Top theatre productions to watch out for

From the gritty prose of James Kelman to a classic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Scottish stage is bursting with some of the UK’s finest talent. Kirstin Innes selects the wheat from the chaff

Arches Live!
See panel, page 26.
The Arches, Glasgow, Thu 20–Sat 29 Sep.

New director of the Citizens’ Theatre, Guy Hollands, pulls out the big guns for his inaugural production. Hamlet features excellent young Scottish actor Andrew Clark as a somewhat unconventional tortured Dane.
Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 21 Sep–Sat 13 Oct.

The Winter’s Tale
This adaptation of the bard’s late comedy is directed by Mark Thomson.
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Fri 21 Sep–Sat 20 Oct.

See panel.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 22 Sep–Sat 6 Oct; touring early 2008.

Choreographer Darren Johnston is best known for Ren-sa, which was more Japanese horror movie than dance piece. That same, terrifying, iconography familiar to fans of The Ring is evident in his new work, too.
Arches, Glasgow, Mon 8 & Tue 9 Oct, then touring.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s take on TS Eliot is the longest-running musical in the country. Frolic with fellow felinophiles at the Jellicle Ball.
Playhouse, Edinburgh, Tue 9–Sat 27 Oct.

James Kelman Season
The Arches Theatre Company puts together a typically strong cast for the premiere of two plays by Scotland’s only Booker Prize-winner.
Arches, Glasgow, Mon 15–Sat 27 Oct (Herbal Remedies); Wed 7–Sat 17 Nov (They Make These Noises).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Groundbreaking, highly acclaimed production performed by an Indian and Sri Lankan cast in seven different languages and performance styles. Directed by Tim Supple, former artistic director of London’s Young Vic.
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 23–Sat 27 Oct.

Living Quarters
The UK premiere of one of Brian Friel’s plays is quite a scoop for any Scottish theatre. Living Quarters, set in the wake of a soldier’s return from the Middle East, is a play about the reliability of memory.
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Fri 26 Oct–Sat 17 Nov.

A generous dollop of ancient Greek sex’n’death, as Israeli writer/director David Levine adapts the story of Oedipus’ vengeful daughter. Expect an unflinching, modern-day adaptation with strong contemporary resonance.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 10–Sat 27 Oct.

Venus as a Boy
Adapted from Luke Sutherland’s sexy, elegiac fairytale of the same name, Venus as a Boy follows a man ‘blessed by sex’ from Orkney to Soho, where he begins to turn to gold. It’s a co-production with the NTS, and performed by redoubtable Scottish actor Tam Dean Burn, so there’s a lot of heavyweight talent behind this one.
Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 30 Oct–Sat 10 Nov.

The Car Man
Matthew Bourne’s libidinous, steamy musical version of Bizet’s opera Carmen returns to Scotland. Phew. You might need a little lie down after this one.
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 30 Oct–Sat 3 Nov.

Tamburlaine Must Die
As part of Glasgay! the Tron brings Louise Welsh’s (The Cutting Room) second novel to the stage. It’s a swashbuckling spy thriller set in 1593, in the last few days of poet and spy Christopher Marlowe.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 6–Sun 11 Nov.

The Wizard of Oz

Follow the yellow brick road! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Clap your hands if you believe in . . . oops, wrong show. The Lyceum’s winter productions are always witty, classy, gorgeous to look at and good solid entertainment – we’re pretty sure this year’s will follow, follow, follow, follow in that tradition.
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Sat 1–Sun 30 Dec.

Six Characters Looking for an Author
David Harrower, the man behind Blackbird, takes on Luigi Pirandello’s metatextual comedy about theatre.
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Fri 15 Feb–Sat 8 Mar.

Arches Theatre Festival
See panel.
Arches, Glasgow, Thu 10–Sat 19 Apr.

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