Scotland’s ReferendumFest 2014

Set above the pleasantly dilapidated Quaker’s Tearoom on Victoria Street, Scotland’s Refurendumfest is a series of 15 debates dealing with the intricacies of the big yes/no. Upcoming events include a look at Scotland’s potential nuclear arms policy, the role of men in Scottish society and a bit of poetry. The inaugural topic however, was whether an independent Scotland should have a constitution.

Both men were undeniably interesting, well-read and with heaps of relevant experience. What they lacked, or seemed to lack, was a history of public speaking.

After a short introduction and thank you from the charming Quaker hosts, the two sides wasted no time in getting stuck into each other. In the plaid shirt/jeans combination corner was Angus Reid, author of ‘A Modest Proposal for the Agreement of the People’, a local activist ready for some verbal blood. In the flannel jacket corner was John Drummond, boasting the room’s broadest Scottish accent and some pretty hardline, pro-constitution views. The pair decided to take it in turns to introduce themselves and their political background, before answering questions from each other and the audience. This is where the afternoon’s session first threatened derailment.

Both men were undeniably interesting, well-read and with heaps of relevant experience. What they lacked, or seemed to lack, was a history of public speaking. Reid’s opening statement concerned itself more with Slovenia than Scotland and Drummond’s was incredibly hard to follow. Forty minutes into the debate and it was not yet clear who thought what. Seemingly aware of the density of Drummond’s mammoth monologue, Reid attempted to clear the water by directing a ten minute explanation of Alex Salmond’s deficiencies directly to me; the only Englishman in the room. Not only did this fail to clarify anything, beyond the fact that Reid was a little pugnacious, but it incensed a man in the front row so much he had to blurt out “I didn’t pay to come and hear your leftist bullshit.” Sadly this forward thinking man was shut down and shut up for breaching the Quaker’s code.

There were moments of interest and ones for reflection dotted across the session, Drummond eventually making a compelling argument for a Scottish institution based on the socialist leanings of the people. In the end the audience appeared to agree with him, maybe less because he had outdebated Reid, but on the basis that he had made the only entirely discernible point of the afternoon. Come along with the hope of being enlightened but be prepared for a debate lacking focus and chairmanship. 

Reviews by Milo Boyd

C venues - C nova

Hollywood Film Fest

★★★
Quaker Meeting House

Scotland’s ReferendumFest 2014

★★★
Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Ian Fox Presents The Unsearchables - Free

★★★
Voodoo Rooms

10 Films with My Dad

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Craig Hill: Give Him an Inch...

★★
The Famous Spiegeltent

One Man Breaking Bad

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

18 September 2014. The most significant democratic event in Scotland’s history. The Independence Referendum. Yes or No. Whatever the outcome, a better Scotland is possible. What are the implications for the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK? Come along for sparky talks, debate, discussion. Topical. Relevant. Rapid response. Game-changing. Thought-provoking. Opinionated. Scary. Incomprehensible. Enlightening. Have your say. Hosted by Luath Press, publishers of the Viewpoints and OpenScotland series. Three different sessions each afternoon including a five minute soapbox slot at each for MSPs, MPs, MEPs, citizens. Details of speakers and programme at www.luath.co.uk.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets