Tag Archives: Edinburgh

NEWS: CAPITAL THEATRES WELCOMES AUDIENCES BACK TO THEIR VENUES FROM 29 JUNE 2021

Capital Theatres have confirmed they will open their doors from 29 June 2021 welcoming the first in-person audiences to their venues in 15 months. Audiences can enjoy a series of socially distanced performances over the summer alongside enhanced COVID safety measures, working towards a full programme of events from the autumn onwards.

Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres said:

“After closing our doors on 16 March and ‘going dark’ for longer than any of us would ever have imagined; we’re delighted to be able to welcome our audiences back into our theatres. We’ve worked closely with Scottish Government and the wider theatre industry to ensure that audiences can feel safe, comfortable and secure as they return to the joy of live performance. Our summer programme, using socially distanced seating plans, will build the confidence of audience, staff and artists alike as we look forward to a full programme of events this autumn, bringing you all the thrilling variety and entertainment which Capital Theatres is famous for.”

  • The Festival Theatre will open on 29 June with Blindness, a theatrical sound installation from the Donmar Warehouse with the voice of Juliet Stephenson. After sell-out runs in London and New York, an Edinburgh audience will experience this unique event on the Festival Theatre stage itself.

 

  • In July the Festival Theatre will play host to Zog; Caitlin Moran: More Than A Woman LIVE!; Silent Cinema: A Night of Laurel & Hardy; Rosie Kay: Absolute Solo II; all on socially distanced seating plans in line with the latest government guidance.

 

  • In August Scottish Opera will come to the Festival Theatre with Falstaff as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

 

  • The King’s Theatre will reopen with spy thriller A Splinter of Ice starring Oliver Ford Davies (Game of Thrones, Star Wars) as Graham Greene, Stephen Boxer (The Crown) as Kim Philby.

 

  • Both venues will be fully programmed from September 2021 onwards. Highlights include Grease, The Play That Goes Wrong, Dirty Dancing, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Six, Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, National Theatre of Scotland’s Orphans and The Enemy,  Stewart Lee and The Cher Show. All on sale now. They’re also looking forward to the return of our much-loved Christmas shows; The King’s Panto Sleeping Beauty and Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

 

  • Enhanced COVID safety measures will be in place to ensure audiences feel welcomed, safe and comfortable at all times when visiting the venues.

 

  • Capital Theatres has both We’re Good to Go accreditation from Visit Scotland and See it Safely accreditation from Society of London Theatres and UK Theatre.

 

All shows listed are on sale at: www.capitaltheatres.com

NEWS: AWARD-WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER ROSIE KAY RETURNS TO THE STAGE AFTER SIX YEARS

A triple bill of solos, looking backwards and forwards at Kay’s personal experience as an older female in dance, will be performed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on Saturday 24 July.

21 years on from her first-ever solo show, Absolute Solo, which she performed in the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, and six years since last appearing on stage herself, Edinburgh-born Kay returns to performing with a triple bill of solos. Her new work, Adult Female Dancer, was created in the 2020 lockdown and explores the deep emotional connection between her life and dance. Now, as an older dancing female, she has something to say about the female body and the experience of being female and being on stage. Part autobiography, part socio-anthropological study, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.

The triple bill also includes an archive film of the international award-winning Patisserie (1999) and Kay’s first public performance of Artemis Clown (originally commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance Company).

As part of making Adult Female Dancer, she completed a five-day ‘virtual’ residency at C-DaRE, (Centre for Dance Research at the University of Coventry), where she spent time thinking about her own life and her own body as the material. As well as looking at themes in her 1999 debut solo works, she revisited her 1998 university dissertation that explored female solo choreographers of the early 20th Century. Using these early influences, Kay has also been looking at core feminist texts and their relevance to today’s society. Partly autobiographical, part meditation on the need to dance, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.

