CCA Highlights: November & December 2019

CCA's winter programme converts philistines to the arts, launches a debut album from Cloth while celebrating a Scottish classic, and sets a festive trap for Santa Claus

Feature by Ben Venables | 30 Oct 2019
  • Buzzcut December for CCA column

It's hard to ignore a baby's cry. Its calling can begin long before the delivery, or even conception. It may start with your own parents who, apparently bored with you, mew about wanting to become grandparents. Get a spouse, get a mortgage and live everyone else's sensible fantasy of your sensible life instead of your own. Eirini Kartsaki is a writer, performer and lecturer from East15 Acting School, University of Essex. Her work explores sexuality and desire with surreal humour. She now brings HERPES (6pm, 11 Dec) – a performance about sex, STIs and fantasising about the Duchess of Cambridge (when everyone else wants to talk about pushchairs) – to CCA as part of the eclectic Buzzcut Double Thrills programme.

Humour turns to horror in Matchbox Cineclub's festive screening. On its bauble-like surface, the French film Dial Code: Santa Claus (7pm, Fri 20 Dec) compares to Home Alone. Pre-dating the American hit by a year, director René Manzor even felt Hollywood stole his idea. His story follows Thomas – a boy home only with his elderly grandpa – as he tries to get in touch with Santa Claus on Minitel (the 1980s online network that still had millions of users in France into the 2000s). Naturally, online-Santa turns out not to be the jolly fat man we all love and want to believe in, but a shady red devil intent on burgling Thomas' house on Christmas Eve. Expect elaborate traps as the gadget and Rambo-obsessed boy defends his castle. 

Born in 1983 in Kuwait of Palestinian origin, Basma alSharif's exhibition A Philistine (2 Nov- 5 Dec) is based on her novella of the same title. Across three gallery spaces, using an array of materials – including a mise-en-scène reading space for spectators to become participants – a train journey moves backwards through history. From present day Lebanon to New Kingdom Egypt (circa 16th-11th century B.C.E), inhabitants of Greater Syria and North Africa intertwine. Borders dissolve as the titular ‘Philistine’ encounters mythical creatures and rituals and questions of morality – a story often told with vivid and erotic writing.

In music, Cloth launch their eponymous debut album (8pm, 15 Nov). The Glasgow-based trio comprise of twins Rachel Swinton (vocals/guitar), Paul Swinton (guitar), and Clare Gallacher on drums. Their alt-rock and electronic sound attracted label Last Night From Glasgow, who they signed with and released their first single Demo Love last year. For the launch, Cloth are supported by London's Chorus Girl and LNFG stable-mates Lemon Drink.

From the latest Scottish album to a classic, there's a special anniversary a month later. 432 presents De Rosa – Ten Years of Prevention (7pm, 14 Dec). De Rosa, formed in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, recorded their debut album Mend back in 2006. But it is for their second LP Prevention, released on Glasgow's Chemikal Underground Records in 2009, which launched the band onto a larger European platform. Ten years on, featuring special guests and friends, there's a one-night chance to hear the cult Scottish album played in full.