Thursday, October 6

Scotland

Sheila’s Island – King’s Theatre
Scotland

Sheila’s Island – King’s Theatre

Tim Firth (Calendar Girls and Kinky boots) has been delighting audiences for decades with his productions. Now Sheila’s Island is an all-female reimagining of his earlier work, Neville’s Island is bringing his work to a brand new audience. Four middle aged middle management employees of Pennine Mineral Water Ltd, are on their annual outward bound team bonding weekend. Team leader Sheila has read the clues far too closely and her love a cryptic crossword has caused the ladies to end up in the middle of nowhere in the Lake District as the fog gathers in before Bonfire Night Weekend. As the days come and go, tensions rise, and communications devices fail. There’s not a crumb food in sight, just one sausage and relationships have become rather frayed. As Sheila (Judy Flynn) hauls hersel...
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Leith Theatre
Scotland

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Leith Theatre

The story of Jekyll and Hyde has had many a version or retelling over the years, usually focusing on Dr Jekyll’s battle with himself and his genetically mutated personality of Mr Hyde however this production takes a very different angle. The script sticks closer to that of the original text by Robert Louis Stevenson, making Utterson (Lorn Macdonald) the lead and having Dr Jekyll (Henry Pettigrew) take a back seat. The story follows Gabriel Utterson, a lawyer who goes to visit his old friend Harry Jekyll when finding a strange note within Jekyll’s will. This leads Utterson down a very dark rabbit hole when he discovers Jekyll has been helping out a certain barbaric and mysterious Mr Hyde. Building an obsession over capturing and punishing Hyde for his wicked crimes, Utterson finds himse...
The Rocky Horror Show – Edinburgh King’s Theatre
Scotland

The Rocky Horror Show – Edinburgh King’s Theatre

Sexy, Camp and a real cult classic. Rocky horror has been entertaining us musical weirdos since 1973 and to this day has yet to lose its charm and fun. Before the show even begins, you’ll find yourself surrounded by its fans decked out in suspenders, corsets, feather bowers and tinier shorts than you could have mentally prepared yourself for. Rocky Horror is a sci-fi rock musical all about giving into your own sexual desires and discovering one’s self, but with aliens! These are not the green little Martians we televise but a group of human looking aliens from the distant planet of Transexual Transylvania. They are sexy, strange and at times dangerous.  When newly engaged and conservative couple Brad (Ore Oduba) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) turn up at their door, all hell breaks loo...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Scotland

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Disney first brought Bedknobs and Broomsticks to the silver screen back in 1971, starring the much-loved Angela Lansbury. With music from the legendary Sherman Brothers, it’s always quietly nestled itself amongst the firm family favourites. The announcement it was coming to the stage and its subsequent tour have sent the musical theatre world into a frenzy and it’s easy to see why. Set amongst the bombs of WWII, three orphaned children find themselves sent to the south coast as evacuees where they are taken in by Eglantine Price, a trainee witch in correspondence with the elusive Emelius Browne. She’s got a witchy idea to defeat the Nazis with an incredible spell, but she and the children need help from Professor Emelius to seal the deal. The gang of travelers soon realize that in orde...
The Dresser – The King’s Theatre
Scotland

The Dresser – The King’s Theatre

Since changes in restrictions have brought theatre back, sent it away and brought it back again, the number of plays about theatre and the theatrical experience have seemingly quadrupled. But Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser is different. It’s not about why we need theatre, or even why need actors. In fact, in keeping with Ronald Harwood’s dictate with didactic theatre, ‘The Dresser’ is art for art’s sake. But it soon becomes apparent that ‘The Dresser’ is more than just a bit of two-dimensional entertainment. Norman, (Samuel Holmes) is the dresser to ‘Sir’ (Matthew Kelly) a stalwart actor, who now in the depths of WWII and in the midst of emotional despair, finds himself touring ‘provincial’ theatres in the blitz with a cast of ill-prepared actors. Every night they desperately try to cobb...
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – King’s Theatre
Scotland

