Listings Sept 26 – Oct 2

Sep 26 2016 | By More

Listings for week Monday 26 Sept – Sunday 2 Oct 2016

The Autumn season kicks into action this week with the first big amateur show of the season up at the Church Hill, a five star musical at the Playhouse and some serious drama on tour.

The main event for friends of Edinburgh’s amateur scene is surely Showcase 2016, returning to the Church Hill (Tue 27 – Sat 1) with its usual mix of songs from musicals with contemporary hit tunes.

The Course of True Love at the Brunton Sat 30. Irene Allan and Mark Jeary. Photo Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

The Course of True Love at the Brunton Sat 30. Irene Allan and Mark Jeary. Photo Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

The company exists to support charity by staging an annual concert, with all its money going to Macmillan Cancer Relief. That they have raised over a quarter of a million pounds in 25 years is as much down to the quality of the show they stage as anything else.

You’ve got a few weeks to see Billy Elliot at the Playhouse (playing to Sat 22 October), but don’t let it drop off the radar. It is a stonking good show with a strong political edge (for musical theatre) to add to its tale of a lad breaking out of the conventions of his family life. Read Martin Gray’s review here: ★★★★★ Tutu Good To Miss.

The serious theatre sees several touring shows coming to Edinburgh’s stages. The two really intriguing ones are down at the Brunton.

On Wednesday they have Journey’s End from Immersion Theatre. It’s R.C. Sherriff’s harrowing insight into the humanity of the First World War, based on his own experiences in the trenches. Here, young men grow old, long before their time. The EUTC gave a strong account of the play 18 months ago: ✭✭✭✩✩  Travelling light.

a risky political proposal

Oh Saturday the venue welcomes David Leddy’s Fire Exit company for the only Edinburgh date for The Course of True Love – originally produced for A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Irene Allan’s Celia and Mark Jeary’s Oliver have 30 minutes to decide on a risky political proposal that could tear their lives apart. Will they find the courage to reveal their true feelings and speak truth to power?

Lewis Smallman (Billy Elliot) and Ensemble. Photo Alastair Muir

Lewis Smallman (Billy Elliot) and Ensemble. Photo Alastair Muir

Elsewhere the Village Pub Theatre are doing their newly-written, short-form, script-in-hand play thing at the Village Pub on Thursday night, with a group of plays inspired by recent news. Stellar Quines have their 27th Rehearsal Room with works in progress from Molly Innes and Nalini Paul (Tue 27/Wed 28).

The big show on tour is Democracy by Michael Frayn, produced by Rapture Theatre at the King’s Theatre (Thurs 29-Sat 1). Set in West Germany in 1969 it follows Willy Brandt, who has just been elected Chancellor, and his devoted personal assistant Gunter Guillaume – who just happens to be in the pay of the Stasi.

The first preview of David Greig’s first full show of is tenure at the Lyceum is on Saturday 1 with The Suppliant Women (run ends October 15). The Scottish Storytelling Centre has a matinee of Flying With Swans from Aberfeldy Players, also on Saturday 1 – another play which rose out of A Play, A Pie and a Pint.

And finally, one of the most intriguing pieces of the week is at the Traverse on Thursday – Saturday, with Sue MacLaine Company’s Can I Start Again Please. Winner of a Total Theatre Award in 2015, the show investigates childhood trauma using semiotic theory and Wittgenstein’s philosophy. It’s performed in spoken English and BSL, with parallel narratives.


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

The Brunton
Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
Journey’s End
Wed 28 Sept.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Harrowing insight into the humanity of the First World War, based on R. C. Sherriff’s own experiences in the trenches. Touring production from Immersion Theatre.
The Course of True Love
Fri 30 Sept.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Celia and Oliver are in the world’s most expensive hotel, drunk on the world’s most expensive champagne. They have thirty minutes to make up their minds about a risky political proposal that could tear their lives apart. Will they find the courage to reveal their true feelings and speak truth to power? Touring production from Fire Exit.

Church Hill Theatre
33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Showcase 2016
Weds 27 Sept – Sat 1 Oct.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Matinee Sat 1: 2.30pm.
The usual showstoppers and chart toppers that have become the amateur company’s trademark, including classics from hit shows Elf, Blood BrothersandAmerican Idiot alongside some of the biggest chart hits of the last year.

King’s Theatre
2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Thurs 29 September to Sat 1 October
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinee Sat: 2.30pm.
West Germany, 1969. Charismatic Willy Brandt has been elected Chancellor. When Brandt ‘dares more democracy’, his own party conspires, plots and tries to destroy him. As his enemies tighten the noose around his neck, Brandt believes the only man he can truly trust is Gunter Guillaume, his devoted personal assistant.

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 from 5 Oct: 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.

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
Flying With Swans
Sat 1 Oct
Matinee: 2.30pm.
When three old friends reunite after many years, a ferry trip to see Arran’s migrating swans turns out to be the trip of a lifetime. This poignant, often hilarious play by Jack Dickson is presented by The Aberfeldy Players and directed by Gilbert Price as part of Luminate.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
Rehearsal Room 27
Trav 1: 27 – 28 Sep 2016
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Stellar Quines open their rehearsal room for the evening with works in progress from Molly Innes and Nalini Paul, and offer you the opportunity for discussion with the writers and director.
Can I Start Again Please
Trav 2: 29 Sep – 1 Oct 2016
Evenings: 8pm.
A meditative and moving performance about our cognitive capacity to process traumatic experience and the ability of language to represent it. Parallel narratives are told in spoken English and British Sign Language creating a mesmerising mix of verbal, visual and physical performance.

The Village
The Village Pub, 16 South Fort Street, EH6 4DN
VPT: News Night
Thursday 29 Sept.
Evening: 8pm.
Rapid response plays inspired by real news that’s happened this month… and no doubt a little rapid response home-baking too. This month’s performers are Nicola Jo Cully, Gregor Davidson, Matthew Leonard and Sarah MacGilivray. Plays from the VPT collective.



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