Listings: Mon 3 – Sun 9 April 2023

Apr 4 2023 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s Stages this week?

There’s plenty to chew over and plenty to enjoy in Edinburgh this week, with EMT going 9 to 5 at the Church Hill, EUSOG playing Pinafore at the Bedlam and a new play about Henrietta Lacks at the Traverse.

Meanwhile, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – the Musical (★★★☆☆ Visually impressive) continues its run at the Playhouse (Tickets here) and the latest Peter James adaptation, Wish You Were Dead arrives at the Festival Theatre (Tickets here).

A scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Pic: Johan Persson.

First though, in this Easter Week, is the return of the Edinburgh Easter Play to West Princes Street Gardens on Easter Saturday, April 8, 2pm. Under the nurturing care of director Suzanne Lofthus this has become one of the city’s major outdoor theatre events.

This year, the play returns to a traditional telling – The Life of Jesus Christ by Peter Hutley, Originally written for the Wintershall Estate in Surrey where it is performed in June every year, it has now been adapted for Princes Street Gardens by Suzanne Loftus for a cast of 30. This production will include the involvement of living history society, The Antonine Guard.

The Edinburgh Easter Play is accompanied by two wraparound events. A Giving Tree to collect charitable donations for national and international causes and a Treasure Hunt for families, with Gospel-inspired clues and prizes for every participant for which booking is necessary. (Details here).

9 to 5 The Musical has had something of a renaissance in recent years with Dolly Parton’s hard-working commercial production touring to Edinburgh several times.

Edinburgh Music Theatre’s chair, Ruth Cowie, promises something a little bit different for their production of the show, up at the Church HIll Theatre this week, in this celebration of strong female characters who are fighting fiercely for equality.

“The cast and production team have been working very hard on this production and are having a lot of fun doing it,” she says. “The vision of the production team has also resulted in a new and exciting set that we’re thrilled to be revealing for the very first time.”

new life

At the Bedlam the Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group are hoping to breath new life into an old favourite, according to the producer of Gilbert and Sulivan’s HMS Pinafore.

“As always, EUSOG is striving to reimagine the G&S which everyone knows and loves,” says Fiona Forster. “Whilst this version will be set in a similar time period, our director, Fraser Grant, thought: ‘why not stage this musical as a nautical cabaret?’ His aim is to give the show a real pulse and yet still keep Gilbert and Sullivan’s parody as fresh as the day it premiered.” (Tickets here).

The Traverse has a trio of fascinating looking shows on this week. The finalé in this season’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint, The Spark, by the award-winning team behind Bard in the Botanic’s Medea, is about the ability to suddenly fight back and the ways in which a woman can and cannot remake her life and her world (Tickets here).

It’s ten years since Adura Onashile’s solo show about Henrietta Lacks, HeLa, whose cancer cells were able to live and replicate outside her body, but who neither knew nor consented to their use in medicine. Mojisola Adebayo’s 2021 Alfred Fagon award-winning play Family Tree, at the Traverse for three nights only, sees Henrietta Lacks’s story through that of three NHS nurses in the pandemic, each denied their place in history. (Tickets here).

And then on Saturday, for one performance only, Theatre Gu Leòr bring their new Gaelic Western, Stornoway, Quebec, to the Traverse. Set in Quebec in 1888, a snowstorm traps five people in a remote saloon. One of them, Donald Morrison, is a man on the run. To some, he is one the most wanted outlaws of his day but to this close-knit community of Gaelic migrants from Lewis, he is one of their own.

Hot on his heels is badass Barra woman, Màiri MacNeill, a whisky-fuelled, pistol-slinging, bounty hunter. She has a history and a score to settle… (Tickets here).

See the listings below for full details and the rest of many plays taking place across Edinburgh’s stages this week.


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

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

Wed 5 April 2023.
Evening: 7.30pm (Roxy Central).
Presented by Vanishing Point Unplugged and Catriona MacLeod.
A woman can hear a voice coming from her brand-new washing machine. When she talks to it – to her surprise – it talks back, and it’s surprisingly good conversation.  Book here.

