Listings Mon 18 – Sun 24 December 2023

Dec 20 2023 | By More

What is on Edinburgh’s stages this pre-Christmas week?

With a full card of theatre activity in this week before Christmas, with all the pantomimes now in full flow and the addition of the Magic Festival which starts on Wed 20th, we have looked at ticket availability for those who need a last minute fix of the live stuff!

You will have to be quick, particularly if you are wanting to see Wicked at the Playhouse (run ends 14 Jan, tickets) where there are only single tickets available, or The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan (Æ review: ★★★★☆ Highflying)at the Festival Theatre (run ends 31 Dec, tickets), where there are only singles available apart from the matinee on Thurs 21.

Claire Morand, Derek Ward, Mandy Black and Gemma Dutton in EPT’s Cinderella. Pic Graham Bell

Fear not, however, as there is reasonable availability for the fabby Snow Queen (Æ review: ★★★★☆ Epic) at the Lyceum (run ends Sun 31, tickets) – well, if you can go before the weekend and don’t mind sitting round the sides.

Newly reviewed this week, Edinburgh People’s Theatre gets a four stars from our Hugh Simpson, for a production of Cinderella at the Church Hill Theatre (run ends Saturday, tickets) which is “effervescent, joyful, and appealing to all ages”. There is good availability for the remaining performances apart from Saturday matinee which is sold out.

Although EPT are Dameless this year, they have a Principal Boy. Oh yes they do! As Hugh says: “Rather than rewriting the genre, or wishing it was a piece of musical theatre, this is a proper old-fashioned pantomime, and all the better for it.”

There are two more Cinderellas around. The others are out East. At Portobello Town Hall, Stage Door Entertainment’s Cinderella (ends Sat 23, tickets) had timing issues which meant is was under-firing on press night. However, the company’s heart was very much in it for a determinedly local affair and we are hearing much better things from recent performances.

There is very good availability on Thursday’s matinee performance, but both Saturday shows are sold out and there very few left on all other dates. Worth having a look, but be quick!

The final Cinderella is the Brunton at Loretto School (run ends Sat 30, tickets), performed by Hopscotch Theatre, where most performances are sold out, but they have added an extra show on Saturday at 11am. This is the extended version of the show which has been touring round East Lothian schools over the last few weeks.

For the wee ones, we have a real soft spot for Unicorn Christmas Party (Æ review: ★★★★☆ Boogie time!) at the Studio (ends Sat 23, tickets). Once again, there is reasonable availability for this small venue show, but the weekend is all sold out.

Edinburgh-based magician, Kevin Quantum has two shows on in MagicFest 2023. His Edinburgh Magic solo show at the Waldorf Astoria (Wed 20, tickets) and Kevin Quantum’s Christmas Special at the Church Hill Theatre (ends Sun 31, tickets). There are only a few tickets remaining for both the Thursday solo show and the Sunday Matinee of the Christmas Special.

Elsewhere, tickets remain for Same Team – A Street Soccer Story (Æ Review: ★★★★☆ Exhilarating) at the Traverse (ends Sat 23, tickets), for the adult panto Booty and the Beast at the Three Sisters (ends Sat 22, tickets) and Boris & Sergey’s Christmas Cabaret (★★☆☆☆ Puppets unstrung) from Flabbergast Theatre at the Assembly Roxy (ends Thurs 21, tickets).


Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Boris & Sergey’s Christmas Cabaret (Flabbergast Theatre)
Tue 12 – Thurs 21 Dec 2023.
Evenings: 7.30pm. (Central)
Æ Review: ★★☆☆☆ Puppets unstrung
The Balkan bad boys of puppetry are back with their very own brand of Christmas cheer. They’ve put their leathery heads together to come up with an exceptional cast of cabaret delinquents, and can’t wait to unleash them on you this festive season. Carols, Chaos, and a tenuous link to a well known Christmas story. Book here.

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.
Cinderella (EPT)
Fri 15 – Sat 23 Dec 2023.
Evenings: 15, 19, 20, 21, 22: 7.00pm.
Matinees: 16, 17, 23: 2.30pm.
EPT with Paul Reakes’ take on the ever-popular pantomime. Prince Charming is off gallevanting round the world and leaves Pantomania to be governed by the selfish Duke of Verruca. When the prince returns the duke refuses to relinquish power. Luckily, faithfull Buttons, his friend Kathy and of course the Fairy Godmother are around to work wonders. tickets.

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.

The Joker & The Thief
71 Elm Row, EH7 4AQ
Close-Up Magic at The Joker & The Thief (MagicFest)
Thurs 21 Dec 2023
One show: 8pm (2 hours)
Astonishing close-up magic at The Joker & The Thief pub with resident magician Tim Licata, one of Scotland’s most entertaining sleight-of-hand artists. Free, but donations welcome. 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.

Portobello Town Hall
147-149 Portobello High St, Portobello EH15 1AF.
Cinderella (Stage Door Entertainment)
Ends: Sat 23 Dec 2023
All Fri: 7pm; All Sat & Thurs 28/Fri 29: 2pm & 7pm. Wed 20 – Fri 22: 1pm & 7pm.
Stage Door turn to the most popular of pantomimes for their first Porty Panto, which promises to transport audiences to a world of wonder, where dreams can come true, Cinders will get to the ball and everyone gets to go home laughing. Book here.

Studio Theatre
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Unicorn Christmas Party
Fri 8 – Sun 24 Dec 2023
Wed – Sun: 10.30am  & 1.30pm.
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Boogie time!
Find your inner unicorn and join glittering, magical unicorns Melody and Luna, as they bring a little winter sunshine, moonlight, good times, and a lot of boogies into everyone’s lives, with easy-to-follow dance moves and a soundtrack of Christmas hits.. Book here.

The Three Sisters
139 Cowgate, EH1 1JS.
Sleeping Booty
Wed 6 – Sat 23 Dec 2023
Wed – Sat: 9pm; Sun: 3pm.
Adult Panto with sparkling decor and costumes, an utterly filthy script and all your favourite cheesy anthems, fun, frolics, laughter and audience participation. Get ready for a night you won’t forget in a hurry, oh no you won’t!. Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
Same Team – A Street Soccer Story
Friday 8 – Saturday 23 December 2023
Previews Fri 8/Sat 9: 7.30pm.

Tue – Sat (not Sat 23): 7.30pm;
Mats: Sats 16 & 23, Wed 20, Fri 22: 2.30pm.
Æ Review: ★★★★☆ Exhilarating
Five women have come together with one goal, one dream. Coming from very different backgrounds in life they have to work together as a team if they want to do what no one from Scotland has ever done before. To win the Homeless World Cup, and bring the trophy home. (See preview: Football play closes Trav 60). Tickets and details: Book here.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, the Caledonian
Princes Street, EH1 2AB.
Edinburgh Magic
Weds 20 Dec 2023
Saturday evenings: 6pm & 8.30pm (Versailles Suite)
Æ Review: ★★★★☆ Rosy
Kevin Quantum performs an hour of magic that’s fooled some of the most brilliant and creative people ever to have lived, often times with strong links to Edinburgh and Scotland. An elegant, intimate and quite astonishing evening of magic, mystery and wonder in one of Edinburgh’s most historic and enchanting hotels. Book here.


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