Quite a last minute warning this one, seeing as the show begins this evening, but as nobody was probably expecting me to post anything today anyway, I can just about get away with it. I think.
Yes, Sunshine on Leith, the stage show adapted from the music of The Proclaimers, returns to Edinburgh tonight for just seven performances.
According to the Festival Theatre website, “Sunshine on Leith follows the highs and lows of Ally and Davy as they return home from the army. Families, relationships and life in Leith are not all plain sailing in this truly exceptional love story about everyday life in Scotland.
Featuring over 20 hits such as I’m Gonna Be (500 miles), I’m On My Way and Letter from America, I’m looking forward to trying this one out this evening.
The review will be up soon after.
The Lyceum Youth Theatre returns to the Lyceum stage on 23 and 24 July as part of Summer on Stage, with a double bill of contrasting pieces: A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini and The Musicians by Patrick Marber.
In A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini, directed by Steve Mann, two young women who travel to a small British town they don’t state their ages or names, are they sisters? Or are they vampires? Or just two lost girls and very much human?
In Patrick Marber’s The Musicians, directed by Xana Marwick, the Ridley Rd school orchestra has travelled to Russia to give Tchaikovsky’s Forth Symphony to an invited audience of the great and good only one problem….they have no instruments but when you have Alex and Alexi The Who and a broom these problems soon disappear. A warm play that shows you that Rock n Roll is truly the answer to all life’s problems. Continue reading
It’s been a while, but finally normal service is being resumed here on itsonitsgone.com. While I’ve been away trying to safely bring reelscotland.com into the world, big things have been happening in the rest of the Arts here in Edinburgh, not least the announcement that John Cleese is hitting town in 2011 with his one-man show, The Alimoney Tour.
Though the term “legend” is overused these days, the fact that the press release for the tour labels him as one is actually fine with me as he’s done more for British comedy than Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross and anyone who’s been on Eight out of 10 Cats put together.
According to Basil Fawlty himself, the evening will be “full of well honed anecdotes, psychoanalytical tit-bits, details of recent surgical procedures, and unprovoked attacks on former colleagues, especially Michael Palin.”
Hopefully you don’t need me to tell you that this is a must-see show and that we probably won’t get a chance like this again in Scotland, certainly not for a very long time – head over to the Festival Theatre website to book your tickets.
Never one to give its actors or audience an easy time of it, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre promises a “searing, poetic and hard-hitting new play” in the shape of Linda McLean’s Any Given Day, running from Saturday 29 May until Saturday 19 June.
According to the website, this is a big day for Sadie and Bill; their favourite person is coming to visit. They’ve gone to great lengths to prepare for the occasion.
It’s an even bigger day for Jackie; and not one she’d anticipated. Should she should make the most of it? She doesn’t know if she can any more; too many people depend on her.
Exploring our fear of the unknown and our guilt and responsibility towards ourselves and others, the play stars Kate Dickie (Red Road), Kathryn Howden, Lewis Howden and Jamie Quinn.
Full details are available on the Traverse Theatre website now.
The legend that is John Byrne (Tutti Frutti) returns to Scottish theatre this month as his brand new adaptation of Chekov’s political comedy The Cherry Orchard is given a Scottish makeover.
Relocated to northern Scotland in the late 1970s, Byrne’s play tells the story of a once-grand family brought low by the changes of time and tide.
The Ramsey-Mackays are not used to struggle, but as their debts mount and the vultures begin to circle, they must face losing their ancestral home and the cherry orchard that goes with it.
Photo by Tim Morozzo
Coming to Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre from 19 March – 10 April, Every One is described as “a beautiful and poetic look at how ordinary people deal with extraordinary tragedy”.
An everyday family, Joe, Mary, Kevin and Mazz, are at the centre of this tale. They are somehow aware their lives are being witnessed by a theatre full of people. But with nothing to mark them out as particularly unusual they are slightly puzzled by the attention.
All of this changes when Death comes calling.
Plunged suddenly into a situation where the things they considered ‘real’ can no longer be relied upon, Joe, Mary, Kevin and Mazz must reassess their lives.
Their different perspectives on life and on what it means to ‘live’ are altered forever- and the things that really matter are made painfully clear.
Following three hugely successful national tours and two acclaimed capacity seasons at The Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit will be playing at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Tuesday 23 and from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 March.
Bilbo Baggins, a quiet and contented Hobbit, has his life turned upside down when he is chosen by Gandalf the Sorcerer to join Thorin Oakenshield, exiled King of the Dwarves, on his quest to reclaim their kingdom and treasure.
With the aid of magic and illusion, audiences will join Gandalf as he leads Bilbo and his Dwarf companions on a frightening but magical journey, a journey from which they might never return! A journey to hunt for the powerful hidden treasure that simply must be found and given back to its rightful owners.
