The best upcoming theatre shows in Scotland for Spring 2011

A guide to the unmissable shows populating theatreland til June

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This article is from 2011.

The best upcoming theatre show in Scotland for Spring 2011

Black Watch

Girl X

On tour, 4 March–20 April
Brilliant Belgian director Pol Heyvaert, who directed Aalst for the National Theatre of Scotland, hooks up with Glasgow actor Robert Softley for a provocative play based on the controversial case of Ashley X, a girl whose severe disabilities led her parents to halt her growth before she reached puberty.

King Lear

Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 8–12 March
Sir Derek Jacobi gives a heartbreaking performance as the pig-headed king driven to madness by his ungrateful daughters in this much raved-about production of Shakespeare’s tragedy by London’s Donmar Warehouse.

Black Watch

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, 16–19 March
Gregory Burke’s world-conquering play returns to the Black Watch’s regimental heartlands. Despite a rapidly changing international political climate, the play’s soldier’s eye view of the Iraqi conflict retains its political and theatrical charge.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 22–26 March
English touring company Headlong calls in with a Dream set in the world of a 1960s Hollywood film studio, where Hippolyta and Theseus are movie co-stars causing ructions because of their off-camera affair.

Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell

Tramway, Glasgow, 24 March
A tribute to the late monologist, Swimming to Cambodia author and Wooster Group founder, co-conceived by his widow Kathleen Russo and drawn from writings from throughout his career. Much of the material has never been heard before.

The Hard Man

On tour, 31 March–7 May
In 1977 the late Tom McGrath collaborated with convicted gangster Jimmy Boyle to create this powerful play about the way childhood violence can create a brutalised adult. It is being revived by the Scottish Theatres Consortium for a mainstage tour.

Educating Agnes

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 8 April–7 May
It’s not that long since Theatre Babel premiered this reworking of Moliere’s L’Ecole des Femmes, but in the meantime its author, Liz Lochhead, has been elevated to the status of Makar, so it’s a great opportunity to reassess her work.

Six Black Candles

On tour, 15 April–22 May
Playwright Des Dillon was so delighted with the Royal Lyceum’s hilarious 2004 staging of his story about six sisters with a black magic fixation that he has set up a theatre company of his own and reunited the original cast for a Scottish tour. Spooky.

Pandas

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 15 April–7 May
Rona Munro is everywhere at the moment. She’s the author of Jim Loach’s movie Oranges and Sunshine and the RSC play Little Eagles, as well as this Traverse premiere of a comedy-thriller-romance set in Marchmont and China.

Mayfesto

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, 4–28 May
A second festival of politically themed theatre, this time with a Celtic edge. As well as work from Irish theatre companies, the Tron is staging its own production of Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco by Welsh writer Gary Owen and, from Scotland, the premiere of David Harrower’s Day Long.

Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 9–15 May
Forget how old you are: anyone with a serious interest in theatre will find bountiful treasures in the annual international festival for younger audiences.

My Fair Lady

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, 13 May–15 October
The theatre in the hills begins its summer season, introducing one play at a time to build up a rolling repertoire. As well as this musical adaptation of Shaw’s Pygmalion there are productions of Henceforward, See How They Run!, Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ and Privates on Parade.

Duninsane

On tour, 14 May–11 June
Concerned we shouldn’t miss out on a new play by David Greig, the National Theatre of Scotland has kindly bought into this RSC production of his sequel to Macbeth.

After The End

Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, 17 May–4 June; Dundee Rep, 16–25 June.
You wait ages for a new production of Dennis Kelly’s apocalyptic two-hander and then two come along at once. Both the Citz and Dundee Rep have decided this thriller first seen at Edinburgh’s Traverse deserves a wider audience.

The Interminable Suicide Of Gregory Church

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 19 & 20 May
A second chance to catch the peerless Daniel Kitson performing his Fringe First-winning story from 2009 about a man forced to postpone his death because of how long it takes to write his suicide notes.

Anna Karenina

Dundee Rep, 23 May–11 June
A second airing for Jo Clifford’s adaptation of the great Tolstoy tragedy about an illicit love affair in an Imperial Russia that is moving from a rural to an industrial economy.

