A guide to theatre and comedy venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Comedian and performer Sian Bevan selects the best places to find the hottest on-stage talent

A guide to theatre and comedy venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh

The Author at the Traverse Theatre / Photo: Stephen Cummiskey

So you fancy a side-dish of live performance to go with that Jägerbomb? Well, you lucky trickster, Glasgow and Edinburgh are packed with places to go no matter who you’re trying to pull. Let’s start with theatres, shall we?

In Glasgow the cool kids head to The Arches, the Citz or The Tron. The Pavilion, Theatre Royal and King’s are the mainstream hangouts, but the Royal in particular nabs the better touring shows. In Edinburgh, The Playhouse is all touring musicals, big stand-up names and ballets. King’s and Festival (separate places, but very interlinked) have the Proper Plays doing the rounds, as well as the artier end of the big tours. On Lothian Road, the Lyceum, Usher Hall and Traverse are a wee triumvirate of grown-up culture: the Usher mainly deals in classical music, with the other two staging original plays.

The comedy scene is booming too. The Stand, with venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow (as well as a newly opened branch in Newcastle), is pretty much at the centre of it all. Try Red Raw (Mondays in Edinburgh, Tuesdays in Glasgow) for a cheap night out or, if you want to see bigger names, see the weekend’s line-up on a Thursday for half the price. Glasgow’s teeming with wee pubs holding comedy nights: The State Bar is the longest running of these and has comedy on every Saturday night, but there are others including The Halt (Woodlands Road), The Ivory (Shawlands) and Vespbar (Drury Street) regularly playing host to the laughter-makers. In Edinburgh, The Beehive (Grassmarket) is a hothouse for new talent, while Jekyll and Hyde (Hanover Street), City Café (Blair Street) and Tron (Hunter Square) are also all known for their stand-ups.


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