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 47 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Acosta Danza

Mixture of classical and contemporary Cuban dance.

Fri 10 Nov

£29.50–£39.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 11 Nov

£29.50–£39.50 / 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 2018

£19 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 7 Mar 2018

£19 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 8 Mar 2018

£19 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 10 Mar 2018

BalletBoyz: Young Men

  • Written by: Ivan Perez

A moving portrayal of love, friendship, loss and survival in war, drawing inspiration from images of conflict through the ages. Choreographed by Ivan Perez with an original score by Keaton Henson.

Tue 7 Nov

£19.50–£25 / 0131 529 6000

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

A selection of exhilarating sports and adventure films.

Sat 13 Jan 2018

£12.50 / 0131 529 6000

Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-long

  • 2017
  • USA
  • 2h 9min
  • Directed by: Bill Condon
  • Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans

Choose Belle, the Beast, or both and sing the soundtrack to this Disney classic.

Sat 7 Oct

£17.50 / 0131 529 6000

Cirque Berserk

Cirque Berserk is back by popular demand - Britain’s biggest theatre-circus spectacular!

Tue 20 Feb 2018

£20.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 21 Feb 2018

£20.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 22 Feb 2018

£20.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 24 Feb 2018

Daksha Sheth Dance Company: Sari

This innovative Indian dance company returns to Edinburgh with Sari, a celebration of the creation of this unique garment, in constant play with the body, both in stillness and in movement.

Wed 27 Sep

£16 / 0131 529 6000

Dementia Friendly La Traviata

This specially created performance is fully-staged, and performed by a narrator, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and a wonderful cast of singers. Audiences are lead through the story, and hear some of the best-loved music from the opera. Lighting levels in the auditorium are brighter, and people are able to come in and…

Fri 17 Nov

£10 / 0131 529 6000

Dirty Dancing

  • 3 stars
  • 1987
  • US
  • 1h 40min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Emile Ardolino
  • Written by: Eleanor Bergstein
  • Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

The plot – in the summer of 1963 bad boy Johnny (Swayze) meets good girl Baby (Grey) and teaches her hip grinding, eventually winning the respect of her parents. Sure it's full of stereotyping, bad dialogue and a pre-teen sugar coated prurience, but decades on Dirty Dancing still has the ability to send a generation of…

Sat 14 Oct

£12 / 0131 529 6000

Hedda Gabler

  • Directed by: Ivo van Hove
  • Written by: Patrick Marber (adapt)

Ivo van Hove directs Henrik Ibsen's portrait of a marriage in crisis.

Tue 17 Oct

£25–£31.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 18 Oct

£25–£31.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 19 Oct

£25–£31.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 21 Oct

Inclusive Performance - The Nutcracker

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

Thu 14 Dec

£12 / 0131 529 6000

Legally Blonde The Musical

OMG you guys!!! Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to Edinburgh. This all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is a fun-filled, feel-good pink fest, so bend and snap up your tickets today!

Mon 27 Nov

£22–£42 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 28 Nov

£22–£42 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 29 Nov

£22–£42 / 0131 529 6000

…and 3 more dates until 2 Dec

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella

  • Written by: Prokofiev (music), Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne brings to live the story of Cinderella.

Tue 5 Jun 2018

£19–£48.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 6 Jun 2018

£19–£48.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 7 Jun 2018

£19–£48.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 9 Jun 2018

Miss Saigon

  • Directed by: Geoffrey Garratt
  • Written by: Michael Mahler (lyrics)

Set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon, this tragic musical follows the relationship between an American GI and the young Vietnamese woman who is sold to him for a night.

Wed 17 Jan 2018

£35.50–£62.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 18 Jan 2018

£35.50–£62.50 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 19 Jan 2018

£35.50–£62.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 25 more dates until 17 Feb 2018

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 2018

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

National Theatre Live: Follies

  • 2017
  • Directed by: Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton

Stephen Sondheim’s musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas.

Thu 11 Jan 2018

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

National Theatre Live: Hamlet

  • 2015
  • 4h
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Lyndsey Turner
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy.

Thu 5 Oct

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

National Theatre Live: Young Marx

  • 2017
  • Directed by: Nicholas Hytner
  • Written by: Richard Bean, Clive Coleman.
  • Cast: Rory Kinnear, Oliver Chris

Rory Kinnear is Marx and Oliver Chris is Engels, in this new comedy written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman.

Wed 10 Jan 2018

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Northern Ballet's The Little Mermaid

Immerse yourself in a mystical underwater world. When a young mermaid is finally allowed her first glimpse of life beyond the ocean, she is enthralled by what she sees. After falling desperately in love with a man, she will do anything she can to live a human life.

Thu 22 Mar 2018

£16–£37 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 23 Mar 2018

£16–£37 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 24 Mar 2018

£16–£37 / 0131 529 6000

Opera North: 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 2018

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 5 Jul 2018

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 6 Jul 2018

£15.50–£49.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 7 Jul 2018

£15.50–£49.50 / 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 2018

£24–£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 13 Mar 2018

£24–£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 14 Mar 2018

£24–£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 3 more dates until 17 Mar 2018

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 26 Oct

£23–£28.50 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 27 Oct

£23–£28.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 28 Oct

£23–£28.50 / 0131 529 6000

Richard Alston Dance Company

The acclaimed dance company presents a triple bill of Alston works: Chacony, Gypsy Mixture and Carnaval, a brand new piece premiering in Edinburgh, set to Schumann's music of the same name.

