Listings Mon 1 to Sun 7 July 2019

Jul 3 2019 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week

School’s out for summer and theatre pickings are thinning out ahead of the annual glut of August.

But there is still a bit to see, even if four of the main theatres are dark, with the second weekend of the Formation festival, historical drama at the Netherbow and a series of one-offs at the Playhouse,

A scene from Mary, It Began with a Lass, at the Storytelling Centre

First up, though, is a head’s-up for the Studio at the Festival Theatre, which has just announced it is staging an amateur production of The Vagina Monologues on Saturday evening as a benefit for the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre.

The garden behind the Scottish Storytelling Centre is home to Mary, It Began With A Lass for two nights midweek. Billed as a “fast paced journey through the life and loves of Mary Queen of Scots, it sees Andy Corelli directing a script by Suzanne Lofthus.

“I’ve always been fascinated with Mary, Queen of Scots even from childhood,” says Lofthus, explaining why this is more than a simple historical drama. “Like a lot of Scots, we are brought up with a romanticised view of our historical characters – we love the idea of a hero or heroine but often ignore the reality of their lives.

“Mary’s life was fraught with challenges and tensions and it seems she made some very unwise choices, being caught in a power struggle for not only the Scottish throne but the English throne as well. Elizabeth and Mary, both very powerful women – one ruled with her head and chose not to marry, the other ruled with her heart and suffered under the hands of dominant men around her, all desperate for power.


“Even today, powerful women still have to struggle to find acceptance and are often unfairly judged for not conforming to public expectations. Mary wanted power and love. Sadly, both destroyed her in the end.”

Then there is the continuation of Formation Festival at the the Roxy, which brings Toast, Sad Eyes to Smile and the Summertime Blues, each playing over three nights from Friday to Sunday. This is where to catch the cutting edge of what’s happening in Edinburgh’s theatre scene this week.

But if you want to sit back, relax and take in a bit of big stage entertainment, then the place to be is the Playhouse, where they have the Rod Stewart Story on Thursday, some banterous, balshy and bootylicious fun on Friday with Girls Night Oot and, for a purely joyful Saturday night’s entertainment, the pleasure of Jane McDonald’s company.


Assembly Roxy
Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU. Phone booking: 0131 623 3030.
Fri 5 – Sun 7 July 2019
Evenings: 6.45pm (Upstairs).
Formation Festival: Joe and Mel are a happy go lucky couple until Joe receives a terrible diagnosis that changes both their lives completely. A funny yet compelling story of two twenty somethings dealing with mortality and legacy in the midst of finding themselves. Book here.

Sad Eyes to Smile With
Fri 5 – Sun 7 July 2019
Evenings: 7pm (Downstairs).
Formation Festival: Queer identity plus slam poetry divided by austerity and multiplied by three. It’s odd socks, deadline chasing, ice cream, and brown envelopes from the DWP. A representation without explanation grounded in the stories we tell ourselves to make the world okay. Book here.

Summertime Blues
Fri 5 – Sun 7 July 2019
Evenings: 8.30pm (Central).
Formation Festival: A non-stop cabaret-style assault of music, visuals and performance poetry; a badass medley of unsurpassable Cajun music (with a definite Scottish burr) paired with dramatic spoken word from some of Scotland’s most outstanding verbal performance artistes. Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014.
Some Guys Have All the Luck – The Rod Stewart Story
Thursday 4 July 2019
Evening: 7.30pm
Back in theatres 50 years on from the release of Rod’s first album, this is a brand new show. Frontman Paul Metcalfe as Rod captures all the excitement, energy and charisma of the legendary performer including the infamous moves, showmanship, and sense of fun that have made him one of the most successful artists of all time. Book here.

Girl’s Night Oot
Friday 5 July 2019 2019
Evening: 7.30pm
Join the girls on a hen night that you won’t forget with a smash hit retro soundtrack… Songs from 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and now! Book here.

Jane McDonald
Saturday 6 July 2019 2019
Evening: 7.30pm
The BAFTA award-winning star of Cruising with Jane McDonald and Jane & Friends always delivers a stunning performance and along with her fantastic live band, guarantees to bring the audience to their feet with this evening of music and laughter! Book here.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR. Phone booking: 0131 556 9579.
Mary: It Began With A Lass
Wednesday 3/Thursday 4 July 2019
Evening: 7.30pm.
Must a woman choose between love and power? Battery Theatre present a fast-paced journey through the life and loves of Mary, Queen of Scots, exploring her love for Scotland and the men around her. A contemporary look at Mary’s story through the complex power struggles around her, power struggles that remain to this day. Performed outside in the Sandeman House Garden. Ticket price includes entry to John Knox House after the performance. Book here.

The Studio at Festival Theatre
22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Shall We Dance
Saturday 6 July 2019
Evening: 7pm.
After our last sell-out evening, join us for a contemporary, laid-back, fun and glittering evening of ballroom dancing. Learn the basics with instruction from professionals, then dance the night away with live music from Radio Pachuco and watch a fabulous showdance by World Champions and stars of Channel 5’s Baby Ballroom, Andrei Toader and Mia Linnik Holden. Book here.

The Vagina Monologues
Sunday 7 July 2019
Evening: 7pm.
In a one-off amateur performance in aid of Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, come and join a resounding chorus of desire, pain, joy, and anger. The personal is political and for 21 years, Eve Ensler’s play has given a voice to women’s experiences. These stories need to keep being told and shared over and over again. Say the words. Take up space. Take control. Book here.


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