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – King’s Theatre

Direct from London, this Elliott & Harper Productions, Catherine Schreiber and Leeds Playhouse show is an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ classic children's book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, voted the nations favourite book in 2019. It's directed by Michael Fentiman (based on the original production of Sally Cookson) and stars Ammar Duffus, Robyn Sinclair, Shaka Kalokoh and Karise Yansen as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, four children evacuated from London during the Second World War who find themselves transported to the magical world of Narnia and into the conflict between its ruler Aslan and its usurper, The White Witch (Samantha Womack). With its mix of fantasy and reality (transitioning through the titular wardrobe), this story demands a certain amount of imaginat...
Bat Out of Hell – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Bat Out of Hell – Edinburgh Playhouse

Romeo and Juliet meets Peter Pan, meets Meatloaf is probably the best summary one can give of Bat Out Of Hell the musical. The plot is familiar and so is the music, and perhaps that’s what makes it such a fun and lovable show. In what we can assume is a futuristic world just like our own a chemical leak has led to a portion of society remaining forever at the age of 18. This has caused a rivalry between the forever young and those still bitterly aging. Our Peter Pan archetype: Strat (Glenn Adamson) leads the Lost however becomes infatuated by young 18-year-old Raven (Martha Kirby) the unsatisfied daughter of our villain Falco (Rob Fowler) and his even more so unsatisfied wife Sloane (Sharon Sexton). Throughout we see Strat and Raven fight the odds to be together even with the disapprov...
Round The Horne – Kings’ Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Round The Horne – Kings’ Theatre, Edinburgh

Shut your eyes and you could’ve been at home next to the wireless any time between 1965 and 1968. Along with the 14.5 million other listeners of the day. Which makes it difficult to write about this show; it was so faithful to the original that instead of judging the set or evaluating the performance(s), one spent most of the time simply wondering - nay marvelling – at the unabashed nature of Round The Horne, its refusal to dodge a risk (spelled r-i-s-q-u-é) and, ultimately, the BBC’s willingness to defend it from its many (historically, theatrically ignorant) detractors. It’s sobering to remind oneself that some of the boundaries of taste and sexuality over which it gaily skipped were, at the time, enshrined in law. Listening to a couple of the shows either side of this production (yo...
Manipulate: Eat Me – The Studio, Edinburgh
Scotland

Manipulate: Eat Me – The Studio, Edinburgh

It’s difficult to describe ‘Eat Me’, as one may assume it is a play centralizing around cannibalism but not in a way in which one may expect. Eat Me follows the tale of three nameless characters described as ‘The Man’ (Ian Cameron), ‘Prey’ (Claire Eliza Willoughby) and ‘Predator’ (Isy Sharman), who come together in a very strange turn of events. Upon getting assistance from her creepy, stalker-ish neighbour, after falling over on the way home, Prey encloses that she wishes to be eaten. With not a single hint of surprise or hesitation The Man gets to work in making her dream come true. Together they explore the dark web until they come across Predator and set up a date in which Prey can become indeed food.  The production is very sound heavy with a good chunk of the dialogue being pr...
School of Rock – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

School of Rock – Edinburgh Playhouse

I was 7 when I first saw School of Rock in the cinemas, as part of its original release. For me, the film was an instant five stars. Approaching Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production, my fears were rife. Could this film withstand a musical counterpart? Rebellious, unhinged and filled with angst, could it also cope with the slick trappings and stage design of a slick modern west end musical? It’s more or less the same story we all know and love from the film. Slacker and failed rockstar Dewey Finn (Jack Sharp) is down on his luck and in need of rent. One day he answers a call for a job offer at a prestigious fee paying junior school meant for his flat mate Ned Schneebly. Desperate and posing as Ned, he takes the job, and enters Horace Green School with no clue about pedagogy, but plenty of k...