Listings for week ending Sunday 31 December 2023

Dec 27 2023 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week before New Year?

As the old year prepares to turn into the new, this week is all about the Edinburgh Magic Festival with many events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (tickets & details here) and Kevin Quantum’s Christmas Special at the Church Hill Theatre (Ends Sun 31 tickets here).

This week is the final chance to sample the two main local Christmas offerings. Which means the big panto with messers Stott, Stewart and Young giving it loud and raucous in The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at the Festival Theatre (Ends Sun 31, tickets here); and Morna Young’s utterly magical take on The Snow Queen at the Royal Lyceum (Ends Sun 31, tickets here).

Samuel Pashby and Claire Dargo in The Snow Queen at the Lyceum. Pic Jess Shurte copy

Not to forget the Brunton @ Loretto School, which has Hopscotch Theatre’s Cinderella (Ends Sat 30 tickets here), and of course the sumptuous production of Wicked which is at the Edinburgh Playhouse into the new year (Ends January 14, tickets here).

Have a great time what ever you are doing!


So here are all the listings, with details of all the Magic Fest shows and pantomimes.

The Brunton @ Loretto School 
Loretto School Theatre, Millhill, Musselburgh. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
Cinderella (Hopscotch Theatre)
Wed 20 – Sat 30 Dec 2023. (Loretto School Theatre).
Wed 20-Fri 22: 7pm; Sat 23: 2pm & 7pm; Sun 24: 1pm & 5pm.
Wed 27-Fri 29: 11am (not Thurs), 3pm, 7pm; Sat 30: 1pm & 5pm.
Cinderella receives an invitation to Prince McCharming’s royal birthday party, but with her step-siblings Hackit and Glackit, the so-called fungal sensations vying for the royal Tik Tok star’s hand in marriage, they stop at nothing to keep Cinderella locked away. Book here.

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.
Kevin Quantum’s Christmas Special
Sun 24, Wed 27 – Sun 31 2023
Sun 24: 3pm; Wed – Sat: 2pm & 7pm; Sun 31: 2pm. (2 hours)
Straight from sell-out shows in Edinburgh and Australia, Kevin returns with a high-energy, wonder-packed family show at the Church Hill Theatre. Join the Edinburgh-based international star and special guest, the contemporary conjuror Oliver Tabor, for a magical night out, with big laughs, amazement and adventure. Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan
Ends Sun 31 Dec 2023 
Tue – Sat: 2pm & 7 pm. Sun: 1pm & 5pm.
No mats: Dec 5, 6, 7, 13. No evening perf: Dec 14
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Highflying
Join Peter Pan as he sets sail on a brand-new adventure for Christmas 2023. Returning for another year to the Festival Theatre, are pantomime favourites Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Jordan Young. Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
The Snow Queen
By Morna Young, adapted from the story by Hans Christian Andersen
Ends: Sun 31 Dec 2023
Tue – Sat: 7pm; Mats Sat: 2pm; Sun: 1pm & 6pm.
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Epic
When the beautiful and fearsome Snow Queen steals young Kei away to her frozen kingdom, she leaves behind the brave and brilliant Gerda, an Edinburgh lass. Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA
Thurs 7 Dec 2023 – Sat 14 Jan 2024
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun: 2.30pm.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked imagines a beguiling backstory and future possibilities to the lives of L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and reveals the decisions and events that shape the destinies of two unlikely university friends on their journey to becoming Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Book here.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High St, EH1 1SR. Phone booking: 0131 556 9579

Morning shows at the Storytelling Centre

Gary James: Wonderland
Wed 27 Dec 2023
Two shows: 10.45am & 12.15pm. (50 mins)
A fast-paced family-friendly show with jaw-dropping magic inspired by wide-eyed childhood memories and a career in entertainment. Gary captures the excitement and mystery from his childhood visits to the legendary Lothian Road store called Wonderland. Who’d have thought that family trips to this shop as a child would have inspired a life in entertainment? Book here.

Gary Dunn: Jokes & Tricks
Thurs 28 Dec 2023
Two shows: 10.45am & 12.15pm. (50 mins)
One of Scotland’s favourite family entertainers returns to MagicFest for another show filled with mad magic and silly jokes. Book here.

Tricky Ricky: Festive Funtime
Fri 29/Sat 30 Dec 2023
Two shows: 10.45am & 12.15pm. (50 mins)
After sell-out performances last year, the Trickster returns with more festive fun and lots of his puns in a show starring Jingles the Reindeer and his mischievous rabbit Sonny the Bunny. Prepare to be amused and amazed in this fast paced and chaotic magic show. It’s cabaret for kids and grown-ups. Book here.

Afternoon shows at the Storytelling Centre

Richard Wiseman: Mind Magic
Thurs 28 Dec 2023
Afternoon: 2pm (55 mins).
Enter the strange world of illusion, magic, and mystery. How do magicians produce objects from thin air and defy gravity? Does the paranormal exist? Join psychologist, best-selling author, and member of the Inner Magic Circle Professor Richard Wiseman as he explores the limits of the human mind. A fun hour for all the family. Book here.

Richard Wiseman: The World’s Greatest Card Trick and Other Mysteries
Thurs 28/Fri 29 Dec 2023
Thurs: 4pm; Fri: 1pm & 4pm (40 mins)
The world’s greatest card trick was invented in 1942. It has been performed by many famous magicians, amazed and astounded millions of people, and made Winston Churchill late for Parliament. In this intimate show, a small group of people join magician Professor Richard Wiseman as he reveals the unknown genius behind the trick, demonstrates other jaw dropping mysteries from the mind of this master magician, and celebrates the invention of the impossible. Book here.

Future Magicians
Fri 29/Sat 30 Dec 2023
Afternoons: 2pm (60m)
A welcome return for this very special MagicFest initiative where you get to see tomorrow’s magicians today. We take a group of would-be young magicians and pair them with professional tutors to prepare a special 15-minute magic act – which they then present on stage for you. Book here.

Vincent Gambini: This is not a magic show
Wed 27 – Sat 30 Dec 2023
Afternoons: 4pm (70m)
What makes magic magic? Is there really a Magic Circle Emergency Hotline for magicians in distress? A critically acclaimed performance of and about sleight-of-hand magic, its invisible mechanics, clichés, and what it tells us about live theatre and make-believe. Vincent Gambini presents astonishing close-up magic that invites us to question how enchantment and wonder are made within a theatrical situation. Book here.

Evening shows at the Storytelling Centre

Elliot Bibby: The Best of Bibby
Wed 27 – Sat 30 Dec 2023
Evenings: 6pm (55 mins)
After a complete sell out at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the Insane Magic boys, Elliot is back with a solo hour of magic. Bringing the best he has to offer from 10 years of professional shows in this comedy magic extravaganza. Book here.

Cameron Gibson and Friends:
Thurs 28 – Sat 30 Dec 2023
Evenings: 7.45pm (60 mins)
Edinburgh magician Cameron Gibson presents a fast-paced magic and variety show that will knock your proverbial socks off. From classic sleight of hand to mind-reading and comedy, it has something for everyone. Every show features special guests from the world of magic and variety – so you never quite know what wonders await… Book here.


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