Theatre

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Interview: Max Stafford-Clark on the revival of This May Hurt a Bit

27 Mar 2014

The witty drama, written by Stella Feehily, aims to provoke a political discussion about the NHS

Max Stafford-Clark was the Traverse’s artistic director in its early years, before going on to work with some of the most exciting playwrights of the past three decades. He’s about to bring his latest production, This May Hurt a Bit, back to…

Theatre company Vanishing Point remembers gentle anarchist, poet and musician Ivor Cutler

27 Mar 2014

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler aims to capture the spirit of Scotland's much-loved humorist

That gentle anarchist, poet and musician Ivor Cutler was a true original. A national trinket, if you will, whose influence can be seen today in surrealist artists like David Shrigley. A champion of noise abatement, Cutler’s subversion was less…

Sh!t Theatre's Job Seekers Anonymous explores the frustrations of unemployment

27 Mar 2014

The cabaret-meets-live art performance is anarchic, playful and occasionally shocking

With a manifesto that promises to explore ‘the political, the personal and the down-right perverted’, Sh!t Theatre (Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit) became the toast of the 2013 Fringe with their study of life on the margins Job Seekers Anonymous.

Village Pub Theatre is a dynamic addition to Scotland’s theatre community

24 Mar 2014

The bar-based drama company is set to branch out into larger performance spaces

For the past two years, the north of Edinburgh has been home to a radical new approach to theatre making. Eschewing the glamour of the cultural quarter, a group of artists have been producing new plays in an unfamiliar environment. ‘We are normally…

Talkfest offers aspiring theatremakers an insight into life behind the scenes

24 Mar 2014

Douglas Maxwell, Peter Arnott and Oliver Emanuel are among the speakers and directors attending

Based in the CCA but perhaps most familiar from its annual forays across to the Edinburgh Fringe, the Playwrights’ Studio has been supporting the creation of new writing for a decade. Through a wide range of events, it has offered opportunities to…

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The Hidden Door festival aims to instil Edinburgh with a new DIY events ethos

21 Mar 2014

'We can do things like this if we want; we don’t have to wait for permission'

‘Edinburgh suffers from what you might call institutional repetition,’ says David Martin, creative director of the Hidden Door Festival, a defiantly DIY agent of change on the capital’s cultural landscape. ‘What we wanted to do was something a bit…

Adrian Howells: an appreciation of the talented theatremaker

20 Mar 2014

Howells' unexpected death at 51 is a sad loss for both Scotland and international theatre

As an educator, mentor, friend and performer, Adrian Howells has been an inspiration to generations of Glasgow artists. His own pioneering work in intimate theatre insisted on a theatre that communicated directly with the audience, breaking down…

War and peace announced as themes for Edinburgh International Festival 2014

18 Mar 2014

Programme highlights includes works involving The Kronos Quartet and Handspring Puppet Company

War and peace, conflict and conciliation are the grand themes being tackled in Jonathan Mills’ final year as director of the Edinburgh International Festival. The 2014 programme, announced today, explores music, dance, theatre and other arts not just…

Interview: baritone David Stephenson on Verdi's Macbeth

18 Mar 2014

Scottish Opera's revival of the Shakespearean tale is to be staged again by Dominic Hill

Macbeth, the ‘Scottish play’ that is one of Shakespeare’s very finest tragedies, has been relentlessly adapted for film, television, novels and comic strips. But Verdi’s operatic version is one that should unfailingly hit the audience between the eyes.

The Secret Life of Suitcases

18 Mar 20144 stars

A charming, ingenious piece of puppet theatre infused with a spirit of adventure

Despite the spirit of adventure running through this charming new show, there’s also a real sense of calm. Performers Ailie Cohen and Rick Conte deliver the tale of conscientious office worker Larry at a confident, unhurried pace that keeps us hooked…

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Philip Ridley's The Pitchfork Disney is a combination of 'tickles and terror'

18 Mar 2014

'Ridley’s stories make your heart beat faster' - director Eve Nicol

With Philip Ridley’s visceral Dark Vanilla Jungle having conquered the Edinburgh Fringe last year, the revival of his first play from back in 1991 is a reminder that he was a pioneer of the aggressive ‘neo-brutalist’ style that has defined new British…

Interview: filmmaker Tim Barrow on his debut play, Union

18 Mar 2014

The drama tackles the theme of Scottish Independence from a historical angle

This debut play by filmmaker Tim Barrow takes the honour of being the first major stage work of 2014 to tackle the year’s big political story, although its roots go back to 2008 when Barrow was touring The Inheritance, his debut feature as a writer and…

Wendy Hoose

13 Mar 20144 stars

Johnny McKnight and Robert Softley Gale craft a sex comedy for the twenty-first century

