Next week in Glasgow, as a part of the start of the tour of a new Syd Barrett play around various venues in Scotland, a 70th birthday tribute, with Alan Bissett, Ian Barrett, John Cavanagh and Nicola Meighan takes place. With the play, called One Thinks of it All as a Dream, opening on Monday, an evening event in Òran Mór's beautiful upstairs auditorium will celebrate the life of Roger 'Syd' Barrett and dispel some of the myths about him — with the help of special guests, archive footage, and rarely seen artwork from throughout Barrett's life.
Guests are Alan Bissett, writer of One Thinks of it All as a Dream and dedicated Pink Floyd fan; Ian Barrett, Syd's nephew; John cavanagh, broadcaster and writer of the book Piper at the Gates of Dawn; and host, Nicola Meighan, broadcaster and writer for Q, MOJO, Time Out, The Quietus and The Herald.
The special event, taking place on October 20th (and not the 13th as we originally thought) runs from 7.30–9.30pm, and tickets are priced at £10. They are available by calling 08444 771 000. Òran Mòr is situated at the top of Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8QX.
Headlining the tenth Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival programme is the premiere of the play itself, One Thinks of it All as a Dream, by leading Scottish writer Alan Bissett, a lifelong Pink Floyd fan. SMHAFF note that the play is their "first-ever commission, One Thinks of it All as a Dream tells the story of Syd Barrett, the leader of Pink Floyd during their first psychedelic incarnation in the 1960s. Barrett was ejected from the band after a mental breakdown, attributed variously to schizophrenia, LSD, the pressures of fame and artistic temperament; he shunned the spotlight for the rest of his life".
It will premiere at Òran Mòr on Monday, October 17th running until Saturday, October 22nd, before touring to the Traverse in Edinburgh (October 25th - 29th) and the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen (November 1st - 5th). Syd Barrett's family and the remaining members of Pink Floyd have given the play, and its soundtrack of the band's music, their blessing.
Alan Bissett said: "Syd Barrett is unique in rock n roll history, and certainly haunted Pink Floyd's music after he left. There's no figure quite like him - which is itself attractive to a dramatist - but I also wanted to explore his multi-faceted character. He was by turns charismatic, selfish, principled and vulnerable. The legend of 'Mad Syd' has been enshrined in rock lore, but I wanted to get past the acid-casualty cliches to try and find the man beneath, in all his complexity. I took the decision to go backwards and forwards in time, through all the periods of Barrett's life, to try and gain some understanding of the entwined roots of creativity and mental illness, as well as the various impulses which might have driven him to reject the modern world."
To book tickets for the various performances, visit mhfestival.com/events/1117.