Fri 22 Sep

£20.50–£23.50 / 0131 529 6000

Royal Shakespeare Company: Coriolanus

  • 2017
  • UK
  • Directed by: Angus Jackson
  • UK release: 11 October 2017

Shakespeare's classic tragedy.

Wed 8 Nov

£14.50 / 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 2018

£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 2018

£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 2018

£30.50 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Ballet: Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling

Presented exclusively by Scottish Ballet, Matthew Bourne’ Highland Fling is a wonderfully imaginative reworking of the classic romantic ballet La Sylphide with a wickedly wry Scotch twist.

Tue 10 Apr 2018

£21–£41.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 11 Apr 2018

£21–£41.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 12 Apr 2018

£21–£41.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 14 Apr 2018

Scottish Ballet: Stravinsky

Two contrasting works set to the music of Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss by Kenneth MacMillan and Christopher Hampson's The Rite of Spring.

Wed 11 Oct

£17–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 12 Oct

£17–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 13 Oct

£17–£30 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker

  • Written by: Peter Darrell

Peter Darrell’s magical world of The Nutcracker has been reimagined by Olivier Award winning designer Lez Brotherston, bringing a new sheen to this classical 40-year-old adaptation. Booking is essential.

Sat 9 Dec

£15.50–£44.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sun 10 Dec

£15.50–£44.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 13 Dec

£15.50–£44.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 13 more dates until 30 Dec

Scottish Dance Theatre: Velvet Petal

Scottish Dance Theatre’s new work inspired by the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly.

Sat 30 Sep

£19.50–£25 / 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 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 7 Apr 2018

£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 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 26 May 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 29 May 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 31 May 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

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 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 3 Mar 2018

£19.50–£84.50 / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: La Traviata

A revival of the 2008 production of Verdi's classic tale. La Traviata tells the story of Violetta, who hopes to escape life as an escort after falling in love with Alfredo.

Wed 15 Nov

£19.50 / 0131 529 6000

Sun 19 Nov

£19.50 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 21 Nov

£19.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 25 Nov

Shakespeare's Globe Encore Screening: King Lear

King Lear’s tempestuous poetry is shot through with touches of humour and moments of heart-rending simplicity, as the notion of familial love is questioned and torn apart.

Mon 23 Oct

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Shane Filan

The Westlife member heads out on tour, performing tracks from his solo albums You and Me, Right Here and Love Always.

Sat 23 Sep

£27.50–£50 / 0131 529 6000

Silent Cinema: A Night of Laurel & Hardy

Following a successful live appearance at the Empire Theatre in 1954, Stan and Ollie return to Edinburgh for the first time in 64 years! Forrester Clifton Pyke accompanies four of his favourite silent shorts from these masters of comedy live on the grand piano.

Fri 6 Oct

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Silent cinema: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Perfect for a dark January night, this masterpiece of German expressionism promises thrills, chills and some pretty insane scenery.

Fri 12 Jan 2018

£14.50 / 0131 529 6000

Simon And Garfunkel Through the Years - THE BOOKENDS

Accompanied by a live string quartet, Bookends perform the most authentic sounding tribute to the unforgettable music of Simon & Garfunkel. Made up of Dan Haynes & Pete Richards,

Sun 25 Feb 2018

£25.50 / 0131 529 6000

Slava's Snowshow

A cast of clowns use water, cobwebs, bubbles and dry ice to create a world of wonder in which a bed becomes a boat, a web of cotton envelops the audience and one tiny piece of paper begins a blinding snowstorm.

Wed 1 Nov

£26–£31 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 2 Nov

£26–£31 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 3 Nov

£26–£31 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 5 Nov

Tap Factory

This lively, percussive show mixes tap dance, hip hop, comedy and acrobatics, accompanied by a live band.

Sun 24 Sep

£20.50–£24.50 / 0131 529 6000

This House

Following sell-out runs at the National Theatre and in the West End this extraordinarily prescient play takes on a new importance in the current political climate. Are we in the midst of a political revolution? Can the country stay united? Roll back to 1974. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting…

Tue 27 Mar 2018

£20–£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 28 Mar 2018

£20–£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 29 Mar 2018

£20–£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 31 Mar 2018

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.

Sun 24 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Tap Factory.

  • 19:30

Sat 16 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

SCOTTISH BALLET - the nutcracker

  • 19:30

Sat 24 Feb 2018

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Cirque Berserk!

  • 19:30
…and 2 more dates until 22 Sep 2018

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 2018

£29.75–£39.75 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 15 May 2018

£29.75–£39.75 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 16 May 2018

£29.75–£39.75 / 0131 529 6000

…and 3 more dates until 19 May 2018

La Traviata Unwrapped

Whether you're new to opera or an old hand, you can find out more at Opera Unwrapped - a free hour-long taster that gives an insight into our shows and how they are created. Presented from the stage at each venue, our Unwrapped events involve singers, back-stage crew and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. You'll hear…

Thu 16 Nov

£5 / 0131 529 6000

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 2018

£26.50–£61 / 0131 529 6000

Thu 19 Apr 2018

£26.50–£61 / 0131 529 6000

Fri 20 Apr 2018

£26.50–£61 / 0131 529 6000

…and 19 more dates until 12 May 2018

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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