Bedlam Theatre
11B Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ.

HMS Pinafore
Tue 4 – Fri 7 April 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm.
EUSOG presents an all-singing, all-dancing rendition of Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore which promises high drama and high kicks as the captain’s daughter falls for a lowly sailor in this comical nautical cabaret. Book here.

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.
9 to 5 The Musical

Tue 4 – Sat 8 April 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm; Sat Mat: 2.30pm.

Edinburgh Musical Theatre with the story of three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the women manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? Book here.

The McDougalls – Magic Castle
Sun 9 April 2023
One show: 1pm.

Join Auntie Aggie, Max and Morag the Rabbit on an enchanting trip to the Magic Castle – a spellbinding school for trainee wizards.
There are potions to perfect, broomsticks to battle and spells to solve! But what lurks in the Dingy Dungeon…? Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Wish You Were Dead
Tue 4 – Sat 8 April 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees Wed, Sat: 2.30pm.
The next stage adaptation of a Peter James novel sees Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and Cleo Morey take their first holiday together. Cleo hopes she will finally get Grace to herself for a few days but dream escape turns into holiday from hell, as the past comes back to haunt them.  Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
Tickets here
Wednesday 29 March – Saturday 15 April 2023
Evenings Tue – Sat: 7pm; Sun 2 April: 7pm.
Matinees: Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm; Sun: 2pm.

Roald Dhal’s devilishly delicious tale of young golden ticket winner Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectionary wizard Willy Wonka. Using songs from the Warner Bros. film, a book by David Grieg and in a new production by James Brinning with design by Simon Higlett. Book here.

Princes Street Gardens (West)
West Gardens, Princes St. EH2 2HG
The Edinburgh Easter Play
Saturday 8 April 2023
One performance: 2pm.
This year’s play is The Life of Jesus Christ by Peter Hutley, adapted and directed by Suzanne Lofthus. The performance will feature a cast of about 30 people in period costumes, including the participation of the Antonine Guards. Details here.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High St, EH1 1SR. Phone booking: 0131 556 9579
The Happiness Collectors 
Wed 5 April 2023
Three shows: 11am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm.

The world’s supplies of happiness are running low and they need your help to top them up. Pop on your headphones and join the Happiness Collectors on a journey of sounds and silliness to learn the best ways to collect happiness – and most important of all, how to pass it on!. Book here.

Wandering Willie’s Tale 
Sat 8 April 2023.
Evening: 7.30pm.
HotTrod Theatre Company brings Sir Walter Scott’s Gothic yarn to the stage in Judy Steel and John Nichol adaptation. Set in the late 17th century, with the blood of the Covenanters still fresh on the ground, this is the supernatural tale of blind fiddler and Wandering Willie’s grandfather, Steenie. Book here.

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

The Spark (PPP)
Tue 4 – Sat 8 Apr 2023.
Matinees: 1pm. (Traverse 2).
By Kathy McKean
A woman has spent decades trying to work out how to be silent and not be too much. As she starts to develop classic perimenopausal symptoms, she also develops unusual changes that aren’t listed on any of the NHS website lists… Book here.

Family Tree
Wed 5 – Fri 7 April 2023
Evenings: 7.30pm (Traverse 1)
By Mojisola Adebayo
A poetic drama about race, health, the environment, and the incredible legacy of Henrietta Lacks, one of the most influential Black women of modern times. Fearlessly honest, hilarious, and ultimately transformative, this award-winning play is both a remembrance and a celebration. Book here.

Stornoway, Quebec
Sat 8 April 2023
Evening: 7.30pm (Traverse 1)
Theatre Gu Leòr – in Gaelic with English subtitles.
Quebec, 1888. A snowstorm traps five people in a remote saloon. One is Dòmhnall Morrison, the Megantic Outlaw, one of the most notorious villains of his day – to all but his own community. Another is a badass Barra woman, Màiri MacNeil – a whiskey-fueled, pistol-slinging, bounty hunter. She has history and a score to settle. Ceilidhs meet Colt .45s in this wild Gàidhlig Western. Book here.


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