Monthly Archives: March 2016

Samuel Beckett Trilogy: Exclusive Opportunity for ASF Members

ASF Members and Friends can enjoy special ticket pricing for the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts’ upcoming production of “Samuel Beckett Trilogy: Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby” on April 13-17. 

In Walter Asmus’ critically-acclaimed staging of three one-woman plays by Samuel Beckett, Irish actor Lisa Dwan masterfully triangulates the existential void.

beckett_2ndary_605x320

Image via nyuskirball.org

In Not I, a woman—reduced to a mere mouth, suspended in total darkness—seeks solace in a blisteringly paced stream of her own broken speech. In Footfalls, a tattered soul, drained of life, paces relentlessly outside her dying mother’s bedroom. And in Rockaby, a woman slowly withdraws from the world, rocked to eternal sleep in her mother’s chair.

This production drew ecstatic reviews at BAM in 2014, Royal Court Theatre and in the West End.

The astonishing actress Lisa Dwan doesn’t just uncover layers; she digs all the way to the void beneath them. - Ben Brantley, The New York Times 

Friends and members of the American-Scottish Foundation have an exclusive offer for discounted tickets of all levels. There are only six performances on April 13-17, so don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.

Wednesday April 13 and Thursday, April 14 at 8PM | Saturday, April 16 at 2PM | Sunday, April 17 at 3PM:

  • Level 1 – $44 (Reg. $55)
  • Level 2 – $36 (Reg. $45)
  • Level 3 – $28 (Reg. $35)
  • Level 4 – $20 (Reg. $25)

Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 8PM:

  • Level 1 – $52 (Reg. $65)
  • Level 2 – $44 (Reg. $55)
  • Level 3 – $36 (Reg. $45)
  • Level 4 – $28 (Reg. $35)

To purchase discounted tickets use the official code:  Beckett3

Order tickets by going online and entering the code, or by calling 888.611.8183 and mentioning the code. You can also bring a printout of this offer to the NYU Skirball Center Shagan Box Office – 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square.

For more information, visit the NYU Skirball Center website.

Service fees apply to online/phone orders. Schedule is subject to change. All sales are final. Offer subject to availability. Offer may be revoked at any time. 

Strathberry: The Luxury Scottish Brand to Watch

It is not often that one comes across exceptional craftsmanship together with contemporary yet classic design – but earlier this year the American-Scottish Foundation was introduced to Strathberry of Scotland. The brand is taking the fashion industry by a storm, and with such beautiful craftsmanship and high-quality design, it is no wonder why.

Image via twitter.com

Image via twitter.com

Strathberry of Scotland is a leading, modern Scottish brand which prides itself on making luxurious, high-end bags that match other designer bags in quality, but with more reasonable price tags. 

Besides their collection of handmade bags, Strathberry also designs accessories with iconic Scottish textiles like tweed, lace, and cashmere from the Hawick Cashmere mill in the Scottish Borders. Non-endangered salmon skin is also used in the production of some bags and accessories, adding even more Scottish flair to the sustainable fashion brand.

Strathberry boasts the highest standards of quality and design. Not only does the brand support local producers, but every item in the collection is handmade in Europe. Taking inspiration from traditional means of artistry, Strathberry craftsmen take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to create a single bag.

Image via thesun.co.uk

Image via thesun.co.uk

Strathberry founders, Guy and Leeanne Hundleby, officially launched their collection in 2013. Just three years later, the brand is really taking off. Celebrities like Emma Watson, Lily Allen and Paloma Faith are Strathberry wearers, and Strathberry bags appear in countless fashion-blogs and magazines.

Visit the Strathberry website to learn more about the luxury Scottish brand that is winning over the fashion world.

Top Five Scottish Island Destinations

Scotland is well known for its beautiful glens and sparkling lochs, but did you know that Scotland has over 790 gorgeous off-shore islands? Most of these islands are to be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

It is hard to find another place in the world that can match the beauty of the isles of Scotland. If you are vacationing in Scotland, you should consider island hopping, so as to enjoy the phenomenal hills and moors, and the sweeping sea views from the isles.

