Author, poet, playwright – Jackie Kay comes to Peebles

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Literary fans can join author Jackie Kay for an evening of conversation and readings around the themes of character, identity and a sense of place on Saturday, when she will be at the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles.

Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and Nigerian father, Jackie grew up in Glasgow after she was adopted as a baby by Helen and John Kay.

She says: “I was quite chatty, loquacious ... I had a big imagination, so I always liked writing, but more than that, I always wanted to be an actress .”

Jackie Kay is acclaimed for her work in many different genres – poetry, plays, short stories, books for children, adult novels, and the autobiography, Red Dust Road, which won the 2011 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Award. A poetry collection in the same year, Fiere, was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award; and was followed in 2012 by a new set of short stories, Reality Reality.

Jackie Kay’s writing is characterised by intelligence, insight, emotion, humour and is full of wonderful characters whose voices feel authentic and immediate.

One reviewer described her style “as though she is speaking to you at a bus stop”.

The event starts at 7.30pm, and tickets are priced £12 (£5 schoolchildren).

On Sunday (August 31), two films are on offer – the classic African Queen (U) at 2.30pm, and the surreal Big Fish (PG) at 7.30pm.

African Queen is set in Africa during the First World War, and stars a gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain Charlie Alnutt (Humphrey Bogart), who is persuaded by a straight-laced missionary Rose Sayer (Katharine Hepburn) – who has been forced by German troops to flee her mission – to use his boat (the African Queen) to attack an enemy warship. The contrast in their personalities leads to fireworks and a legendary screen duo created celluloid history. Tickets are £7 (£5 schoolchildren).

Big Fish revolves around a dying father (Albert Finney) and his son (Billy Crudup), who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the legends and myths he has gathered over the years. Through these memories, he begins to understand his father’s great feats and his great failings. Also starring Steve Buscemi, Danny De Vito and Ewan McGregor. Tim Burton directs. Tickets are £7 (£5 schoolchildren).