Preview & listings: Mon 30 April – Sun 5 May 2024

May 1 2024 | By | Reply More

What’s on Edinburgh’s stages this week?

This week’s must see’s are a last chance for those Girls of Slender Means at the Lyceum (ends Sat: tickets) and the few seats left for Scottish Ballet’s sleek Swan Lake revival at the Festival (Thurs-Sat: tickets) – snap the latter up quick if you can!

The big show in town is jukebox musical The Drifters Girl at the Playhouse (Tue – Sat: tickets). No new story here, just the story the Drifters, told through the story of their legendary manager, Faye Treadwell, who refused to give up on the group she loved.

Scottish Ballet performs David Dawson’s Swan Lake. Pic: Andy Ross

Also on a jukebox tip the QMU Musical Theatre Company have the Elvis-based effort, All Shook Up, at the Pleasance (Thurs – Sat: Tickets). This is Elvis’s songs, hung around a plot based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which, when done well, explores themes of authoritarianism, segregation and homosexuality. It will be interesting to see what the students bring to this one.

There are several other local amateur and grassroots companies out this week too. Having found a new home, MAMA’s revue, the MAMA Spotlight Awards is at the Loretto School (Fri/Sat: tickets). Songs from plenty of musicals there, and no doubt a foretelling of the company’s future plans.

Also out East, Stage Door Entertainment has a production of Annie at the Portobello Town Hall (Wed – Sat: tickets). Members of the company’s youth theatre perform with a cast of local adults, led by a professional production and technical team and accompanied by a live orchestra.

E Nesbit centenary

Straight theatre wise, the Lyceum is the place to be. The Girls of Slender Means comes hugely recommended, with powerful performances on stage and a strong adaptation of Muriel Spark’s novel set in London during the limbo between VE Day and VJ Day.

On a ghostly tip, Erstwhile Media are marking the centenary of Edith Nesbit’s death with a rehearsed reading of her ghost story The Ebony Frame at the Banshee Labyrinth (Sat: tickets). This is another of Oliver Giggins’s adaptations, which have proved most effective in the past. Hopefully it will resurface at the Edinburgh Horror Fest later in the year.

Also from Erstwhile, and recorded at last year’s Horror Fest, is Giggins’ portmanteau play The Shadow of the Dark. This mixes Nesbit’s stories The Shadow and In the Dark with scenes from her own life and is available to view all day on Saturday (link and tickets).

And finally for this week, Framework has a night of script-in-hand readings of short scripts on the theme of Louder at the Traverse (Fri: tickets).

Listings for week ending Sunday 5 May 2024:

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

The Banshee Labyrinth
29-35 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG, UK
The Ebony Frame (Erstwhile Media)
Sat 4 May 2024.
Early evening: 5.30pm.
Rehearsed reading of a new adaptation of an Edith Nesbit ghost story by Oliver Giggins to mark the centenary of the author’s death. When Arthur Marsh inherits his aunt’s house, he expects nothing more than a long-desired financial stability. But the ancient ebony frame on an otherwise unremarkable picture exerts a strange attraction on the young man… Book here.

The Brunton @ Loretto School 
Loretto School Theatre, Millhill, Musselburgh. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
MAMA Spotlight Awards (MAMA)
Fri 3- Sat 4 May 2024.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Sat mat: 2pm.
Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association’s annual revue brings a fun filled evening of iconic Musicals and Artists through the years. This season, the revue also gives the audience a chance to choose one of the numbers MAMA will perform in their People’s Choice Award. Book here.

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Scottish Ballet: Swan Lake
Thurs 2 – Sat 4 May 2024
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinee Sat: 2.30pm.
Arching backs, spiralling arms, and mesmerising patterns push the company dancers to their physical limits in this tale of purity versus seduction. David Dawson’s daring, visceral choreography is perfectly paired with the rich, romantic Tchaikovsky score, played live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. 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.

On a screen in your own home
The Shadow of the Dark (Erstwhile Media)
Sat 4 May 2024.
All day: 0.01am to 11.59pm.
Æ review: ★★★☆☆ Spooky
Erstwhile mark the centenary of E Nesbit’s death with a recording made at Edinburgh HorrorFest 2023. Real-life terrors from Nesbit’s life are mixed in with The Shadow, a ghost story of lost love and longing, and In the Dark, a terrifying paranoid confession of a (accidental?) murderer, in this portmanteau show. Book here.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014.
The Drifters Girl
Tue 30 April – Sat 4 May 2024
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Wed, Sat: 2.30pm
Jukebox musical tells the story of the Drifters and the truth about the woman who made them. From the highs of hit records to the lows of legal battles and personal tragedy, Faye Treadwell is the legendary manager of The Drifters who refused to give up on the group she loved. Book here .

Pleasance Theatre
60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ.

 All Shook Up (QMU)
Thurs 2 – Sat 4 May 2024.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Sat mat: 12.30pm.
Queen Margaret University’s Musical Theatre Society with the jukebox musical set in 1955 featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, with a book by Joe DiPietro about a guitar-playing roustabout who rides into a square little town and, well, shakes things up. Book here.

Portobello Town Hall
147-149 Portobello High St, Portobello EH15 1AF.

Annie (Stage Door Entertainment)
Wed 1 & Fri 3/Sat 4 May 2024.
Wed, Fri/Sat: 7.30pm; Sat mat: 2pm.
Orphan Annie’s escapes Miss Hannigan and the orphanage to find that the sun will come out tomorrow. Family friendly musical brings together a cast of local adults & children; led by a professional production & technical team; and accompanied by a live orchestra. Book here.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404.
Louder: A project for New Writers (Framework TC)
Fri 3 May 2024
Evening: 7.30pm (Trav 1).
A night of new writing from emerging theatre-makers of marginalised genders. Four short plays inspired by the theme Louder: The Peri Effect by Caroline Mentiplay; The Rats’ Whisper by Jinling Wu; bright as a dropped coin by King Hoberon and Louder Than Words by Fiona Moon. Directed by Coco Schogler, Sarah Marie Mooney, Heath Virgoe and Emma Lynne Harley. 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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