This week Mon 26 Feb – Sun 4 Mar.

Feb 26 2018 | By More

What to see on Edinburgh’s stages this week

It’s a busy week on Edinburgh’s stages this week, with a big mix of variety, opera, musicals and theatre of both straight and comic varieties…

First mention must go to the Traverse, where Ellie Stewart’s brilliant, interesting and very clever The Return, about Martin Guerre, is on for a two night run. It’s worth much more than that, to be honest with genius use of music from cellist Greg Sinclair and a massive performance from Emilie Pantry as the deserted peasant Bertrande, who accepts a stranger as her returning husband.

Greg Sinclair and Emilie Pantry in The Return. Pic: Ewen Weatherspoon

The big hitters are out at the Playhouse and King’s. The Rat Pack is back at Greenside Place – and this time they have brought Ella – so expect plenty of big tunes. While Allan Stewart is setting up camp in Tollcross with his Big Big Variety Show, He’s joined byFred MacAulay and Grant Stott, with the Three Degrees adding tunes to the comedy.

The second personal recommendation of the week is The Belles’s Stratagem at the Lyceum, where Tony Cownie’s adaptation of Hannah Cowley’s script is utterly hilarious. Okay, so it was written in 1890, but it is as up to date in terms of feminism as anything else around. And it is a play which has Edinburgh running right through its heart. Just go see – and take your pals!

Opera fans have a couple of treats too. We’ve run a preview of SCO’s interesting take on the Dido and Aeneas – Gianni Schhizzi double bill here. More fun should be had at the Festival Theatre where Scottish Opera has Flight, Jonathan Dove’s comedy set in an airport lounge. It’s had nothing but raves from its Glasgow premiere, so if you don’t fancy the full thing on Thursday and Saturday, there’s a one hour taster session, early doors on Friday.

Youth companies

There’s two musicals around, thanks to the local youth companies. The Brunton has Captivate with their school edition of Les Mis – it’s a big favourite at the Fringe, so well worth catching the number 26 for that one. The almost as prolific youth company Shoogly Peg is adding Dogfight to its repertoire with a production at the Biscuit Factory. The venue is not ideal, so looking forward to seeing how they deal with that.

Nicola Roy, Helen Mackay, Pauline Knowles in The Belle’s Stratagem. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

In straight theatre the big name production comes from the EUTC, which is staging Our Country’s Good at the Bedlam. It’s a great play, but wrap up well as the Bedlam is icy cold, even if the setting is in the hot Australian sun. Another student company, Paradigm Theatre, is bringing what looks to be a fascinating play to Sumerhall at end of the week with The Man from Earth.

And finally, Scottish Dance Theatre bring a double bill to the Traverse on Saturday which our dance friends have been shouting about to the hills. A hot tip for a Saturday date, by all accounts.

Listings Mon 26 Feb – Sun 4 Mar 2018

Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Dido & Aeneas and Gianni Schicchi
Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 March 2018
Evenings Tue/Wed, Fri/Sat: 7.30pm.
Edinburgh Studio Opera in their 50th year with a double bill of beautifully reimagined and restaged classics. Journey from Virgil’s tragic love affair to a hilarious comical farce forged in the fires of Dante’s inferno. See preview: ESO falls for Fellini.
Bodas de Sangre
Tuesday 27 February – Thursday 1 March 2018
Evenings: 7pm.
Edinburgh University Spanish Students: Rural Spain’s societal norms keep love from taking the path it desires, which has fatal repercussions…

Bedlam Theatre
11b Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ
Our Country’s Good
Monday 26 February – Saturday 3 March 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Timberlake Wertenbaker’s take on the true story of the first ship of British convicts and officers to arrive in Australia. Surrounded by forbidding conditions and under the burning heat of the Australian sun, Lieutenant Clark attempts to bring literature, theatre and culture to the penal colony through a production of Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer.

The Biscuit Factory
4-6 Anderson Place, EH6 5NP
Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 March 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinee, Sat: 2.30pm.
It’s November 21, 1963. On the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia, three young Marines set out for one final boys’ night of debauchery, partying and maybe a little trouble. Shoogly Peg Productions with the musical theatre adaptation of the 1991 Warner Brothers film.

The Brunton
Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA. Phone booking: 0131 665 2240
Les Misérables
Wednesday  28 February – Saturday 3 March 2018
Evening: 7.30pm; Matinee Sat: 2pm.
Captivate with the School Edition of Les Misérables, adapted specifically for a cast of young performers. The ultimate story of love, compassion and redemption, with such hit songs such as I Dreamed A DreamBring Him Home and Do You Hear The People Sing?

Festival Theatre
13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Thursday 1 & Saturday 3 March
Evenings: 7.15pm
Jonathan Dove’s life-affirming comedy flies north for its Scottish Opera premiere, with all the feel-good flair that garnered the performances at Opera Holland Park such rave reviews in 2015.

Scottish Opera’s Flight. Pic: James Glossop

King’s Theatre
2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show
Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 March 2018
Evenings 7.30pm.
Allan Stewart with guests including superstar seventies soul singers The Three Degrees playing hits including When Will I See You Again, funnyman Fred MacAulay, zany comedy magician Phil Butler and the one and only Grant Stott – plus a special visit from The MacRobert Brothers!

Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848
The Belle’s Stratagem
Saturday 17 February – Saturday 10 March.
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm; Matinees from 21st: Weds, Sat: 2pm.
A witty riposte to Farquhar’s The Beaux Stratagem, Hannah Cowley’s rediscovered gem, adapted by Tony Cownie and now set in Georgian Edinburgh, turns the tables on the farcical goings-on and has the women coming out on top. Read Æ’s review” ★★★★☆ Exemplary comedy.

18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas
Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 Mar 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees Wed & Sat: 2.30pm.
The Pack is back and this time, they are bringing Ella Fitzgerald!

1 Summerhall Square, EH9 1PL
The Man From Earth
Wednesday 28 Feb – Saturday 3 March 2018.
Evenings: 7pm.
Paradigm Theatre with its second prodution, Jerome Bixby’s story of a history professor who reveals his biggest secret for the first time in his life. Set during his goodbye party, his story is told through a line of intense questioning brought by his friends and colleagues over the the evening.

10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED. Phone booking: 0131 228 1404
The Return
Wednesday 28 February – Thursday 1 March 2018.
Evenings: 7.30pm.
Inspired by the true story of Martin Guerre, The Return is a gripping play about the mystery of identity and the survival instinct, and asks whether we can ever truly know even those we love the best.
Saturday 3 March 2018.
Evening: 7.30pm.
Double-bill from Scottish Dance Theatre pairs Botis Seva’s TuTuMucky – a fresh, rhythmic, and explosive exploration of how we’re shaped by the world around us – with RITUALIA, Colette Sadler’s interpretation of Stravinsky and Nijinska’s 1920s ballet, Les Noces.


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