Friday, December 3

Scotland

Sleeping Beauty – Edinburgh King’s Theatre
Scotland

Sleeping Beauty – Edinburgh King’s Theatre

Allan Stewart and Grant Stott star in the King's Theatre Panto as Queen May and Carabosse. with Jordan Young as Muddles; Sia Dauda as Princess Beauty, Nicola Meehan as The Good Fairy and Clare Gray as Narcissa. It was written by Alan McHugh and directed by Ed Curtis. The programme says that production company Crossroads Pantomimes has spent £1.5 million on sets and costumes (which necessitated 20 makers) for this year's London Palladium pantomime, which will be seen in cities such as Birmingham, Wimbledon and Bristol in the years to follow. In the King's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty the budget is definitely on show through its multicoloured costumes (by Mike Coltman), lavish sets (designed by Ian Westbrook) and the odd Giant Flying Vampire Bat, motorcycle and pyrotechnics (special effects...
Death Drop – Kings Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Death Drop – Kings Theatre, Edinburgh

Death Drop is a dragtastic British bonanza which is sure to make you laugh out loud from curtains up to curtains down. The show takes place on a strange tidal island where a mysterious Lady von Fistenburg  (Vinegar Strokes) throws a dinner party in celebration of the ten year wedding anniversary of Princess Diana and Charles. In doing so she invites 5 total strangers to join the festivities with her: Shazza (Willam), Summer Raines (Ra’Jah O’Hara), Morgan Pierce (Karen From Finance), Rich Whiteman (Richard Energy) and Phil Maker (Georgia Frost), joined by their motley catering crew (Holly Stars). When a storm attacks all are trapped within the house and as one predicts with a murder mystery it doesn’t take long before someone ends up dead under suspicious circumstances. To tell you...
Eric & Ern – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Eric & Ern – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

It was difficult to suppress a chuckle simply taking in the set. That sofa, for those of us of a certain vintage, the telephone (Daddy, what were they for in the olden days?) and… The Bed! With no sign of a kitchen one feared – correctly as it turned out – that this would be free of pop-up toast routines. Of Des O’Connor mentions, famous catchphrases and legendary sketches it was not. Never mind how ‘of its era’ it was (20 million+ viewers for the Christmas Specials in 1977 and 1978), this production underlined how enduring the scripts have proved. As has - faithfully captured by Jonty Stephens (Eric) and Ian Ashpitel (Ern) - the stagecraft, timing and theatricality necessary to execute them. In less safe hands a quip about watching a three-foot high person swallow a four-foot sword might...
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Edinburgh King’s Theatre
Scotland

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Edinburgh King’s Theatre

In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane arrives in the eerie world of secrets and unsettling tradition of Sleepy Hollow to become the town teacher. But not all is as it seems, for Ichabod Crane harbours his own dark secret.... The play is based on the 1820 gothic story by American author Washington Irving, contained in his collection of 34 essays and short stories titled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Though the story is commonly accepted as having popularised the use of the pumpkin head at Halloween (replacing the turnip), it might be more familiar to most through its 1949 Disney adaptation and Tim Burton gothic nightmare. No, not the Dumbo remake. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) adapted The Legend into a half-hour short packaged with an adaptation of...
The Play That Goes Wrong – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Play That Goes Wrong – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