Rosie Kay said: “Going back on stage again, after a break of many years has been an extraordinary experience. I used lockdown as a chance to rediscover my body, adapt it to dancing again, and mined my own life to create a new solo that is part autobiography, part celebration of a life dedicated to dance. I don’t shy away from the big stuff; life, death, violence, pain, and childbirth all come up, but ultimately there is deep joy in a life given to art. I use the music of Bach, Morricone, and Patti Smith as well as my own voiceover to tell my story. I wanted to say something deeply personal about being a woman on stage, as well as have a universal message that anyone can connect to and enjoy. The whole triple bill weaves themes of sex, performance, identity and vulnerability. It is scary and exciting to be finally showing these works to the world!”

Rosie Kay stopped performing in 2015, after a career spanning over thirty years on stage and has been happy to be behind the scenes for the past five years choreographing her critically acclaimed works 5 SOLDIERS, 10 SOLDIERS, MK ULTRA, and Fantasia amongst others. However, she has felt the draw to perform again, which was reignited when she had to stand in for one of the 5 SOLDIERS dancers on the company’s tour of the USA in February 2020.

 

NEWS: Grid Iron Theatre Co. confirms the long-awaited staging of Doppler for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh-based theatre company Grid Iron is pleased to confirm that its site-responsive outdoor adaptation of Erlend Loe’s best-selling book Doppler will take place as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021.

The play was originally scheduled to be presented at last year’s Fringe with the plans then pivoted to a digital sharing in light of the Covid-19 related restrictions. With only a few days of outdoor filming achieved due to Storm Francis, the Company had decided to instead produce a documentary film charting the story of the show and its production, Doppler – The Story so Far, which was released for free in March 2020 and watched by almost 10,000 people worldwide.

Grid Iron is also thrilled to reveal it is one of a group of 15 shows and five venues awarded first ever Fringe Artist and Venue Recovery Fund.

Judith Doherty, Chief Executive and Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron Theatre Company said: “After this roller-coaster of a ride that was Doppler – from the seed being planted in Ben Harrison’s mind when he read the book almost 3 years ago and plans for a Festival 2020 run, through to a digital sharing and finally the documentary – we could not be more excited to announce our 2021 plans for a live, outdoor sharing of the play.

“We are so grateful to the Fringe for this grant because it will allow us to provide BSL interpreted performances as part of the run and other access materials to make sure that our audience, although small in number, can be wide in reach.”

Doppler is an adaptation of a satirical novel by a Norwegian writer Erlend Loe, translated to English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw. It focuses on Doppler, a man who, following the death of his father, decides to abandon his family and move to the forest on the outskirts of Oslo. He is determined to live a life as far removed from his previous as possible but struggles to maintain his isolation as his existence garners a lot of unwanted attention.

Produced and presented strictly following Scottish Government’s safety guidelines, Doppler will be staged outdoors and feature a small cast of four. Further information, including venue, dates and cast, will be announced in due course.

Grid Iron are an Edinburgh-based theatre company who, following their incorporation in 1995 and their first show Clearance at the Traverse, Edinburgh, swiftly gained a reputation for creating high-quality, high profile shows. The Company went on to specialise in presenting shows in unusual locations. They are a new writing company who work in challenging sites that lend themselves especially well to Grid Iron’s taut production style. Occasionally they create work for the stage or use theatre buildings in a site-specific, promenade manner.

In 1997 Grid Iron produced their first full-scale site-specific production, The Bloody Chamber, their adaptation of Angela Carter’s Bluebeard fairytale, which they presented in famously haunted underground vaults beneath Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile. It was the company’s first appearance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, by the opening night, the show had sold out for its entire three-week run. Awards: Herald Angel for Outstanding Contribution and Achievement in Theatre and Total Theatre Nominations for Best Newcomers and Best Design.

www.gridiron.org.uk

 

NEWS: Hit musical DREAMGIRLS to tour UK from December 2021

Sonia Friedman Productions is delighted to announce that the first ever UK tour of hit musical Dreamgirls, which was due to start in 2020, will now open at the Liverpool Empire Theatre this December before visiting cities right across the country throughout 2022 and into 2023.

A full tour schedule and booking links can be found at dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk.

Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’, this sensational, multi-award winning production of Dreamgirls had its critically acclaimed West End Premiere in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, 35 years on from opening on Broadway.

