Preview of the week Mon 10 – Sun 16 June

Jun 11 2013 | By More

What’s on in Edinburgh’s Theatres over the week ahead.

Sparky! Abbie Stenhouse as Alex. Publicity shot for MGA's Flashdance at the Festival Theatre on Saturday.. Photo © Alex Robson

Sparky! Abbie Stenhouse plays Alex in MGA’s Flashdance. Photo © Alex Robson

Compiled by Thom Dibdin

Edinburgh’s theatres are beginning to draw back from the main action, as we approach the annual hiatus before the onslaught of the Fringe.

Indeed, after celebrating its 50th anniversary with a glitzy party on Sunday – when it also hosted the annual Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland – the Traverse has nothing scheduled until its first fringe production opens for preview at the end of July.

Which means that this week is mostly either about the many small – but exciting – events of the Leith Festival or the end of year shows for student and youth groups. The Brunton has the Morag Alexander School of Dance and the Festival Theatre is looking for some triple attack from the MGA Academy of Performing Arts with Flashdance. The Storytelling Centre has a splendid quintet of new plays from Strangetown’s various young companies.

The Brunton does buck the trend – a bit – with a touring production of John Godber’s Teechers. The King’s has main stage theatre too with a pair of the alliteratively popular Horrible Histories, plays: Terrible Tudors and Vile Victorians, in rep over the week.

On a small but intriguing note, the Edinburgh International Festival continues with its Love In A… series of pop-up operas (the venue is only announced on the day) and Summerhall is host to the fifth outing for the adventurous live art show: Anatomy, on Friday

Not everywhere else is dark, however. Far from it. The Playhouse has many big flashy lights onstage – not to mention a tonne of dry ice – for the arrival of the big lush Queen tribute, Bohemian Rhapsody. No tribute bands at the Festival Theatre though. They have the real thing: as Elvis Costello arrives for a night next Sunday.

Listings Mon 10-Sun 16 June 2013:

Brunton Theatre:
Morag Alexander School of Dance Annual Show 2013
The school’s annual show of many dance styles including Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Hip Hop, as well as singing. The school has full accreditation with the SQA to teach Higher Dance.
Tickets from the Brunton Box Office on 0131 665 2240.
Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Mon 10-Tue 18: 7pm; Mats Sat/Sun 2pm.
John Godber’s brilliant take on life at a modern comprehensive in a production from Blackeyed Theatre. Three year 11s use their end of term play to sketch the new drama teacher’s progress through two terms of unruly classes, cynical colleagues and obstructive caretakers. Disillusioned, he departs for the safe waters of a private school – while his abandoned students’ youthful irreverence gives way to despair. A “hilarious interpretation” from the three-strong cast according to The Stage.
Tickets from the Brunton Box Office on 0131 665 2240.
Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Sat, 7.30pm.

Edinburgh Playhouse:
Bohemian Rhapsody
Six singers with special guest Superstar finalist Nathan James, plenty of dancers and a powerful live rock band deliver the hits of Freddy Mercury and Queen.
Tickets from:
Edinburgh Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Tue-Sat 7.30pm, (Sat mat 2.30pm).

Bright sparks - promotional shot for the MGA Performing Arts School's production of Flashdance, which has two performances on Saturday at the Festival Theatre. Photo © Alex Robson

Promo for the MGA Flashdance with Abbie Stenhouse grinding away as Alex Owens – with sparky Chantelle Hoyle (Keisha), Lara Kidd (Gloria) amd Ayesha Quigley (Jazmine). Photo © Alex Robson

Festival Theatre:
MGA Academy of Performing Arts: Flashdance
Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day, bar-room dancer by night – Alex Owens dreams of becoming a professional performer. And when romance with her boss threatens her ambitions, Alex learns the true meaning of love – and its power to fuel the pursuit of her dream. The students of the MGA Academy of Performing Arts get to show off their triple attack… So expect fireworks.
Tickets from:
Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Sat: 2.30pm, 7.30pm.
Elvis Costello and the Imposters: 13 Revolvers
Elvis is entering the building. Costello and his band ask members of the audience to spin a huge wheel and select the next song in the set.
Tickets from:
Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Sun: 8pm.

King’s Theatre:
Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors
From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, the legends (and the lies) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives and his punch up with the Pope; Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience.
Tickets from:
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Tue 7pm, Wed & Fri 10.30am, Thu 1.30pm, Sat 2.30pm.
Horrible Histories: Vile Victorians
Something for the Victorian historian. Live, on stage, please welcome the baby farmers; the misery of the mines, the filth of the factories, the rotten railway and, leaving both alliteration and assonance behind, the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Tickets from:
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Wed 1.30pm, Thu 10.30am, Fri, Sat 7pm.

National Library of Scotland:
I knew a man called Livingstone
Fringe preview of Toto Tales’ take on the life of David Livingstone which looks at one of Scotland’s greatest explorers from the perspective of some of his African friends. Why was he so loved – and what made him so different to other European explorers of the time?
Tickets from:
National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, EH1 1EW. Fri, 6pm.

