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Gladstone's Bag

Britannia Panopticon

Gladstone’s Bag is our in-house orchestra and has performed and produced fundraising events for us numerous times.

Gladstone’s Bag was originally formed in 1993, by Lawrence Dunn, to play popular light classical music from the Victorian era, and their first engagement was to play at an event celebrating the 125th anniversary of the building of Crieff Hydro. Since then, they have performed throughout Scotland with their Victorian programmes and have also ventured into the 20th-century with their programmes of "music from the wireless". They have performed several times at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow, as part of their Music Hall afternoons, giving concerts.

They also specialise in playing scores for silent films and have played regularly during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at the Panopticon and during the Bo'ness Silent Film Festival. Much of the music they use was composed in the 1910s and 1920s specifically for performance with silent films. Where possible they use the original cue-sheets. They have played for short films by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Fatty Arbuckle as well as feature films including "Metropolis", "Nosferatu", "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and Hitchcock's "The Lodger".

They were originally a 4-piece ensemble - violin, piano, flute and clarinet, but they now perform with up to 8 players including viola, cello, double bass and trumpet. For their accompaniments to Metropolis and The Lodger they have used a Theremin, and for accompanying Indian films they use sitar, tabla and shruti box as well as western instruments.