Theatre, Previews

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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…

1933: Eine Nacht Im Kabarett draws parallels between the Weimar Republic and modern times

17 Jan 2014

'Popular feeling today is not removed from the origins of the Third Reich'

Susanna Mulvihill is one of Scotland’s more intriguing singer-songwriters, staging cabaret-style performances and working with Edinburgh’s Tightlaced Theatre, an ensemble that is dedicated to new writing. Her first full-length play, 1933: Eine Nacht Im…

Filter Theatre offer an iconoclastic, 'rock'n'roll theatre' approach to Twelfth Night

17 Jan 2014

Co-artistic director and founder Ferdy Roberts discusses the company's 'crazy' Shakespeare adap

Although Filter Theatre's version of Shakespeare's satirical romance has been touring since 2006, its genesis was modest. 'Originally we were commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to give a response to Twelfth Night,' explains Ferdy Roberts…

Interview: director Tom Morris on bringing Michael Morpurgo's War Horse to the stage

18 Dec 2013

The National Theatre collaborated with South Africa’s Handspring Puppets to bring the show to life

When Tom Morris describes War Horse as ‘a business and commercial phenomenon’, he’s not being boastful – just mindful of the show’s humble beginnings. ‘It’s important to remember,’ he says, ‘that when we started out, we only thought it was an…

Fringe performer Will Pickvance returns with piano-meets-panto show PianoMime

5 Dec 2013

Pickvance hopes to reclaim panto from Z-listers and bad pop

Will Pickvance’s Fringe show Anatomy of the Piano matched musical virtuosity with wry humour, as he deconstructed – both metaphorically and literally – his chosen instrument. Returning to Summerhall – a venue that is suited to his intelligent…

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Preview of 2014: Capital events

26 Nov 2013

The biggest events in Edinburgh in winter/spring 2014, including War Horse and Six Nations Rugby

War Horse The National Theatre production of Michael Morpurgo’s epic tale of a young man and his beloved horse arrives in Edinburgh with expectations as high as they can go. Life-sized puppets of galloping horses, stirring music and perfect…

6 of the best: winter theatre highlights in Glasgow and Edinburgh

25 Nov 2013

From traditional panto to queer nativity, there's something for everyone over the festive period

A Gay In A Manger After their re-emergence at last year’s Glasgay! festival, lifestyle gurus Tranny and Roseannah return to Scotland with a Christmas show that promises to reinvent the festive season for adults. Teaming up with intimate performance…

Steven Houghton, Graham Cole and Wendi Peters star in White Christmas stage adaptation

25 Nov 2013

Stage adap of Irving Berlin's classic Christmas musical features 17-piece orchestra

Some theatres try to stand against the tide of pantomimes: the Traverse pretends that Christmas isnʼt happening, while the Citizens has an adaptation of The Jungle Book. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, however, straddles the divide between the festive…

Claire Sweeney and John Thomson star in September in the Rain revival

18 Nov 2013

The nostalgic John Godber comedy is a warm memory of old fashioned fun

John Godber was one of the UK’s most performed playwrights during the 1990s: his blend of bittersweet comedy and recognisable characters ensured an enduring popularity: his Bouncers is still being performed at least once a week somewhere in the world.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay unveils 'Scot:lands' New Year's Day events programme

12 Nov 2013

FOUND, Lau, Smallpetitklein and Cora Bissett among the artists involved in the New Year's Day events

The Edinburgh's Hogmanay programme was officially launched today, with details of all the festive happenings in the days leading up to the bells and beyond into 2014. As ever, the organisers have provided a great cultural programme as a reward for those…

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Interview: theatre maker Chris Goode on verbatim piece Monkey Bars

22 Oct 2013

The show has adults performing kids' testimony on subjects from sweets to domestic violence

‘Something that’s been bugging me for years is that whenever we see children on stage, they’re playing the roles of what adults think children are. I wanted to see what would happen if we just cleared out some space for children themselves to be heard.…

Ansu Kabia and Matthew Kelly star in Ayub Khan-Din's stage adaptation of To Sir, With Love

22 Oct 2013

The play, directed by Mark Babych, promises era-specific honesty as well as warmed hearts all round

The most famous version of To Sir, With Love is Hollywood’s schmaltzy 1967 version, starring Sidney Poitier as a black American teacher trying to bring order to an unruly class of urban schoolkids in Swinging Sixties London. For this adaptation though…

Phillip Breen revives Sam Shepard's True West with actors Eugene O’Hare and Alex Ferns

22 Oct 2013

The play is a story of fraternal rivalry and a meditation on the nature of the creative life

