Listings: Mon 6 to Sun 12 December 2021

Dec 6 2021 | By More

What’s on Edinburgh’s Stages this week…

The build up to Christmas sees nearly all the seasonal shows and pantomimes up and running, but there is still room for a bit of an alternative thanks to Saltire Sky who are bringing back their hit 1902 down in Leith.

Not to forget the Assembly Roxy, where Scottish drag royalty Lawrence Chaney is in the house with her Purple Reign Tour or the Playhouse, where the high octane, black comedy rock musical that is Heathers the Musical – based on the 1988 film – will be running riot in the final week of its UK tour. Saturday night is bound to be bouncing!

A scene from 1902 at the Leith Arches all week.

However, it is Christmas a go-go for the Lyceum, Brunton, King’s, and Festival theatres – who all have their own particular brand of Christmas theatre on offer.

The King’s panto, Sleeping Beauty, is reviewed here ★★★★☆ Comforting, with a production that has all the laughs but also – without dwelling on it – the most fitting tribute to the late and very great Andy Gray you could want. I don’t mind saying that I was in tears.

The Scottish Ballet production of The Nutcracker returns, reinvigorated and remarkably fresh as a ★★★★☆ Seasonal feast according to our review. Its as sumptuous and chocolate box perfect as you could want.

The new shows opening this week are hotly anticipated. The impeccably credentialed Catherine Wheels is producing the Lycuem’s show Christmas Dinner, which we will be reviewing at press night on Wednesday.

On Thursday, we are off down to Musselburgh where the Brunton’s panto opens for business, with John Binnie writing and directing his version of the traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime. Oh yes he is!

The Traverse has at last taken on the great James Ley for a major production. Wilf sounds like a real treat and we’ll be along on Friday to see what sounds like a brilliant romp that is as far from pantomime as you could want, while still retaining a strong moral heart.

But back to the Leith Arches where anyone who loves the Beautiful Game will recognise and appreciate the passion on stage in Saltire Sky’s 1902 about the trials and tribulations of four young Hibs supporters determined to get tickets for Hibernian FC’s 2016 Scottish Cup Final against Rangers, which would end a 114 year big cup drought – the last time Hibs won the Scottish cup was 1902.

It’s a gutsy, in-your-face production which has gone down a storm at the Fringe, being brought back for several years now, and which has enough sincerity and understanding of its subject to get even Hearts supporters cheering for the protagonists.


Click on the show title to go to its ticketing site.

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Lawrence Chaney: Purple Reign Tour
Thurs 9 Dec 2021
Evening: 8.30pm.
The queen of queens, Scottish drag royalty and winner of Drag Race UK Season 2 is coming to Edinburgh with her brand new one woman show, The Lawrence Chaney show. Expect an evening of fabulous drag, hilarious comedy and best of the best local queens supporting the show. Book here.

The Brunton
Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime
Tue 7 – Fri 31 Dec 2021
Various dates and times.
Produced by The Brunton, written and directed by John Binnie. The traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel as they escape from the witch and realise the value of true friendship is presented in full pantomime style with songs and slapstick and of plenty joining in. Oh yes it is! Book here.

Cloudbusting – The music of Kate Bush
Fri 10 Dec 2021
Evening: 7.30pm (Venue 1)
Cloudbusting have been championed by BBC One as one of the most authentic tributes in the world. Their passion for Kate’s music has won over sceptical fans everywhere, challenging perceptions of what a tribute band can be and resulting in sell out performances across the UK. Book here.

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

Weds 1 – Fri 31 Dec 2021
Daily (not Sun/Mon): 7.30; Matinees Sun, and various dates: 2.30pm.
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Seasonal feast
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.

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
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Comforting.
Grant Stott and Allan Stewart return with Jordan Young to provide the familiar routines, eye-catching gimmicks and cheeky swagger that is a great King’s panto, while working a fitting tribute to the late great Andy Gray amidst its bundle of fun and laughterBook here.

Leith Arches
6 Manderston Street, EH6 8LY.
Mon 6  – Sat 11 Dec 2021 
Mon – Thurs: 6pm & 8.15pm; Fri/Sat: 5pm.
Saltire Sky’s Bobby Award-winning dark comedy, delves into the world of Scottish football. The story of Hibernian FC’s victory in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final following a 114 year wait, seen through the eyes of four young Hibs supporters and giving an access-all-areas approach to working class life in Scotland. Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
Christmas Dinner
By Rob Alan Evans
In association with Catherine Wheels
Weds 8 December – Sun 2 January 2022
Various times. Evenings: 7pm (6pm Sun 12, Sun 19, Fri 24, Fri 31). Matinees 2.30pm (1pm 
Written by Rob Alan Evans and directed by Gill Robertson, this is a delightful feast of festive fun, celebrating the power of imagination and community at Christmas. Tickets and Details.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014.
Heathers the Musical
Tue 7 – Sat 11 Dec 2021
Evenings: 7.30, mats Thurs – Sat: 2.30pm.
High octane, black comedy rock musical based on the 1988 film. Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
Traverse 1
Wed 8 – Fri 24 Dec (previews Wed 8/Thurs 9)
Evenings: 8pm;
Mats 2pm: Fri 17/Sat 18, Thurs 23/Fri 24.
Riotous and heartfelt new play from James Ley (Love Song to Lavender Menace), directed by the Traverse’s Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls (Ulster American, Crocodile Fever). “Takes audiences on a hilarious and unapologetic ride through Scotland as Calvin and Wilf attempt to escape loneliness, cope with mental illness and learn to love themselves, with the help of one another. Book here.


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