Listings Oct 3 – 9

Oct 3 2016 | By More

Listings Monday October 3 – Sunday October 9, 2016

It’s one of those weeks when there is a frustrating amount of fascinating small-scale theatre arriving all at once, leaving you without time to see it all.

Which is not to ignore the fact that there are also some very big and hotly anticipated shows and names arriving, with plenty for all tastes, it would seem.

Living Dolls in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang... Photo Music & Lyrics Limited

Living Dolls in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… Photo Music & Lyrics Limited

The big name is Dario Fo. Now 90, the legendary creator of such brilliant comic hits as Accidental Death of an Anarchist will be in conversation at the Lyceum on Sunday 8, with a whole mini festival dedicated to his work on stage and as an artist: Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words.

Most hotly anticipated of the big shows is David Greig’s first full production of his tenure as artistic director at the Lyceum. He’s had a couple of five star hits with the EIF co-production of Wind Resistance and Dundee Rep’s tour of The Cheviot.

Now, it is his own adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women (Tue 4 – Sat 15 Oct) that hits the stage. Directed by Ramin Gray with music by John Browne, it reunites Greig with the team behind The Events, presents a 2,500 year old play (possibly the oldest extant script) and uses a chorus of 30 young Edinburgh women playing the title role.

Over at the Festival Theatre, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies onto the stage (Wed 5 – Sat 15). It’s the new touring co-production between Music & Lyrics Limited and West Yorkshire Playhouse that opened in Leeds last December. The hot names on stage are Jason Manford as Caractacus Potts, Charlotte Wakefield as Truly Scrumptious, Claire Sweeney as Baroness Bomburst and Phill Jupitus as Baron Bomburst.

David Walliams

If that is welcome news for kids of all ages, a slightly more targeted audience is to be anticipated at Gangsta Granny, which hits the King’s (Wed 5 – Sun 9). It will have young fans of David Walliams’ book desperate to see it, particularly as all the notices recognise its accuracy in representing its source material. Always a good ploy.

The Playhouse still has Billy Elliot, of course (run ends Sat Oct 22) and you can read Martin’s review of it here: ★★★★★ Tutu Good To Miss.

So on to those smaller scale productions. Wednesday is the big day. Down at the Brunton they have Henry Naylor’s The Collector, a compelling tale of murder, evil and betrayal set in occupied Iraq. On the same evening, North Edinburgh Arts sees the arrival of a new play about the International Brigades Dare Devil Rides to Jamara (previewed here)

The EUTC are stepping away from their usual fare at the Bedlam for two nights only (Wed 5/Thurs 6), when Charlie Ralph directs the meta, post-modern, deconstructed musical [name of show]. There’s a preview of it here: [Enter title here], where Ralph talks about why he is taking on EUSOG and Footlights at their own game.

At the Traverse, the Autumn season of A Play, A Pie and A Pint opens on Tuesday with Breaking the Ice (Tue 4 – Sat 8), which is part of the Dario Fo season. On Friday the Traverse hosts a major debate about Fo, Encounters with Fo, with people who know his work very well indeed.

Not to forget that on Saturday you could see Catherine Wheel’s incomparable White at the Brunton in the morning, nip along to the Bongo Club where Creative Electric are helping the venue celebrate its 20th anniversary with two performances of Fragility (3pm & 7pm), before heading down to the Scottish Storytelling Centre where Mario Pirovano is performing Dario Fo’s monologue: Frances The Holy Jester.

Whew! And here are the listings themselves with more details of times and places.


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

Bedlam Theatre
11b Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ
[title of show]
Wed 5 – Thurs 6 October 7.30pm
Struggling writers Hunter and Jeff want to write and act in their own Broadway musical. The show they come up with is [title of show] – in which they write a musical about them writing a musical and, with the help of two of their actress friends, chart the journey from initial idea to debut Broadway performance. Meta.

The Brunton
Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
The Collector
Wed 5 Oct.
Evening: 7.30pm.
A compelling tale of murder, evil and betrayal set in occupied Iraq by Henry Naylor. Touring production from Kathryn Barker Productions.
Sat 8 Oct.
Matinees only: 11am, 2pm.
Catherine Wheels’ fabulous show for two to four year-olds and their parents. Read
Æ’s review here: “★★★★★ Perfect rainbow“.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Wed 5 – Sun 16 Oct.
Evenings Wed to Sat: 7.30pm; Matinees Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm; Sun 9: 1pm & 5pm; Sun 16: 1pm.
Can wacky inventor Caractacus Potts, his two children and the gorgeous Truly Scrumptious outwit Baron Bomburst – who has decreed that all children be banished? Will the car fly? Is this the best musical ever?
The Shape of Things
Wed 5 & Wed 12 Oct.
11am & 2pm.
The Lafayette Bar in the Festival Theatre.
This is a story of two shapes, Cubert and Triantán, and the adventures they have finding their way back to each other.

King’s Theatre
2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Gangsta Granny
Wed 5 – Sun 9 Oct.
Evenings Wed – Sat: 7pm; Matinees Thurs 10.30am; Fri, Sat: 2.30pm; Sun 11am.
Birmingham Stage Company bring a new production based on the book by David Walliams, the UK’s best-selling children’s author. It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means staying with Granny. What Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret…

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848
The Suppliant Women
Sat 1 – Sat 15 Oct.
Previews Sat 1 & Mon 3; opens Tue 4.
Evenings Tue – Sat: 7.30pm.
Matinees: Weds & Sat: 2pm.
Fifty women escape forced marriage in their homeland. Leaving everything, they flee across the Mediterranean to Greece in search of asylum. Aeschylus’ 2,500 year-old script gets its first English language performance in a translation by David Greig.

North Edinburgh Arts
15a Pennywell Road, EH4 4TZ Box Office: 0131 315 2151
Dare Devil Rides to Jarama
Wed 5 October
Evening: 7pm
Fascism clutched at the throat of the Spanish people in 1936, threatening a foul tyranny and the menace of war in Europe. Townsend Productions‘ new play tells the true story of Clem “Dare Devil” Beckett – star of the Speedway track and fighter against money-sharks and corruption in his sport – who joined the volunteers in the International Brigades to defend democracy against Franco’s rising fascist army.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
Billy Elliot the Musical
Run ends Sat 22 October.
Evenings Mon – Sat: 7.30pm.
Matinees Thurs & Sat: 2.30pm.
Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Read Martin Gray’s review here: ★★★★★    Tutu Good To Miss.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
Netherbow Theatre, 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR Box Office: 0131 556 9579
Frances the Holy Jester
Sat 8 Oct
Evening: 7.30pm.
Dario Fo’s monologue is performed in English by his close friend and leading interpreter of his work. Mario Pirovano plays cardinals, soldiers, farmers, traders and the saint himself, in a comic, moving, lovingly crafted and expertly told storytelling performance.

Studio at Festival Theatre
22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Once This Is All Over We Still Have to Clear Up
Tue 4 October 2016
Evening: 7pm.
Balloons and bubbles. Fears and fancies. Loss that stings and love that lingers. And dancing all the wee hours in between. With live music, movement and poetry, new Scottish theatre company Yellow Magpies celebrates all the beautiful things and all we do to make them so.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
PPP: Breaking the Ice
Tue 4 – Sat 8 Oct 2016.
Daily 1pm; Fri 7: also 7pm.

Opening play in A Play, A Pie and A Pint lunchtime theatre season. The Arctic is in danger and the only thing that can save it is bureaucracy – but the man with the speech to do it has spilt yogurt on his suit, left his speech at the breakfast buffet and been kidnapped by militant activists.


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