Knives in Hens

On tour, 3-20 June
More from David Harrower, this time in the form of his astonishing debut play set in an unspecified ancient past and revived by the National Theatre of Scotland.

Avenue Q

King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 28 June–2 July
The long-running West End and Broadway puppet musical arrives with a clutch of rave reviews. Imagine a politically incorrect Muppet Show, then add more songs and considerably more puppet sex.

This article is from 2011.

Imaginate Festival

Edinburgh’s international children’s festival of performing arts presents a programme of dance, storytelling and puppetry, suitable for anyone with an imagination.

Various venues: Edinburgh

Sat 27 May

Times & prices vary / 0131 228 1404

Sun 28 May

Times & prices vary / 0131 228 1404

Mon 29 May

Times & prices vary / 0131 228 1404

…and 6 more dates until 4 Jun

My Fair Lady

One of the most successful shows in the history of American musical theatre, the classic musical adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, is brought to the stage to celebrate 60 years of magic at the Theatre in the Hills.

The Hard Man

A powerful drama about the Scottish penal system, built around the story of gangster turned artist Jimmy Boyle, revived by Scottish Theatres Consortium.

Black Watch

Based on interviews with soldiers who served in Iraq, Black Watch reveals what it means to be part of the Scottish regiment.

Educating Agnes

  • 4 stars

Liz Lochhead's very Scottish interpretation of Moliere's School for Wives, in which an ageing bachelor tries to educate his young charge Agnes into becoming the perfect wife for him, unaware that she's already set her sights on someone else. BSL performance Wed 27 Apr 7.45pm. Captioned performance Sat 30 Apr 2.30pm.

Dunsinane

Major production from the National Theatre of Scotland. David Greig's play examines the pain of a war-ravaged Scotland after the death of Macbeth and an English invasion.

King Lear

The seminal Derek Jacobi/Michael Grandage production of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, in which a King divides his estate between his three daughters according to the magnitude of their love for him - his former Kingdom spiralling into chaos soon after. With a cast featuring Paul Jesson and Gina McKee.

Six Black Candles

Des Dillon's black comedy about six sisters out for vengeance against one of the brood's adulterous husbands returns to Scotland after a successful Russian tour.

Girl X

  • 3 stars

A thought-provoking play from the National Theatre of Scotland in which a mother makes the decision to remove the womb of her daughter, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and has the mental age of a five month old, in order to spare her the distress of menstruation. Ages 14+.

Anna Karenina

  • 4 stars

Tolstoy's tragic tale of love, sex, marriage and morals set in imperial Russia is brought to life by the award winning director/designer team of Jemima Levick and Alex Lowde.

After the End

Play by award-winning playwright Dennis Kelly about a couple who wake up in a nuclear shelter after an attack and are forced to confront their relationship while trapped underground.

Knives in Hens

  • 4 stars

A love triangle in a pre-industrial landscape leads to a young woman making a remarkable journey from ignorance to knowledge, mirroring the transition from rural to urban going on in the world around her. A new production of David Harrower's internationally successful play from the National Theatre of Scotland.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Headlong Theatre and The Nuffield, Southampton in association with Hull Truck present Shakespeare's best-loved comedy, relocated to a 1960s Hollywood film set. Directed by the award-winning Natalie Abrahami.

Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell

Spalding Gray was one of the most electrifying storytellers of our time, turning his own life into a very funny, scaldingly direct and moving narrative. His monologues were filmed by Jonathan Demme and Steven Soderbergh. Stories Left to Tell is a work conceived by director Lucy Sexton and Gray's widow Kathleen Russo, who…

Black Watch

  • Written by: Gregory Burke

Today, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan touch us in different ways, Black Watch opens our perception to the complex and uncomfortable reality of war in general. This is political theatre that is still as relevant and urgent as ever. Forcibly throwing us into the frontline soldier's experience, the boredom, the…

Avenue Q

An award-winning musical about the painful transition from childhood to adult life, which uses puppets and live actors to tell the story of a recent graduate and his neighbours.

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