Listings Mon 18 – Sun 24 Sept 2023

Sep 20 2023 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

The start of this Autumn’s mini-season of lunchtime theatre at the Traverse is the big  news in a week when not a lot is happening. It opens with Ship Rats by Alice Clark.

There is some major dance in town, however, with Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet at the Festival Theatre all week, as well as a spot of opera as Scottish Opera bring their Highlights tour to the Lyceum on Saturday.

Ron Emslie in Man Shed. Pic: Right Lines.

Down at the Brunton theatre’s outpost at the Loretto School, Murray-based Right Lines Productions is bringing its hit one-man show, Man Shed (Sat 23. Tickets). After two successful Fringe appearances this is on a small venues tour.

It’s a bitter-sweet piece which uses the exploration of the joy of sheds to examine the pain of loss and the comfort of friendship. Playwright Euan Martin was inspired by the work of the Scottish Men’s Shed Association and by all accounts this is a heartfelt and moving piece of theatre, eloquently performed by Ron Emslie under the direction of Dave Smith.

Romeo and Juliet (Festival Theatre Tue 19 – Sat 23. Tickets) joins the New Adventures repertoire of dance theatre productions after a premiere in 2019. Choreographed and directed by Matthew Bourne, this is danced to the music by Prokofiev which includes the now iconic Dance of the Knights, most recently used as the title music of The Apprentice, but also used to great effect in the film of Caligula.


The Scottish Opera Highlights programme at the Lyceum (Sat 23, Tickets) – and returning to the Brunton (Oct 28, Tickets) – features singers Katy Thomson, Katherine Aitken, Innocent Masuku and Jerome Knox. Director Laura Attridge (The Miserly Knight and Mavra 2022) brings her signature storytelling to this year’s tour alongside designer Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, with music by Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti, and Tchaikovsky, as well as a world premiere by the tour pianist Toby Hession.

The first of the A Play, A Pie and A Pint shows at a the Traverse is Alice Clark’s Ship Rats, “an uplifting drama about finding allies in unexpected places based on the writer’s garrulous Glaswegian great-great-granny who sailed the world,” and already reviewed by our critic here: ★★★☆☆ Energetic.


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

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

My Lady Parts (Lighthouse Books)
Thurs 21 Sept 2023
Evenings: 7pm (Roxy Central).
An evening with Doon Mackichan chaired by Sam Baker. The actor, comedian and writer launches her new memoir in which shares her experience on stage, screen and in real life, examining how our culture still expects women to adhere to certain stereotypes – and punishes those who don’t. Book here.

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

Man Shed (Right Lines Productions)
Sat 23 Sept 2023.
Evening: 7.30pm (Loretto School Theatre).
How does a man find his purpose when he grows older, and all the major life events come thick and fast? Should he retire to the solitude of The Shed as usual and escape from the world, or should he get out and try something new?  Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo + Juliet 
Tue 19 – Sat 23 Sept 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm.
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Radical and inventive.
Shakespeare’s timeless story of forbidden love with a scintillating injection of raw passion and youthful vitality. Bourne’s masterful re-telling of an ageless tale of teenage discovery and the madness of first love.  Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
Opera Highlights (Scottish Opera)
Saturday 23 September 2023
One performance: 7.30pm.
Four singers and a pianist are flung into the oh-so-familiar setting of a wedding reception, to explore the highs and lows of love in opera. This year’s programme is curated by Derek Clark and includes music from the likes of Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti, and Tchaikovsky, as well as a world premiere by Toby Hession. Book here.

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

Ship Rats (PPP)
Tue 19 – Sat 23 Sept 2023.
Matinees: 1pm. (Traverse 2).
Written by Alice Clark.
Æ Review: ★★★☆☆ Energetic
In 1880, being the only woman on board a cargo ship in the South China Sea is not the safest place for Jessie, recently-widowed and demoted to the worst cabin. Especially when she’s puking for Scotland and sailors are dropping dead by the day. An uplifting drama about finding allies in unexpected places. Book here.


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