"Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality." - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

A Festival of Ideas and a Line-Up of Famous Faces Celebrates Kirkcaldy's Most Famous Son


7th March 2018

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A Festival of Ideas and a Line-Up of Famous Faces Celebrates Kirkcaldy’s Most Famous Son, Adam Smith

  • David Tennant, Sandi Toskvig and Arabella Weir headline this year’s Adam Smith Festival of Ideas.

The Adam Smith Global Foundation is delighted to be staging its 2018 ‘Festival of Ideas’, and with big names such as David Tennant, Sandi Toskvig and Arabella Weir topping the bill, the event is set to be its biggest and boldest yet.

Inspired by Kirkcaldy’s most famous son, the economist and philosopher, Adam Smith, the charity aims to return Adam Smith to the centre of public consciousness on the local, national and international stage.

The two-day festival takes place next weekend, Friday 16th –Saturday 17th March, in Kirkcaldy, the birthplace of the author of “The Wealth of Nations”. It will combine great family

entertainment with thought provoking discussions on some of the key issues of today, demonstrating that Adam Smith’s legacy is still very much alive today in Scotland and indeed across the world, some 200 years later.

The festival will feature the traditional Adam Smith Lecture which this year will be given by Sandi Toksvig, writer, broadcaster and political activist. Sandi, will be the first woman ever to deliver the lecture which has a history dating back several decades and has been given by a host of leading figures such as Kofi Annan, former UN General Secretary, Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, and last year, Ed Balls, former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

This year, Sandi Toksvig, famed for standing up for women’s rights, and equality for all, will focus on women’s equality. In his second most famous book ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’ Adam Smith’s argument was that an economy had to have a morality underpinning its development and equality of opportunity was one of his strongly held principles. The lecture will take place on Friday March 16th at 7.30pm in the Adam Smith Theatre.

On Saturday, former Doctor Who and star of Broadchurch David Tennant will appear in conversation with BBC Scotland’s Two Doors Down star, and close pal, Arabella Weir, who will quiz him on his childhood growing up in Scotland, his rise to fame and what it’s like to be the most popular Doctor Who ever. As well as his live ‘audience with’ event, there is also a rare red carpet screening of his brand new film You, Me And Him, a classic romantic comedy, which he will personally introduce along with his wife, Georgia Moffett, executive producer of the film.

Award winning Edinburgh Festival comedian Kieran Hodgson will also take to the stage on Saturday, bringing his hilarious, laugh out loud one man show called ‘Lance’ live to the stage. ‘Lance’ tells the story of how Kieran idolised US cyclist Lance Armstrong only to later have his hopes dashed.

Marking 30 years in the music business, Kirkcaldy’s own funk soul band, Lights Out By Nine, will perform at the Festival of Ideas, with a double bill of music. For one night only, on Saturday at 9.30pm, and following David Tennant’s red carpet film screening, the band will revive their Edinburgh Fringe sell out show “What The Funk” followed by a set of their own great music.

Throughout the day on Saturday there is a family festival bursting with fun things to do for all the family including Bookbug sessions, drop-in coding clubs, digital animation with lego, face painting, Henna painting, Gaby the clown, a creative writing course and many more – and they are mostly free events.

At the adjacent Fife College, there is Kirkcaldy’s Food and Drink Fair, with an indoor market, cookery demonstrations from Scotland’s National Chef and BBC’s MasterChef Gary McLean and local Restaurant chef of The Waterfront, Tom Pratt. Also included will be hands-on workshops giving children the chance to decorate cupcakes or bake healthy pizzas.

Marilyn Livingstone, former MSP and now CEO of the Adam Smith Global Foundation, said: “This year’s programme is much more diverse and there is a real purpose to what we are trying to achieve, a festival that has real benefits for the town and its culture. The Festival provides a fantastic opportunity to profile our local hero. For far too long his memory and achievements have been the preserve of academics alone, with ordinary people largely unaware of his enormous global significance. We want to ensure that everyone who lives in, works in or indeed visits Kirkcaldy has the opportunity to embrace Smith’s legacy.”

Author and actor Arabella Weir, who took part in the 2017 event is the Creative Director of this year’s festival. It’s the biggest event yet staged by the global foundation which is now based at 1 Adam Smith Close after restoring the 15th century building which sat at the foot of the garden behind Smith’s High Street home. The aim is to provide a weekend of debate, discussion and fun – and the door is open to all to attend. Some of the events are also free of charge.

In addition to the Festival, the foundation is aiming to develop an on-going programme of education and creative engagement work.  The plans include the creation of an interactive visitor attraction helping to share the rich legacy of Adam Smith, not only exploring his birthplace and the places from which he drew inspiration for his world changing philosophies, but highlighting the local, national and international impact of the Scottish Enlightenment and it's global importance in today's world.

Adam Smith is one of Kirkcaldy’s most famous sons and is known all over the world. Now, the Adam Smith Global Foundation aims to ensure that he is even more well known in his own home town.

The two day festival is packed with top entertainment and family friendly fun things to do. The full programme can be viewed at www.AdamSmithGlobalFoundation.com Book your tickets at the Adam Smith Theatre box office or online at www.onfife.com


For further information please contact: Jane McGirk : tel: 01383 231241, or email: jane@mcgirkpr.com

 About Adam Smith Festival of Ideas-:

  1. The event is the brainchild of the Adam Smith Global Foundation and the programme is developed with a number of local partner organisations including-: Fife Council, Kirkcaldy4All, Fife College, Fife Cultural Trust (OnFife), Fife Free Press and members of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Group with support from a host of local organisations and individuals.
  2. The Adam Smith Festival of Ideas is an annual event and is part of the Adam Smith Birthplace initiative to celebrate the life and work of Adam Smith in his hometown of Kirkcaldy. The Adam Smith Lecture is a key event of the Festival.
  3. The Festival has seen engagement with local people, students and school children increase significantly across the social and age spectra.

About Adam Smith Global Foundation-:

  1. The Adam Smith Global Foundation was established in 2012.
  2. A registered charity, the objectives of the foundations are through the recognition, promotion and publicising and study of the life and works of Dr Adam Smith, to advance in Scotland and elsewhere, community development and citizenship, education, arts, heritage, culture, science, public participation in sport and the prevention or relief of poverty.
  3. The aim is to reclaim and continue the legacy of Kirkcaldy’s most famous son, Adam Smith. Working with partners, the focus will be on restoring the historic fabric of his home town while harnessing the spirit of enterprise, demonstrated by Smith over two centuries ago, bringing together public, private and philanthropic principles for the benefit of all.

Further information about the Adam Smith Global Foundation can be found online at www.adamsmithglobalfoundation.com


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