Preview & listings: Mon 22 – Sun 29 April 2024

Apr 22 2024 | By More

What is on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

There’s not a lot of choice this week, but some great stuff on offer, although though the top local amateur production Cyrano de Bergarac sees Arkle in the tiny 45-seat Hill Street Theatre (Wed – Sat: tickets), previewed here: Arkle nose what’s up, so you will have to be quick.

This week’s hot tip ticket is at the Studio, with When Mountains Meet (Thurs/Fri: tickets). This is the story of musician Anne Wood, who has Pakistani and Scottish heritage, meeting her father and his new family in Pakistan for the first time. It’s a big vibrant blend of gig theatre, storytelling and striking visual images.

Written by Kath Burlinson, who co-directs with dramaturg Niloo-Far Khan, Wood has composed the music. International musician guests include sitarist Rakae Jamil in a blend of Pakistani and Scottish music – there’s lots more information on the show in the website: including its upcoming tour dates round Scotland.

The cast of The Girls of Slender Means at the Lyceum. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic.

The big Edinburgh show is The Girls of Slender Means at the Lyceum, (ends Sat May 4: tickets). Our reviewer, Hugh Simpson said it is “★★★☆☆ Poignant” in a review that is rather more nuanced than some of the gushing praise the show has received elsewhere.

It should be remembered that three stars is “Very good. A strong and assured performance of the kind this company should be making.”

As Hugh says: “An adaptation of Spark is always going to be a big draw in Edinburgh, not least because her love-hate relationship with the city appeals to our own version of the Caledonian cultural cringe.

“So it is understandable that any version of her story might be relatively safe – even when much of the source material’s attraction comes from it being so experimental. The end result is a more conventional period drama of bittersweet nostalgia, but is satisfying on its own terms.”

Definitely one to see, then, with a powerful ensemble on stage. It’s just not quite the radical workout some are crying it.

Madagascar the Musical

This week’s Big Show at the Playhouse is one for the kids, big and small: Madagascar the Musical (Thurs – Sat: tickets), based on the DreamWorks animated movie. Featuring the Zoosters: Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the “hip hip Hippo” with those plotting penguins, this is big on music, dance and bold puppetry.

CBBC presenter (and Strictly finalist) Karim Zeroual who stars as King Julien of Madagascar, says “I’m really excited, I love the film dearly, it’s one of my favourites. King Julien is such an iconic character I’m looking forward to getting down and ‘winding my body!’ to Move it Move it!.

“Theatre is actually my one true love. I trained at theatre school and started my career in the West End. I’ve been doing a lot of TV recently so coming back to theatre feels like coming home There’s nothing like a live audience in front of you. I really can’t wait.”

Madagascar the Musical. Pic: Stuart Glover / Barry Martin

This week also offers two different script in hand evenings of new work. At the Storytelling Centre, Stage2Page (Tue: tickets) has a great lineup for what very sadly looks like being the last of their evenings for the forceable future.

Their model for creating new work is proven, but paying the going rate for all their performers and creatives is not sustainable without outside funding. Which, despite being asked twice, CreatIve Scotland have been unable to find.

Here’s the lineup for Tuesday night:

Steady As The Tide by Erin Elkin
Mirren has returned to Argyll after a break up and feels she no longer fits in in the village she grew up in. In a fast-changing world the villagers prove to her they are more than capable of keeping up.
Directed by Erin Elkin with Rachel Graham, Danielle Farrow and Finlay McLean.

Un-Expecting by Nathan Scott-Dunn
Un-Expecting explores becoming a parent in an “Un-conventional” sense, seeking to dispel the stigma behind unplanned pregnancy and challenge the perceptions of modern society’s views on this topic.
Directed by Edoardo Berto with Christie Russell-Brown and Lewie Watson.

When I Woke Up In The Morning, the Feeling Was Still There by Millie Haldane
Three women, three rooms, three voices rising in power, or falling into the abyss.
Jinling Wu directs Miranda Elyse, Katrina Allen and Torya Winters.

Do You Wish to Unsend by Kareem Nasif
A writer faces harsh feedback from his agent on the content and style of his work. How far will he go to get his voice heard?
Directed by Gowan Calder with Sanjay Lago and Michael Daviot.

Rage Room

The second scratch night is on Saturday at the Traverse, where the Tandem Writers Collective has the second of three nights under the banner Rock Paper Scissors. Once again, Tandem are dedicated to paying the going rate for their performers and creatives. But in the game of chance that is Scottish arts funding, Creative Scotland said “Yes”.

The three RPS shows are more fleshed-out than previous Tandem nights. Each evening is dedicated to one performance of a script that is nearing readiness for a full production, as evidenced by last month’s fine Introverts the Musical.

