Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Edinburgh Festival Theatre
13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT
  • Box office 0131 529 6000
  • Email
  • Website www.edtheatres.com
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EFT

With its impressive Colin Ross-designed three-story glass façade, the former Empire Palace Theatre is at once welcoming and grand. It boasts one of the largest stages in the UK; so big that it has occasionally been converted into a studio theatre with room to spare. The auditorium seats over 1900 people on three levels. Maintaining a tradition for variety that dates back nearly two centuries, it programmes everything from popular comedy to classical opera. Not only is it the capital’s home for Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera, it is also one of the cornerstones of the Edinburgh International Festival and, thanks to investment in cutting edge projection equipment, the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Having built a reputation as a leading dance house, it hosts a cutting-edge contemporary dance season alongside large-scale musicals, international ballet productions and a variety of one-night musical and comedy events. At street level, Café Lucia is open daily, and there are bars on each floor open on performance days in addition to private function rooms. The same management runs the King's Theatre.

Events at this venue

There are 48 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Ariadne Auf Naxos Unwrapped

A one hour taster performance

Fri 6 Apr

£5 / 0131 529 6000

Ballet Hispánico: Carmen

The European debut of America’s premier Latino dance company Ballet Hispánico with CARMEN.maquia, a Picasso-inspired, contemporary take on Bizet’s beloved classic.

Tue 6 Mar

£19 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 7 Mar

£19 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 8 Mar

£19 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 10 Mar

Calendar Girls the Musical

Created by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, this award winning production based on the true story of the calendar girls – a group of ordinary ladies who achieved something extraordinary.

Tue 2 Oct

£20–£45 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 3 Oct

£20–£45 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 4 Oct

£20–£45 / 0131 529 6000

…and 7 more dates until 13 Oct

Christy Moore: On the Road

One of the most compelling and inspirational musicians Ireland has ever seen.

Thu 1 Nov

£27.50–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Christy Moore with Declan Sinnott

Moore is one of Ireland's leading solo artists, mixing traditional song with contemporary social and political commentary.

Thu 1 Nov

£33 / 0131 529 6000

Cirque Berserk

A large-scale family circus show with jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and stuntmen.

Sat 24 Feb

£32.45 (£29.45) / 0131 529 6000

Drop-In Parkinson's Cafe

Aimed at people living with, or affected by Parkinson's. Join us for a friendly and informal social gathering, in a relaxed comfortable space. A full range of Parkinson's information will be available.

Tue 27 Feb

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

  • 13:00 – 15:00

Tue 27 Mar

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

  • 13:00 – 15:00

Tue 24 Apr

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

  • 13:00 – 15:00
…and 5 more dates until 25 Sep

Eugene Onegin Unwrapped

A taster performance of Eugene Onegin

Thu 24 May

£5 / 0131 529 6000

Flight Unwrapped

A one hour taster performance

Fri 2 Mar

£5 / 0131 529 6000

Garbage

Dark rock as Shirley Manson and co return.

Tue 4 Sep

£42.35 / 0131 529 6000

Garbage

Don't miss Garbage Version 2.0 at the Festival Theatre this September, plus special guests Honeyblood.

Tue 4 Sep

£35.50–£38.50 / 0131 529 6000

James & Ola: Uncensored

Husband and wife choreographers and dancers James and Ola Jordan, best known for their work on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing perform the cha cha, rumba, samba, jive and paso doble.

Tue 20 Mar

prices vary / 0131 529 6000

Kiss Me, Kate

A comedy classic revolving around the tempestuous love lives of actor-producer Fred Graham and his leading lady turned ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi.

Wed 4 Jul

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 5 Jul

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 6 Jul

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 7 Jul

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

The Last Ship

Sailor Gideon Fletcher returns home from sea to discover the ship-building life he left behind in chaos in this new musical featuring an original score with musics and lyrics by Sting.

Tue 12 Jun

£31–£42 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 13 Jun

£31–£42 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 14 Jun

£31–£42 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 16 Jun

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The all-male comedy ballet company are loved world-wide for their sassy spoofs and hilarious homages to classical ballet

Tue 30 Oct

£21–£34.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 31 Oct

£21–£34.50 / 0131 529 6000

The Little Mermaid

Based on the famous fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid tells of a young mermaid who is willing to give up everything she knows for love and the desire to gain a human soul.

Thu 22 Mar

£16–£37 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 23 Mar

£16–£37 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 24 Mar

£16–£37 / 0131 529 6000

Marti Pellow

The Wet Wet Wet frontman and established stage star performs music from across his repertoire.

