Our favourite events happening in Edinburgh and Glasgow this October

  • The List
  • 4 October 2017
New music-theatre piece Shorelines remembers a long-forgotten and deadly tragedy

Shorelines at Sonica / credit: Nichon Glerum

And yes, Stranger Things is on the list

There's plenty to be getting on with in the run up to Halloween. We've selected 10 events to mark in the diary, covering TV, film, theatre, art, music and more.

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival
With a theme of reclamation for 2017, SMHAFF moves into its eleventh year, with hundreds of events staged across the country as preconceived ideas about mental health are challenged once more. Among the people involved this year are the Adam World Choir, Julia Taudevin with her musical cabaret Hysteria! and Mariem Omari's One Mississippi, while performance poetry nights Neu! Reekie! and Flint & Pitch are also doing their bit.
Various venues across Scotland, Tue 10–Sun 29 Oct.

Sonica, Cryptic's biennial festival of visual sonic arts presents more emerging British talent alongside international artists, with the Czech Republic and Mexico heavily represented. Among the treats are Oliver Coates' Shorelines and The Megaphone Project at Kelvingrove Bandstand.
Various venues, Glasgow, Thu 26 Oct–Sun 5 Nov.

Stranger Things
Okay, sure it's not an Edinburgh and Glasgow thing exactly, but even here at List towers we've got our very own Stranger Things themed party to attend. The cult hit from 2016 returns for more episodes of 80s-inflected paranoia with unseen monsters, secret government shenanigans and kids cycling away from things really quickly.
Netflix, Fri 27 Oct.

Scottish Ballet: Stravinsky
With two ballets of contrasting styles, Scottish Ballet's Stravinsky season lays on The Fairy's Kiss (inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Ice Maiden) and The Rite of Spring (whose score caused a scandal on its 1913 debut).
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Fri 6 & Sat 7 Oct; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 11–Fri 13 Oct.

Plant Scenery of the World
Inspired by the half-century anniversary of the glasshouse in the nearby Botanics, archive material is placed alongside freshly commissioned work by new artists in Plant Scenery of the World.
Inverleith House, Edinburgh, until Sun 29 Oct.

Nick Helm
He might be promising a little more sitting down than usual, but with There Is Nothing You Can Do to Me That I Haven't Already Done to Myself, you can expect some intimate and sweat-fuelled music, poems and interaction.
Òran Mór, Glasgow, Fri 13 Oct.

Call Me By Your Name
A big hit in Sundance at the start of the year, this 1980s-set Italian love story and coming of age drama about an academic and a young man is directed by Luca Guadagnino, who made 2015's A Bigger Splash and the upcoming Suspiria remake.
Released Fri 27 Oct.

Music, The Universe and Everything
Known to many as Blue Peter's 'Science Guy', Greg Foot joins forces with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for an afternoon in which you'll find out how sound waves work and what exactly is going on in your ears when you hear stuff.
City Halls, Glasgow, Sun 8 Oct.

Thor: Ragnorok
More 80s-based business as Thor, Hulk, Loki and Valkyrie team up to take on the Goddess of Death (aka Cate Blanchett). A sharp detour in pace and style from New Zealand director Taika Waititi whose last movie was Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Released Fri 27 Oct.

Luminate (chosen by Literary Dundee Director Peggy Hughes)
Ageing: we're all doing it. And yet it's not something people are comfortable talking about, let alone celebrating. Luminate, Scotland's festival of creative ageing, came along six years ago to address that, and this year presents its latest festival, with a wide range of creative events and activities organised with, by and for older people across Scotland. I love Luminate because the programme is diverse and full of surprises, both celebrating creativity in older people and showcasing it. The programme isn't out yet but in festivals past I've attended a tea dance, a spoken-word slam, and a gig, all starring fabulous older people, some living with dementia. With dance, drama, music, visual arts, storytelling, photography and craft all over the country, Luminate shows us that creativity has no age, and that age is just a number.
Dundee Literary Festival, various venues, Wed 18–Sun 22 Oct; Luminate, various venues across Scotland, Sun 1–Tue 31 Oct.

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

One of Scotland’s most diverse and inclusive cultural events, combining high quality artistic events with extensive community-led programming and a social justice agenda.

Online events

Thu 6 May

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Fri 7 May

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Sat 8 May

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…and 15 more dates until 23 May


Cutting edge performance by established international artists, crossing the boundaries of music, theatre, visual and electronic art. It is produced by Cryptic, who are responsible for some of the most fascinating live performance work in the country. Since its launch in 2012, the festival has presented over 400 events by…

Luminate Festival

Luminate celebrates our creative lives as we age by offering a wide range of inspirational arts activities with, by and for older people, as well as creative events bringing generations together. Hundreds of events take place nationwide. Previously the festival was held annually in October, but 2019 marks the beginning of…

Nick Helm: There Is Nothing You Can Do To Me That I Haven't Already Done To Myself - Extra Show!

Stop fearing the worst. It's already happened. So instead of crying about it, why not crawl out of your homemade nuclear fallout shelters and bear witness to Living Legend and National Treasure in waiting Nick Helm as he delivers some home truths about life, love and how not to be a dick. This is a call to arms to anyone…

Scottish Ballet: Stravinsky

Two contrasting works set to the music of Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss by Kenneth MacMillan and Christopher Hampson's The Rite of Spring.

Plant Scenery of the World

  • 4 stars

Plant Scenery of the World presents new, commissioned and existing work by Laura Aldridge, Charlie Billingham, Bobby Niven, Oliver Osborne and Ben Rivers alongside rare and unseen archival material, botanical paintings by Işık Güner, Jacqui Pestell and Sharon Tingey and historical paintings by R.K. Greville from the…

Music, the Universe, and Everything

A BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra concert exploring the weird worlds of music and science. Suitable for ages 8+.

Nick Helm: Phoenix from the Flames

  • 4 stars

Two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee sings songs and right wrongs after some time away from the comedy stage.

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