Festival Theatre Edinburgh

Festival Theatre Edinburgh
13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT
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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 43 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, more advice).
URGENT: You must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

Alexander O'Neal

R&B and Soul Legend Alexander O’Neal performing his greatest hits along with tracks from his new album which is due to be released in September 2020. Performing alongside Alexander’s very own 9 piece band with support from Mamma Freedom. Step back in time and relive Alexander’s Chart Hits including Criticize, Fake…

Thu 10 Sep

0131 529 6000

Backstage Tour: Festival Theatre

Did you know that the Festival Theatre is situated on Edinburgh's longest continuous theatre site? Or that it was once a Bingo hall? Want to stand on stage and feel like a star? This backstage tour is a great chance to go behind the scenes; see the workings of the theatre and walk down memory lane as we chat through…

Sat 2 May

£10 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 13 May

£10 / 0131 529 6000

Sat 6 Jun

£10 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 15 Jul

Ballet Black: Mixed Bill

The pioneering dance company performs a new work by acclaimed choreography Will Tuckett and Mthuthuzeli November.

Thu 30 Apr

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Bring It On: The Musical

A toe-tapping musical of female empowerment set in the world of high school cheerleading and based on the film of the same name. The music is co-written by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda (the creator of Hamilton.)

Tue 24 Nov

0131 529 6000

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Wed 25 Nov

0131 529 6000

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Thu 26 Nov

0131 529 6000

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 28 Nov

Burn The Floor

Kevin Clifton and Graziano Di Prima star in this high-energy ballroom dancing show.

Sat 2 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Fri 10 Jul

0131 529 6000

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Curtis Stigers

Singer and saxophonist, Curtis Stigers epitomises musical class; suave sophistication, style and presence. His shows have been outstanding highlights of the Festival’s last decade and we’re delighted to welcome him back with his own top class US band. A wonderfully luxurious voice, superb phrasing and natural…

Sat 18 Jul

0131 529 6000

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Jools Holland

Jools’ Jazz & Blues Festival party is not to be missed. Back by popular demand, the 20 piece band love playing Edinburgh and always deliver an exhilarating live show featuring Ruby Turner's breath-taking gospel and R&B vocals, Louise Marshall's soul tones, and the powerhouse Gilson Lavis on drums. This year…

Fri 17 Jul

0131 529 6000

Giovanni Pernice: This Is Me

Strictly Come Dancing favourite, dancer and showman Giovanni Pernice, is back with a brand new show.

Tue 14 Jul

0131 529 6000

In Conversation with The Sopranos

Learn more about the TV show hit The Sopranos at this event, which brings together former cast members for a talk and Q&A.

Wed 13 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Islets of Silence

Play about a Glasgow family whose lives are turned upside-down when one of them is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Sat 12 Sep

£10–£14 / 0131 529 6000

  • 19:30

Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny

Acerbic wit and dark, deadpan one-liners from familiar telly face Carr.

Tue 3 Nov

£32.50 / 0131 529 6000

John Grant

  • 4 stars

The former Czars singer has a baritone to die for and a handful of critically-acclaimed solo albums under his belt.

Thu 14 May

£34.50 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 9 Sep

£34.50 / 0131 529 6000

Keepers of the Light

Real-life mystery about three lighthouse keepers who disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

Sat 25 Apr

Cancelled / 07554 447792

  • 20:00

Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

Mathew Bourne's highly acclaimed dance production, based on the classic 1948 film.

Tue 19 May

0131 529 6000

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Wed 20 May

0131 529 6000

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Thu 21 May

0131 529 6000

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 23 May

Northern Ballet: Geisha

For geisha, beauty and honour is everything. Two young women, bound by vows of friendship, find themselves in the midst of a collision between East and West. As their lives are torn painfully apart, a promise from beyond the grave offers the only chance for redemption. Brought vividly to life by the creator of…

Wed 6 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Thu 7 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Fri 8 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Sat 9 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Ocean Film Festival

Dive into a night of mesmerising ocean adventure! The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is back for 2020 with a brand-new collection of the world’s most incredible ocean films! Brought to you by the team behind the Banff Mountain Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour, this carefully curated selection of short films combines…

Sat 12 Sep

0131 529 6000

Paul Smith: Changed

A lot has changed for Paul in recent years. Join him for his 3rd and largest ever tour of the UK and Ireland as he once again mixes sharp, hilarious stories from his life with his trademark off the cuff wit.