Travel with them through the Misty Mountains, through wind, rain, hail and thunderstorms narrowly escaping gourmandising Trolls, vicious Goblins, avaricious wolves, and spiteful Giant Spiders. Finally Bilbo must face the guardian of the treasure, the most feared and deadly dragon of them all, Smaug…
Following recent tours of one-time hit BBC TV series Dad’s Army and Allo ‘Allo, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais’ Porridge comes to Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre from Tuesday 9 – Saturday 13 March.
Written for stage by the original creators, the cast of 15 is led by Shaun Williamson, best known for his role as Barry Evans in EastEnders. The role of Godber, originally played by the late Richard Beckinsale has been taken by Daniel West.
Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s best selling novel The Woman in Black comes to Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre from Monday 15 – Saturday 20 February.
Said to combine the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir, audiences are provided with “an evening of unremitting drama as they are transported into a terrifying and ghostly world.”
A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a Woman in Black, engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul.
Northern Ballet Theatre’s Wuthering Heights returns to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre from Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 March.
A creative collaboration between composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and NBT Artistic Director David Nixon, the production is inspired by Emily Bronte’s 1847 novel.
The ballet was created in 2002 when Claude-Michel Schönberg, known throughout the musical-theatre world for his West End hits Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Martin Guerre, made contact with David Nixon within weeks of his arrival at NBT.
One of the greatest love stories in the world, the ballet focuses on the powerful bond that grows between Catherine Earnshaw and the foundling Heathcliff; their lives inexorably linked for eternity in a darkly haunting tale, as bleak and beautiful as the Yorkshire moors that surround them.
Glasgow’s Tron Theatre presents the World Premiere of Promises Promises, the new thriller from award-winning Scottish playwright Douglas Maxwell, from Wednesday 3 – Saturday 6 February.
Inspired by true events, ‘Promises Promises’ is a one-woman show revolving around the cynical character of Maggie Brodie.
Maggie (Joanna Tope) is a retired teacher who has been dragged back to her local primary school for a reluctant day of supply teaching. Her craving for alcohol is strong and her opinion of her colleagues is rock bottom, so it’s going to be a tough day.
Update: Read my review of Spymonkey’s Moby Dick
In Spymonkey’s Moby Dick, a slightly off-kilter retelling of Herman Melville’s epic coming to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre (10 – 13 February), four actors find themselves trapped in the belly of a literary monster.
As they ponder the irony of their fate they recount a story of Moby Dick, sparkling with their own fantastical flourishes. The novel’s epic examination of good, evil, fate and obsession is lost on them. And then, mysteriously, found on them again.
Will Ahab’s thirst for revenge be unhinged by the well-meaning but staggeringly inept attentions of his crew? Now that he has found true love, is Ishmael still fated to be the sole survivor of the Pequod?
Can a mermaid figurehead get pregnant? And what does a cannibal harpoonist from Bavaria eat?
Here’s a look at the trailer for the show:
Funny: Don’t Make Me Laugh, a terrifying new play based on real reports, is an ambitious project that sets out to explore the power of humour as torture.It comes to the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh on Saturday 6 February as part of a Scottish tour.
A young Army officer perfects his comic techniques as a tool to extract information from Middle Eastern terror suspects who are trained to resist torture by way of meditation. As traditional interrogation methods fail, the UK Security Services enlist him along with a veteran comedian to use humour as a means of unsettling the detainees’ resolve.
Written by Tim Nunn, Funny was inspired by his experiences as a human rights campaigner, and stars Black Watch actor Jonathan Holt, Donald Pirie (Mancub, National Theatre of Scotland, River City) and Paul Cunningham (Macbeth, National Theatre of Scotland).
Lee Mead, winner of the BBC’s hit show Any Dream Will Do, makes his drama debut starring in Bill Kenwright’s production of Oscar Wilde’s Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, which appears at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh from Monday 22 to Saturday 27 February.
Lord Arthur Savile is deliriously happy: a pillar of Victorian society on the verge of marriage to the lovely Sybil Merton, when a brief departure from late Nineteenth century convention leads him to an encounter with a chilling clairvoyant called Podgers.
Podgers secretly reveals that at some point in Arthur’s life, he is destined to commit murder. To protect his future wife, Arthur decides he must commit this bloody deed before he marries.
One of the main reasons for starting this blog was to highlight events that might only be around for a short time, one-off film screenings or plays that might be here today then…gone.
One upcoming event manages to mash both these things together rather wonderfully, providing Edinburgh film and theatre-goers with the chance to see a live play taking place at London’s National Theatre in the comfort of the Cameo Cinema, live by satellite – boggles the brain a bit really.