The combination of Johnny McKnight, best known for his wry take on the pantomime, and Robert Softley Gale (director of the acerbic If These Spasms Could Speak and energetic activist) was always going to be inappropriate. McKnight’s broad sexual humour…

Johny Brown and The Band of Holy Joy remain a force for good in a messed-up world

26 Feb 2014

The righteously indignant theatre/music-makers cover topics from William Burroughs to Ian Tomlinson

The last time street-smart Geordie visionary Johny Brown's work appeared in Scotland was when his play, 'William Burroughs Caught in Possession of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner', appeared at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. While a reignited formation…

Events round-up: International Women’s Day 2014

25 Feb 2014

Marking IWD with everything from parkour to breakfast

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh will be honouring International Women’s Day with some excellent events on and around the big day of Saturday 8 March. In the west, explore the lives of ladyfolk from thousands of years ago with a talk about ‘Women in Ancient…

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Behaviour theatre festival 2014 features Fringe hit La Merda, Germany’s Hate Radio and work by 85A

25 Feb 2014

Behaviour’s artistic director Jackie Wylie explains what makes the festival more than just a name-ta

Evolving from The Arches Theatre Festival, Behaviour has become a major feature of Glasgow’s cultural calendar. This year sees international shows – La Merda, a Fringe hit from Italy and Germany’s Hate Radio – alongside contributions from familiar…

Neil Hannon collaboration In May set for 2014 Behaviour theatre festival

25 Feb 2014

Poignant meditation on coping with cancer with Frank Alva Buecheler, Matt Fenton and Ligeti Quartet

The Arches' Behaviour festival has become one of Scotland's most important celebrations of diverse and challenging performance. Driven by a commitment to multimedia collaborations, it is the natural place for the Scottish premiere of a work that…

Dial M for Murder

19 Feb 20144 stars

An elegant restaging of Hitchcock’s classy thriller

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film adaptation of Dial M for Murder is undoubtedly the best-remembered version of Frederick Knotts’ script, although the thriller was a successful stage play and BBC TV production prior to that. In Hitch’s version, Ray Milland…

Interview: Game of Thrones star Gemma Whelan on Philip Ridley's Dark Vanilla Jungle

19 Feb 2014

The dark Fringe First-winning stage production embarks on a UK tour

Philip Ridley is a polymath artist: film-maker, scriptwriter, artist and novelist. The casting of Gemma Whelan in Dark Vanilla Jungle brought in another multi-talented performer: when Whelan is not acting on stage, she has been variously a stand-up…

Noel Coward's Private Lives set to return to Edinburgh, the city of its premiere

18 Feb 2014

Director Martin Duncan: 'It’s a rollercoaster of a play: funny, absurd, excruciating and tragic'

Regularly revived, most recently through the Chichester Festival and the Gielgud Theatre in London, Noel Coward’s Private Lives becomes particularly resonant when it returns to Edinburgh. After all, it was in this city’s King’s Theatre in August 1930…

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Phil Porter's stage romcom Blink subverts the stereotypes of its genre

18 Feb 2014

'The story feels like a psychological thriller, about following someone and using technology'

Phil Porter’s love story, Blink, has already charmed London and Edinburgh audiences. Far from a simple stage version of the ‘meet-cute’ comedy, Blink fashions romance from the difficulty and isolation of both urban life and the characters’ idiosyncratic…

Frankie Valli musical Jersey Boys to tour UK in 2014

14 Feb 2014

The jukebox musical features the hit songs ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby’

The award winning musical Jersey Boys will embark on its first ever UK tour this September, travelling to Sunderland, Manchester, Birmingham, Stoke and Edinburgh. Backed by the original Broadway production creative team, Jersey Boys, written by…

Rantin

5 Feb 20143 stars

Charming mix of storytelling and folk song from Kieran Hurley

Theatremakers Kieran Hurley and Julia Taudevin alongside musicians Drew Wright (aka Wounded Knee) and Gav Prentice (one half of Over the Wall) come together in this informal mix of storytelling and song to create a patchwork impression of contemporary…

Stephen Mottram, Editta Braun and Duda Paiva among the highlights of Manipulate 2014

23 Jan 2014

The visual theatre festival brings together puppetry and dance techniques to convey narrative

In the same way that films and TV shows use animation or computer graphics to portray impossible feats, so puppetry allows theatre audiences to witness things not normally achievable by live human performers. The programme for this year’s Manipulate…

New revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night created for Edinburgh's Lyceum Theatre

22 Jan 2014

Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical work about addiction and family dysfunction

’It’s so painfully honest,’ says director Tony Cownie when asked about the key to the importance of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a new revival of which he’s created for the Lyceum. ‘It’s very interesting that O’Neill didn’t want the…