Listings: Mon 29 Nov – Sun 5 Dec 2021

Dec 1 2021 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week…

Christmas is almost upon us, with the first of the pantomimes and Christmas shows setting out their stalls this week. Not quite as many as usual this year, and just the two amateur events in town.

With Sleeping Beauty already bringing in the panto laugh at the King’s, the second of the biggies is opening this week with Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker flying into the Festival Theatre from Wednesday.

Scottish Ballet Principal, Evan Loudon, as The Nutcracker Prince in Peter Darrell’s The Nutcracker at the Festival Theatre from Wednesday. Pic: Andy Ross

Scottish Ballet use founder Peter Darrell’s sumptuous choreography from 1973 – with a few tweaks from current artistic director Christopher Hampson and designer from Lez Brotherston. The pair have added a few more changes since it was last here in 2017, to bring its sensibilities up into the 21st century.

That 2017 tour completely bowled our reviewer Joe Christie over. He thought Scottish Ballet’s take on Tchaikovsky’s quintessential ballet “feels like cozying up with loved ones around the fire, gazing in wonder as magic unfolds before your eyes”. We are much looking forward to re-visiting it, it must be said.

Although many amateur theatre companies have started company meetings, the logistics of staging Covid-compliant shows means that few have ventured out onto a public stage.

The intrepid St Serf’s Players are the only amateur company daring to brave the boards in panto garb this Christmas season. They are joining up with Trinity Theatre Company once again and taking on Jack and the Beanstalk up at the Inverleith St Serf’s Church Centre from Wednesday to Saturday.

Bound to be a Cracker!

St Serf’s aren’t the only amateurs in action, however. Showcase is bringing a live musicals concert performance to two venues this coming weekend – Palmerston Place Church on Friday and St George’s School on Saturday.

The company has been keeping going during lockdown with Zoom rehearsals and performances. Crucially, it hasn’t just continued making music but it has also continued to raise money for Macmillan – given the cancer charity £10,000 this year. And this double evening of classics from the musicals is, as it says in the tin, Bound To Be A Cracker!

Elsewhere, Pollyanna Esse is bringing back her verbatim play about sexual assault 20 Minutes of Action. First staged at the Bedlam it returns to Assembly. While down at the Playhouse there are  a whole bundle of one-night shows which have been held-over – and held-over again – during lockdown.


Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

20 Minutes of Action
Wed 1 – Fri 3 Dec 2021
Evenings: 7.30pm.
A man caught in the act. A victim’s life irreparably changed. A sentence that sparked international outrage. Verbatim play written and directed by newcomer Pollyanna Esse follows one of the most controversial sexual assault cases in America. Every word spoken on stage has been taken directly from the statements of those involved. Book here.

Aerial Christmas Cabaret Showcase
Sun 5 Dec 2021
Evening: 7.30pm.
A cabaret evening of circus, aerial and dance – showcasing emerging artists from Edinburgh. The 135 minute performance will include a 20 minute interval. Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
The Nutcracker
Weds 1 – Fri 31 Dec 2021
Evenings: 7.30; Matinees: 2.30pm.
Costumes plucked from the most gorgeous chocolate box; Tchaikovsky’s score to transport you to a land of dreams; and a story lifted straight from the pages of a classic fairy tale. Scottish Ballet with founder Peter Darrell’s sumptuous choreography. Book here.

George Watson’s College
Music School, 69 Colinton Road, EH10 5EG
Showcase: Bound to be a Cracker!
Saturday 4 December
Evening: 7.30pm
Showcase return to live performance with a Christmas concert of musical crackers in aid of MacMillan for two nights only. On Friday 3 they are at Palmerston Place (see below) and on Saturday 4 at George Watson’s (changed from the original venue of St Anne’s in Corstorphine). Tickets £10 (£5) cash on the door only.

Inverleith St Serf’s Church Centre
1a Clark Road, EH5 3BD
Jack and the Beanstalk
Wednesday 1 – Saturday 4 December 2021
Weds-Fri: 7.30pm; Sat: 2pm & 6.30pm.
St Serf’s Players with the support of the Trinity Theatre Company take on the sky-scraping panto… When Jack and Jill ventured up the hill, little did they know that one of them would be kidnapped by an evil giant! Can Jack climb the beanstalk, save the village of Upper Beanstalk and escape with a golden egg and his beloved cow, Pat? Oh yes he can!  Book here.

King’s Theatre
2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Sleeping Beauty
Sat 27 Nov 2020 – Sun 16 Jan 2022
Tue to Sat, 2pm & 7pm; Sun 1pm & 5pm
Rise and shine for the pantomime of your dreams! Grant Stott and Allan Stewart return with a script that will no doubt provide tribute to the late great Andy Gray amidst its bundle of fun and laughter. Book here.

Palmerston Place Church
10 Palmerston Pl, EH12 5AA
Showcase: Bound to be a Cracker!
Friday 3 December
Evening: 7.30pm
Showcase return to live performance with a Christmas concert of musical crackers in aid of MacMillan for two nights only. On Friday 3 they are at Palmerston Place and on Saturday 4 at George Watson’s (see above – changed from the original venue of St Anne’s in Corstorphine). Tickets £10 (£5) cash on the door only.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014.
Ant Middleton – Mind Over Muscle
Tuesday 30 November 2021
Evening: 7pm.
A brand new fully immersive show bringing the ‘elements’ to the audience through lighting, sound and set. The show will recreate what mental strength it took behind the scenes for Ant to complete his recent SAS series and his huge Everest challenge. Plus, throughout, Ant will take the audience through a motivational journey of self-help and self-discovery. Book here.

Adam Kay – Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas
Wednesday 1 December 2021
Evening: 7.30pm.
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat… but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year. Book here.

Abba Party Night
Thursday 2 December 2021
Evening: 7.30pm.
Dig out your 70s fashion, dust off your platform boots and get ready to sing and dance the night away with former Bjorn Again songsters Aileen McLaughlin & TJ Davis. All the hits, of course, but with added time for some special surprise songs, something that make this tribute to ABBA unique. Book here.

Whitney – Queen of the Night
Saturday 4 December 2021
Evenings 7.30pm.
Celebration of the music and life of one of the greatest singers of our time. Features a sensational line-up of musicians and artists, and together with a powerhouse and breath-taking performance in the spirit of Whitney, deliver a show that exceeds expectation on every level. Book here.

Shagged, Married, Annoyed Podcast
Sunday 5 Dec 2021
Two performances: 3pm & 8pm.
The only way the Ramseys can have a conversation without being interrupted by a small child or ending up staring at their phones is by doing a podcast. Now the loveable Geordie duo chat about life, relationships, arguments, annoyances, parenting, growing up and everything in between in front of a live audience. Book here.


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