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Theatre preview: Last Dream (On Earth)

27 Mar 2015

Kai Fischer's latest production uses sound to celebrate adventures into the unknown

Although he is known as a scenographer – his collaborations with Vanishing Point have made him one of Scotland's most celebrated stage designers – Kai Fischer's latest production moves towards post-visual theatre. The entwined stories, of cosmonaut...

Theatre preview: Ueinzz Theatre Company at Arika Episode 7

27 Mar 2015

Formed in a psychiatric institution Ueinzz offer something not experienced before in Scotland

Within Arika's Episode 7 (We Can't Live Without Our Lives), the appearance of Ueinzz Theatre Company draws a remarkable connection between caring and performance. The company were formed in 1996 inside a psychiatric institution and their shows...

Shrek the Musical on UK tour

27 Mar 2015

Ogre fairytale goes from screen to stage

Quick changes are a part of life in the theatre, but anyone who has seen the first Shrek film will know that Fiona’s transformation from traditional beauty to green ogre is far from subtle. ‘It takes 90 seconds and it’s awful,’ laughs Faye Brooks…

TV preview: The Vote, More4

26 Mar 2015

James Graham's political drama starring Judi Dench and Mark Gatiss screens live on Election night

In what will arguably be the most unpredictable and exciting general election for a generation, it’s only right that TV chiefs should up the ante for their coverage on the night. But few will be as daring as More4 who will be broadcasting live...

Theatre review: And the Beat Goes On

26 Mar 20153 stars

Complicity and tragedy in Random Accomplice's new show

Set in the late 1980s – long after Sonny and Cher had divorced, and Cher was on the cusp of making her spectacular comeback – Stef Smith's new play unfolds the aftermath of a personal tragedy. The central idea – a married couple caught up in private…

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Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure

25 Mar 2015

CBeebies underwater hit goes live

Any theatre director trying to recreate the look and feel of a TV show has their work cut out. Especially one as well loved as CBeebies favourite, The Octonauts. Add to that the deep sea location and it’s really time to think outside the box. ‘A lot…

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time arrives in Scotland

25 Mar 2015

Simon Stephens’ award-winning adaptation is realised with dynamic staging

Although the author Mark Haddon regarded his novel as ‘unstageable’, Simon Stephens’ adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has won seven Olivier Awards, including best new play, and opened on Broadway last year. As an example…

Theatre review: Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha explores the process of loss

25 Mar 20153 stars

The Ukranian theatre piece is more bitter than bitter-sweet

Ukranian playwright Natalia Vorozhbyt's play for the Play, Pie and a Pint season, translated by Sasha Dugdale, is more bitter than bitter-sweet, dealing as it does with the emotional complexities of the grieving process. Stepdaughter Oksana (an…

Theatre review: Hedda Gabler

25 Mar 20154 stars

Nicola Daley shines as Hedda in the Lyceum’s new production of the Ibsen classic

The landscape of female experience portrayed by Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler may have changed in the century and a quarter since it was written, but in this tale of a woman bound by the expectations of men there’s still much that resonates on a broader…

Buzzcut festival report

24 Mar 2015

Performance festival returns to Pearce Institute, Govan

This year there is an ecological theme, with recycling stands and pieces exploring identity and the impact of carbon footprints and ancestral voices. Inbetween, a dance piece devised by Aby Watson and Ellie Dubois, explores the transitioning of…

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Dance review: Scottish Ballet – A Streetcar Named Desire

20 Mar 20155 stars

Theatrical ballet captures intensity of Tennessee Williams’ classic play

They say two heads are better than one, and in the case of this passionate re-working of Tennessee Williams, it’s most definitely true. In a rare, bold and presumably expensive move, Scottish Ballet brought in not just a choreographer to create their…

Puppet Animation Festival 2015: 'Good puppetry allows all of us to engage with our imaginations'

20 Mar 2015

Celebrating the art of puppetry since 1984

From Bunraku wise men to Shakespearean marionettes, puppets have been enjoying a huge renaissance in UK theatre. But you could say that the Puppet Animation Festival is well ahead of the curve, having hosted 30 annual celebrations of this art form since…

Edinburgh International Festival lineup announced

18 Mar 2015

Includes: FFS, Sufjan Stevens, Chilly Gonzales, King Creosote, Complicite and Lepage’s Ex Machina

