Listings Mon 19 – Sun 25 Feb 2024

Feb 21 2024 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

This week is all about the one-acts: the Scottish Community Drama Association’s competitive Festival of One Act Plays, in which SCDA members compete for prestige and trophies.

Taking place over three nights at the Church Hill Theatre (Thurs – Sat: tickets), the nine entries form the Edinburgh and District rounds of the competition. The winners will go on to compete in the Eastern Divisional Final at the McLaren Hall, Killin in April.

The quality of the plays is always high and always worth the ludicrously small ticket price of £11 a night.

EPT’s Casual Encounter by Andy Manley in rehearsal. Pic: EPT.

Edinburgh’s entries include EPT with Casual Encounters, a black comedy about wife swapping and other inappropriate behaviour by Andy Moseley (not to be confused with Brief Encounter which the company is staging in April), in which James and Jennifer are told by their marriage guidance counsellor to try something new. James decides this can only mean one thing – wife swapping.

Also on the opening night, St Serf’s Players will be staging Nickers by Robert Scott. A thief has worked out an exquisite plan to steal a diamond from an old man’s house, but when they get the safe open, they find they are not the first on the scene. In fact, they are barely in the top five…

Thursday also sees the Livingston Players with Blood on Canvas by Richard James. On Friday there are three plays from young companies. Mill Youth Seniors with Red by Somalia Seton; St Kentigern’s Academy Youth Theatre with Last One Alive Wins by Racheal Horne; and Mill Youth Juniors with Model Behaviour by Jon Brittain.

frankly hilarious

The final night finds three Edinburgh companies competing. The Edinburgh Makars kick off the evening with The Virtuous Burglar by Dario Fo. A frankly hilarious piece of work the master of modern Italian farce, in which a burglar is surprised at their work by the return of the master of the house – and other complicating characters, known and unknown to each other.

EGTG will be staging the world premiere of a new play by Martin Forman, Taiwan. set in the remote Scottish countryside in the near future, it covers the intellectual theme of what our response should be to a world coming apart, balanced by the emotional on of how far we should go to defend ourselves and our loved ones.

Finally, Leitheatre will stage Mike Tibbetts’ conspiracy thriller: M.O.T. The two hander concerns a certain fatal car crash in Paris in 1997; of which we all know the victim’s name, although it’s not mentioned once in this award-winning script.

Jess Hardwick and Shauna Macdonald in Two Sisters at the Lyceum. Pic: Jess Shurte.

Elsewhere, David Grieg’s Two Sisters is up and running at the Lyceum (ends 2 March: tickets). It has a good handful of four star reviews, although not from our Hugh Simpson, who gave it ★★★☆☆ Wistful saying this “well-observed piece is ultimately too diffuse”.

Still there are big turns from the three main actors, and some great stuff from the chorus of youngsters who make up the ensemble for the production.

There is no question that Poggle at the Studio Theatre (Fri/Sat: tickets) is a work of genius for the six month to five year age group (and discerning parents). Tickets are selling fast, so if you have an under-five to take along, this is highly recommended: Æ Review from 2018: ★★★★★ Disarmingly charming.


Opera fans are in for a big treat with Marx in London at the Festival Theatre (Thurs, Sat: tickets). This is the Scottish premiere of Jonathan Dove’s opera, in a kinetic new production which plumbs the frivolity and profundity of the work and certainly has some great images in the staging to go along with the singing.

The Playhouse is on a comedy and sing-alonga tip this week. James Acaster (Tue – Thurs: tickets) is welcoming hecklers, but not new ones as he is all sold out. There’s a guild old Girls Night Oot! on Friday (tickets) for “the hen night you won’t forget with a smash hit retro soundtrack”. And a license to dress up and sing along on Saturday with first Sing-a-Long-a Matilda (4pm: tickets) and then Sing-a-Long-a The Greatest Showman (7pm: tickets).

Alasdair Elliott (Friedrich Engels) and Roland Wood (Karl Marx) in Scottish Opera’s Marx in London. Pic: James Glossop.

