Listings 15 – 22 Oct 2017

Oct 18 2017 | By More

On Edinburgh’s Stages (and surrounding woodlands!) this week…

Cracking stuff this week, thanks to an immense double dose of work at the Lyceum, the SMHAF taking off and the arrival of a classic from the National Theatre at the Festival Theatre.

First, though, as it is half term, don’t forget to get off down to Drummohr House, near Prestongrange Museum in East Lothian, to check out the Dragons which are nesting there. Dragons of Drummohr, the interactive theatre-come-game from giant specialists Vision Mechanics is a seriously impressive event.

Sophia Kolinas, Adam Tompa and Alexandra Mathie in Cockpit. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

The Lyceum is hitting a real high this week with two productions which are both serious contenders for that much abused term “must see” shows. The theatre is really flourishing under David Greig’s guiding hand…

On for just this week in the Rehearsal Studio, before setting off on a mini-tour, is James Ley’s fantastic Love Song to Lavender Menace – Scotland’s first Lesbian and Gay bookshop. It is a great piece of theatre in its own right, with a couple of seriously accurate performances, and has a real resonance for those who were around Edinburgh in the eighties.

On the main stage – well in the whole of the theatre really – is the revival of Bridget Boland’s fascinating immersive play, Cockpit, in which the whole theatre becomes a German theatre in 1945, requisitioned by the allies as a distribution centre to for Displaced Persons.

It has hugely topical resonances with Brexit, that Hugh discusses in his excellent review here. But it is worth noting that it was being written around the time of the very first Edinburgh International Festival – and staged in London the following January. It has a lot to say in the matter of art as a unifying force and is worth seeing with the ideals of the EIF in mind.


Elsewhere, the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival is getting into its stride. Julia Taudevin’s Hysteria! is at the Traverse all week in its lunchtime theatre season – and what a show that is. Then actor Mark Lockyer is at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with Living with the Lights On, his autobiographical play that takes his breakdown while performing at the RSC as its starting point.

Then there’s the National Theatre, at the Festival Theatre with Ivo van Hove’s production of Ibsen’s masterpiece, Hedda Gabler. They are on the stage this time, in the flesh rather than on the screen as part of NT Live. And while the production has not been universally adored, it looks to be a seriously strong piece of theatre.

In terms of musical theatre, the Dusty Springfield jukebox musical, Son of a Preacher Man is at the King’s, while smart young local company B2 Productions have the second weekend of their Little Shop of Horror up at St Serf’s. Hearing very good things about the latter!

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

Bedlam Theatre
11b Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ
Number Please
Wednesday 18/Thursday 19 October.
Evenings: 7.30pm.
New writing from Becca Chadder. When switchboard operator Sheila Chadwick answers a mysterious call from a dying woman, she is entrusted with a top-secret message. Comedy set in 1952, but with actual roles for women.

The Brunton
Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
Three Half Pints: The Three Musketeers
Wednesday 18 October.
Afternoon only: 2pm.
Chaos, mayhem and stupidity reign supreme as the Three Half Pints swish their swords, buff their boots and flourish their feathers in their most ridiculous adventure yet!
Fire Exit: Horizontal Collaboration
Friday 20 October.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Sex, power and politics collide in this courtroom drama with a dark twist, from David Ledy’s Fire Exit.
Keith Jack: Movie Nights
Friday 20 October (Venue 1)
Evening: 7.30pm.
To celebrate the release of his anticipated fourth album, Keith Jack will be performing tracks from iconic movies.
Shaper Caper: Within This Dust
Saturday 21 October.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Sixteen years after the events of 9/11, Thomas Small’s dance piece is inspired by photographer Richard Drew’s iconic images of a man falling from the World Trade Centre during the attacks.

Drummohr House
Meet Prestongrange Museum Visitor Centre, Morrisons Haven, Prestonpans, EH32 9RX
Dragons of Drummohr
Tuesday 10 – Sunday 28 October.
Evenings (not Mondays), Showings start at 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm & 8.30pm.
An augmented reality theatre adventure in the grand surroundings of Drummohr House from giant specialists Vision Mechanics. Using the Dragon Matrix augmented reality app, audiences assist the Dragon Protection League in finding all of the lurking mythical beasts inside the house and around the grounds. See preview: Saving the fire-givers.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Hedda Gabler
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 October.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees, Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm.
Ivo van Hove’s National Theatre production of Ibsen’s masterpiece. Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel.

Inverleith St Serf’s Church Centre
1a Clark Road, EH5 3BD
Little Shop of Horrors
Friday 13/Saturday 14 and Friday 20/Saturday 21.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Saturday matinees: 2.30pm.
B2 Productions, the offshoot company from Forth Children’s Theatre, take on the horror comedy rock musical about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. Say hello to Audrey!

King’s Theatre
2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Son of A Preacher Man
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 October
Evenings: 7.30pm. Matinees Wed & Sat: 2.30pm
The Dusty Springfield Jukebox musical directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood. Three broken hearts, one Soho hang-out, and the only man who could ever help them… Welcome to the Preacher Man, the swinging 1960s Soho joint where the kids danced the night away to the latest crazes and dared to dream of love.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848
Friday 6 – Saturday 28 Oct.
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Matinees Weds, Sat: 2pm.
Enter the foyer of the Lyceum in 2017 – but take your seats in Germany, 1945 in a provincial playhouse being used as a makeshift transit camp for displaced persons from across the continent. The whole theatre becomes a stage and all of Europe the actors in this revival of Bridget Boland’s explosive 1947 drama.

Lyceum Studio
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848
Love Song To Lavender Menace
Thursday 12 – Saturday 21 October.
Previews: Thurs 12.
Tue-Sat: 8pm, Matinees, Sat: 2.30pm.
James Ley’s funny and moving exploration of the life and times of Edinburgh’s Lavender Menace bookshop, started by two friends Bob and Sigrid in a basement on Forth Street in the 1980s.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
Netherbow Theatre, 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR Box Office: 0131 556 9579
Living With The Lights On
Tuesday 17 – Thursday 19 October.
Evenings: 7.30pm.
In this Actors Touring Company production, directed by Ramin Gray, Mark Lockyer shares his true story of an actor living life on the edge, from his on-stage meltdown as Mercutio at the RSC to his fiery relationships and ultimate recovery.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
PPP: Hysteria!
Tue 17 – Sat 21 October 2017
Lunchtimes: 1pm, evening performance Friday 13 only: 7pm.
A darkly comic political cabaret exploring the impact of sexism on mental health, partly inspired by the 2016 US election and the 2017 global women’s marches, and written in dialogue with over 100 people.
Our Fathers
Sat 21 – Sat 28 October 2017
Previews Sat 21, Tue 24.
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm.
Two atheist sons of clergymen are on a quest to find out how we disagree with someone we love in a new play inspired by Father and Son, Edmund Gosse’s Victorian memoir about growing up in an evangelical Christian family. Written and performed by Nicholas Bone and Rob Drummond.


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