Meet The Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

As previously announced, Nicole Raquel Dennis will play the role of Effie White in the UK tour of Dreamgirls. Her London stage credits include Alana Beck in the original West End cast of Dear Evan Hansen (BBTA winner – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), the original West End cast of Waitress (Adelphi Theatre), The Book Of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre).

A finalist on ITV’s The Voice in 2019Nicole Raquel Dennis wowed viewers and judges at her blind audition, performing Dreamgirls mega-hit ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ alongside team mentor Jennifer Hudson. Hudson won an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress) for her portrayal of Effie White in the 2006 Oscar-winning motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls which also starred Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

Nicole Raquel Dennis will play the role of Effie White in the Dreamgirls UK tour at certain performances with further casting to be announced soon.

This award winning production is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier® and Tony® Award winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set and Costume Design by Tim Hatley, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker, Hair Design by Josh Marquette and Music Supervision by Nick Finlow.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, with Additional Material by Willie Reale, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls was Directed by Michael Bennett who Co-Choreographed the show with Michael Peters. The production opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony® Awards with the original cast recording winning two Grammy® Awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’

The Original London Cast Recording of hit West End musical Dreamgirls is available via Sony Masterworks Broadway.

The UK and Ireland tour of Dreamgirls is produced by Sonia Friedman ProductionsGreenleaf Productions, Fakston Productions, Rupert Gavin/Mallory Factor, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Griffin Dohr in association with 1001 Nights Productions, Steven Rivellino

LISTINGS

Dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk | @Dreamgirls_UK

Edinburgh Playhouse 
18-22 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3AA
0844 871 7615 | www.atgtickets.com/venues/edinburgh-playhouse/
On sale 10am Tuesday 27 April 2021

Tuesday 30 August – Saturday 10 September 2022
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1GL
01224 641122 | www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/
On sale Tuesday 27 April 2021

Monday 10 October – Saturday 22 October 2022
King’s Theatre, Glasgow
297 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4JN
0844 871 7615 | www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre-glasgow/
|On sale 10am Tuesday 27 April 2021

 

WHAT’S ON: NEW STAGE PLAY BASED ON THE CLASSIC CLUEDO BOARD GAME TO TOUR THE UK IN 2022

Was it Miss Scarlet, with the revolver in the dining room, or was it Professor Plum, with the lead pipe in the library…?

Producers Joshua Andrews and Stuart Galbraith of Kilimanjaro Theatricals, in collaboration with their US producing partners Work Light Productions, Lively McCabe Entertainment & The Araca Group, are pleased to announce that Cluedo, a new stage play based on the classic Hasbro detective board game loved by generations and the hit 1985 Paramount film CLUE, is to tour the UK between January and July 2022. Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, the play is written by Sandy Rustin with additional materials by Hunter Foster and Eric Price and for the UK production, Mark Bell. Tickets are on sale now from Cluedostageplay.com.

When Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs Peacock, Revered Green, Mrs. White and Colonel Mustard all arrive at a country house one dark and stormy evening, they are concerned to find they have all received the same mysterious invitation from Lord Boddy. What’s clear is that they all have something to hide and the mystery and hysteria grows, as the inhabitants and guests of Boddy Manor start being killed, with a variety of familiar weapons, leaving everyone to wonder, who will be next! Casting will be announced soon.

This UK premiere production is directed by Mark Bell, director of the award winning The Play That Goes Wrong and A Comedy About A Bank Robbery and just like the game, it promises audiences of all ages a nostalgic, fun and thrilling evening of entertainment.

This hilarious spoof of a thriller, will keep you guessing right up to the finale as both the audience and actors onstage try to work out whodunnit…. with what… and where!!

Week Commencing  09 May 2022                                     Edinburgh: Kings Theatre – ON SALE

Week Commencing 04 July 2022                                      Glasgow: Theatre Royal – ON SALE

NEWS: Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021: Show registration opened in May as Fringe Player announced

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society announced that show registration for Fringe 2021 opened on Wednesday 05 May.

Artists and venues will be able to register Fringe shows right up until the end of the festival. The Fringe’s world-class programme will be available to browse and book at edfringe.com, with tickets going on sale for audiences in early summer.