The play in question is Terry Pratchett’s Nation (and it’s not one of his Discworld novels) on Saturday 30 January and it goes something like this:
A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami that has destroyed Mau’s village and left Daphne shipwrecked on his South Pacific island, thousands of miles from home.
One wears next to nothing, the other a long white dress; neither speaks the other’s language; somehow they must learn to survive. As starving refugees gather, Daphne delivers a baby, milks a pig, brews beer and does battle with a mutineer.
Update 17 January: Read the review of The Price
If 2009 was a bumpy year for Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre – and judging by the reviews and comments on this blog and around the net for their “interesting” adaptations of well-known plays it certainly was – 2010 looks to be starting a bit more sedately with The Price (Fri 15 January – Sat 13 February).
In Arthur Miller’s play, described by the New York Times as ranking alongside “if not above, Death of a Salesman”, Victor (Greg Powrie) and Walter (Aden Gillet) are estranged brothers, called upon to sort through the belongings of their long-dead father. Victor is weary and defeated, his brother happy and successful.
The paths of their lives split because of one crucial decision made in their past – a decision which will come back to haunt them both, bringing long-held resentments to the surface and exposing painful truths.
Said to be “pithy, funny and deeply moving”, the new trailer tells us a bit more about the production:
Glasgow’s Tron Theatre kicks off 2010 with an impressive batch of new shows running from January to March, details of which dropped into my inbox recently – I thought I’d cover as many of them as possible here to give you a taste of what’s coming up.
I’ve quoted at length here from the press release, some of the highlights including:
- Gerry Mulgrew’s new production of ‘The Government Inspector’ for Communicado
- Martin Crimp’s mysterious drama ‘The City’ in a new Tron Theatre Company production
- The world premiere of Douglas Maxwell’s new play ‘Promises, Promises’
- tfd, new plays for young people from the National Theatre of Scotland
- Celtic Connections 2010 and the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival
- A second chance to see ‘Raspberry’, ‘If That’s All There Is?’ and ‘Long Gone Lonesome’
Firstly in a co-production with Communicado, Gerry Mulgrew will direct The Government Inspector (Thu 11 – Sat 27 February), a feisty adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s classic satire on bureaucracy and human vanity.
Featuring a cast of over ten performers this production will feature live music performed by the cast on electric balalaikas and mouth organs and will go on to tour Scotland throughout March.
I’ve already covered a few Edinburgh-based pantomimes on the blog, so it’s time I looked west for The Tron’s production of Ya Beauty & the Beast (Saturday 28 November – Sunday 3 January) in Glasgow.
Will big evil baddie Barfolemew Beastie (boo!) find a wife before Pansy McNaughty’s last petals fall off? Will our motley crew make it through the Slippery Slimy Swamp to the Tunnocks Tea Cake Big Top in time for the Recyclable Circus Competition? Will the Greatest Secret in the Pantosphere be revealed?
Ya Beauty and The Beast is written by the duo of Gordon Dougall and Fletcher Mathers. This is Gordon’s 20th year working on the Tron panto (his first was as music director on ‘Peter and Penny’s Panto’ written by Alex Norton) and his tenth Tron panto as a writing partner and director. Here’s a look at the new trailer:
Update: read my Peter Pan review
Last year saw audiences travel through the wardrobe to Narnia in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and this year Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre takes another flight into the classic novel territory with its Christmas production of Peter Pan (Friday 27 November – Thursday 3 January.
Gasp as Peter, Wendy, John and Michael (not to mention Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys!) do battle with the wicked Captain Hook and his pirate crew. It’s a world where crocodiles go tick-tock, fairies are real and children can fly.
Directed by Jemima Levick, the cast includes Scott Fletcher as Peter, Lyceum regular Kim Gerard (Mary Rose, The Man Who Had All the Luck) as Wendy and Stuart Bowman as Captain Hook.
Here, Lyceum Artistic Director Mark Thomson previews the show:
Update: read my review of Sinbad and the Little Mermaid
A brand new pantomime written to celebrate Brunton Theatre’s 30th anniversary of professional productions begins on Friday 20 November and runs until Saturday 2 January: Sinbad the Pantomime featuring The Little Mermaid.
Deep beneath the Bass Rock lies the secret undersea paradise Atlantis – home to the Little Mermaid and the Pearl of Beauty, a jewel with magical properties.
When the evil witch Crabsclaw attacks the peace-loving Merfolk of Atlantis in search of the Pearl, the Little Mermaid is forced to swim ashore for help. Washed up on Fisherrow Beach she is discovered by Sinbad the Sailor, who lives on a ship in Fisherrow Harbour with his mammy Saucy Nancy and daft brother Swishee.
Together they set off on a quest to find the great Neptune, Lord of the Seas and the only being powerful enough to defeat the Sea Witch.