Preview and Listings: Mon 15 – Sun 21 April 2024

Apr 16 2024 | By More
What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

The big news is the opening of The Girls of Slender Means at the Lyceum (ends Sat 4 May, tickets) in a week which is otherwise surprisingly, well, slender, on new shows.

Which doesn’t mean that there is nothing else of interest. On the local amateur front, the young dreamers of the LYAMC have We Believe in Magic, their annual concert production at the Church Hill (Thurs-Sat: tickets). And down on George Street, Blackout Productions look forward to their Autumn show, Sweeney Todd, with Sondheim Sunday (Sun: tickets) at the Dirty Martini.

Eva O’Connor in Chicken at the Traverse. Pic Hildegard Ryan

The top tip of the week, however, is at the Traverse, with Chicken (Thurs – Sat: tickets). It is an outrageously inventive show about a Kerry cock (as in male chicken) which makes it big in Holywood where it succumbs to all sorts of temptations…

Underneath the surface this is a blistering jab at celebrity culture. But as a piece of comedy and a haunting performance it quite rightly won its performer and co-writer Eva O’Connor the Filipa Bragança award when it was at the Fringe last  year.

If you are lucky you already have tickets for Hamilton (ends Sat 27 April: tickets) and James V: Katherine (ends Sat: tickets). Both are sold out but there is always the slim chance of a return or two.


At the Playhouse you can thrill to the dance moves of Strictly Come Dancing favourite, Johanes Radebe with his The House of Jojo (Sun: tickets).

If the production shots are anything to go by, this is going to be one vibrant and sizzling spectacle, something of a warm up for his Feb 2025 return in Kinky Boots (18 – Sat 22 Feb 2025: tickets) announced just this week. If you can’t make the Sunday show, it is at the Glasgow Armadillo the night before (Sat: tickets).

Johannes Radebe (centre) in House of JoJo. Pic: Danny Kaan.

Not strictly theatre, but certainly worth our attention, Discworld fans are in for a treat with The Magic of Terry Pratchett at the Stand (Sat: tickets). Comedian and Pratchett biographer Marc Burrows explores the writer’s life, influences, impact, wit* and wisdom.

And if you want a taste of real magic in a rather swish environment, then Kevin Quantum is doing two shows of his Edinburgh Magic on Saturday at the Caledonian Hotel (tickets).

The Girls of Slender Means

And so to that big opener, The Girls of Slender Means at the Lyceum in a new adaptation by Gabriel Quigley, who has studied, performed and been a lifelong fan of the work of Muriel Spark.

She said: “It is tremendously exciting to adapt one of her best loved novels for the Royal Lyceum Theatre. To bring to life a novel so incisive, relevant, unpredictable and above all funny, by one of our greatest authors, is both a joy and a privilege.”

The play is set in the summer of 1945 in the May of Teck Club – a hostel for the ‘Pecuniary Convenience and Social Protection of Ladies of Slender Means below the age of Thirty Years’, who are obliged to reside apart from their Families in order to follow an Occupation in London’.

exquisite fragility

Despite WWII, the girls do their best to act as if it never happened. They practise elocution, jostle one another over suitors, and debate over whose turn it is to wear a Schiaparelli gown whenever the occasion demands.

But hiding behind their giddy literary and amorous explorations is an exquisite fragility and sinister peril – dilemmas that increasingly come to the fore as they strive to survive the post-war era ‘when all the nice people were poor’.

The production is directed by Roxana Silbert, who adds: “I’m excited to be directing this elegant, witty, excoriating adaptation of Muriel Spark’s classic and much loved novel. It’s an honour to be collaborating with the best of Scottish talent to stage this production at the very beautiful Lyceum Theatre, which is a natural home for Spark’s work.”

*Warning: includes bad puns and unnecessary footnotes.

Listings for week ending Sunday 21 April 2024:

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

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.
We Believe in Magic (LYAMC)
Thurs 18 – Sat 20 April 2024
Evenings: 7.30pm.