As Scotland navigates its roadmap out of lockdown, much is still unknown about what the Fringe will look like this August. However, a range of scenarios are being prepared for, from socially distanced live events to digital offerings.

The Fringe Society is supporting artists and audiences to find and book work online across a range of platforms, including the brand-new Fringe Player. This online platform aims to bring some festival magic into homes across the world, while providing a secure platform for artists, companies and venues to host their shows. The platform is available to any registered 2021 Fringe show or venue to use if they wish.

Any live performance registered as part of the 2021 Fringe will be expected to adhere to public health guidance from the Scottish Government.

Audiences can search, browse and buy tickets to both online and in-person work through tickets.edfringe.com. More details on individual shows and Fringe 2021 will be available in early summer.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “We’re delighted to be able to open registration for 2021. Of course, we’re still very much in planning mode as we await further updates from the Scottish Government, but this feels like a hugely positive step in the right direction.

“Through the work being created across the various digital platforms, including the Fringe Player, artists have a brilliant opportunity to reach audiences and communities all over the world. I look forward to seeing how our Fringe creatives use these platforms in 2021 and beyond.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will take place from 06 – 30 August 2021.

REVIEW: Confetti and Chaos – Imagination Workshop, Edinburgh

Interactive Theatre International’s Confetti and Chaos is back at its spiritual home, smack bang in the middle of the madness of the Edinburgh Festival.

The world’s worst wedding reception still has the ability to surprise and delight and it’s all down to the pin-sharp script and the enviable comedy acting and improvisation skills of its talented cast.

The whole idea is a winner, because we’ve all been there: the excruciating speeches, the wild cannon relatives, secrets tumbling out of the closet, lips getting looser as the alcohol flows freely, drunken dancing and worse, much, much worse. Just when you think it couldn’t get any crazier, it does. Did I mention that while all the madness unfolds we, the wedding guests, are all enjoying a three course meal?

While there’s a face-achingly funny script at its backbone, it’s the ability of the cast to interact and react with the ever-changing nightly audience that makes this more than just a performance but an event for the ‘guests’. No matter how effortless this looks, it takes phenomenally talented actors to pull it off. Nerine Skinner, Otis Waby, Helen Colby and Hayden Wood, double and triple-up on roles and manage to give each their own individual characterisation, and each is funnier than the last. The energy required is astonishing and the effort the actors put in is laudable.

Confetti and Chaos (formerly The Wedding Reception) remains as hysterical as it ever was, and stands up to multiple viewings. A show where quality is assured night after night.

Runs until 26 August 2019 | Image: Contributed

REVIEW: West End Producer: Free Willy, Assembly Studio Two, Edinburgh

The infamous and anonymous mystery man of London theatre, West End Producer has finally taken the plunge and headed north of the border to Edinburgh for the summer season with his rubber Willy under one arm and baby grand under the other.

WEP is in town to audition hopefuls for his proposed West End mega hit-to-be Free Willy: The Musical. In the process we are let in on a few theatrical secrets, partake in a lesson on the perfect jazz hands and are led in a theme appropriate dolphin vocal warm up, there are even some genuine soiled West End show pants on offer to one lucky auditionee.

The fun starts before the show does with our idol interacting with his public in the queue, we are assigned our audition numbers and given a mini task to perform. Audience participation-phobes don’t despair though, it’s all very non-threatening – what else would you expect, we know WEP is an absolute #dear.

As befitting WEP’s status among the stagey folks, the place is packed on this sunny afternoon and the large crowd really helps the atmosphere. This is a show that knows its audience – everyone is in on the West End gossip and the jokes and digs land, and the addition of a different guest each day, a fellow Fringe performer (today’s was comedian Patrick Monaghan) is a nice touch that delivers variety and a sense of what on earth is going to happen next? to the proceedings.

WEP is a man of many talents, as well as this being a well-conceived and executed show, he’s a gifted pianist and singer, and the comic songs are actually, in some cases, better than some of the drivel I’ve had to endure in real West End shows. WEP’s entrance on a blow up whale is also a sight once-seen – hard to forget.