Scottish Storytelling Centre:
A mini festival of good things from the Strangetown Youth Theatre takes place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre from Thursday to Sunday, with each of the company’s age groups giving two performances of a new script on the theme of home. Plays by Beth Godfrey, Jim Harbourne, Duncan Kidd, Tim Primrose and Sam Siggs.
The Den by Beth Godfrey
A hideout. A haven. A fortress. A fight for ownership as rival gangs seek to make it their own. May the best gang win. The 11-14 Youth Theatre. Thurs, Fri 7pm.
Emily and the Howler’s Hollow by Sam Siggs
There’s a dark and sinister house in the woods outside Midvale with scorched rooms. A house with a strange and terrible story… The 14-16 Youth Theatre. Thurs, Sat 9pm.
The Halfway House by Duncan Kidd
A contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. A tale about first times and trying to find a place to fit in, for better or worse. The 16-18 Youth Theatre. Fri 9pm, Sun 7pm.
Max to the Future by Tim Primrose
Max has not done his homework. Oh no! What should Max do? Build a time-machine and travel into the future, of course. Duh! The 8-10 Youth Theatre. Sat, Sun 2pm.
Sylvanian Family Feud by Jim Harbourne
Somewhere in the Toybox, rebellion is brewing. The wicked Slydales have bullied Sylvania long enough! Adventure! Swashbuckling! Small Collectible Figurines! This is Sylvanian Family Feud! Sat 7pm, Sun, 5pm.
Tickets from:
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR. Phone: 0131 556 9579

Anatomy #5 No! Anything But That!
Nine (count ’em) astonishing acts. They come from disparate art forms – contemporary dance, performance film, burlesque, experimental music, ritual theatre, anti-circus, live art and knitting – what they have in common is that each of the performances will consider that moment of daunting realisation; that moment of pure flabbergast; that primal scream from behind the popcorn-sticky sofa: NO! ANYTHING BUT THAT!
A contemporary take on the music hall variety show, Anatomy is a platform for performance artists of all disciplines. It goes beyond your usual scratch night, to create a stage for risk-taking performance and breath-taking theatrics.
Tickets from:
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Southside EH9 1PL. Fri 7pm.

Various Venues Around Town:
Love In A …
The EIF’s fab pop-up opera events are announced every morning at 9.30am on the EIF’s twitter and Facebook accounts. Libraries, a bookshop and the new gateway building in the Botanics have all been used so far. Performances last half an hour and use romantic songs to tell a love story between a worker at the venue and a visitor.
Tickets from: Facebook or Twitter
Various Venues, time and venue to be announced through the EIF’s social media accounts at 9.30am.

Leith Festival:

There are loads of great little performances and ideas around Leith as part of the Leith Festival.

The Granary:
Junk Food Vampire/My Granny Was A Rockstar
A double bill from Citadel Arts Group. In Cecilia Rose’s Junk Food Vampire, directed by Jemima Sinclair, four children are told to devise a play about healthy eating. All goes well until the masks that they wear start to take a life of their own.
In Jim Brown’s My Granny was a Rockstar, directed by Liz Hare, two teenagers get caught stealing vegetables from a Leith Garden. The owner befriends them and teaches them a few valuable lessons about life – and recyclin
Tickets from:
The Granary, 32-34 The Shore, EH6 6QN. Wed, Sat 7.30pm, Fri 2pm.
Absolute Improv Stories!
Kids of all ages shout out their favourite ideas and To Be Continued… then weave a tale in this fully improvised adventure. If you’re really keen, maybe you can help on stage too…
Tickets from:
The Granary, 32-34 The Shore, EH6 6QN. Sun 2pm.

Leith Dockers Club:
Absolute Improv!
To Be Continued…‘s flagship improv comedy show sees the troupe using audience suggestions to create short scenes based around improv games.
Tickets from:
Leith Dockers Club 17 Academy Street,  EH6 7EE. Fri/Sat 8pm.

Out of the Blue:
Taking Care of Business
Why do millions of people tune in every week to watch TV chat show The Business? Is it for the fashion and cookery tips, celebrity guests and music performances? Or is it to see someone murdered  in the name of entertainment? Newly devised theatre from Active Inquiry’s Flashback Drama Group explores the dark side of entertainment and the lengths people will go to for celebrity status.
Tickets from:
Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny St, EH6 8RG Thurs-Sat 7.30pm, Sat mat 2.30pm.

Queen Charlotte Rooms:
Smooth and Saxy
Tempo’s cabaret show is an evening of music, mood and style in an atmospheric setting. Unforgettable melodies such as – Come Fly With Me, Summertime, The Way You Look Tonight, Just In Time and My Baby Just Cares For Me performed with vocal vibrance and versatility by this choice group of singers and musicians.
Tickets from:
Queen Charlotte Rooms: 56a Queen Charlotte Street. EH6 7ET. Mon-Fri 8pm.

The Village Pub:
Village Pub Theatre
Cracking new theatre from cracking new playwrights down at the Village Pub every night from Tuesday to Saturday. To celebrate its first year VPT is presenting a best-of selection of plays performed over the last 12 months. Including – spread over the five nights – readings of every single one of the famed Twitter Plays. Get there early to get a lovely pint at the bar, stay on late to chat to the writers and performers.
Tickets: £3 on the door.
The Village. 16 South Fort Street, EH6 4DN. Tue-Sat, 8pm

Whitespace Gallery:
Sinatra: The Final Curtain
A legend – now poorly in hospital – looks back on a lifetime of entertainment and reflects on the triumphs and the heartaches. He sees his former self as a young crooner, slim and confident and hears the songs that touched a generation. A new musical drama with live vocals.
Whitespace Gallery, 11 Gayfield Square, EH1 3NT Thurs-Sat 8pm, Sat mat 3pm.
A new play from Black Dingo Productions by David McFarlane, Sanctuary deals with a young man’s guilt over a relationship breakdown and the difficult circumstances surrounding it. A subtle exploration of lives unformed, the play introduces Michael and Janet as young sketches of themselves. A shock wave surges through their romantic bubble and neither is able to deal honestly with the enormity of what has happened to them – until it’s too late. .
Whitespace Gallery, 11 Gayfield Square, EH1 3NT Thurs-Sat 10pm.

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