Preview & Listings Mon 20 – Sun 26 May 2024

May 22 2024 | By | Reply More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week…

It’s a big week for Edinburgh companies. The amateur groups have four very different productions, there’s an immersive show from grassroots company Citadel along the Union Canal, magic from Kevin Quantum and a last chance to see Macbeth (an undoing) at the Lyceum.

The big amateur show is from Southern Light with the 76 trombones musical The Music Man at the Festival (ends Sat: tickets). And we do mean big – big cast, big stage and big tunes to boot.

A scene from Southern Light’s The Music Man. Pic: Andrew Morris

On a pure theatre front there are two equally fascinating productions from two stalwarts of the scene.

EGTG, the Grads, have Philip Ridley’s second play, The Fastest Clock in the Universe, a dark and vicious drama about ageing, love, delusion and enablement at Assembly Roxy (Ends Sat: tickets).

Local playwright Andy Moseley has reworked JB Priestley for EPT in An(other) Inspector Calls at the Church Hill Theatre (ends Sat: tickets), setting it in 2020 in a Highlands retreat.

For complete contrast the St Serf’s Players have Peter Quilter’s 2004 comedy Curtain Up at the Inverleith St Serf’s Church Centre (Thurs-Sat: tickets). While Citadel explore the history and people of the Union Canal in Tales from the Towpath (Thurs-Sat: details).

Two big professional shows on offer: at the Lyceum it is the last chance to see Zinnie Harris’s Shakespeare retake: Macbeth (an undoing) (ends Sat: tickets); while the Traverse has Silent Uproar’s tour of coming-of-age punk cabaret show Dead Girls Rising (ends Thurs: tickets).

On Saturday it’s Family Encounters the free opening event of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival at the Museum of Scotland (Sat: details). There are EICF shows across Edinburgh all next week too (details).

And to round it all off, Mr Quantum is doing his close-up prestidigitatation in Edinburgh Magic at the Waldorf (Sat: tickets) and Northern Ballet bring their kids ballet, The Tortoise & the Hare to the Festival (Sun: tickets).

Late addition! Just been informed that the very wonderful Townsend Theatre Productions will be in North Edinburgh on Friday evening at North Pilton Neighbourhood Centre with their latest play Behold Ye Ramblers (Fri 24: tickets).

The company is always worth catching for their down-to-earth plays championing working class struggle. Behold Ye Ramblers is a new play about The Clarion newspaper and the organisations formed by its readership, including the famous rambling clubs, like Sheffield’s Clarion Ramblers, the Clarion Cyclists and Clarion Vans.

These early Edwardian pioneers promoted healthy outdoor pursuits, organising expeditions across open moors and mountains whilst campaigning for the right to roam, bringing them into conflict with landowners’ hunting and shooting activities and laws that prioritised private property over the wellbeing of others.


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

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

The Fastest Clock in the Universe (EGTG)
Tue 21 – Sat 25 May 2024
Evenings: 7.30pm (Upstairs).
See Æ preview: Catching time with EGTG
Party preparations are underway for Cougar’s twelfth 19th birthday. Everything is meticulously planned; there’s a very exclusive guest list, a delicious cake and a very sharp knife. Philip Ridley’s drama about ageing, love and delusion is set in a dilapidated room above an abandoned factory that happens to be filled with avian antiques. Book here.

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.

An(other) Inspector Calls (EPT)
Wed 22 – Sat 25 May 2024.
Wed – Fri: 7.30pm;  Sat mat only: 2.30pm.
Easter weekend 2020. It’s the height of lockdown, but the Gower family are still gathering at their Highland retreat to celebrate their daughter’s engagement to the son of the founder of one of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Andy Moseley’s new play that asks whether anything has really changed since Priestley’s seminal work. Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
The Music Man (Southern Light)
Tue 21 – Sat 25 May 2024 
Evening: 7.30pm; Sat mat: 2.30pm.
When experienced con man Harold Hill arrives in River City he soon convinces the town to buy instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band, but will Mr Hill teach the youth of the town how to play Seventy Six Trombones or will there be Trouble for him yet? Book here.

The Tortoise and the Hare
Sun 26 May 2024 
Two shows: 2pm & 4pm.
The race is on in Northern Ballet’s Tortoise & the Hare. When a cheeky Hare won’t stop boasting about how fast he can run, thoughtful Tortoise decides it is time to join him in a race. No one thinks Tortoise can win, but when Hare gets distracted by games and treats, Tortoise might just surprise us all. Book here.

Inverleith St Serf’s Church Centre
1a Clark Road, EH5 3BD.
Curtain Up (St Serf’s Players)
Thurs 23 – Sat 25 May 2024
Evenings: 7.30pm.
In Peter Quilter’s 2004 comedy, five women inherit equal shares in a dilapidated theatre and plan to bring it back to life. After trying various fund-raising schemes, their big plan is a concert with local talent and a world-famous star who has agreed to appear for no fee… Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
Macbeth (an undoing) 2024
By Zinnie Harris, in a new version after Shakespeare
Tue 14 – Sat 25 May 2024
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Weds & Sat: 2.30pm.
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Compelling
When her husband returns victorious from the battlefield with a prophecy that he is to become King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth will stop at nothing to make their darkest ambitions a reality. So far, so familiar. But then the story fragments. The Lyceum revives its much lauded 2023 production. Book here.

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

Dead Girls Rising
Book & Lyrics Maureen Lennon, music & lyrics Anya Pearson.
Tue 21 – Thur 23 May 2024

Evenings: 7.30pm (Trav 1).
A furious coming-of-age punk cabaret show about trying to survive in a violent patriarchy, our deepest fears, and how we seek to control them. It’s a play about holding your breath as you walk home at night. It’s a play about the edges of us and how the world sharpens them. Book here.

Union Canal Basin, Fountainbridge
The Lochrin Belle. Phone booking only: James on 07954296568.
Tales from the Towpath (Citadel Arts Group)
Thurs 23 – Sat 25 May 2024 
Matinees: 2.30pm.
Citadel Arts Group with a new immersive play exploring the history and people of the Union Canal, opened in 1882 and linking Edinburgh with Forth & Clyde Canal at Falkirk. Three performances on the Lochrin Belle, followed by two at the Edinburgh Printmakers on Sundays 9 & 16 June. Limited free tickets: Text 07954296568.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, the Caledonian
Princes Street, EH1 2AB.
Edinburgh Magic
Sat: 25 May 2024
Saturday evenings: 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.

West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre
19 West Pilton Grove EH4 4BY.
Behold Ye Ramblers (Townsend Productions)
Fri 24 May 2024
Evening: 8pm.
A new play about The Clarion newspaper and the organisations formed by its readership, including the famous rambling clubs whose campaigning for the right to roam brought them into conflict with landowners’ hunting and shooting activities and laws that prioritised private property over the wellbeing of others. Book here.



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