The American-Scottish Foundation has chosen five Scottish island destinations you should put on your bucket list:

Isle of Islay

Image via islaypictures.com

Image via islaypictures.com

The Isle of Islay, known as the “Queen of the Hebrides” is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. On top of the gorgeous scenery and wildlife, the isle has eight working whisky distilleries to visit.

If you’re not too busy sampling the whiskies, Islay also has golf courses, trails for cycling, horse-riding and hillwalking, and spots to fish. There are also several annual festivals on the island, such as the Islay Festival of Malt and Music, the Islay Jazz Festival, the Rugby Festival and the Cantilena festival. With gorgeous views and plenty of activities, the Isle of Islay is a 5-star vacation destination. www.islayinfo.com

Isle of Jura

Image via isleofjura.scot

Image via isleofjura.scot

The Isle of Jura, part of the Southern Hebrides, is one of Scotland’s last wildernesses. A little over 200 islanders are outnumbered by 3,500 deer. On Jura there are many historical sites to see, from Iron Age Forts to ancient burial grounds and standing stones.

The village of Craighouse is the main settlement on the island. The charming town has a shop and tearoom to peruse, and a cozy hotel if you want to spend the night. Jura’s only distillery can be found in Craighouse as well, and offers personal appointments for tours and tastings. Jura’s west coast offers visitors authentic, untouched wildlife and absolutely stunning views. Spend some time exploring the amazing Isle of Jura. http://isleofjura.scot

Isle of Arran

Image via lochsandglens.com

Image via lochsandglens.com

The Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The isle is often referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature’, for it possesses many of the great qualities of Scotland in a single island. Arran has gorgeous mountains, woodlands, beaches, and outlying islands to see and explore.

The capital of Arran is Brodick, where Brodick Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, houses an incredible furniture collection. The castle is surrounded by the Duchess of Montrose’s garden, which has been recently restored. Arran is a perfect destination for you if you want to explore historical sites, hike, golf, or simply take in the local geology and wildlife. Escape to the Isle of Arran to experience Scotland’s history and beauty.

Fair Isle

Image via fairislebirdobs.co.uk

Image via fairislebirdobs.co.uk

Fair Isle is a tiny island that sits half-way between Orkney and Shetland. The 70 or so islanders tend to live at the southern end, where the land is more fertile, while the northern end is made up of sloping hills and moorland.

The internationally renowned Fair Isle Bird Observatory has done scientific research on seabird breeding colonies for over 50 years, so Fair Isle is one of the best places to bird-watch in the world. You might also see seals, porpoises, whales and dolphins cruising around the island. Fair Isle is known for its unique style of knitting, for many years ago local knitters discovered that fine yarns stranded into a double layer produce warmer garments. Journey to Fair Isle to experience the incredible wild-life, and don’t forget to shop for cozy wool sweaters.

Isle of Skye

Image via isleofskye.com

Image via isleofskye.com

The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most popular vacation spots. It is famous for its breath-taking scenery, such as the beautifully crystal clear Fairy Pools on the River Brittle. The Isle of Skye is 50 miles long and the largest of the Inner Hebrides. The Island has a rich history, having played host to Clan Warfare, Highland Clearances and ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and the Jacobite Rebellion. Both Clan MacDonald and Clan MacLeod have their Clan Castles on Skye, just waiting for you to explore.

The Isle of Skye is also a great destination for wildlife watching. See if you can spot White Tailed Sea Eagles, otters, seals, whales, dolphins, or red deer. Skye is also a great destination for walkers and climbers with famous trails like ‘The Cuillin Range’ and ‘The Trotternish Ridge.’ Have a walk around the Isle of Skye and you may never want to leave.

 

Eight Must-See Movies Filmed in Scotland

Outlander, the hit time-travel television series, has been a huge success in both the States and the UK. Part of this success is due to the beautiful Scottish scenery that features in the show. Besides Outlander, Scotland has played host for many other television productions, and even more films.

Scotland has produced some of the top Hollywood stars, but the beautiful country itself is has been the star of many films. Scotland’s phenomenal scenery serves as a wonderful backdrop for movies. The country’s sprawling and mysterious landscape is other-worldly, so it is no wonder that filmmakers often flock to Scotland to create movie magic.

The American-Scottish Foundation has compiled a list of eight must-see movies filmed in Scotland. How many have you seen?

