Listings 19 – 25 November 2018

Nov 20 2018 | By More

On Edinburgh’s stages this week

There’s plenty of pre-Christmas joy to be had on Edinburgh’s stages this week, as theatres begin to gear up for the seasonal rush, the first Christmas shows open and the real harbinger of Christmas theatre takes to the King’s stage in the form of the Edinburgh Gang Show.

While it’s not officially the Christmas season until the last of the Gang has ridden along on the crest of their wave, the production is always a real tonic to whet the seasonal appetite – and one worth witnessing whether you are are in the scouting movement or not. It’s proper musical hall, with a bundle of musicals thrown in.

A scene from Motown The Musical, UK Tour. Pic: Tristram Kenton

The big opener is at the Playhouse, where Motown The Musical settles in for a fortnight run. While this sounds as if it should be a pure Jukebox musical, it is not so much the stories in the music which drive the narrative, but the stories behind that music and how these songs got to be made – by people who weren’t supposed to be making commercial music in 1960s America.

There is a real feeling of a socially aware conscience behind the show. Which does not detract one jot from the immense songs and performances, it must be said, just makes them all the more exhilarating. And is certainly an eye-opener for those who are not perhaps aware of the history of the label.

A different kind of politics lies behind the EGTG’s Autumn production, as the company bring the Scottish premiere of the stage adaptation of Pedro Almadovar’s 1999 cult movie All About My Mother to the Roxy for four nights only. Big on gender politics and the transgressive side of society, it will be fascinating to see how Almadovar’s cinematic style transfers to the stage and how the company copes with what is, by all accounts, a complex production to mount.

Nor is the week bereft of proper politically aware theatre. With the thoughts of the United Nations’ special reporter on poverty still ringing in the ears – even if there are those high office won’t hear him – Foodbank As It Is 2018 at North Edinburgh Arts is based on first-person testimony, dramatising the stories of real people forced to rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families.

There is likely to be a bit more politics at the Traverse, where Pauline Lockhart’s Schooled is getting a work-in-progress two nights. More verbatim theatre, which uses individual experiences of pupils and teachers, past and present, to shine a spotlight on Scotland’s education system, while exploring possible alternative options.


If you fancy a bit of that transgression in as risqué action as modern burlesque will go, then the arrival of the Scotland International Burlesque Festival at La Belle Angele for one night only should go someway to twirl the tassels of titillation. Over at Festival Square, the big burlesque boys are getting it on as la Clique Noel – Part Deux, gets into its stride in the Spiegeltent.

At the Rose Theatre, Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas is a pure dead brilliant excuse to let rip with the big tunes. Expect a big lot of gallus humour to go along with it, asGail Watson, Jenny Hulse, Joanne McGuinness and MD Hilary Brooks feature in a show produced by Edinburgh’s Karen Koren.

For dance fans, Rambert is in town as Life Is A Dream takes to the Festival Theatre stage for three nights only, while Company of Wolves has Unbecoming at the Assembly Roxy.

Also at the Roxy, Tortoise in a Nutshell has a new interactive, immersive piece for the very young – two to six year-olds is the target audience – with the brilliant Melanie Jordan and Christie Mitchell taking their audience on a multi-sensory journey through a world of winter snow.

Listings Mon 19 – Sun 26 Nov 2018:

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
All About My Mother
Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 November 2018 
Evenings: 7.30pm. 
The EGTG with the Scottish premiere of the stage adaptation of Pedro Almadovar’s 1999 cult movie. Ross Hope directs a story that cuts across gender boundaries. Æ preview: Almodovar on stage. Æ review: ★★★☆☆ Ambitious.  Book here.
Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 November 2018 
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Company of Wolves with an intimate portrait of a woman fragmented, distorted by expectation, by obligation, by desire. A hall of mirrors. Under it all, who is she? Book here.
Sunday 25 – Thursday 29 November 2018 
Sun 25: 2.30pm, 4.30pm Mon 26 – Thurs 29: 10.30am, 1.30pm; Mon 26 & Wed 28: also 4.30pm.
An interactive, immersive performance for 2-6s that takes its audience on a multi-sensory journey through a world of winter snow. Created by Edinburgh’s theatre company Tortoise in a Nutshell and Freshly Squeezed ProductionsBook here.

