Listings Mon 27 June – Sun 3 July

June 28, 2022 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

As the fallow summer period approaches – ahead of the glut of the Fringe in August, there is time to take note of some of the smaller productions coming our way.

First up though, it is the final week of the Lion King at the Playhouse. There are a handful of tickets available for those who want them (Book here), but you will have to look hard. They come ones or twos with best availability on Friday’s matinee – when there were a grand total of 14 seats available as I wrote this…

Threepenny Theatricals. The cast of Enchanted April. Pic: Simon Boothroyd

Now to shows of a much more home-grown nature. First up is Tuesday night at the Assembly Roxy, where the Page2Stage peeps have a PRIDE takeover (book here). The format is four new short scripts, rehearsed on the day and performed script-in-hand in front of an industry panel and the audience.

Jordy Deelight is directing PSA Porno written by Emma Lynne Harley and featuring Carrie Smith, Jack Elvey and Paul Connolly. Matt McBrier is directing Butterflies by Gregor Mackenzie and staring Alex Hope.

Jen McGregor is direting Every Time We Do This Things Get Worse, written by Róisín Sheridan Bryson and featureing Natalie Kelly, Hester Owenhill and Martin Searles. Finally, Fraser Scott is directing JD Stewart’s Substitute with Lawrence Boothman and Nicholas Alban.

Enchanted April

The big show of the week, however, is at the Church Hill Theatre with the very welcome return of Threepenny Theatricals who are staging Enchanted April for four performances only from Thursday to Saturday (book here). It is a funny, insightful and romantic play by Matthew Barber, based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth von Arnim and will be directed by Simon Boothroyd.

In a bleak, wet London winter in the 1920s, two housewives dream of escape. When small-ad in The Times promises a world of sunshine and wisteria with no cares, no responsibilities and, importantly, no husbands, they throw caution to the wind and find themselves renting a castle in Italy. They are joined in their adventure by two very different ladies who are also in need of sanctuary.

Australia-born von Arnim was a popular writer of her time best known for Elizabeth and her German Garden – a semi-autobiographical account of her first marriage, to a German count. She was inspired to write The Enchanted April in 1922 when on a holiday in Portofino, Italy, where she was staying in the iconic Castello Brown perched on the hill above the harbour.

Elizabeth was enchanted with the castle and particularly with the gardens. In her diary on March 31 she wrote “Heavenly blue morning. Too divine. Sat on East side beneath walls of castle thinking and adoring it…” Just three days later she began writing the novel.

The company’s Fiona Main says: “There have been several adaptations of the book over the years but in my opinion, Matthew Barber is the only one to have stayed true to the author. It is a genuinely heart-warming play, and I love the idea that it centres around four women and their journey to find their own voices distinct from the confines and expectations of married life, or of their place or standing in society.

“It’s about the transformative power of San Salvatore and how not being afraid to be the best version of yourself can bring out the best in others. When I read the play, I really wanted to find out how it ended for the characters, and their stories really drew me in.”

Cosmic Dance

Also opening on Thursday, dance fans have a bit of a treat at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with the only Edinburgh performance of a new Bharatanatyam based dance production, MaMa: Cosmic Dance (book here). It is directed and performed by Kirsten Newell and Oxana Banshikova, on the themes of pregnancy and early motherhood.

Back at the Roxy, over the weekend the emerging Edinburgh theatre company Moot Point Collective is staging a new piece, Kneecaps (book here), in association with Framework Theatre on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Ali and Jess have broken up, and are dealing with their own problems. However, when a peculiar and life-threatening epidemic forces them together for the first time since their split, unresolved issues with religion, identity, morality, addiction and each other are well and truly unearthed.

Founded by Joe Hunter and Abbie Craigmyle, Moot Point specialises in creating and platforming new work from queer artists.

Kneecaps, written by Joe Hunter and directed by Rachel Fraser, is a surreal dark comedy that asks the question ‘how do we love ourselves as queer people when the world is designed to encourage the opposite?’

Listings

Click on the name of the show to go to its ticketing site.

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Page2Stagel (PRIDE)
Tue 28 June 2022.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Page2Stage is back and with its first themed night of new writing – celebrating PRIDE. Showcasing extracts from four brand new plays, read in front of a live audience, and industry panel providing dramaturgical feedback giving a rare insight into the creative process. Then carry on the discussion in the Roxy Central Bar. Book here.

Kneecaps
Sat 2/Sun 3 July 2022.
Evenings: 7pm.
Moot Point Collective in association with Framework Theatre: Ali and Jess have broken up, and are dealing with their own problems. But when a peculiar and life-threatening epidemic forces them together again, unresolved issues with religion, identity, morality, addiction and each other are well and truly unearthed. Book here.

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.
Enchanted April (Threepenny Theatricals)
Thurs 30 June – Sat 2 July 2022.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Sat mat: 2.30pm.
Threepenny Theatricals return under the direction of Simon Boothroyd with Matthew Barber’s adaptation of Elizbeth von Arnim’s much-loved novel tha moves from the grim realities of post-WWI London to the sun-drenched shores of San Salvatore. Through class differences, personality clashes and individual heartaches, four travellers eventually discover new friendships, self-confidence and love.  Book here.

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

Sandi Toksvig Live! Next Slide Please
Mon 27 June 2022 
Evening: 7.30pm.
In an evening of warmth, love and laughter, Sandi will explore reasons to be cheerful after many long months of coronacoaster gloom. Expect fascinatingly funny facts, silly jokes, a quick-fire Q&A and possibly a game of Covid Lingo Bingo. (Don’t expect handstands, ministerial behaviour or impressions of Chris Whitty). Book here.

Anton and Giovanni – Him & Me
Friday 1 July 2022
Evening: 7.30
Strictly Come Dancing
professionals Anton Do Beke and Giovanni Pernice join forces. The Ballroom King and the two-time Guinness World Record holder will be joined by a world class cast of dancers and singers. Book here.

Sarah Millican: Bobby Dazzler
Sat 2/Sun 3 July 2022
Evenings: 8pm.
Sarah is back on tour with a new stand-up show. In this, her sixth international tour, you’ll learn about what happens when your mouth seals shut, how to throw poo over a wall, trying to lose weight but only losing the tip of your finger, a surprisingly funny smear test, and how truly awful a floatation tank can actually be. Book here.

Playhouse
18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014.
Disney’s The Lion King
Thurs 2 June – Sat 2 July 2022
Evenings Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Weds, Sat, Sun & Fri 1: 2.30pm..
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience. At its heart is the powerful story of Simba and his epic adventure to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. Book here.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High St, EH1 1SR. Phone booking: 0131 556 9579
MaMa: Cosmic Dance
Thurs 30 June 2022
Evening: 7.30pm.
A new Bharatanatyam based dance production, directed and performed by Kirsten Newell and Oxana Banshikova, on the themes of pregnancy and early motherhood. Combining classical South Asian dance with contemporary choreography, two dancers explore and share their journeys as mothers. The performance is accompanied by originally composed music weaving together Celtic and Carnatic sounds. Book here.

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