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Interview: actor Brian Ferguson takes on Dominic Hill's new version of Hamlet

16 Sep 2014

The play, 'about a time of huge change in the country', could reflect post-referendum society

'As an actor I have done a lot of new writing,' explains Brian Ferguson. 'These plays are often about the things that aren't said, more so than the things that are. Shakespeare's characters don't have this problem. They shout and weep and rage and love…

Ian Smith: an appreciation

15 Sep 2014

The artist, performer and founder of Mischief La-Bas died in August following battle with depression

Ian Smith, who died on August 1 at the age of 55, was unique and one of the most creative performance artists in Scotland, and beyond, in recent decades. A founder member and leading light of the acclaimed performance company Mischief La-Bas (MLB), he…

Kill Johnny Glendenning

22 Sep 20144 stars

David Ireland is star of DC Jackson's murderous comedy about Glasgow's dark underworld

On the surface, Kill Johnny Glendenning is an ironic romp that infects gangster comedy with Glaswegian themes: sectarianism, the Big Man of underground legend, the fashionable west end lady and her dubious family connections. David Ireland has fun as…


1 Sep 20144 stars

Thalia Theater revive the spirits of Remarque and Barbusse at the Edinburgh International Festival

Thalia Theater's production, set in Belgium 1914-18 and based on classic anti-war literature by Erich Maria Remarque and Henri Barbusse, initially seems like a radio broadcast, until individual testimonies unfurl like battered flags. There are, among…

Ubu and the Truth Commission

1 Sep 20143 stars

Handspring Puppet Company tackle abuses of power at the Edinburgh International Festival

A revival of the 1997 production that mashed up Alfred Jarry's anarchic satire Ubu Roi and episodes from the Truth and Reconciliation process in the aftermath of the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, Ubu and the Truth Commission is an…

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Sunset Song

9 Oct 20143 stars

Despite stellar acting Alastair Cording's adaptation of classic novel is difficult to love

Although Sunset Song remains a favourite on the academic syllabus and for theatrical adaptation, the richness of its story and Scots prose can make it a tough journey. While it lacks the pessimism of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex novels, it shares their…

Three Sisters

7 Oct 20143 stars

Powerful cast make John Byrne's adaptation of Chekhov classic

Andy Arnold clearly regards Chekhov as a tragic author. Apart from the senile capering of Dr MacGillivery (Sylvester McCoy), John Byrne's adaptation of Three Sisters brings out the gloomy existential doubt, grinding towards its pessimistic finale. With…

Highlights of Edinburgh's Christmas and Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2014 programme

1 Oct 2014

Lily Allen, Al Murray, Briefs and Hot Dub Time Machine set to help city celebrate the festive period

Edinburgh's Christmas 2014/15 tickets are now on sale, with a programme that promises to be bigger and better than ever. Opening on Friday 21 Nov, the attractions span two locations in the heart of the city centre, at St Andrew Square and East…

Edinburgh’s Christmas 2014 celebrations revealed

30 Sep 2014

Programme of festive markets, shows and events will kick off on Fri 21 Nov

Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations for 2014-15 were revealed this morning, at the Assembly Rooms on George Street. Run by Underbelly and Unique Events, this year’s collection of festive markets, attractions and performances will open on Friday 21…

Alison Jackson: A Story In The Public Domain

25 Sep 20144 stars

Hogarth for the 21st century from acclaimed filmaker at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Filmmaker Alison Jackson's satire using lookalikes Double Take propelled her to fame. In her latest project, aptly subtitled La Trashiata, she turns her attention to opera, of sorts. And what an opera. Jackson leaves no half measures in the bad taste…

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Opinion: Should Exhibit B’s Barbican run have been cancelled?

24 Sep 2014

After fierce protests, the show's cancellation has led to renewed questions about censorship

When Brett Bailey's Third World Bunfight company presented Exhibit B as part of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival, the show's 21st century reimagining of colonial era human zoos – when black Africans were shown in front of their white…

Make or Break hip hop competition set to showcase best of Scottish talent

23 Sep 2014

Dance crews from Edinburgh and Glasgow to compete at event hosted by Tony Thrills

Watching judges preside over dancers is a regular occurrence on TV these days – but seeing it live, and championing your favourites with some vocal appreciation, is a whole different ball game. With competitors from home and abroad squaring up at…

Interview: Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill – First and last

19 Sep 2014

The Still Game stars talk Neil Diamond, Farrah Fawcett and a shared love of Italian cooking