La Belle Angele
11 Hastie’s Close, EH1 1HJ
Scotland International Burlesque Festival
Saturday 24 November 2018
Evening: 8pm.
Your hostess Markee De Saw introduces international burlesque acts Dixie Feathers and Betty Fvck from Helsinki and Eden Lost from L.A., with Betty Rose Royal, Innocence Bliss, Raven Rose, Rock Hart, Felicity Felicis and Crimson Day for an evening of lascivious burlesque pleasure.  Book here.

Festival Square Spiegeltent
Festival Square, Lothian Road, EH3 9SR. Phone booking: 0131 510 0395
La Clique Noel: Part Deux
Run ends January 5 2018
Tue, Wed Fri: 8pm; Thurs: 6pm & 9pm; Sat: 5pm & 8pm. Sun: 4pm.
Adult orientated Christmas stocking of seasonal treats – from the subterranean world of circus, comedy, cabaret, variety, magic, burlesque and subversive performance clubs – threaded together by a live band. Æ review: ★★★★☆ Spectacular.   Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Rambert: Life is a Dream
Thu 22 to Sat 24 November 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm.
In the same room, many decades apart, three parallel stories unfold. As they do, the room transforms and the characters are transported to a bustling city, a dense forest, an opulent garden and an arid plain. It’s possible that too many of their dreams are coming true… Æ review: ★★★☆☆ Woozy poetry.   Book here.
Madeleine Peyroux
Sun 25 November 2018
Evening: 8pm.
American singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux makes a welcome return to Edinburgh with a full band and new album Anthem which she describes as containing a “cast of Raymond Carver-esque characters”.  Book here.

King’s Theatre
2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Edinburgh Gang Show
Tue 20 to Sat 24 November 2018
Evenings: 7pm; Matinee Sat: 2.15pm.
Over 250 young people from Scouting and Girlguiding present music, comedy, drama and dance – it can only be the Edinburgh Gang Show back again for more fun!  Book here.

North Edinburgh Arts
15a Pennywell Court, EH4 4TZ. Phone booking: 0131 315 2151
Foodbank As It Is 2018
Friday 23 November 2018
Evening: 7pm.
Based on first-person testimony, this new version of the critically acclaimed stage production “Food Bank As It Is” dramatises the stories of real people forced to rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families. Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
Motown The Musical
Tuesday 20 Nov – Saturday 8 Dec 2018
Evenings (not Sun): 7.30pm, Matinees Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm.
Over 40 hits tell the story behind Motown, the personal relationships, the professional struggles, and – of course – the music that made history, defined the sound of a generation and got the whole world moving to the same beat. ★★★★☆ Electric Book here.

Rose Theatre
204 Rose Street, EH2 4AZ.
Doris, Dolly & The Dressing Room Divas… At Christmas!
Wednesday 21 November – Sunday 16 December.
Main Room: Weds-Sat: 7.30pm; Sun: 5pm.
Three make-up girls bitch, compete, harmonise, laugh and entertain with hilarious, heartbreaking, irreverent tales from the dressing rooms of Doris, Dolly, Judy and Liza. With Gail Watson, Jenny Hulse, Joanne McGuinness and MD Hilary Brooks.  Book here.

1 Summerhall Square, EH9 1PL
Navigate the Blood
Wednesday 21 November 2018.
Evening: 7.30pm.

New opera by indie folk-rock band Admiral Fallow and Gareth Williams set in the world of whisky and gin manufacturing. The story of husband and wife Bob and Lena, who run a small rural distillery disturbed by the arrival of Elijah, a strange young man who looks and moves very like their lost son. Book here.
The Two Character Play
Saturday 24 November 2018.
Evening: 7.30pm.

Fox and Hound Theatre Company with Tennessee Williams’s experimental piece which, at its heart, contains the struggle for clarity through trauma and mental health issues. Book here.
The Turn Volume 2: SHOUT
Saturday 24 November 2018.
Evening: 6.30pm.

TwentySomething presents the second edition of THE TURN, an exciting new evening of performance, spoken word, dance and music.  Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
Class Act 2018
Wed 21 – Thurs 22 Nov 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Class Act is the Traverse’s flagship education project. Now in its 27th year, Class Act challenges senior pupils from schools across Edinburgh to become playwrights, creating brand new scripts which are premiered on the Traverse stage.  Book here.
Friday 23 – Saturday 24 Nov 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Scotland has a fair and equal education system. Doesn’t it? The potential of every child is equally nurtured. Isn’t it? A daring verbatim work in progress from Pauline Lockhart using individual experiences of pupils and teachers, past and present, to shine a spotlight on Scotland’s education system, while exploring possible alternative options.  Book here.



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