Wednesday, December 7

Tag: King’s Theatre

Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Actor, singer, comedian and all-round impresario, Allan Stewart swore he would never bring his variety back to the King’s Theatre in 2020.  But a lot has changed since then, in ways no one could image. We live in a world where panto runs can be cut short, which for the likes of Allan Stewart fans is a devastating world to live in, indeed. Bringing back one of Edinburgh’s best loved shows was the perfect tonic. As the curtain rises, we’re joined by the legend himself with the fantastic Andy Pickering and his orchestra. Andy Pickering’s orchestra hold the pace all evening, delivering hit after hit with prowess. Tonight’s show, is as you would expect it, filled with Easter egg surprises. After Stewart’s big opening number, we’re joined by panto legend Grant Stott, fresh from ongoing ...
The Pirates of Penzance – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Pirates of Penzance – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society are back with a production of The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Alan Borthwick and David Lyle and starring Keegan Siebken as Frederic, Lorna Murray as Mabel, Sebastion Davidson as the Pirate King and Colin Povey as Major-General Stanley, the latter being responsible for perhaps the show's most famous aspect, the Major General’s Song (“I am the very model of a modern Major-General”), basically the XIXth century Alphabet Aerobics in terms of tongue-twisting at speed. Fittingly for a comic opera, the show's very title is humorous on several levels. On the one hand, Penzance was a docile seaside resort at the time, and consequently not the place one would expect to encounter pirates in, and on the other, the title worked as a jab at the theatri...
Shrek The Musical – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Shrek The Musical – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

The Bohemians Lyric Theatre Company are an amateur outfit based in Edinburgh, and to have even contemplated taking on such a show as Shrek deserves a medal, but then a little research reveals that this company’s been going since 1909. Evidence there’s a fair reservoir of experience to hand is illustrated by the fact they regularly grace The Fringe on top of the yearly output which is… pretty staggering, some years including no less than three different shows. As opening night’s go though, this couldn’t have started worse. Traces of nerves were discernible unaided by the fact the actors’ vocals were constantly at odds with the volume of the band, an issue which persisted but which one imagines will be resolved as the run proceeds. But 25 minutes (or so) in a crackling malfunction manife...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...