Theatre, David Pollock

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Kids theatre review: Celeste’s Circus

15 Apr 20153 stars

Puppetry and pretend French in circus-themed show for pre-school children

A micro-play for pre-school children old enough to hold their attention on a performer even just for a few minutes, Celeste’s Circus works on two levels. One, for the children, because it revels in a sense of visual invention which offers gleeful…

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…

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…


5 Dec 20144 stars

Andrew Panton's BFG lands with a whizzpop and a whizzbang

With many strings to his bow including international renown as a vocal coach and director, Andrew Panton’s behind-the-curtain career has recently found a natural outlet as director of large-scale seasonal shows on the Lyceum stage...

Preview: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

7 Nov 2014

Stage adaptation of Wodehouse classic directed by Sean Foley starring John Gordon Sinclair

‘It’s quite full-on,’ sighs John Gordon Sinclair. ‘I don’t just play Jeeves, I’m also Madeline Bassett, ‘Stiffy’ Byng, Sir Watkyn Bassett and Gussie Fink-Nottle. During rehearsals I came the closest I’ve ever been to saying “I don’t think I can do…

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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…

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…

The Factory

9 Aug 20143 stars

Fun musical theatre piece with an edge of social consciousness, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Presented here as part of the NZ at Edinburgh showcase season, this fun musical theatre piece hits the right note both in terms of its light-hearted musical tone and its packaging of a slice of New Zealand's social history, which is doubtless largely…

Food and drink shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

2 Aug 2014

Love food? Love the Festival? Then you’ll need to know about these food-themes shows

Love food? Love the Festival? Then you’ll be delighted to hear that there are several culinary-themed shows to tuck into this August. David Pollock picks the highlights. To stage a play about Scotland’s national dish entitled Haggis, Haggis, Haggis: The…

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014: discussion events on modern arts and culture

31 Jul 2014

Featuring input from poet Ron Butlin, theatremaker Rachel Chavkin and artist Alec Finlay

As well as their by now renowned performance and visual arts programme during the festival, multi-arts venue and former veterinary college Summerhall will also be showcasing a number of discussions and workshops about topical subjects in arts and…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: South African theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Featuring David Mamet's Race, Mbongeni Ngema's The Zulu and Magadi: The Bride Price

'It's great to be able to present a range of work from this very vibrant country,' says William Burdett-Coutts, artistic director of Assembly Festival, who are presenting their third South African season. 'There is a range of talented theatre people…

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: three stage productions from New Zealand

28 Jul 2014

Highlights include Arthur Meek’s On the Upside Down of the World and Lemi Ponifasio's I AM

In the popular view of the northern hemisphere – and indeed, much of the country’s neighbours – New Zealand is a remote idyll populated by hobbits and sheep where not very much ever happens. Yet history tells us that a country so young is unlikely to be…

Interactive zombie theatre piece The Generation of Z set for 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Immersive horror-action play invites audience to participate as survivors of a zombie apocalypse

If the zombie genre didn’t keep coming back from the grave, we’d have to find a way to kill it. Myths of the undead have survived for longer than we might have realised (in Christian mythology for a start), but ever since George A Romero’s fresh horror…

Mini-festival Home Nations celebrates theatrical language from the UK

14 Jul 2014

Works by Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas, Carol Anne Duffy and Liz Lochhead will be performed

The idea for this mini-festival of plays from around the Home Nations began with Edwin Morgan’s Dreams and Other Nightmares by Liz Lochhead, says the Tron’s artistic director, Andy Arnold, with its ‘brilliance’ demanding he show it with the eyes of the…

Merchant City Festival boosted to 11 days for Commonwealth Games

11 Jul 2014

The multi-arts fest incorporates several smaller festivals, including Surge and Get Scotland Dancing

An established fixture of Glasgow’s summer for some years now, the Merchant City Festival is set to expand dramatically this year thanks to its official association with the Commonwealth Games as one of four Live Zones across the city. For one year only…

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Richard Bean’s blockbuster comedy One Man, Two Guvnors heads back on the road

19 Jun 2014

The touring production features Gavin Spokes, Barry Williamson and Jasmyn Banks

With the West End version coming to an end after a three-year run in March of this year, it’s with a certain inevitability that Richard Bean’s blockbuster comedy adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s 1743 commedia dell’arte play Servant of Two Masters returns…

Interview: puppet coach Nigel Plaskitt on the UK touring run of international megahit Avenue Q

22 May 2014

Puppets can 'make statements about subjects like racism and sexuality that are harder' for actors

Tony-winning international megahit Avenue Q arrives in Edinburgh with a huge reputation on its shoulders, not just for the awards it’s gathered and the Broadway and West End runs it’s accrued, but for the way book writer Jeff Whitty and composers Robert…


15 May 20144 stars

The projected children's show builds a sense of wonder & allows controlled but energetic interaction

The simple but effective conceit of this show by Compagnia TPO and Insite Arts offers a magic carpet ride into another world, if you will, and one which is simply executed but cannily designed to play upon the imaginations of its early primary…

Dominic Hill set to direct revival of The Libertine at Citizens Theatre

29 Apr 2014

Stephen Jeffreys’ 1994 play about exploits of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester

Stephen Jeffreys’ 1994 play about the artistic and sexual appetites of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, in free-living 1670s London was made famous a decade later with a film version starring Johnny Depp. Yet surprisingly, this revival from…

Tradfest explores ‘Revival and Renaissance’ in the year of Scottish Homecoming and the independence referendum

23 Apr 2014

Owen Jones, Wounded Knee, David Torrance, Gerry Hassan & Alexander Moffat are among the fest guests

Only in its second year, Tradfest returns to Edinburgh for a fortnight celebrating Celtic arts and Scottish cultural traditions this month, presenting a programme busy with talks, tours, music, art, theatre and puppetry, among many other elements. It…

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The Hidden Door festival aims to instil Edinburgh with a new DIY events ethos

21 Mar 2014

'We can do things like this if we want; we don’t have to wait for permission'

‘Edinburgh suffers from what you might call institutional repetition,’ says David Martin, creative director of the Hidden Door Festival, a defiantly DIY agent of change on the capital’s cultural landscape. ‘What we wanted to do was something a bit…

Interview: filmmaker Tim Barrow on his debut play, Union

18 Mar 2014

The drama tackles the theme of Scottish Independence from a historical angle

This debut play by filmmaker Tim Barrow takes the honour of being the first major stage work of 2014 to tackle the year’s big political story, although its roots go back to 2008 when Barrow was touring The Inheritance, his debut feature as a writer and…

Noel Coward's Private Lives set to return to Edinburgh, the city of its premiere

18 Feb 2014

Director Martin Duncan: 'It’s a rollercoaster of a play: funny, absurd, excruciating and tragic'

Regularly revived, most recently through the Chichester Festival and the Gielgud Theatre in London, Noel Coward’s Private Lives becomes particularly resonant when it returns to Edinburgh. After all, it was in this city’s King’s Theatre in August 1930…

New revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night created for Edinburgh's Lyceum Theatre

22 Jan 2014

Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical work about addiction and family dysfunction

’It’s so painfully honest,’ says director Tony Cownie when asked about the key to the importance of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a new revival of which he’s created for the Lyceum. ‘It’s very interesting that O’Neill didn’t want the…

Rod Stewart musical Tonight’s the Night set for 2014 UK tour

22 Jan 2014

Touring version of Ben Elton's 2003 musical hits Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and more

Having sold out almost the entire opening week of the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow last autumn, public affection for Rod Stewart and his music isn’t likely to abate soon, especially not in Scotland. This touring version of the 2003 Ben Elton musical…