Listings: Mon 23 – Sun 29 Oct 2023

Oct 25 2023 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week…

The big shows steal the headlines this week, with the World premiere of Treason The Musical at the Festival (tickets) and the opening of the UK tour of Disney’s Aladdin at the Playhouse (tickets).

But there is almost a surfeit of fascinating productions elsewhere in town. The Edinburgh Horror Festival (details) allows many of the city’s grassroots theatre makers to stretch their imaginations, the Traverse has another trio of great pieces with the final PPP of the season Disfunction (tickets), and two well-received shows on short runs: Moorcraft (tickets) and Battery Park (tickets). Meanwhile, the Lyceum has the whimsically titled work in progress: For us girls of colour making half notes into song when the haar is all (tickets).

Gabriel Akamo as Guy Fawkes in Treason the Musical. 

First up has to be the world premiere of the new Treason the Musical, about the gunpowder plot of 1605, playing at the Festival Theatre Wed – Sat. The show is created by Ricky Allan and directed byHannah Chissick with musical supervision by MD Nick Pinchbeck.

Treason began life as an online EP during Lockdown in 2020 and has moved through a live-streamed one-act concert performance and two sold-out concert performances at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, with a cast led by Carrie Hope Fletcher, Bradley Jaden, Simon-Anthony Rhoden and Les Dennis.

Now it is ready for a fully staged starring Voice semi-finalist Nicole Raquel Dennis as Martha Percy, wife of key plotter plotter Thomas (Sam Ferriday), Joe McFadden as James VI and I, and Gabriel Akamo as Fawkes.

There’s been plenty of noise about the show, which had mixed reviews in its concert productions, basically that it had plenty of musical gunpowder but not enough plot. Hopefully the six weeks of “intensive” development workshop will have sorted that out. We shall see.

The other big opener is Disney’s Aladdin, at the Playhouse for an extended run to November 18 before going off on its UK tour. If Treason has a pleasantly home-spun feel to its birth, the might of Disney will surely be obvious on stage for the rubbing of the magic lamp.

The Traverse is thriving

The Traverse is thriving these few weeks, as the last of the A Play, A Pie and A Pint roles in. The lure of the stellar casting of Maureens Beattie and Carr, with Betty Valencia, is surely enough to promote Disfunction by Kate Bowen and directed by Lu Kemp.

Showing back to back for two nights only, each, are hit shows Moorcroft from the Tron in association with the NTS (Tue/Wed) and Battery Park a new play with live music from Andy McGregor’s Sleeping Warrior Theatre (Thurs/Fri).

Both look back in time – Moorcroft to a working class West Coast small town in the late 1980s through the prism of football and a six-a-side team of best school pals, and Battery Park to 1992, through the prism of Britpop, where a raucous female-fronted 4-piece from Greenock are poised on the brink of stardom but disappear, never to be heard of again. Both come hugely recommended and it is frankly bizarre that they are only playing the two nights each.

If you can’t get a ticket to Battery Park on Thursday, then the work in progress at the Lyceum: For us girls of colour making half notes into song when the haar is all comes highly recommended. This lyric play sees responses from Scottish woman of colour to Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem: for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.

Curated by Hannah Laverey, this co-production between the Lyceum and Stellar Quines will be performed by the writers themselves: Hannah Lavery, Shasta Hanif Ali, Clementine E Burnley and Anita Mackenzie.

Listings for week ending Sunday 29 October 2023:

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

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

Opera Highlights (Scottish Opera)
Sat 28 Oct  2023.
Evening: 7.30pm (Loretto School Theatre).
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.

The Banshee Labyrinth
29-35 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG, UK
Edinburgh Horror Festival
Thurs 26 – Sun 29 Oct 2023
The Horror Festival returns with a host of spooky theatre shows, storytelling and other events. The main focus of their theatre is at the Banshee Labyrinth where seven productions and a cabaret are running Thurs – Sun this week. See our detailed listings for more information.
NB: Three productions have had to be cancelled at late notice: A Gift of Nightmares and One Man Frankenstein listed below, and stand-up comedy The Ruth’s on Fire.

