Festival Theatre Listings

Upcoming shows at the Festival Theatre

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Website: www.edtheatres.com

The Festival Theatre. Photo © Thom Dibdin

Click on the name of the show to go to its ticketing site.

Tuesday 2 May 2017
Jasmin Vardimon Company presents a brand new adaptation of the classic tale Pinocchio.

Breakin’ Convention
Fri 5 & Sat 6 May 2017
Breakin’ Convention, the world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre showcasing the very best from around the world and around the corner, is coming back to Edinburgh!

Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes
Tue 9 to Sat 13 May 2017
A beloved fairytale and Academy Award-winning movie, The Red Shoes has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world.

Jane Eyre
Mon 15 to Sat 20 May 2017
Following a critically acclaimed season at the National Theatre, Jane Eyre comes to Edinburgh.

Remembering Fred
Sun 21 May 2017.
Starring Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, Remembering Fred is an exciting new show featuring song and dance and celebrating the legacy of one of Hollywood’s true screen legends and entertainers, Fred Astaire.

Out of this World
Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 May 2017
Out Of This World is a genre defying action packed thriller from Mark Murphy.

Scottish Opera: La Boheme
Wed 31 May, Sun 4, Tue 6, Thu 8 & Sat 10 June 2017
The team behind 2014’s hit Don Pasquale returns with a new production of Puccini’s classic, La bohème. Director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe set the romance amidst the jumble of Paris’s famous flea markets. Inspired by the Jazz Age of Josephine Baker, this production will be full of their trademark colour, character and style.

La Boheme Unwrapped
Whether you’re new to opera or an old hand, you can find out more at Opera Unwrapped – a free hour-long taster that gives an insight into our shows and how they are created.

La Boheme: Dementia Friendly Performance
Dementia Friendly: An abridged version of Puccini’s classic, La bohème.

CATS: Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland
The glittering ceremony for the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) returns to the Festival Theatre! A highlight of the Scottish theatre calendar, CATS celebrates the actors, directors, playwrights and other theatre artists who have made the most thrilling contributions of the year.

Tue 13 & Wed 14 June
Deeply rooted in Argentinean culture, tango has fascinated and captivated the world with its sexuality, power and beauty.

The Awfey Huge Variety Show 2
After the huge success of last year, The Awfey Huge Variety Show is back! Join us and be part of The Awfey Huge phenomenon – a night when the children of the city’s special schools have the stage to themselves and we see what theatre is all about – sheer creativity and unbridled joy. This is an inclusive performance presented in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Astronomical 2017 – Astro gymnastics
Astronomical Astro Gymnastics welcome you along to a spectacular evening featuring a stunning showcase of high level acrobatics, tumble and dance.

Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics.

Silent Cinema with Will Pickvance: A Night at the Cinema in 1914
Will Pickvance recreates a typical night out at the cinema in 1914, accompanying this glorious miscellany of comedies, adventure films, travelogues and newsreels.

Magicfest Gala: Levitations
The best illusion and circus acts from around the world assembled to perform a visually stunning and breath-taking flight of fancy, presenting a real version of our single most popular dream – flight. Enter a room where the rules of gravity are bent and broken…

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival – John Scofield /Mike Stern
Two of the biggest guitar stars of jazz and fusion in a very rare and incendiary jazz guitar double bill – both with all-star bands, including the legendary trumpeter, Randy Brecker and drummers, Dennis Chambers and Lenny White.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival – A Night with Ella
Ella Fitzgerald was the greatest vocalist the jazz world has ever heard, she mined the songbooks of Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Rogers and Hart, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin. Now Seonaid Aitken pays homage joined by the superstar young Groove Merchant Big Band and special guest Sam West who sings Ella’s special duets with Louis Armstrong.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival – The Blind Boys of Alabama/The Coco Mamas
The Blind Boys of Alabama have the rare distinction of being recognised around the world as both living legends and modern-day innovators. Not just gospel singers borrowing from old traditions, the group helped to define those traditions in the 20th century and almost single-handedly created a new gospel sound for the 21st century.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival – Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
The king of boogie woogie, swing and r‘n’b, Jools Holland is back for another energy-fuelled show with his fantastic Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, raising the roof of the Festival Theatre once again.

