This week’s arts and entertainment highlights from across Scotland, including live music, theatre, film, clubs, comedy, art and exhibitions…
Music: Celtic Connections 20th Celebration Concert
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Thursday, 7.30pm, £20-£23
More info / tickets
It’s a landmark for the annual festival of folk as it celebrates entering a third decade and the onset of 18 days and nights of musical camaraderie. This special concert focuses on the Scottish and trad-based sounds that have always been Celtic Connections’ primary inspiration, with performers including Sheena Wellington, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, the newly re-formed Flook, Cara Dillon, Capercaillie, Chris Stout, Finlay MacDonald, Phil Cunningham, the Scottish Power Pipe Band and a specially-convened festival string ensemble helmed by Greg Lawson.
Theatre: The Maids
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
From Thursday, £12-£19
Jean Genet’s play The Maids was inspired by a notorious murder in France in 1933, in which two maids tortured their employer to death then waited to be arrested in their bedroom upstairs. Genet’s intention that the female characters are played by men is not always honoured, but it will be in director Stewart Laing’s new production, which opens at the Citizens’ Theatre in Glasgow on Thursday.
Film: Django Unchained
Opens on Friday
More info / tickets
Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.
King Tut’s, Glasgow
Wednesday, 8pm, £6
More info / tickets
The King Tut’s New Years Revolution gig series is now in its last week but there’s still plenty to see from Scotland’s emergent music scene. On Wednesday, for example, Kilmarnock natives Fatherson are sure to draw a crowd for their passionate indie-rock in the vein of Frightened Rabbit and Idlewild.
Soul Function Suite, Dundee
Thursday, 8pm, £4/£5
Live event programmers Cry Parrot have been staging some of Glasgow’s most interesting gigs recently, and 2013 sees them spreading their wings (excuse the pun) at events elsewhere in Scotland. They have teamed up with London musician Helm (known as a member of drone act Birds of Delay) for three dates, the first of which is in Dundee on Thursday. Expect “a hypnotic and disorientating sound world”. Also playing at The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow on Friday and Summerhall, Edinburgh on Friday.
Comedy: Sarah Millican and Friends
The Stand, Glasgow
Tonight, 7pm, £7
Since winning the 2008 if.comedy Best Newcomer Award for her debut solo show at the Fringe, Millican has risen fast to become a household name, having sold out all 120 dates on her debut tour. She’s now most often to be seen and heard on panel shows across TV and radio, so this is a chance to catch her observational wit at first hand.
Music: Kendrick Lamar
O2 ABC, Glasgow
Thursday, 7pm, £17.50
After releasing one of the albums of 2012, Kendrick Lamar is among the hottest rappers around. He came up through LA’s grassroots hip-hop scene, putting out a series of mixtapes and independent releases before making his major label debut with the acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city in October. He’s already well connected, having collaborated with the likes of Dr Dre, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, and his style has attracted comparisons with some of his favourite rappers such as 2Pac, Eminem and Jay-Z.
Clubs: Subculture vs. Optimo
Sub Club, Glasgow
For anyone still mourning the end of Optimo, this revival of Subculture’s ‘versus’ nights sees two of Glasgow’s most revered party-starters go head-to-head. Expect the unexpected, from pumping techno to Dolly Parton – all mixed with the usual panache.
Art: Derek Clarke at 100
Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
Until 31 January, free
Derek Clarke at 100 is just what it says on the label. It celebrates the 100th birthday of a painter who came to Scotland to teach at Edinburgh College of Art more than 60 years ago. His career began before the war and there are paintings in the show from the 1930s. They take us back to another age, but there is recent work too, and so the show spans more than 70 years of energetic and creative production.
Exhibition: Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass
Scottish Parliament Main Hall, Edinburgh
Until 25 January, free
Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass is part of a number of events planned by the Scotch Whisky Association to celebrate its centenary year. The exhibition will bring together the tools of the trade, the artwork, and maps of Scotland’s distilleries to show how Scotch Whisky became a national icon.