Listings for week ending Sunday 25 February 2024:

For next week’s listings look here: On Next Week.
The following week’s listings are here: On the Following Week.

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

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.
SCDA One Act Festival
Thurs 22 – Sat 24 Feb 2024.
Evenings: 7pm.
The annual SCDA One Act Festival features 10 entries this year. The adjudicator will be Kate Stephenson:
Thursday 22 Feb
Livingston Players: Blood on Canvas by Richard James
EPT: Casual Encounters by Andy Moseley
St Serf’s Players: Nickers by Robert Scott.
Friday 23 Feb
Mill Youth Seniors: Red by Somalia Seton.
St Kentigern’s Academy Youth Theatre: Last One Alive Wins by Racheal Horne.
Mill Youth Juniors: Model Behaviour by Jon Brittain.
Saturday 24 Feb
Edinburgh Makars: The Virtuous Burglar
by Dario Fo
EGTG: Taiwan by Martin Foreman.
Leitheatre: M.O.T. by Mike Tibbetts.
Tickets priced £11 for one night will be available on the door or Book here.

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

Marx in London (Scottish Opera)
Thurs 22 –  Sat 24 Feb 2024 
Thurs, Sat: 7.15pm.
The UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s opera, a kinetic new production, plumbing the frivolity and profundity of one man’s existence. London, 1871. The spectre of communism might be haunting Europe, but Karl Marx’s demons are far more mundane. Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
Two Sisters
By David Greig.
Sat 10 Feb – Sat 2 March 2024
Tue – Sat: 7pm; Mats Weds & Sat: 2pm.
Æ review: ★★★☆☆ Wistful
The story takes place over a single weekend as sisters Emma and Amy return to their childhood ‘paradise’, a seaside caravan park. Yet, the park has changed, and their childhood now seems a blurred memory as they delve into ‘adult things’; career anxieties and romantic complications. Lance, the DJ from back in the day, resurfaces teenage memories and reminds them how far, or not so far, they have come from their teenage selves. Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014

James Acaster: Hecklers Welcome
Tue 20 – Thur 22 Feb 2024.
Evenings: 7.30pm.

“One of comedy’s most original voices” has written a new show. He’s very proud of it. That being said, you are allowed to ruin it. Fill your boots. Book here.

Girls Night Oot!
Fri 23 Feb 2024.
One performance: 7.30pm.

To prepare for a marriage all a girl needs are her friends and a guid old hen night! 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… Banterous and Bootyliciously good fun!  Book here.

Sing-a-Long-a Matilda
Sat 24 Feb 2024
Matinee: 4pm.
Calling all revolting children and their parents – come and be a little a bit naughty at Sing-a-Long-a Matilda the Musical. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged and full audience participation essential. Book here

Sing-a-Long-a The Greatest Showman
Sat 24 Feb 2024
Evening: 7pm.
Cheer on Hugh Jackman, lust after Zac Efron as you experience The Greatest Showman in the greatest way possible – with lyrics on the screen so you can join in as loud as you want.  Book here.

Studio Theatre
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Poggle (Barrowland Ballet)
Fri 23/Sat 24 Feb 2024
10.30am, 1.30pm.
Æ Review from 2018: ★★★★★ Disarmingly charming
Vince wants to explore the forest but he’s too scared; until he meets Poggle, a friendly creature who takes him on an adventure through the forest to discover the magical musical tree. A funny dance theatre show with live music and an invitation to discover hidden secrets within the set. Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
Sat 24 Feb 2024
One performance: 7.30pm (Trav 1)
A hip hop theatre night featuring some of the freshest new dance theatre work from Scotland-based dancers. Expect a dynamic showcase drawing on hip hop, breaking, waacking and more. Through six performances, explore concepts that will resonate widely, including individualism versus societal pressure, the impact of social media on dance in the modern world, and the ‘butterfly effect’ our actions have on others, intentional or not. Book here.



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