The young dreamers of the Lothian Youth Arts and Musicals Company under MD Carole Gibson with their annual Spring concert, choreographed by past LYAMC member Amanda McNally. Book here.

Dirty Martini
16 George Street EH2 2PF.
Sondheim Sunday (Blackout Productions)
Sun 21 April 2024
Two shows: 4pm & 7.30pm.

Join the lushes, lovelies and Lesley Ward fan club as the Blackout peeps sing songs from some of the greatest shows on earth including Gypsy, Sunday in the Park With George, Follies and more. Compère Scott Anderson has the (mostly true) trivia: The late night request from Barbara; A secret passion for crosswords; Why Katharine Hepburn stole his plant. Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Run ends – Sat 27 April 2024
Mon – Sat: 7.30pm; Matinees Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm.
Æ Review: ★★★★★ The storm’s eye.
The story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and helped shape the very foundations of the America we know today. Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
The Girls of Slender Means
By Gabriel Quigley, adapted from the novel by Muriel Spark
Sat 13 April – Sat 4 May 2024.
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Weds & Sat: 2.30pm.
Æ review: ★★★☆☆ Poignant.
Set in the summer of 1945, in a hostel for the ‘Pecuniary Convenience and Social Protection of Ladies of Slender Means below the age of Thirty Years, who are obliged to reside apart from their Families in order to follow an Occupation in London.’, The Girls of Slender Means follows the adventures of the women who live there. They do their best to act as if the war never happened. But behind the girls’ giddy literary and amorous explorations hides an exquisite fragility and sinister peril, as they strive to survive ‘when all the nice people were poor’. Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
Johannes Radebe: House of Jojo
Sunday 21 April 2024.
Evening: 7.30pm.

A new story begins…Welcome to the House of JoJo. Join TV Dance Sensation Johannes Radebe and a host of eclectic characters in this brand-new theatrical celebration jam-packed with roof-raising music, dazzling costumes and of course, world class dance. Book here.

The Stand Comedy Club
5 York Place, EH1 3EB.
The Magic of Terry Pratchett
Sat 20 April 2024.
Afternoon: 4pm.

Comedian and Pratchett biographer Marc Burrows explores the writer’s life, influences, impact, wit* and wisdom – from his days as a school librarian to his time as a trainee journalist to his untimely death from Alzheimers in 2015. Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404.
Thurs 18 – Sat 20 Apr 2024.
Evenings: 8pm (Trav 2).
Don Murphy is a proud Irish man, a hopeless ketamine addict and one of his generation’s greatest actors. He also happens to be a chicken. A Kerry cock to be precise. Across one fateful night, the feathered Oscar winner shares his star-studded story with an intimate audience. Book here.

Studio Theatre
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
James V: Katherine
Fri 5 – Sat 20 April 2024.
Previews Fri 5/Sat 6, Tue 9: 7.30pm.
Tue – Sat 7.30pm; Mats Thurs, Sat : 2.30pm.
See Æ news story: Next James play announced
The latest instalment in the James Plays series from writer Rona Munro. One woman’s love story, during the time that changed Scotland forever.” Any human soul has only two real choices. How we live and how we die…”  Book here.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, the Caledonian
Princes Street, EH1 2AB.
Edinburgh Magic
Sat 20 April 2024
Two shows: 6pm & 8.30pm (Versailles Suite).
Æ Review: ★★★★☆ Rosy
Kevin Quantum performs an hour of magic that’s fooled some of the most brilliant and creative people ever to have lived, often times with strong links to Edinburgh and Scotland. An elegant, intimate and quite astonishing evening of magic, mystery and wonder in one of Edinburgh’s most historic and enchanting hotels. Book here.

*NB: This is intended to be a complete listing of all public theatrical productions on in Edinburgh. If you are staging a show which is not listed, or a listing is inaccurate, please get in touch through the contact page, here.



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