First record you ever bought Ford: ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan, still a big favourite. Greg: The Police’s ‘So Lonely’. Last extravagant purchase you made Ford: A rowing machine: I'll never use it but it looks good. Greg: A flight to California. First…

Arches Live! 2014 promises diverse line up of experimental performers

19 Sep 2014

Artists taking part include Rob Jones, Katie Gallagher, FK Alexander and Harry Giles

Arches Live! has become the traditional start of the autumn season in Glasgow. Although running later than usual this year, it still has its perennial mixture of familiar artists and emerging talents. The festival kicks off with Rob Jones' AARG!!!…

Things to look forward to at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

19 Sep 2014

Highlights include Augusto Baol film screenings and Drew Taylor's re-imagining of Ginsberg's 'Howl'

Now in its eighth year, the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, has always had a commitment to theatre that goes beyond simple issue-based drama into personal reflections on mental health. This year it includes the work of Augusto Boal – a…

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The Three Sisters given distinct Scottish twist by playwright John Byrne

19 Sep 2014

Chekhov classic directed by Andy Arnold and set in 1960s parochial Dunoon

John Byrne's idiosyncratic vision has always brought mischief to drama, as with perennial favourites The Slab Boys and Tutti Frutti which spoke in a no-nonsense yet nostalgic way of old, tough Glasgow. Following on from his recent, critically acclaimed…

Interview: balletLORENT's Liv Lorent discusses new family-friendly production Rapunzel

16 Sep 2014

Collaborators include Carol Ann Duffy and creatives from Game of Thrones and Doctor Who

Despite the often brutal content in the original texts, fairytales aren’t known for their adult appeal. But why restrict them to bedtime stories and Disney films, when tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm have so much to say about life?

Interview: playwright DC Jackson wants to Kill Johnny Glendinning

16 Sep 2014

The hard-edged gangster comedy hopes to tackle the west coast’s attitude to glorifying violence

Ayrshire playwright DC Jackson returns to Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum following his successful contemporary update of Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro back in 2012. His return is accompanied by a partnership which the Fringe First-winning writer of My…

Interview: theatremaker Bruce Downie on The Battle of Calder Street

16 Sep 2014

Verbatim theatre piece about the 2001 Govanhill Baths protest

What inspired the creation of the company? Govanhill Baths is such a beautiful building: I could see the potential right away – I knew we had to start a theatre project here. There are a number of different performance spaces, there's storage space…

Yes or No? 15 shows to help you make your decision for the Scottish independence referendum

12 Sep 2014

Need help deciding? Let the worlds of art, theatre, comedy, books and music lend a hand

Glasgow Early Days: The Arches Referendum Festival A week of special theatre commissions including work by Rob Drummond, Gary McNair & Davey Anderson and Robert Ormerod, with the Arches Political Party the night before and the What Now? Brunch the…

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Fall Girl

11 Sep 20143 stars

Pleasant enough if not exactly earth-shattering musical theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

How would you feel if you were being conned at every turn? It’s a question some Fringe audiences must ask themselves constantly. And it certainly seems to be the inexorable fate of Hayley in this spot of pleasant enough if not exactly earth-shattering…

Student Guide 2014: EUTC and STaG, two of Scotland's leading university theatre groups

10 Sep 2014

The two groups provide a dramatic opportunity for Edinburgh and Glasgow students

University drama groups have always been a great springboard for aspiring actors and writers looking to cut their performance teeth. Bedlam Theatre, a neo-Gothic church in the heart of Edinburgh, is one of Scoltand's best-loved venues. Its esteemed…

The Glass Menagerie

9 Sep 20144 stars

Jemima Levick directs impeccable new adaptation of Tennessee Williams' 'memory play' for Dundee Rep

In the opening soliloquy of Tennessee Williams’ much lauded ‘memory play’, our narrator describes the ‘gentleman caller’ we will encounter in Act Two. He is, says Tom, ‘the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for’. The hope which…


1 Sep 20143 stars

Evocative theatre production let down by disappointing climax at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Claustrophia, created by To The Moon theatre company in association with Theatre Bench, explores exactly what it means to be in control when two unnamed strangers become stuck in a lift together. Jessica Macdonald plays a neurotic woman on her way home…

The Devil Without

1 Sep 20143 stars

Faustus myth given fresh take at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Ian Harvey Brown is a mentalist. Unlike those who use their power for evil – persuading old ladies that their husbands are happy – or to celebrate their own brilliance like Derren Brown, Brown applies his tricks of the mind to reconsider the myth of…