Listings: Mon 16 – Sun 22 Oct 2023

Oct 17 2023 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

The half-term break sees a week without a huge show in town – although children of a certain age will be bouncing out of their high chairs in anticipation of the arrival of Stick Man at the Lyceum (Wed – Sun: tickets).

There is more child-friendly fare at the Loretto School, where the Brunton is presenting the Singing Kettle remnant: Artie’s Singing Kettle: Halloween Singalong (Sat: tickets), with all the old SK favourites such as totally Halloween appropriate, Little Bunny Fou Fou.

The cast of Stick Man. Pic: Pamela Raith

The Stick Man adaptation is beautifully done and sure to please fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s evergreen picture book. It tells of a Daddy stick who goes out for a jog one morning and is grabbed by a dog before being taken all over the place and swept out to sea, eventually returning to his family tree, his stick-lady love and his family, three.

Previous tours have played more intimate settings, so it will be interesting to see how it translates into the larger Lyceum space. I’m sure it will be just as good – Donaldson’s understanding of rhyme and pace, repetition and humour, should be able to transcend any setting. While the show’s faithfulness to Scheffler’s art is spot on. Just hope that the Lyceum has enough booster seats!

There is a big focus on the Traverse, with a trio of interesting shows. This week’s lunchtime offering is Meetings with the Monk (Tue – Sat: Tickets) a solo show from Brian James O’Sullivan, that uses storytelling itself to challenge the nature of storytelling as O’Sullivan tells of a recent bout of deep depression and the meeting with the monk that helped relieve it.

a glimpse behind the headlines

The big one at the Traverse, however, is the arrival of I, Daniel Blake (Tue – Sat: Tickets), Dave Johns’ much lauded adaptation of Ken Loach’s award-winning 2016 movie, in which Johns played Daniel Blake.

The play is both a glimpse behind the headlines and the stark reality of what happens when the political system is stacked against you, and a touching – and vital – story of how people come together in the face of adversity. But how sometimes, creating a family to support you just isn’t enough.

Also at the Traverse is Women Walking (Fri/Sat: Tickets), Sylvia Dow’s new play inspired by the life of writer and poet Nan Shepherd and her love of nature. A lyrical story of a woman coming to terms with the loss of her mother as she heads for the mountains looking for solace, it is directed by Becky Hope-Palmer and stars Pauline Lockhart with Fletcher Mathers as Nan.

This promises to be an uplifting and heart-warming piece, as it arrives at the Traverse for the final dates of a small Scottish tour, having opened in Perth at the end of September.

dark historical mystery

Local grassroots company Broadsword Theatre have Schism (Fri – Mon: tickets on the door only), written by company member Alex Cook, at the Augustine United Church on George IV Bridge. This dark historical mystery set in the Scottish Highlands has the hallmarks of a fascinating night out – with some most reputable local actors on stage.

Set in the 1800s, Father Charlie Morlin arrives at a Highland village seeking shelter for the night. Charlie’s a long way from home but he isn’t here by chance. He comes carrying a letter he received from a frightened local, a gun in his pocket and some questions for the village innkeeper…

Dance fans have something big to look forward to this week, however, with the arrival of Scottish Ballet at the Festival Theatre for three performances only of their double bill Twice Born (Fri/Sat: Tickets).

The company come hot from their win at the UK Theatre Awards, with the title piece of the evening, an epic, mythical work inspired by ancient parables choreographed for them by Dickson Mbi. Set in another world where matriarchal figures are sacrificed and reborn, the large company of dancers move and breathe as one, in a breathtaking and intense dance spectacle.

Opening the evening is the UK premiere of Schachmatt (Checkmate!), by choreographer Cayetano Soto, a quirky, energetic, 20-minute ballet inspired by the words of Joan Rivers, the films of Pedro Almodovar and the choreography of Bob Fosse. What’s not to love!


Click on the title of the show or the Book here link to go to the ticketing site.

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

Weegie Hink Ae That? (GM Comedy)
Sat 21 Oct 2023.
Evening: 8pm. (Central)
From sketches to songs aboot aw things Scottish, come see these wee comical dafties dae what they dae best! Fast-paced, witty comedy with clever twists on Scottish culture. Starring Gregor Mackay, Conor Hardie and Elliot Hanigan. Book here.

Augustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL

Schism (Broadsword)
Fri 20 – Mon 23 Oct 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm.
New mystery drama by Broadsword’s Alexander Cook, set in a small, God-fearing, Highland village in the 1700s. Iona, a married woman who runs the local inn, is visited by Charlie, a young priest who is on the trail of a mysterious and altogether threatening new presence in the village. Tickets £10 (cash) on the door. Further details

The Brunton @ Loretto School
Loretto School Theatre, Millhill, Musselburgh. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240

Faith Healer (London Classic Theatre)
Fri 20/Sat 21 Oct 2023.
Evenings: 7.30pm (Loretto School Theatre).
Through the 1950s and 1960s, Hardy, his wife Grace and manager Teddy move from village to village, bringing an unpredictable mix of theatricality and the spiritual. Over four enthralling monologues, Brian Friel interweaves the stories of these three intriguing characters in an extraordinary journey of shifting perspectives and uncertain memories.  Book here.

Artie’s Singing Kettle: Halloween Singalong
Sat 21 Oct 2023.
Morning show: 11am (Loretto School Theatre).
Dress up for this Halloween Special from Artie who is guaranteed to get the family audience singing along. Singing Kettle favourites will include Little Bunny Fou Fou, Ghost Hunt and Shove Yer Granny Off the BusBook here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.

Scottish Ballet: Twice Born
Fri 20 – Sat 21 Oct 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinee Sat: 2.30pm.
Two thrilling works from two of today’s most exciting dance-makers. Twice-Born is award winning choreographer Dickson Mbi’s first commission for Scottish Ballet. Schachmatt (Checkmate) is by Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto. Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.

Wed 18 – Sun 22 October 2023
Weds 4.30pm: Thurs – Sun: 10.30am, 1/30pm & 3.30pm.
Æ Review of previous tour: ★★★★☆ Cleverly engaging
Touching, funny and utterly original, Freckle Productions’ delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man is back in town! What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree? Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404.

Meetings with the Monk (PPP)
Tue 17 – Sat 21 Oct 2023.
Matinees: 1pm. (Traverse 2).
Written by Brian James O’Sullivan.

Æ review: ★★★★☆ Imaginative possibilities
Brian is depressed… well that’s putting it mildly. He doesn’t have long left unless something drastic happens. A heart-warming semi-autobiographical story by about depression, salvation and some very funny holy men. Book here.

I, Daniel Blake (tiny dragon Productions)
Tue 17 – Sat 21 Oct 2023.
Evenings: 7.30pm, Sat Mat 2.30pm. (Traverse 1).
Written by Paul Laverty
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Furiously sad
Adapted by Dave Johns from the Ken Loach movie. Dan is a carpenter. A Geordie through and through. Just on the mend after a heart attack. Katie has just arrived from London. Finally got a council house for her and the kids. A fresh start. Book here.

Women Walking (Sylvian Productions)
Fri 20/Sat 21 Oct 2023.
Evenings: 8pm. (Traverse 2).
Written by Sylvia Dow

A beautifully poignant play imagining several interactions over a period of time between Cath, a modern woman carrying the guilt and trauma over the death of her mother, and Nan, long since deceased and brought back by Cath to help her find resolution. Book here.



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