Edinburgh International Festival: Greek
5 & 6 August
Unveiled to the UK at the Edinburgh International Festival, Greek is now a modern opera classic, lauded in productions across the world. Mark-Anthony Turnage’s blazing opera exploded onto the stage in 1988 – and overnight redefined what opera can be.

Edinburgh International Festival: Macbeth
18 & 19 August
A major new production of Verdi’s dark operatic thriller, given by the International Festival’s 2017 resident company Teatro Regio of Turin, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Emma Dante. The opera was the very first to be performed at the inaugural International Festival in 1947.

Edinburgh International Festival: Don Giovanni
9 – 12 August
Following his acclaimed reimagining of The Marriage of Figaro at the 2015 International Festival, pioneering Hungarian musician Iván Fischer both conducts and directs his daring personal vision of Mozart’s masterpiece.

Edinburgh International Festival: Benjamin Clementine
Benjamin Clementine makes music that goes way beyond categories. Singing from the gut with a raw emotional honesty, he creates deeply personal songs full of love and melancholy, hope and regret.

Edinburgh International Festival: La Boheme
25 – 27 August
Opera’s greatest, most heartbreaking love story. La bohème is a sumptuous, visually magnificent new production direct from the Teatro Regio, Turin – the opera house that gave the opera its very first staging, back in 1896. It is conducted by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Àlex Ollé.

Richard Alston Dance Company
Fri 22 September 2017
The ever musical Richard Alston Dance Company return with a full programme including a brand new piece by Alston made especially for Edinburgh and Gypsy Mixture, a great Alston favourite, newly revived for the first time in a decade. Exhilarating dancing to the infectious music of Romanian and Macedonian gypsy bands will lift your spirits and quicken your pulse.

Tap Factory
Sun 24 September 2017
Tap Factory is an International hit-show for all the family, featuring urban tap dance, percussion, comedy and acrobatics.

Daksha Sheth Dance Company
Weds 27 September 2017
India’s most innovative dance company makes its Edinburgh debut with SARI, a celebration of the creation of this unique drape, in constant play with the body, both in stillness and in movement.

Scottish Dance Theatre
Sat 30 September 2017
Velvet Petal is inspired by the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and explores the relationship between music, photography and dance.

Love Letters
Mon 2 to Sat 7 October
Hollywood legends Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal star in the upcoming UK tour of Love Letters, celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney’s enduring romance about first loves and second chances. Following a critically-acclaimed Broadway run and sell-out US Tour, this stunning production comes to Edinburgh for 8 performances only.

Scottish Ballet Dances Stravinsky
Wed 11 to Fri 13 October
Scotland’s national dance company returns with a programme inspired by the music of one of the most distinctive and influential composers of the 20th Century, Igor Stravinsky, performed by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Hedda Gabler
Tue 17 to Sat 21 October
Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre, this modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece Hedda Gabler comes to the Festival Theatre. This vital new version by Olivier Award-winning playwright Patrick Marber (Closer, Three Days in the Country) is directed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge), who made his National Theatre debut with this acclaimed new production.

Rambert: A Linha Curva & Other Works
Thurs 26 October 2017
Rambert brings the riotous, colourful, sexy A Linha Curva to Edinburgh. This percussion-fuelled explosion of samba-flavoured dance helped the company win the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2010.

Slava’s Snowshow
Wed 1 to Sun 5 November
The multi award-winning international sensation returns to Edinburgh by popular demand. Enter Slava’s snowy world for a once in a lifetime, joyous, fun packed event culminating in a blizzard that puts you firmly at the centre of the action!

Tue 7 Nov 2017
Celebrated across the world for their stunning live performances, films and TV work, BalletBoyz are back.