Sun 10 Jun

Times & prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Marti Pellow plus Special Guests

One of our most loved pop icons, Marti Pellow, has today announced the dates for the Scottish part of his “The Private Collection Tour”.

Sun 10 Jun

£32.50–£37.50 / 0131 529 6000

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella

  • Written by: Prokofiev (music), Matthew Bourne

Choreographer Matthew Bourne brings to life the story of Cinderella.

Tue 5 Jun

£19–£48.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 6 Jun

£19–£48.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 7 Jun

£19–£48.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 9 Jun

National Theatre Live: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

A bold reimagining of Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Sienna Miller alongside Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney.

Tue 27 Feb

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Nativity! The Musical

Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School they’re attempting to mount a musical version!

Wed 28 Nov

£22–£55 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 29 Nov

£22–£55 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 30 Nov

£22–£55 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 2 Dec

Ocean Film Festival

A selection of documentaries celebrating the beauty and power of the world's oceans.

Sat 15 Sep

£16 / 0131 529 6000

The Play That Goes Wrong

  • Directed by: Mark Bell
  • Written by: Jonathan Sayer, Henry Lewis, Henry Shields

Award winning company Theatre Mischief presents a play-within-a-play about an amateur dramatic society putting on a murder mystery production.

Mon 12 Mar

£24–£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 13 Mar

£24–£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 14 Mar

£24–£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 3 more dates until 17 Mar

Rambert

One of Britain’s finest modern dance companies presents a triple bill including Itzik Galili’s colourful and explosive work, A Linha Curva, plus Symbiosis by Andonis Foniadakis and a new Nina Simone-inspired piece by Ben Duke.

Thu 22 Nov

£16.50–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 23 Nov

£16.50–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 24 Nov

£16.50–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Richard Alston Dance Company

The acclaimed contemporary dance company presents a triple bill featuring Martin Lawrance's Tangent, and Alston’s Chacony and Gypsy Mixture.

Thu 20 Sep

£17.50–£23.50 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 21 Sep

£17.50–£23.50 / 0131 529 6000

Rob Brydon: I Am Standing Up …

Him of Marion & Geoff, Gavin & Stacey and The Trip fame, the one with the Welsh accent and the funnies, is bringing a brand new stand-up show out on tour.

Fri 14 Sep

£40.35 / 0131 529 6000

Ross Noble: El Hablador

The wild-haired Geordie, prone to wondrous tangents and surreal interludes, wanders back out on tour with a brand new show.

Sat 3 Nov

£27.50 / 0131 529 6000

Royal Shakespeare Company: Julius Caesar

  • 2017
  • UK
  • 2h 32min
  • Directed by: Angus Jackson
  • Cast: Andrew Woodall, Alex Waldmann, Jon Tarcy, James Corrigan
  • UK release: 26 April 2017

Angus Jackson directs Shakespeare’s epic political tragedy, as the race to claim the empire spirals out of control.

Fri 25 May

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Royal Shakespeare Company: The Merry Wives Of Windsor

  • 2018

Down on his luck in the suburbs, John Falstaff plans to hustle his way to a comfortable retirement by seducing the wives of two wealthy men. Unknown to him, it’s the women of Windsor who really pull the strings, orchestrating Falstaff’s comeuppance amidst a theatrical smorgasbord of petty rivalries, jealousies and…

Wed 12 Sep

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Royal Shakespeare Company: Twelfth Night

  • 2018
  • UK
  • Directed by: Christopher Luscombe
  • UK release: 14 February 2018

Shakespeare's greatest comedy tells a tale of unrequited love in this production directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Mon 26 Feb

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sarah Millican: Control Enthusiast

You'll know her face from talking about cake and cats on the telly, so here's another chance to see the Millican phenomenon in full flight live on stage.

Sat 22 Sep

£30.50–£31.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sun 23 Sep

£30.50–£31.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sarah Millican: Outsider

You'll know her face from talking about cake and cats on the telly, so here's another chance to see the Millican phenomenon in full flight live on stage.

Sun 23 Sep

£30 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Ballet Cinderella

The perfect Christmas outing that has everything you adore about the classic fairy tale – made fresh, funny and touching.

Sat 8 Dec

£18.50–£45.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sun 9 Dec

£18.50–£45.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 12 Dec

£18.50–£45.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 12 more dates until 30 Dec

Scottish Ballet: Cinderella Inclusive Performance

An inclusive performance of Scottish Ballet's Cinderella for people with additional needs and their families.

