Vertex Festival in West Kilbride runs from Friday 26 October to Sunday 4th November. This is the second year of this new multi-disciplinary festival of music, theatre, dance, film, visual arts, talks and comedy. The opening night sets the tone with two contrasting events:

New Focus Quartet (part of Music in West Kilbride’s annual programme), in the village hall from 7.30pm, the quartet comprises Konrad Wiszniewski (saxes), Euan Stevenson (piano), Mario Caribe (bass) and Alyn Cosker (drums). Margaret McCrorie of MiWK said of them: ‘Collectively they are wonderful, individually they are great musicians who love working together. The quartet is described as ‘the perfect festival fare; rich arrangements, memorable themes, fine playing and a unique mix of jazz, classical and folk …’

Rocky Horror Picture Show, a high octane immersion into the ultimate audience participation film (cue sheets will be provided), and a chance to dress up as one of the film’s many characters. The Barony’s doors for this will open at 7pm with the screening from 8pm.

Over the following nine days Vertex presents:

Hoodoo Voodoo and a further opportunity to dance into the small hours on Saturday 27th, also in the Barony. This event begins at 7pm and will end at midnight. In between you can dance to Artistic Licence and be entertained by the elegant chanteuse, Sophie Cotton.

Sunday 28th October (8pm) Vertex welcomes to the village hall the Coast of Arran Seabed Trust, known as Coast. Their achievements in rolling back the effects of years of over fishing of the seabed in Lamlash Bay and the southern area of Arran are a magnificent tribute to what local people can achieve when they put their minds to it.

Monday 29th (8pm) Jessica Danz is a new resident of the village, from Australia where she received her musical training. Her musical odyssey has included a year on Lewis and several commissions by Scottish groups, and writing for the Brodick Quartet. Her performance, on vocals, piano and violin, will introduce you to someone who whilst relatively unknown in North Ayrshire has a global profile.

Tuesday 30th (from 7pm) Steve Le Mash and Rip It Up. No one who has a passing connection with Scottish culture will be unaware of the rich history of Scottish music. In two sessions, back to back in the village hall, Vertex first shines a light at 7pm on the Art of the DJ in the company of Steve Le Mash who regularly performs to 1000s at festivals, and who is a ‘goto’ character in the business to learn about what makes a good DJ. His will be an illustrated talk i.e. he will have some kit with him, with which he will reveal his approach to constructing and delivering a good DJ set.

Vic Galloway and Pete Stanton are best known as a BBC Radio Scotland presenter and a film maker respectively but for Vertex (from 8.30pm) they will reprise their work on the popular exhibition, book, and TV programmes Rip It Up – which this summer has attracted large numbers to the National Museum of Scotland (closing on 25th November) in Edinburgh. This is your chance therefore to test your own knowledge of the history of Scottish Popular music (roughly from 1950-present day) in the company of two men who have not only documented it brilliantly but who are also major figures in the music industry, in their own right. But as we are all experts you may not agree with their views.

Wednesday 31st (7.30pm) The Quiggs. The McCalmans form part of Scotland’s music heritage and one part of that great band will perform for Vertex in the village hall. Stephen Quigg and his wife Pernille are the Quiggs Their shows are renowned for delivering folksong in its original form – simple, yet highly expressive, beautiful harmonies. Sound clips on Stephen’s website illustrate this well:

Thursday 1st (8pm) Giggles on the Green. Scotland is also renowned as a country of good humour and comedians and for Vertex’s fourth Giggles on the Green (at the bowling club) they will present four stand-up comedians who demonstrate that great comedy is alive and kicking, even if some of the language is a bit blue.

Friday 2nd (8pm) Dead Electric and The Shores are evidence that cutting edge, alternative rock featuring two guitars, bass, and drums has a strong place in Ayrshire’s music scene.

Saturday 3rd (2pm) Drumming workshop, Robin Parker is a well-known resident and photographer but few might know that he also has a life-long involvement with drumming including work with SambayaBamba. Chris Maughan, of Vertex, said: ‘This session is about releasing your inner percussionist which studies of drumming have shown helps to lower both blood pressure and stress hormones. It's fun, it's physical, and it's a great diversion from other stress-filled activities’.

Following the drumming workshop the village hall will stage Vertex’s second ‘dance’ event, which this year is entitled Shake, Rattle and Roll a look back to the 1950s. Mary Cahill, also of Vertex, said: ‘For those who really want to get into the mood Vertex is running a beauty salon from 6-8pm where your make-up and hair can be transformed professionally for only £10. The dance itself will start at 8pm for which expert dancers and a live band will set the pace, allowing all to develop their twist, cha cha and more. Whether you can remember the 50s or not born then it is a great chance to acquire some new moves and confidence.’

Sunday 4th (7.30pm) Ben-Hur one of Hollywood’s epic films which demands big sets, a cast of 100s, a chunk of the Mediterranean, chariots, horses and a place to stage the races. The show’s producer Kirsty Strahan said of the challenge: ‘Pure Magic Productions do not do things by halves and using a cast of four we will transform the village hall into an ancient roman setting, complete with the latest 3D technology, plenty of costume changes and jokes, just as in William Wyler’s 1959 classic film’.

Drew Kirkland, another of the Vertex team, said: ‘Surrounding these are a range of other events and activities including several free events hosted by Twa Dugs, the Kings Arms, and the Barony. We hope that there will be one or two events in the programme that will tempt people out to enjoy the positive feelings that Vertex will generate in the village, as it did in 2017’. The whole programme is available for download at