Productions running Thurs 26 – Sun 29 Oct 2023:
Chamber Room
5.20-6.10pm: I SEE RED (Details here).
6.25-7.25pm: Sycamore Grove (Details here).
7.40-8.40pm: The Shadow in the Dark (Details here).
8.55-9.55pm: Dr. Bonk’s Macarbaret (Details here).
Cinema Room:
5.30-6.30pm: A Gift of Nightmares (Show cancelled).
6.45-7.45pm: One Man Frankenstein (Show cancelled).
7.55-8.55pm: Tarmac Lullaby (Details here).
9.10-10.10pm: The Devil in the Belfry (Details here).

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

Treason The Musical
Wed 25  – Sat 28 Oct 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm; Wed, Thurs, Sat mats: 2.30pm.
The new musical drama about the notorious gunpowder plot of 1605, set to completely blow you away with stunning original folk and pop songs. This one-of-a kind show tells one of the most intriguing tales in Britain’s history as it’s never been seen before. Book here.

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

For us girls of colour making half notes into song when the haar is all
By Hannah Lavery after Ntozake Shange
A Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Stellar Quines co-production.
Thurs 26 Oct 2023
One show: 7.30pm.
A series of poetic responses to Ntozake Shange’s iconic choreopoem exploring love, loss and sisterhood. This new choral poem/lyric play written by Scottish women of colour, inspired by the play for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf, will be performed by the writers themselves in this special, one-off work in progress to amplify the experiences of women of colour in Scotland.. Book here.

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

Disney’s Aladdin
Tue 24 Oct – Sat 18 Nov 2023
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Sat: 2.30pm; Sun: 1pm & 6pm.
One lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Featuring the iconic music by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice – this exuberant production is filled with unforgettable magic, comedy and breath-taking spectacle.  Book here.

Studio Theatre
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000

Shivam (Dance Ihayami)
Sat 28 Oct 2023
One show: 3pm.
Scotland’s first and foremost Indian Dance school;  Dance Ihayami will be showcasing the performance of their students in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Bollywood. Book here.

Timeless (Dance Ihayami)
Sat 28 Oct 2023
One show: 6.30pm.
Memories of the company’s past dance seasons  come alive in this dazzling and intricately choreographed dance show.  Rhythms and melodies bring to you the dynamics and the stillness of classical Indian dance. Timeless stories come alive with emotive expressions upholding the sentiments of the original songs and taking you to a realm of Indian dance magic. Book here.

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

Disfunction (PPP)
Tue 24 – Sat 28 Oct 2023.
Matinees: 1pm. (Traverse 2).
Written by Kate Bowen

Two sisters have been playing and perfecting their secret sibling game for decades. Now in their sixties, and about to lose their home, it’s time to unleash the family fun on the world. A brutal comedy about a family ripping itself apart to find the truth within and how far anyone might go for the financial security they crave. Book here.

Moorcroft (The Tron & NTS)
Tue 24/Wed 25 Oct 2023
Evening: 7.30pm (Traverse 1)
Written and Directed by Eilidh Loan.
Garry’s turned 50 but doesn’t feel like celebrating. Exhausted from years spent wrapped in regret, he begins to relive ‘the glory days’, trying to understand his mistakes, answer questions and right some wrongs in a bid to make peace with his past and find renewed purpose. Book here.

Battery Park (Sleeping Warrior Theatre)
Thurs 26/Fri 27 Oct 2023.
Evenings: 7.30pm. (Traverse 1).
Written and Directed by Andy McGregor

It’s 1992 and Tommy McIntosh is the next big thing in Britpop Britain. His band Battery Park, a raucous female-fronted 4-piece from Greenock are recording their debut album and preparing to tour the country supporting Oasis. But then, out of the blue, they disappear from the scene and are never heard of again. A play with live music from the writer/director of  Spuds and Crocodile Rock. Book here.


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