Thu 13 Dec

£12 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Ballet: Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling

Highland Fling follows the downfall of James- a young Scot with sex, love and rock and roll on his mind. Recently married to his beloved Effie, his addiction to excess finds him in the company of a wild, gothic fairy. As his love for the strange and beautiful fairy becomes an obsession, James embarks on a fateful journey…

Tue 10 Apr

£21–£41.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 11 Apr

£21–£41.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 12 Apr

£21–£41.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 14 Apr

Scottish Ballet Wee Cinderella

This specially adapted hour long performance features the company’s dancers accompanied live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Fri 21 Dec

£16.50 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: Ariadne Auf Naxos

Following his five-star Rusalka in 2016, director and designer Antony McDonald is back with a new production.

Thu 5 Apr

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 7 Apr

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky and Pushkin: two of Russia’s greatest artists come together in this sweeping tale of unfulfilled love.

Wed 23 May

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 26 May

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 29 May

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 31 May

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: Flight

Jonathan Dove’s life-affirming comedy flies north for its Scottish Opera premiere.

Thu 1 Mar

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

  • 19:15

Sat 3 Mar

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

  • 19:15

Scottish Opera: Flight

Jonathan Dove’s life-affirming comedy flies north for its Scottish Opera premiere, with all the feel-good flair that garnered the performances at Opera Holland Park such rave reviews in 2015.

Thu 1 Mar

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 3 Mar

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Shen Yun

Take an enlightening journey through 5,000 years of civilisation! Shen Yun's unique artistic vision expands theatrical experience into a multi-dimensional, inspiring journey through one of humanity's greatest treasures - the five millennia of traditional Chinese culture. This epic production immerses you in stories…

Sun 20 May

£60–£100 / 0131 529 6000

Mon 21 May

£60–£100 / 0131 529 6000

Simon & Garfunkel Through The Years

Bookends perform the ultimate show for Simon and Garfunkel fans.

Sun 25 Feb

£25.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sing in the City

The Aw Blacks are an energetic vocal group with 50 members, and with the band, provide a night of music you can dance and sing along to.

Sat 2 Jun

£13–£19 / 0131 529 6000

Stan & Ollie & Friends

Join us for a fabulous evening of Laurel & Hardy films, peppered with live variety entertainments to thrill and amuse! Additionally, we present live variety entertainments of music and comedy!

Fri 29 Jun

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

This House

A timely, moving and often amusing insight into the workings of British politics.

Tue 27 Mar

£20–£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 28 Mar

£20–£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 29 Mar

£20–£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 31 Mar

This Is Edinburgh (TIE)

From chilling in one of Edinburgh's many bars to going to the museum and being one of the *most active * groups in Edinburgh, This is Edinburgh has something for everyone. Disclaimer - this group is in no way affiliated to the website of This is Edinburgh which is a guide of things to do, see and enjoy in the city.

Sat 24 Feb

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Cirque Berserk!

  • 19:30

Sat 24 Mar

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

NORTHERN BALLET - the little mermaid

  • 19:30

Sat 22 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Sarah Millican - control enthusiast

  • 20:00

Thriller Live

  • Directed by: Gary Lloyd, John Maher (musical director)
  • Written by: Adrian Grant (adapt)

A celebration of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 featuring top hits and some stunning multi-media razzmatazz.

Mon 14 May

£29.75–£39.75 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 15 May

£29.75–£39.75 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 16 May

£29.75–£39.75 / 0131 529 6000

…and 3 more dates until 19 May

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.

Wed 18 Apr

£26.50–£61 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 19 Apr

£26.50–£61 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 20 Apr

£26.50–£61 / 0131 529 6000

…and 19 more dates until 12 May

Reviews & features

Perfect pitch - Classical venue guide

15 Sep 2008

For those looking for something a little more civilised, Edinburgh and Glasgow have a host of classical venues on offer.

Comments & ratings

1. pepitoe1 May 2011, 1:09pm Report

Spirit of the Dance - 30.4.11
Had been looking for a really good,entertaining,high quality,night of entertainment.Deeply disappointing.This group were unable to pull off the range of dance quality required to do Irish,Scottish,Spanish and the other range of dance routines.They presented as semi professional,reasonably competetent but not of a standard that should be at the festival theatre.Costumes were tacky,and the group should never try to do highland dancing in Scotland unless really competent,which they were not.
We were so disappointed we left during the interval.
Festival Theatre - "need to do better"

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