Listings: Mon 20 – Sun 26 November 2023

Nov 22 2023 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

Time to take a deep breath in the few days of calm, before the storm of Christmas goodies hits stages on Thursday, when the Lyceum is first out of the traps with The Snow Queen (tickets). With The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at the Festival Theatre (tickets) hard on its tail on Saturday. 

First up, though, in non-Christmas mode we have a couple of short visits over the weekend. Little Angel Theatre bring WOW! Said the Owl to the Studio (Sat/Sun: tickets) for younger audiences. Edinburgh’s Framework Theatre, the company which uses only emerging and early-career theatre makers, have Play Pretend at the Traverse (Fri/Sat: tickets).

The cast of The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan R: Rebecca Stenhouse, Clare Gray, Jordan Young, Allan Stewart and Grant Stott
Front: Christian Alozie, Nyhal Adam, Kieran Lynch, Ess Green and Antony Morgan.Pic: Greg Macvean

WOW! Said the Owl is based on Tim Hopgood’s early years picture book which explores the world of colours with a curious little owl, who is determined to stay awake and see what daylight brings.

From the warm, pink glow of dawn through to a day filled with the bright colours of green leaves, blue sky, white clouds and, finally, a stunning rainbow — ‘WOW!’. But despite the beauty of the daytime world, the little owl decides that the night-time stars are the most beautiful of all.

The production comes thoroughly recommended for two to five year-olds, as a hugely imaginative combination of puppetry, performance and use of objects all hugely dependent on vivid lighting design.

Its returns only just now for Play Pretend at the Traverse. But it is worth keeping an eye out for Framework Theatre’s future productions as well as the return of this two hander, about a theatre company staging a new play by Katie Fraser about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape to Skye.

The Snow Queen

So, to the biggies. Morna Young’s adaptation of The Snow Queen at the Lyceum was originally intended to be the theatre’s 2020 Christmas production. Covid got in the way of that. But now it is ready to role and there is much to suggest it is going to be a hot ticket.

Young, who first started developing the show in December 2019 with director Cora Bissett says: “In the subsequent years, we discussed staging a smaller version of show but both Cora and I wanted to wait until the right time where we could present the ‘epic’ production that we both dreamed of.”

She adds: “Cora has got a great sense of humour, is brilliantly creative, and I love that she’s always up for experimenting. Both of us are musicians too, so the musical element of this show felt really key to us. I’ve known Cora’s work for years, so it’s been really exciting for me to work with someone whose work I really admire.”

We will be at the press night on Friday, so look out for our review over the weekend.

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan

The biggest pantomime in town, however, is the “King’s Panto” – at the Festival theatre of course while the King’s is being refurbished. This year’s production is The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan and the usual trio of Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Jordan Young are out of the traps and raring to go.

Stewart plays Mrs McSmee in this re-imagined version of the classic story of the boy who wouldn’t grow up. He gets to “argue a lot” with Stott’s Captain Hook. Young plays Smee, with Clare Gray as Starkey, and the combined forces of the Flawless dance troupe as the rest of the pirates.

Waving her magic wand as Tink, in search of that panto sparkle, is Leith’s Rebecca Stenhouse who trained at the MGA Acadamy. Edinburgh-born Robyn Whyte, who made her professional debut at the Festival Theatre in 2016, as a child in the ensemble of in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is Wendy andKieran Lynch takes the title role of Peter Pan.

The production opens on Saturday running right through to the end of the year. We’ll be at press night on next Tuesday, 28th, so look out for our review soon after.

Elsewhere in town, in the week that the Magic Festival launched its 2023 offering (listing to come) it is worth mentioning that Kevin Quantum returns to the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, or the Caledonian as we know it, with his most excellent close-up magic show, Edinburgh Magic (Sat only, tickets) If you are fan of such things and have yet to discover Keven, get along.

Listings for week ending Sunday 26 November 2023:

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.
Sat 25 Nov – Sun 31 Dec 2023 
Tue – Sat: 2pm & 7 pm. Sun: 1pm & 5pm.
No mats: Dec 5, 6, 7, 13. No evening perf: Dec 14

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.

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
Thurs 23 Nov to Sun 31 Dec 2023
Tue – Sat: 7pm; Mats Sat: 2pm; Sun: 1pm & 6pm.
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.

Studio Theatre
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Sat 25/Sun 26 Nov 2023
Sat: 1.30pm & 3pm; Sun: 11.30am and 1.30pm.
The acclaimed children’s book by award-winning author, Tim Hopgood, is brought to life through a blend of beautiful storytelling, puppetry and music. Directed by Joy Haynes, this show will delight and excite very young audiences. Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404.
Play Pretend (Framework Theatre)
Fri 24/Sat 25 Nov 2023.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Sat mat: 2.30pm. (Traverse 2).
Written by Katie Fraser

Day 1 in the rehearsal room for Amy’s dream job, working with theatre legend Greg on a new play about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape to Skye. However, as the process disintegrates Amy begins to question how much we know about this iconic story and what she knows about the people she works with… Book here.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, the Caledonian
Princes Street, EH1 2AB.
Edinburgh Magic
Sats 25 Nov; 2, 9, 16  & 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.

*NB: This is intended to be a complete listing of all public theatrical productions on in Edinburgh. If you are staging a show which is not listed, or a listing is inaccurate, please get in touch through the contact page, here.


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