Pop musicians Sparks, Franz Ferdinand and Sufjan Stevens, international theatre makers Complicite and Robert Lepage’s Ex Machina, and a grand, free, outdoor opening spectacular are among the events unveiled today by director Fergus Linehan for his first…

CBeebies Live: Justin and Friends sees Mr Tumble and pals return

17 Mar 2015

Justin Fletcher's most well known creation takes to the stage in this new show

Within months of having your first child it’s inevitable that Justin Fletcher will feel like he’s always lived in your home, so ubiquitous is the multi-talented host of several shows on kids channel CBeebies. A character comedian, voice artist and…

Theatre review: Spamalot

17 Mar 20154 stars

Slick and highly effective musical comedy inspired by Monty Python

Spamalot likes to have it both ways – both mercilessly mocking the conventions of stage musicals, and also relying on them for its success. It’s the same with the show’s connections with its parent movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail; on the one hand…

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Theatre review: The King's Speech

17 Mar 20153 stars

Jason Donovan and Raymond Coulthard impress in the play-turned-film-turned-play

Thanks to its Oscar-winning 2010 film adaptation, The King’s Speech – originally written by David Seidler as a play – finally gets to hit the stage. Set in the late 1930s, Seidler's script lends a political resonance to the story of George VI – then…

Theatre review: Leviathan

11 Mar 20153 stars

Òran Mór, Sherman Cymru and Traverse Theatre's co-production presents a less-than-happy valley

This, the first co-production between Òran Mór, Sherman Cymru and Traverse Theatre, is a study of how the umbilical cord can strangle when it is not severed. Three generations of women from a working class Welsh family sit out on a sunny day in a…

Amazing Bubble Man casts watery spell across the UK

10 Mar 2015

Louis Pearl talks about his career as a ‘Bubbleologist’

As a parent, there are many memorable moments watching your children grow up – but for me, few will match standing onstage inside a giant bubble with a 2-year-old on my hip. I have Louis Pearl (aka The Amazing Bubble Man) to thank for that particular…

Olivier Award nominations announced

9 Mar 2015

Memphis The Musical, Beautiful, A View from the Bridge and Sunny Afternoon lead the pack

The nominations for the 2015 Olivier Awards have been announced. The frontrunner, with a startling nine nominations, is Memphis The Musical, with lead actors Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly each nominated for, respectively. Best Actress / Best…

Theatre review: Blood Wedding

9 Mar 20153 stars

David Ireland’s update preserves the intensity of Lorca’s classic play

Even in David Ireland's natty update, Lorca's Blood Wedding retains a stereotypical Spanish intensity. Love may try to conquer all but nothing overcomes a knife in the back, as the competing forces of revenge and desire collide A strong ensemble…

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Theatre review: The Bodyguard

9 Mar 20153 stars

Eternal love takes a leap from screen to stage

​Taking on the role immortalised by the late Whitney Houston is no mean feat for a first musical lead – but former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke delivers a stunning performance. The Bodyguard musical is based on the 1992 film starring Houston as…

Opinion: What next for the Creative Scotland funding losers?

9 Mar 2015

Neil Cooper asks what impact the decisions will have on Scotland’s cultural scene

While the decisions highlighted justified winners, including the likes of Vanishing Point and Grid Iron theatre companies, as well as contemporary music producers Arika, 28 organisations who received money in 2014-15 were declined regular funding for…

Behaviour 2015: The Arches' annual festival looks ahead

6 Mar 2015

A colourful patchwork of performance, club nights and discussion, Behaviour gets future-orientated

'In the sixth year of the festival,' says Behaviour acting artistic director Lucy Mason, 'we invite artists and audiences to respond to a changing world, exploring their visions of – and for – The Future.' With the Platform 18 award (this year given to…

Hedda Gabler plays 19th century struggles out on the modern stage

4 Mar 2015

Contemporary themes resonate as Ibsen's classic play returns to the Lyceum

As with most classic playwrights, Henrik Ibsen's works endure because their motifs are rooted in reality - of human aspirations, longing and failings. Hedda Gabler is a fine example: the titular character struggles with the constraints of being a woman…

The Effect

4 Mar 20152 stars

A disappointing script is given respectful treatment by Firebrand

Lucy Prebble's script is torn between two intentions: The Effect attempts to consider the nature of love – is it just a chemical reaction? – and protest the unscrupulous behaviour of the pharmaceutical – industrial complex. Ultimately, it sheds little…