Sat 9 Jan 2021

0131 529 6000

The Phantom of the Opera

  • Directed by: Harold Prince, Gillian Lynne
  • Written by: Charles Hart (lyrics), Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Gaston Leroux (book)

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Gothic musical about a masked man and his dangerous obsession.

Wed 23 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Thu 24 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Fri 25 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

…and 31 more dates until 31 Oct

Play Days

The Easter break is a great time to try something new! Come along and get hands on experience of stage craft. Each day will explore a different artform and theme with professional artists as they work with you to create a piece of theatre to share with family and friends at the end of the day! Join us as we devise and…

Mon 13 Apr

£10 / 0131 529 6000

Tue 14 Apr

£10 / 0131 529 6000

Wed 15 Apr

£10 / 0131 529 6000

…and 2 more dates until 17 Apr

Remembering The Oscars

Aljaz and Janette will be returning with their brand new show Remembering The Oscars. Get ready to celebrate the Oscar-winning songs in this exhilarating new dance spectacular with Strictly’s favourite couple. Whether you are Wishing On A Star, Swinging On A Star or merely dancing in the City of Stars, this incredible…

Thu 15 Apr 2021

Cancelled / 0131 529 6000

Ross Noble: Humournoid

Ross Noble's newest hour.

Sun 10 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Round the Horne

“Oh, Mr Horne! How bona to vada your dolly old eek!” From the producers of the UK tours of The Goon Show and Hancock’s Half Hour comes another radio comedy classic live on stage. From 1965 to 1968 there wasn’t a bigger radio programme in Britain than the ground-breaking Round the Horne. For half-an-hour every Sunday…

Fri 11 Sep

0131 529 6000

Royal Opera House: The Nutcracker

  • 2018

A Christmas treat for the whole family and a classic with a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world. The Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker will be broadcast live from the Royal Opera House to theatres across the UK.

Sat 5 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Sun 6 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

Wed 9 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 529 6000

…and 15 more dates until 31 Dec

Scottish Ballet: Swan Lake

Scottish Ballet once again stage David Dawson's exciting re-imagining of the classic ballet, which first debuted in 2016.

Thu 9 Apr

0131 529 6000

Fri 10 Apr

0131 529 6000

Sat 11 Apr

0131 529 6000

Scottish Ballet: The Nutcracker

The festive favourite set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. Peter Darrell’s production of The Nutcracker evokes the magical adventure of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.

Sat 5 Dec

0131 529 6000

Booking is essential.

Sun 6 Dec

0131 529 6000

Booking is essential.

Wed 9 Dec

0131 529 6000

Booking is essential.

…and 15 more dates until 31 Dec

Scottish Ballet: The Scandal at Mayerling

Scottish Ballet stage the scandal that rocked an empire, centred around the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf. Choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and featuring a score of works by Franz Liszt.

Fri 18 Sep

0131 529 6000

Sat 19 Sep

0131 529 6000

Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker Stage Secrets

Take a little time out to discover the inspirations behind The Nutcracker's choreography, characters, music and designs. This insight offers the fascinating experience of watching the company take class on stage and talking to one of the dancers afterwards about their career. A magical family adventure Costumes…

Sat 12 Dec

0131 529 6000

Sat 19 Dec

0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: The Gondoliers

Sunny, funny and with more ‘tra la la las’ per square inch than any other opera in the canon. Director Stuart Maunder, Artistic Director at State Opera South Australia, teams up with designer Dick Bird (The Mikado 2016) to stage a production that is fast, furious and full of fun. A new co-production with D’Oyly Carte…