1. Braveheart

Image via moviefone.com

Image via moviefone.com

No list of films shot in Scotland would be complete without Braveheart, the iconic historical epic. The 1995 film directed was directed by Mel Gibson, who also stars as William Wallace, the13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

The film crew spent six weeks shooting on location throughout Scotland, in areas such as Glen Coe, Aonach Eagach, Glen Nevis, and Loch Leven. Although the majority of the film was shot in Scotland, some of the battle scenes were shot in Ireland as well.

Braveheart was a huge success. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five. If you haven’t seen the iconic movie yet, it is well worth the watch!

2. Trainspotting

Image via smh.com.au

Image via smh.com.au

Trainspotting is a 1996 British black comedy directed by Danny Boyle. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald.

The movie follows a group of heroin addicts living in 1980s Edinburgh and their struggles with poverty, crime and addiction. Although the film is set in Edinburgh, the majority of the scenes were shot in Glasgow.

Trainspotting has become a classic in its own right. The film is ranked 10th by the British Film Institute in its list of Top 100 British films. It was also voted the best Scottish film of all time in a general public poll in 2004. Although the movie deals with dark themes, it is a cinematic masterpiece and is not to be missed.

3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Image via aperturecinema.ticketmob.com

Image via aperturecinema.ticketmob.com

In 1975, the British comedy troupe “Monty Python” released the feature film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Starring the Monty Python comedians Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, the film is wildly funny.

The film is an outrageous parody of the legend of King Arthur and his quest to find the Holy Grail.  Most of the film was shot in Scotland, particularly in the areas of Doune Castle, Glen Coe, and the Castle Stalker.

Now a hilarious cult-classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail grossed the most out of any British film released in the U.S. If you are in the mood for something witty, ridiculous, and positively bursting with fun, give Holy Grail a watch.

4. Skyfall

Image via lebleudumiroir.fr

Image via lebleudumiroir.fr

Skyfall, which was released in 2012, is the twenty-third “James Bond” film produced by Eon Productions. The story follows Bond, played by Daniel Craig, who is investigating an attack on MI6; the attack is part of a plot by former MI6 agent Raoul Silva to humiliate and kill M, the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service, played by Dame Judi Dench.

Many of the most important scenes of Skyfall take place at Bond’s family home in Scotland, “Skyfall Lodge.” These scenes were shot in the dramatic landscape of Glen Coe.

The film’s 2012 release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, and won several awards, including two Academy Awards and two Grammys. This thrilling film should be on your must-see list, even if just for the gorgeous Glen Coe scenes.

5. Dear Frankie

Image via channelawesome.com

Image via channelawesome.com

Dear Frankie is a 2004 British drama directed by Shona Auerbach. The film stars Emily Mortimer, Gerard Butler, and Jack McElhone. The film focuses on a young single mother and her relationship with her young, deaf son.

Dear Frankie is a heartwarming film that explores the lengths at which a mother will go for her child. The film is set in the small Scottish village of Greenock. Filming took place in Greenock and throughout Glasgow.

This movie was first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival for independent films in 2004. It was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received a fifteen-minute standing ovation. Movingly acted and beautifully filmed, Dear Frankie is a must see.

6. Restless Natives

Image via zcint.co.uk

Image via zcint.co.uk

Restless Natives is a 1985 comedy directed by Michael Hoffman and starring Vincent Friell, Joe Mullaney, and Ned Beatty. The film is about two modern-day “Robin Hoods” from Edinburgh who wear masks and rob passengers on tourist coaches to the Highlands.

The whimsical comedy follows the two young robbers as they become local folk heroes. The film is shot in locations throughout Scotland such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glen Coe, and Glen Nevis.

Restless Natives is distinctly Scottish in its folk-story charm, its gorgeous backdrops and its soundtrack, which is composed and performed by Scottish rock band Big Country. A gentle 80s comedy, Restless Natives is an underrated treasure of a film.

7.  Cloud Atlas

Image via impulsegamer.com

Image via impulsegamer.com

Cloud Atlas, a 2012 independent German-American science fiction film, features a star-studded cast of actors such as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent. The film is based on the 2004 novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

The film follows several plots set across six different eras, exploring the “ripple-effect” of time. Much of Cloud Atlas was filmed in Scotland, in locations such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk, and Dumbarton.

