Listings: Mon 15 – Sun 21 January 2024

Jan 16 2024 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

It’s a bit of a ballet-tastic week, this one, with Scottish Ballet’s Cinders! final week at the Festival Theatre (Ends Saturday: tickets) and Varna International Ballet visiting the Playhouse with three of Tchaikovsky’s greatest ballets (Thurs – Sat: tickets).

Not to be eclipsed, two major theatre events open, after the weekend’s previews. The Lyceum has Jekyll & Hyde, opening on Tuesday (Run ends Sat 27: tickets) and the big production of Macbeth opens at the Royal Highland centre (Run ends Sat 27: tickets).

Forbes Masson takes on the duality of Jekyll & Hyde at the Lyceum Theatre. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

With the only other event in town being the musical tribute show A Country Night in Nashville at the Playhouse (Sun: tickets), there is a distinct lack of amateur and small scale shows on offer. Still, you can look forward to Little Shop of Horrors next week and the Manipulate festival the week after.

So what of those biggies? The main event is probably the production of Jekyll & Hyde at the Lyceum. This is a one person adaptation by Gary McNair with Forbes Masson taking on the duality of good and evil in the title characters.

Masson is returning to the Lyceum stage for the first time in over 20 years, and reports from the previews are good. It’s a compact 70 minutes straight through. We’ll be running a review after Tuesday’s press night. There is currently reasonable availability on most dates.


Then of course there is a huge, warehouse production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth out at the Royal Highland Centre. Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma star in the title roles under the direction of Simon Godwin in a production which the most common adjective from its opening in Liverpool is “visceral”.

Set and costume designer Frankie Bradshaw has talked of creating a space which engages the audience in the Macbeth’s lust for power as they enter the building and find their seats. There are still a few of those left available this week – although none on Friday and very few on Saturday.

Scottish Ballet’s Cinders! Pic: Andy Ross.

The ballet on offer comes from two completely different directions. Scottish Ballet has gone all out to find a new relevance in Cinders! by casting male and female leads in alternate performances. It is very much a Cinderella as you know it, with ball, midnight flit and all, but the switching of genders between Cinders and her (or his) Prince (or Princess) adds to the dynamic of it all.

Compare that to Varna International Ballet and Orchestra at the Playhouse, who are touring under the auspices of Raymond Gubbay Limited and are going right back to basics.

Sleeping Beauty (Thursday, tickets) and The Nutcracker (Friday, tickets) are the classical versions of the original, including sumptuous costumes and the familiar choreography and settings.

Swan Lake (Saturday, tickets), however, is a recreation of Tchaikovsky’s original production for the Bolshoi Ballet in 1877. Modern audiences are more familiar with the 1895 version that included musical and choreographic changes by Marius Petipa and Riccardo Drigo, which was presented at the Mariinsky Theatre two years after Tchaikovsky’s death.

The producers of Varna International Ballet went back into the archives in order to return to the original score, orchestration and libretto, above all to preserve the original meanings that were at the bottom of the musical dramaturgy of the ballet.


Click on the name of the show or the Book here link to go to its ticketing site:

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Scottish Ballet’s Cinders
Fri 5 – Sat 20 Jan 2024.
Wed – Sat: 7.30pm; Fri 12, Sat, Sun mat: 2.30pm.
Scottish Ballet’s festive favourite returns for the winter season with a new name, glittering new designs, including a stunning art-nouveau-inspired set, and a charming twist to the tale. Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
Jekyll & Hyde
By Gary McNair, adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
Sat 13 – Sat 27 January 2024
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Weds & Sat: 2.30pm.
Æ Review: ★★★★☆ Atmospheric
In this captivating and comic adaptation by Gary McNair, the classic story of Jekyll & Hyde is turned on its head, revealing the depths of one man’s psyche and the lengths we will go to hide our deepest secrets. What will happen to a curious mind as it’s left to its own devices?  Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA

Sleeping Beauty (Varna International Ballet)
Thurs 18 Jan 2024
Evenings: 7.30pm..
Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse. Founded in 1947, the critically acclaimed Varna International Ballet returns to the UK following a breathtaking debut tour. Book here.

The Nutcracker (Varna International Ballet)
Fri 19 Jan 2024
Evenings: 7.30pm.
As snowflakes fall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems… Book here.

Swan Lake (Varna International Ballet)
Sat 20 Jan 2023
Two shows: 2.30pm & 7.30pm..
From Odile, the temptress in black tulle as she seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision to the spellbound purity of the swan queen, Odette as she flutters with emotional intensity, the dual role of Odette/Odile is one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges. Book here.

A Country Night in Nashville
Sun 21 Jan 2024
Evening: 7.30pm
Direct from The Royal Albert Hall, A Country Night In Nashville recreates the scene of a buzzing honky tonk in downtown Nashville, perfectly capturing the energy and atmosphere of an evening in the home of country music. Book here.

Royal Highland Centre
Ingliston, EH28 8NB
Sat 13 – Sat 27 January 2024
Mon – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Thurs (not 13), Sat: 2.30pm.
A couple corrupted by their relentless lust for power have blood on their hands. Witness the gripping tale of greed, murder, deception and superstition. Once you cross the line, you can never turn back. Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma star as the Macbeths, directed by Simon Godwin with set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw. Tickets and details:


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