Theatre Preview: Sunshine on Leith, 12 – 16 October, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

12 Oct

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.


Theatre Preview: Summer On Stage 2010, 23 & 24 July, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

7 Jul

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

Comedy Preview: John Cleese’s Alimoney Tour, 10 June 2011, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

23 May

John Cleese

It’s been a while, but finally normal service is being resumed here on While I’ve been away trying to safely bring 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.

Theatre Preview: Any Given Day, 29 May – 19 June, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

23 May

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.

Site news: Film coverage on

7 Apr

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that updates, in particular film updates, have decreased in recent weeks – but it’s not just because I’ve been watching too many DVDs.

I’ve just set up a brand new website, ReelScotland, which takes elements of this site and adds a whole lot more, with more interviews, reviews, previews and articles about cinema events around Scotland.

I’ll still be adding theatre and the odd film event to this site, but if you’d like to broaden your Scottish cinema horizons even further, please head over to to find out more – I hope you enjoy it.

Theatre Preview: The Cherry Orchard, 16 April – 8 May, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

4 Apr

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.

Continue reading

Intermission: Remembering The Great Lafayette

22 Mar

Employees at the Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre are appealing for information on the world-famous illusionist Sigmund Neuberger, better known as The Great Lafayette, ahead of the 100 year anniversary of his death.

The Great LafeyetteBelieved to be the highest paid magician of his time, The Great Layette met his untimely death in a fire whilst performing at the old Empire Theatre – now the Festival Theatre – on 9 May 1911.

To mark the 100 year anniversary of his death, staff at the venue are planning to hold a series of events and exhibitions and are asking for members of the public to come forward with information on The Great Lafayette or any of the other victims who lost their lives on that tragic night.

The story goes that the theatre was full to its 3000 seat capacity when disaster struck while the Great Lafayette was performing his signature illusion “The Lion’s Bride”. As the world-famous magician took his final bow a stage lamp fell and ignited part of the elaborate stage set.

The audience, thinking that this was part of the illusion, did not evacuate until the theatre manager signalled the orchestra to play ‘God Save the King’. The fire took three hours to put out and ten members of The Great Lafayette’s company perished, although all 3000 members of the audience walked to safety.

According to an eyewitness account published over on JK Gillon’s website:

Reports claimed Lafayette had escaped but had returned in an attempt to save his horse. A charred body, dressed in Lafayette’s costume, was found near the stage, but a further search of the basement revealed another body, this one with the diamond rings which Lafayette always wore. The first man was one of the doubles that Lafayette often used in his act.

To add to the mystery, days before Lafayette’s death he buried his much loved dog Beauty – a gift from fellow-illusionist Harry Houdini – in Piershill Cemetery. Edinburgh council only allowed this on the condition that The Great Lafayette would eventually be buried alongside his cherished pet upon his death.

No one could ever have guessed that he would be joining Beauty just four days later…

Please email suggestions on how this important date should be celebrated, or any information on the Great Lafayette to

Image copyright JK Gillon