This month, in Rage Room (Sat: tickets) by Mhairi Quinn, local ‘celebrity’/podcaster/influencer Jos invites her mum and older sister along as her ‘plus two’ to sample the delights of Glasgow’s first ever Rage Room. Jos assumes it will be a laugh, a free day out for the girls – she’ll get some decent content for her channels and the Rage Rooms will benefit from her impressive following – everyone’s a winner!

Three women, one rage room, a couple of baseball bats and a lifetime of things unsaid – what could possibly go wrong? Sarah Rose Graber directs Kim Allan, Natalie Arle-Toyne and Betty Valencia with live music from Aaron McGregor and cellist Jessica Kerr.

And finally, this is the last week that Hamilton is at the Festival Theatre (ends Sat: tickets). It is very good indeed and although it is sold out, there are always a few tickets available. Check out our review for top tips on how to get one: : ★★★★★ The storm’s eye.

Listings for week ending Sunday 28 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.
Rhythms of Life (Edinburgh Telephone Choir)
Wed 24 – Sat 27 April 2024.
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Variety show featuring the ETC with the K.S. Dance Academy and Livingston and Broxburn Band performing songs, dance and music that explore the many stages of life’s journey. An evening full of well known songs that reflect on the stages and emotions of a life lived. 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 (+Tue 3 April)
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.

Hill Street Theatre
19 Hill Street EH2 3JP.
Cyrano de Bergerac (Arkle)
Wed 24 – Sat 27 April 2024.
Evenings: 7.30pm.
See preview: Arkle nose what’s up.
Swordsman, Philosopher, Poet, Raconteur… Cyrano de Bergerac is all these things, but none of them makes him happy. What he desires above all is the love of the beautiful Roxane. But his problem is as plain as the nose on his face. Surely he is too ugly ever to be loved? Book here.

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.

In aid of The Lyceum: An evening with… Ian Rankin
Mon 22  April 2024
Evening: 7.30pm.
An evening with Sir Ian Rankin, in aid of The Lyceum, hosted by our Artistic Director, David Greig. In this special one-off event as part of our ‘Evening with…’ fundraising series, we will get an intimate and personal insight into Sir Ian’s writing, and his career. Prepare your burning questions as afterward there will be an engaging Q&A session. Book here.

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

Madagascar the Musical
Thurs 25 – Sat 27 April 2024
Thurs/Fri: 7pm. Sat: 11am & 3pm.
Join all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Book here .

Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High St, EH1 1SR. Phone booking: 0131 556 9579

Tue 23 April 2024.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Page2Stage is back at the Storytelling Centre, with another exciting line up of new writing. Showcasing extracts from four brand new plays read in front of a live audience, and industry panel providing dramaturgical feedback giving a rare insight into the creative process. You will then have a chance to carry on discussions, meet the team, writers and actors in the comfort of the Storytelling Centre bar. Book here.

Elegies (Pomegranates 2024)
Sat 27 April 2024.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Æ review: ★★★★☆ Evocative and relevant
Weaving together dance theatre, spoken word and live music, this is the first dance adaptation of the poetry book Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica (1948) by Hamish Henderson, Scottish soldier-poet, singer-songwriter and scholar-folk revivalist. Book here.

Studio Theatre
The Studio, 22 Potterrow, EH8 9BL. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
When Mountains Meet
Thur 25/Fri 26 Apr 2024
Evening: 7.30pm.
A captivating, cross-cultural tale telling the true story of musician Anne Wood, as she meets her father, family and heritage for the first time. An international cast of storytellers and musicians set forth on an unforgettable voyage from the Scottish Highlands to the Himalayas. Book here.

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

Acting Showcase 2024 (QMU)
Tue 23/Wed 24 Apr 2024
Tue: 7.30pm, Wed: 2.30pm (Trav 1).
Queen Margaret University 4th year BA(Hons) Acting and Performance company showcase their talents to the wider acting industry and celebrate their achievement with family and friends with two hander scenes, songs and snippets of the graduate digital showcase. All of these will be costumed by QMUs Costume Design and Construction students. Book here.

Costume Showcase 2024 (QMU)
Fri 26/Sat 27 Apr 2024
Fri: 7.30pm, Sat: 12.30pm (Trav 1).
A 50-minute fast-moving catwalk display of the amazing, historical/ fantastical/weird and wonderful/ bold and beautiful costumes designed and created by the students of Queen Margaret University’s Costume Design and Construction Course – modelled by student models drawn from across the Performing Arts Department. Book here.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Rage Room
Sat 27 Apr 2024
Shows at 8pm (Trav 2).
Mhairi Quinn with the second of Tandem Writers’ series of short play reading. Local ‘celebrity’/podcaster/influencer Jos has invited her mum and older sister along as her ‘plus 2’ to sample the delights of Glasgow’s first ever Rage Room. Three women, one rage room, a few baseball bats and a lifetime of things unsaid – what could possibly go wrong? Book here.



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