan, his daughter’s natural father, having strangled Lizzie Kilmuir with a scarf all those years ago, and maybe more recently Sally McColl too.

Tidelines make their mark at Mareel

YOUNG Highlands band Tidelines kicked off an extensive Scottish tour at Mareel last night, and demonstrated to a 200-strong crowd why they are fast garnering a reputation on the trad scene for their upbeat folk songs.

Review: mellow gems and murder ballads

The Furrow Collective, from left to right: Emily Portman, Alasdair Roberts, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton. Photo: Kelly Nicolson Riddell.“SO YOU like your murder ballads, then” smiled Lucy Farrell in response to the warm applause greeting the conclusion of The Furrow Collective’s opening song, Willie’s Fatal Visit, at Mareel on Saturday night.

It is a grisly lyrical tale, granted, but Farrell’s crystal clear vocal imbues the song – discovered from Ray Fisher’s reading of the song back in 1991, accompanied by Martin Carthy – with elegiac beauty and grace.

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