If you are of a stagey disposition – this is a chance to get up close and personal with the enigma that is WEP. Go along and help West End Producer find his Willy – you won’t regret it.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

REVIEW: Keith Moon: The Real Me – Gilded Balloon Teviot Wine Bar, Edinburgh

Mick Berry endeavours to delve deep into the psyche of the world’s greatest rock drummer – The Who’s Keith Moon, but succeeds only in proving how decent a drummer he is himself  (he’s the author of The Drummer’s Bible), in this odd mish-mash of a show. 

There’s material a-plenty to plunder in Moon’s life, both actual and mythical, but this one-man version misses the mark in so many ways. Berry has apparently been working on this show since 2013, when a version appeared at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco, that time with the support of some fellow musicians playing his band-mates in The Who. This one-man version is neither straight biography, though there are many dis-jointed biographical moments, nor musical tribute to the great musician.

As the famous chords of Baba O’Reilly ring out and Berry batters out the ear-splitting, accompanying beat, there’s a sense of optimism that this might be a rollicking rock ‘n’ roll tale, but that quickly subsides the moment Berry opens his mouth and the worst British accent since Dick Van Dyke’s Bert in Mary Poppins comes out. During the course of the show it travels from Cornwall to Cockney to Canberra. There’s also the issue of Berry’s insistence in shouting out disjointed sequences of dialogue that are drowned out by the backing track and Berry’s own drumming. Other minor issues are Berry’s insistence on replicating Moon’s famous two-handed drumstick twirling that looks laboured, something he continues to try to do throughout. Despite his evident drumming skills, to a Who fan’s ears there are moments when he quite evidently fails to keep on these famous beats. Berry also looks uncomfortably nervous, whether with the material itself or the muted reaction of the small audience, it’s hard to tell. Moon managed only 32 years on this earth, and Mr. Berry is a man of advanced age that’s hard to hide in a small venue.

There’s little attempt to “pierce Moon’s insane exterior to get inside of this rock legend” or provide a “deeper, more personal, volatile and intimate exploration” as promised in the advertising material. It merely grazes the surface in the most superficial and confusing way. It smacks of self-indulgence and is badly in need of a pair or two of outside eyes to take what could be a dynamite story to the place where it should be to be a fitting tribute to one of the rock and roll greats. On a more positive note, the drumming’s good and there are snippets of some of the biggest hits of the greatest rock band Britain ever produced.

REVIEW: Phoenix – Pleasance 10 Dome, Edinburgh

If you’re looking for a creative team of infinite quality and a performer of prodigious talent (sometimes rare at The Fringe), then look no further than Richard Marsh and Jessica Sharman’s musical play, Phoenix.

Marsh and Sharman’s enviable track records include Marsh winning a Fringe First Award, a BBC Audio Drama Award, and a run in the West End with previous show Dirty Great Love Story, and in Sharman’s case, co-writing Ward Thomas’ record-breaking No.1. Country album Cartwheels.

This play is so much more than its simplistic blurb. It’s a big story in a small-sized show. On the face of it, it’s a tale of a wannabe rock star for whom fatherhood subsumes his hopes and dreams of stardom, but its themes are much greater than these few words, instead delivering a highly-relatable story of love and sacrifice.

There’s an elegant fluency to the writing, the beautifully constructed script has a completely developed story arc, fully rounded characters, all interwoven with some expertly crafted songs, and all packed into a 70-minute running time. The combination makes for an irresistible, gripping, funny, life-affirming show.

In a piece of master casting, multi-instrumentalist (guitar – electric and acoustic, keys, drums, looping) singer and actor Andy Gallo  plays Ash, and proves to be a rare find. He manages to perfectly pitch the gamut of emotions required of this marvellously layered tale, all the while banging out tunes on a plethora of instruments and singing. He has the audience transfixed from the start.

This is an astute piece of theatre. Well thought out, cleverly crafted and refreshingly surprising. This is the perfect five-star start to this year’s Fringe.

Runs at The Pleasance 10 Dome Edinburgh

Aug 3-12, 14-26

 

 

 

 

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