10 unmissable events happening in Edinburgh and Glasgow this April

10 unmissable events happening in Edinburgh and Glasgow this April

Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling

Including Glasgow International, Counterflows, War Horse and the Edinburgh International Science Festival

With the arrival of spring, we're almost at the point where we can start thinking seriously about summer festival season. Thankfully though, there are some excellent festivals, films, productions and comedy highlights coming up to give you a taste of the months ahead. To help you plan ahead, we've picked some of our favourite events in April.

Glasgow International
While the numbers for this year's GI are immediately impressive (268 artists, 90 exhibitions, 78 venues), a true test of the festival's quality revolves around the art on display. Thankfully, all the stops have been pulled out to put on an excellent 18-day event with the likes of Ross Birrell, Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S), iQhiya, Kapwani Kiwanga and Torsten Lauschmann platforming their thought-provoking wares.
Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 20 Apr–Mon 7 May.

Edinburgh International Science Festival
This is the 30th edition of the EISF and this year the big theme is Life, the Universe and Everything. Helping visitors ponder and celebrate the universe in all its wonderment are the Ecoville exhibition, a Deep Time Walk, and a dancing robot called Marty.
Various venues, Edinburgh, until 15 Apr.

Avengers: Infinity War
Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and co get together to tackle their most powerful foe yet in the shape of Thanos who has got his filthy hands on the Infinity Stones to make reality pretty much bend to his will. Boo, hiss etc.
General release from Thu 26 April.

This festival of underground, experimental and international music takes over Glasgow for a long weekend featuring the likes of Usurper, Susie Ibarra, Rhodri Davies and Mhysa.
Various venues, Glasgow, Thu 5–Sun 8 Apr.

Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling
This 'romantic wee ballet' from Matthew Bourne has been dubbed 'La Sylphide for the Trainspotting generation' and with its tendency towards high-octane sex, love and rock 'n' roll, it's hard to disagree with that summation.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Wed 4–Sat 7 Apr; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 10–Sat 14 Apr.

Desiree Burch
This US-born, UK-based actress has seriously upped her comedy game in recent times and brings us the highly acclaimed Unfuckable.
Rose Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 20 & Sat 21 Apr.

120 BPM
Sex and politics are firmly on the agenda in this 90s-set French movie about AIDS awareness activists which gets its points across without ever losing its cinematic brio.
Selected release from Fri 6 Apr.

After a compelling and unsettling first season, this sci-fi drama about the revolting robots at a Wild West theme park returns with more moral and ethical dilemmas to untangle.
Sky Atlantic, Mon 23 Apr.

War Horse
The stage version of Michael Morpurgo's World War I-set drama about Albert and his beloved horse has now played to over seven million paying customers worldwide. Jump on and see what the fuss is about.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 18 Apr–Sat 12 May.

Spirit Aid Comedy Benefit (Chosen by comedian Daisy Earl)
The show I'm most excited about in April is definitely the Comedy Benefit in aid of Spirit Aid at Òran Mór. Spirit Aid is a humanitarian relief organisation dedicated to alleviating the suffering of children whose lives have been devastated by war, poverty or humanitarian crisis. Based in Glasgow, they were founded in 2001 and currently have operations running in Scotland, Palestine, Afghanistan and Malawi. I really love charity comedy nights, as you get amazing acts at an affordable ticket price whilst helping a great cause: what's not to love? And this night will be no exception: the line-up is incredible! They've already confirmed some of the very best acts in Scottish comedy including Janey Godley, Jojo Sutherland, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, Scott Agnew and Raymond Mearns. So it's bound to be a great night!
Daisy Earl is at The Stand, Edinburgh, Thu 12–Sat 14 Apr, The Stand, Glasgow, Thu 19–Sat 21 Apr; Spirit Aid Comedy Benefit, Òran Mór, Glasgow, Sun 22 Apr.

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Hands-on science for adults, children and families in venues across the city with programme ranging from the entertaining to the controversial and, of course, the icky. For 2019, the programme follows the theme of 'Frontiers'.

Various venues: Edinburgh

Sat 6 Apr 2019

Times to be confirmed / Prices vary / 0844 557 2686

Sun 7 Apr 2019

Times to be confirmed / Prices vary / 0844 557 2686

Mon 8 Apr 2019

Times to be confirmed / Prices vary / 0844 557 2686

…and 13 more dates until 21 Apr 2019

War Horse

  • Directed by: Toby Sedgwick
  • Written by: Michael Morpurgo (book)

The National Theatre's staging of Michael Morpurgo's novel about a farm horse called Joey caught up in the horrors of WWI.

Birmingham Hippodrome

Wed 10 Oct

£45–£63.50 / 0844 338 5000

Thu 11 Oct

£45–£63.50 / 0844 338 5000

Fri 12 Oct

£45–£63.50 / 0844 338 5000

…and 19 more dates until 3 Nov

Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis

Fri 9 Nov

£5.50 (£4.95) / 01297 442138

Milton Keynes Theatre

Tue 25 Sep

£22.40–£66.90 / 0844 871 7652

Wed 26 Sep

£22.40–£66.90 / 0844 871 7652

Thu 27 Sep

£22.40–£66.90 / 0844 871 7652

…and 8 more dates until 6 Oct

Also at:

Avengers: Infinity War

  • 5 stars
  • 2018
  • US
  • 2h 29min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt
  • UK release: 26 April 2018

Thanos (Brolin) aims to become all-powerful, in the first part of this two-part superhero mash-up. Death, destruction, torture and sacrifice are the order of the day, in a grand space opera that mixes tragedy with pathos, fleshed out with the usual Marvel humour. Truly remarkable.

Glasgow International Festival Of Visual Art

Two-yearly festival of contemporary art commissioned from artists around the globe and including exhibitions in traditional gallery spaces, plus unique site-specific installations and live performance art. The 2018 festival will be directed by Richard Parry, who was formerly the Curator-Director of the Grundy Art Gallery…


A festival of underground, experimental and international music. Counterflows marries the local to the international with artists from around the world collaborating with homegrown talent in spaces across Glasgow.

Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling

Matthew Bourne's ballet inspired by La Sylphide, first performed in 1994, returns for a new Scottish tour. We follow the misfortunes of James, a young Scotsman whose taste for the wilder side of life brings him into the company of a strange and beautiful gothic fairy.

120 BPM

  • 5 stars
  • 2017
  • France
  • 2h 20min
  • Directed by: Robin Campillo
  • Cast: Arnaud Valois, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Adèle Haenel
  • UK release: 6 April 2018

Exhilarating 90s-set drama following a group of activists who are members of an AIDS awareness group, Act Up-Paris. Campillo draws on his own experiences in the group, capturing the heady pleasures of dancing the night away in a club and the party atmosphere of a pride march, and the film as a whole is a near-tangible…

Desiree Burch: Unf*ckable

Raw and raucous observations and advice from the 2015 Funny Women-winner, poking around the drives women have to stop sex from becoming work.

Janey Godley and Friends: A Night of Comedy

Night of comedy curated by Janey Godley in aid of David Hayman‘s Spirit Aid charity. With Mark Nelson, Stu Who, Gary Meikle, Gary Little, Scott Agnew, Raymond Mearns, JoJo Sutherland and Rosco McLelland.

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