Skip to the content

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler is a musical and visual journey based on the songs, stories and poems of one of Scotland’s most iconic exiles.

A Jewish, Scottish, Londoner, Ivor Cutler was a wholehearted eccentric whose music and words range from the whimsical to the disturbing; had he been born in Russia he'd perhaps be a Daniil Kharms or a Gogol. Here, Mr Cutler stands alone.

A true maverick, Ivor Cutler was the only artist to have been played on Radios 1,2,3 and 4. He was signed by all the major record labels, influenced the Beatles and was championed by John Peel.

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler weaves together the music, prose, poetry and biography of Ivor Cutler to tell the story of a remarkable life, from birth, through boyhood, to old age and death.

Whether you are already a fan or want to explore his music and life story for the first time, The Beautiful Cosmos celebrates the work of one of Scotland’s truly unique artists in a production by the ever inventive Vanishing Point in collaboration with the National Theatre of Scotland.

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler - radio adaptation 

BBC Radio 3, 3rd July 2016 at 9pm 

Adapted by Sandy Grierson and Matt Thompson
Musical Director James Fortune
Director Matt Thompson
Rockethouse Productions Ltd. 

Performance dates

13 May - 17 May, 2015

Theatre Royal, Brighton, Brighton Festival, England, UK

29 April - 03 May, 2014

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

25 April, 2014

Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling, Scotland, UK

23 April, 2014

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, Scotland, UK

09 April - 19 April, 2014

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

04 April - 05 April, 2014

Eden Court, Inverness, Scotland, UK

Press

'It speaks volumes for the sheer love and energy Matthew Lenton and his Vanishing Point team have lavished on the creation of this new touring show – co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland – that it goes a long way towards recreating the ruthless scepticism and absolute wonder of the world in which Ivor lived… it places him firmly in the pantheon of great Scottish creative geniuses, to be loved, quoted, and argued over; a true rebel spirit of the postwar age, funny, inventive and unbowed, from first to last.'
The Scotsman 

'It’s the voice of God you hear first in Vanishing Point’s exquisitely realised impressionistic evocation of the life and times of the poet and song-writer whose influence on popular culture over the last half century is only now being fully recognised…  It is Grierson’s remarkably observed study of Cutler however that carries the show as he charmingly and movingly captures his subject’s sense of wonder even at his frailest in this most tender and loving of homages to a true genius.'
★ The Herald

'Funny, evocative and celebratory, the show was succeeded brilliantly in opening a window into the beautiful cosmos of Ivor Cutler.'
The Telegraph 

'A splendid and charming tribute… Fortune’s musical arrangements are intelligent, wonderfully enjoyable extrapolations from Cutler’s own music. The rendering of his song Rubber Toy (originally written for a single piano) as a piece for a full Ashkenazi Jewish band is tremendous, both as music and biography…. As it ends, one feels that one has had a very meaningful, delightfully pleasurable peek into Ivor Cutler’s beautiful cosmos.'
Sunday Herald

'A triumphant tribute, which captures the true nature of its subject.'
The Stage

The Times

The Skinny

★★ TVBomb

★★ Edinburgh Evening News

 

Credits

Presented by Vanishing Point and the National Theatre of Scotland in association with Eden Court

Created by James Fortune, Sandy Grierson and Matthew Lenton, with the company
Conceived and directed by Matthew Lenton
Text by Sandy Grierson and the company
Music by James Fortune and the band
Based on the songs, poems and stories by Ivor Cutler, with additional material by Phyllis King

Performers and musicians
Jo Apps (Bass, Jupiter 4, Vocals)
Elicia Daly
James Fortune
 (Piano, flute, harmonium, toy piano, vocals)
Ed Gaughan
 (Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals)
Sandy Grierson
Magnus Mehta 
(Drums, percussion, vocals)
Nick Pynn
 (Acoustic guitar, bass pedals, dulcimer, fiddle, live looping, mandocello, saw, ukelele, vocals)

Set and lighting design by Kai Fischer
Sound design by Mark Melville
Associate Sound Designer Andrew Kirkby
Costume Design by Jessica Brettle

Production Manager Fiona Fraser
Stage Manager Mickey Graham / Lee Davis
Deputy Stage Manager Kara Jackson
Sound Supervisor Jeremy George
Lighting Supervisor James Gardner
Stage Supervisor Chris Richardson
Wardrobe assistant Kylie Langford
Dresser Suzanne Runciman

Development artists
Chris Branch, James Bryce, Ailie Cohen, Jenny Hulse, Robert Jack, Phil Wilkinson

Production photography and images Tim Morozzo, Katrina Lithgow
PR New Century PR
Social Media Niall Walker

 

 

Downloads

Programme

External web link - /media/1073/ivor-cutler-programme-2014.pdf
back to top