If I had to be absolutely honest, Cornley’s Poytechnic Drama Society’s performance of ‘Murder at Havisham Manor’ was about one-star at best, based purely on set design alone, but seeing as even that slowly disintegrated throughout the performance, this rating is dubious at best. You’ll therefore be glad to realise, reader, I was in attendance of Mischief Theatre’s ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, a carefully crafted physical theatre farce, where, unnervingly, everything that could have possibly gone wrong, did go wrong. ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ does what it says on the tin. The production framed through the narrative device of Cornley’s Polytechinic Drama Society’s latest production, which, thanks to inept planning and a lack of talent, goes very wrong indeed. It’s ram packed with every k...
The Signalman – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Signalman – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Most notable was how, with extreme economy (one actor, a sparse set and some carefully understated lighting and sound), this play generated such power, intensity and atmosphere. It's set in 1919, forty years after the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879 as Thomas Barclay, the signalman, now 64, re-lives the events of the horrific night. The sense of place is perfectly evoked by Jon Beale and Andy Cowan’s carefully constructed soundscape, the gulls, wind and rain a constant reminder of the vast expanse of a raging Tay estuary. Beneath a sky shaken and stirred by the swirling, gargantuan storm that hit Tayside that Sunday we’re immersed in the cosy confines of the signal box as Tom McGovern plays a haunted, traumatised Barclay, moving restlessly about the small set of coat-stand, desk and two chair...
An Unexpected Hiccup – The Studio, Edinburgh
Scotland

An Unexpected Hiccup – The Studio, Edinburgh

“An Unexpected Hiccup” was directed by Ian Cameron and Maria Oller and produced by touring theatre company Plutôt La Vie and Lung Ha Theatre Company, an Edinburgh-based theatre company for people with a learning disability. It tells the story of Murdo, a musician who, caught in a storm, is forced to take refuge in an isolated house whose inhabitants he may or may not have mutual friends with. They also seem to have quite a lot going on, including an apparently dying father in the next room and a fair few conflicting stories about what's going on... The play is based on a story by co-director Ian Cameron, itself apparently inspired by something that happened to him years ago. The script was subsequently developed by Michael Duke and the cast, Emma Clark, Ryan Duncan, Tim Licata, Emma...
Beauty and the Beast – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Beauty and the Beast – Edinburgh Playhouse

"Be our guest" and so you should, this toe tapping bonanza of a musical is a treat for the eyes. Mixing pre-recorded projections, detailed set pieces of course some magic, this production is one for the whole family. The story follows a Selfish young Prince turned beast and a bookworm beauty who doesn't quite fit in and find herself pursued by a man who just can't take no for an answer. When her father is held prisoner by the beast, belle volunteers to take his place, thus beginning our love story. Of course, one cannot forget the merry band of living furniture who guide us along the way. Expect classics from Howard Ashman and Tim Rice such as: Beauty and the Beast, Be Our Guest, Human Again and Gaston. Casting for this production does not disappoint for the most part, with the r...
The Enemy – King’s Theatre Edinburgh
Scotland

The Enemy – King’s Theatre Edinburgh

If you live in Scotland, you’ll know that we’re fiercely proud of many things, but few things can compare to the pride we have for our tap water. In our opinion, our humble council juice makes our hearts sing. That’s why The Enemy, Kieran Hurley’s brilliant reimaging of the classic Henrik Ibsen play, ‘An Enemy of the People’ is simply perfect. Not just because it resonates with a post-truth world but it’s perfect for Scottish National Theatre, a perfect for 2021 and perfect as a play performed in Scotland for Scottish people returning to our theatres.  Scientist Kirsten Stockman (Hannah Donaldson) has discovered a life threatening bacteria in the tap water of a Scottish town that’s about to open a luxurious water park and become of the UK’s next hot tourist spots. Naturally this d...
Starstruck – Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Scotland

Starstruck – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Think of postmodernism and you won’t think of actor and dancer Gene Kelly, though his life and his work exists simultaneously to the peak years of the movement. In 1960, during the movement’s height, Kelly was lured to Paris to bring his trademark moves of the Hollywood movie scene to the world of ballet. The result was his pioneering work, ‘Pas Die Dieux.’ 61 years later, Scottish Ballet and Kelly’s widow Patricia Ward Kelly have brought this stellar piece of work back to the stage for it’s UK debut with a beguiling new twist.  It’s simultaneously lavish, entrancing, and as the kids would say, ‘pretty meta’. Kelly’s original ballet, ‘Pas Die Dieux’ focused on the classical tale of Aphrodite and Zeus and the trials and tribulations that they face on Mount Olympus. In the ballet’s ...