Acosta Danza: Debut
Fri 10 & Sat 11 November
Following an exceptional career as a ballet star, international dance icon Carlos Acosta launches his brand new company, Acosta Danza in the UK.

La Traviata Unwrapped
Thurs 16 Nov 2017
Whether you’re new to opera or an old hand, you can find out more at Opera Unwrapped – a free hour-long taster that gives an insight into our shows and how they are created. Presented from the stage at each venue, our Unwrapped events involve singers, back-stage crew and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. You’ll hear highlights from the music and be introduced to the principal characters from the opera, the plot and some key scenes. You’ll also find out more about the props, costumes, lighting and direction, as well as some of the theatrical secrets behind the production.

Scottish Opera: La Traviata
Wed 15, Sun 19, Tue 21, Thu 23 & Sat 25 November
Passionate, flamboyant, gripping; Sir David McVicar’s La traviata is not to be missed.

Legally Blonde The Musical
Mon 27 Nov to Sat 2 Dec
OMG you guys!!! Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to Edinburgh. This all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is a fun-filled, feel-good pink fest, so bend and snap up your tickets today!

The Nutcracker – Scottish Ballet
Sat 9 Dec to Sat 30 Dec 2017
Christmas 2017 sees the return of Scottish Ballet’s much-loved production of The Nutcracker created by Scottish Ballet’s founder, Peter Darrell.

Inclusive Performance – The Nutcracker
14 Dec 2017
An inclusive performance of Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker for people with additional needs and their families.


Fri 12 Jan 2018
An evening celebrating the best of youth dance.

Miss Saigon
Wed 17 January to Sat 17 February 2018
Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical MISS SAIGON – a recent smash hit in the West End – is embarking on a major UK Tour.

Flight Unwrapped
Fri 2 March 2018
A one hour taster performance

Scottish Opera: Flight
Thu 1 & Sat 3 March 2018
Jonathan Dove’s life-affirming comedy flies north for its Scottish Opera premiere, with all the feel-good flair that garnered the performances at Opera Holland Park such rave reviews in 2015.

The Play That Goes Wrong
Mon 12 to Sat 17 March 2018
Hailed “a gut-busting hit” by the New York Times, Mischief Theatre’s sell-out West End comedy which is now playing on Broadway comes to Edinburgh for the first time

Mike + the Mechanics
Mon 19 March 2018
Genesis founding member Mike Rutherford (Guitar) joins forces with a new generation Mike + The Mechanics which includes one of the UK’s most prolific R&B singers, Andrew Roachford (Lead and backing vocals), whose previous hits include Cuddly Toy and Family Man, and Canadian-born singer, Tim Howar (lead and backing vocals) whose band Vantramp toured with the likes of Rod Stewart and Paulo Nutini.

Scottish Opera: Ariadne Auf Naxos
Thu 5 & Sat 7 April 2018
Following his five-star Rusalka in 2016, director and designer Antony McDonald is back with a new production.

Ariadne Auf Naxos Unwrapped
Fri 6 April 2018
A one hour taster performance

Scottish Ballet’s Highland Fling
Tue 10 to Sat 14 April 2018
Presented exclusively by Scottish Ballet, Matthew Bourne’ Highland Fling is a wonderfully imaginative reworking of the classic romantic ballet La Sylphide with a wickedly wry Scotch twist.

War Horse
Wed 18 April to Sat 12 May 2018
Following 8 record breaking years in London’s West End, having played to audiences in 10 countries around the world and a sell-out 2014 run in Edinburgh, the National Theatre’s acclaimed play War Horse returns to Edinburgh in 2018.

Scottish Opera: Eugene Onegin
Wed 23, Sat 26, Tue 29 & Thu 31 May 2018
Tchaikovsky and Pushkin: two of Russia’s greatest artists come together in this sweeping tale of unfulfilled love.

Eugene Onegin Unwrapped
Thurs 24 May 2018
A taster performance of Eugene Onegin