Cloud Atlas premiered in 2012 at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Although the film has received mixed reviews, it was up for multiple awards including a Golden Globe for best original score. The movie is worth the watch for the beautiful cinematography and Scottish sites alone.

8. Macbeth (2015)

Image via homemcr.org

Image via homemcr.org

The most recent film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth was the brain-child of director Justin Kurzel. The famous story of the murderous Scottish king has inspired many past film productions. However, the 2015 adaptation is especially notable for the way it utilizes the Scottish landscape.

Starring Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, the dark film follows the couple’s descent into madness. Filmed throughout England and Scotland, Macbeth shows off the spooky side of Scotland in locations throughout the Isle of Skye.

Although this film is dark and violent, it is well worth the watch. Ancient Scottish customs, songs, and accents give the rugged film an air of authenticity. In the 2015 Macbeth, the classic tale of murder and madness is given new life.

Billy Connolly Announces NYC Performance

Legendary Scots comedian Billy Connolly has announced a New York City performance for his critically-acclaimed ‘High Horse Tour’ at The Beacon Theatre on April 27th.

Connolly will also perform his acclaimed stand-up routine at Warner Theatre in Washington DC and The Wilbur in Boston this May.

89ccfcbd-416f-47b3-b352-91331c3642cd“Mischief, as ever, is the order of the day! Connolly’s a master storyteller long primed to find amusement in the ridiculousness of the human body’s failings, and his stand-up is in fine fettle, as effortlessly funny, playful and anti-conventional as ever.” -Chortle, January 2016

“In case you’re wondering where hot young comics get their inspiration, they look to legends like Connolly. Don’t miss him!” – Time Out

Tickets are on pre-sale now! Friends and members of the American-Scottish Foundation are invited to use the pre-sale code: BCHHT.

Find out more information and buy tickets here.

From a night visit to the National Museums of Scotland to Gorgie City Farm, always so much to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is full of wonderful places to go and this recent list from BuzzFeed has “15 Splendid Places To Go On a Date In Edinburgh” – we think they are fun anytime.

gordie pig farmdunbar garden

 Were you aware you now can make a late night visit to the National Museum of Scotland – follow that with perhaps at visit to the  cute and cozy Lebowski’s Bar & Grill,  and a walk around the beautiful topiary gardens of Dunbar’s Close Garden.

Always having eyes open for that find the idea of antiques amd tea is a wonderful mix when one stops at  Anteaques, or perhaps a delicious dessert at Affogato. 

Craft beers, good food and wine await you at Panda & Sons.  “fusing the classic Prohibition style Speakeasy and a nod to the Vintage style Barbershop”…

And who cannot resist a visit to see the pigs at Gorgie City Farm or a visit to the wonderful Royal Botanical Gardens.

Check out BuzzFeeds list of ideas here http://www.buzzfeed.com/…/splendid-places-to-go-on-a-date-i…

Join the Jacobite Journey at Culloden Battlefield

The National Trust for Scotland invites you to join in the Jacobite Journey at Culloden Battlefield, where the course of British, European and world history was changed forever.

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The atmospheric five-star Culloden Battlefield, scene of the final defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army, invites groups to immerse themselves in the historic events of 1746 with an exciting new selection of ‘Jacobite’ experiences.

Explore life as a Jacobite solider in A Soldier’s Life workshop, handle 18th-century replica weapons, shields and tools, play period games and dress in period costume (including tartan plaid) for the ultimate Jacobite ‘selfie’. Available by pre-booking only.

Geared towards the needs of International and UK visitors, Culloden also offers:

  • multilingual interpretation in 11 languages
  • 360 degree total immersion battle theatre
  • GPS-enabled audio battlefield guides
  • Fast-track entry for pre-booked coach parties
  • Free coach parking and exclusive driver/guide benefits
  • 6 specially designed Taste our Best award-winning group menus
  • Exclusive Culloden branded products in the newly refurbished gift shop

Visit the National Trust for Scotland website for more information. You can also email traveltrade@nts.org.uk or telephone +44 (0)131 458 0204 for bookings and enquiries.

Image via nts.org.uk.