Sam Shepard is, according to director Phillip Breen, ‘arguably our greatest living playwright.’ True West is a powerful, iconic story of fraternal rivalry and a meditation on the nature of the creative life. Breen impressed the Citizens Theatre with his…

Forced Entertainment theatre company present The Coming Storm and Tomorrow’s Parties

23 Sep 2013

The companion pieces contrast 'a huge sense of play' with a chamber piece built on improvisation

Forced Entertainment’s previous performances at Tramway – including Bloody Mess, which communicated an overwhelming message through constant miscommunication – have been inspiring and challenging in equal measure. Although they are rightly heralded as…

Interview: theatre director Gareth Nicholls on the touring production of Joe Douglas’ Educating Ronnie

23 Sep 2013

The true story of Douglas helping his Ugandan friend receive and education is far from sentimental

Joe Douglas’ Educating Ronnie is a sometimes heart-warming true story of how he helped his Ugandan friend get an education. Unafraid of asking difficult questions about the relationship between charity and friendship, it’s more than a simple celebration…

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Tam Dean Burn and Jimmy Chisholm star in Mike Cullen revival The Collection

16 Sep 2013

The new production is directed by Michael Emans, and also stars Pauline Turner and David Tarkenter

The Collection is, sadly, a timely revival. Mike Cullen’s play has shades of Henry Miller’s Death of a Salesman in its study of a man who sees the emptiness of his profession and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross in the sharp, vulgar banter between men…

Interview: theatre director Rachel O'Riordan discusses her new production of Macbeth

16 Sep 2013

'The themes of the play are quite strongly reflected in the Scottish Independence debate'

‘It’s interesting to be doing Macbeth at a time when people are thinking about the nature of Scottish Independence and the nature of Scottishness itself, because the themes of the play are quite strongly reflected in that,’ says Rachel O‘Riordan…

Aidan Moffat, Cora Bissett and more contribute to Commonwealth Games 2014 arts programme

29 Aug 2013

Kieran Hurley, Janey Godley, Stephen Deazley, Random Accomplice and Paul Fegan also involved

As Glasgow launches its cultural programme for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we round up a handful of highlights on the starting block

Theatre director Lucy Pitman-Wallace discusses The Shawshank Redemption

31 Jul 2013

Stephen King's novella is heading for the stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

The film version of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption initially flopped back in 1994, but since then, the story of Andy Dufresne’s battle for survival in a tough penitentiary has wormed its way into the most revered echelons of pop culture. And now…

Kubrick³ and Colour Me Kubrick spin two stories around the same man: Kubrick impersonator Alan Conway

31 Jul 2013

The London real estate agent successfully impersonated the director in the early 1990s

Surely the most astounding – and hilarious – true story to be dramatised at the Fringe this year will be Kubrick³. The PIT theatre company production, written and directed by David Byrne (not that one), tells the story of a conman who passed himself off…

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Non Nova brings l’Après-midi d’un Foehn to 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2013

Company Non Nova's imaginative use of carrier bags set to the music of Debussy

Many dancers have been described as ‘dancing on air’. But the stars of l’Après-midi d’un Foehn really do. Unlike other dancers, they’ve had no formal training, don’t attend class, never rehearse and wear no costumes or make-up. Largely because they’re…

Little Howard returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with his Big Show for Kids

30 Jul 2013

Howard Read combines toilet humour and tech to great effect

The old showbiz chestnut about not working with animals and children might still hold good, but there’s no rule against using material that kids inadvertently offer grown-up entertainers. In Howard Read’s case, his son Sammy provided some lines that…

Playful adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's I Believe in Unicorns explores freedom to read

30 Jul 2013

Theatre director Dani Parr is adapting the book for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

War Horse might be his most famous work, but Michael Morpurgo’s 2005 novel I Believe in Unicorns is just as powerful. In it, a boy called Tomas discovers the joy of reading through a local library storyteller called the Unicorn Lady, before the arrival…

Echolalia show explores Asperger's via clowning at 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2013

New-Zealander clown show tackles taboos of autism

‘I don’t know if I would categorically say clowning is the best medium for the subject of Asperger’s,’ says Jen McArthur, performer in New Zealand-based Kallo Collective’s show Echolalia, ‘but I do think it is an excellent medium.’ McArthur developed…

Big Bite-Size Play Factory’s Family Creatures offers five, family-friendly plays

30 Jul 2013

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 show promises 'not to patronise'

The Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show has been delighting Fringe audiences for years with short plays in the morning, but in 2013 the group brings its first show for children to Edinburgh: The Big Bite-Size Play Factory’s Family Creatures. ‘Big Bite-Size…