Wed 10 Jun

0131 529 6000

Thu 11 Jun

0131 529 6000

Sat 13 Jun

0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: The Gondoliers Pre-show

Learn more about Scottish Opera's The Gondoliers. Sunny, funny and with more ‘tra la la las’ per square inch than any other opera in the canon. Director Stuart Maunder, Artistic Director at State Opera South Australia, teams up with designer Dick Bird (The Mikado 2016) to stage a production that is fast, furious and…

Sat 13 Jun

Free but ticketed / 0131 529 6000

Scottish Opera: Utopia, Limited

Gilbert & Sullivan's penultimate opera was written immediately after The Gondoliers. Here, in a semi-staged performance with an updated libretto by director Stuart Maunder and revised musical version by Scottish Opera's Head of Music Derek Clark, it is given its Scottish Opera premiere and the airing it so deserves.

Fri 12 Jun

0131 529 6000

Screening: Fleetwood & Friends

Mick Fleetwood has assembled a stellar cast of musicians to celebrate the music that established Fleetwood Mac as one of the biggest bands in the world – the music of Peter Green. With a line-up featuring Neil Finn, Noel Gallagher, Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Kirk Hammett, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Christine McVie…

Sun 7 Jun

0131 529 6000

Screening: Jack Absolute Flies Again

A riotous new comedy. From the writer of One Man, Two Guvnors comes a hilarious new play, set in 1940s British summertime. After an aerial dog fight, Pilot Officer Jack Absolute flies home to rejoin his fearless young Hurricane squadron at RAF Fontwell. Once back on British soil, Jack is shocked to find his old flame…

Thu 23 Jul

0131 529 6000

Screening: Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet has been hailed as ‘the single most eagerly awaited dance show for 2019’ by The Daily Telegraph. This passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic story of love and conflict is set in the not too distant future in ‘The Verona Institute’. Here ‘difficult’ young…

Sat 25 Apr

£16 / 0131 529 6000

Screening: The Welkin

One life in the hands of 12 women. Rural Suffolk in England, 1759. As the country waits for Halley’s comet, a young woman is sentenced to hang for a heinous murder. When she claims to be pregnant, a jury of 12 matrons are taken from their housework to decide whether she’s telling the truth, or simply trying to…

Wed 27 May

0131 529 6000

Screening: Tosca

Presented by the Zurich Opera House, Giacomo Puccini's Tosca is melodrama at its purest, a festival of lush melodies and dramatic outbursts that remains one of this composer's most popular works to this day. It is also a genuine "action opera", a realistic crime story, complete with torture, betrayal, murder, sex and…

Sat 4 Jul

0131 529 6000

Screening: West Side Story

Winner of ten Academy Awards including Best Picture, this electrifying musical sets the ageless tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in the slums of 1950s New York and stars Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. See the original now ahead of Stephen Spielberg’s remake, to be released December 2020!

Thu 28 May

0131 529 6000

Silent Cinema: A Night of Laurel & Hardy

Silent Cinema proudly returns to the Edinburgh International Film Festival with a fabulous night of Laurel & Hardy! Maestro Will Pickvance accompanies live on piano four of his favourite short films from those masters of comedy Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Duck Soup is the first ever film where Stan & Ollie…

Fri 19 Jun

0131 529 6000

Silent Cinema: Feel My Pulse

A night of variety with live music and silent film! Acclaimed pianist Forrester Clifton Pyke accompanies one of his favourite forgotten films, Feel My Pulse. Bebe Daniels, the greatest female star of the silent film era, stars as a rich but hypochondriacal heiress who inherits a sanitarium. What she doesn’t know is…

Fri 24 Apr

0131 529 6000

Sister Act

Brace yourselves Sisters! The Broadway and UK smash-hit musical Sister Act is coming to Edinburgh immediately following its record-breaking London run, reimagined for the 21st century and starring one of Edinburgh’s most loved actors Allan Stewart in the role of Mother Superior. Now set in 2020, this sparkling tribute…

Tue 20 Apr 2021

0131 529 6000

Wed 21 Apr 2021

0131 529 6000

Thu 22 Apr 2021

0131 529 6000

…and 8 more dates until 1 May 2021

SIX

Nominated for 5 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, the sell-out London smash hit ‘SIX’ is the phenomenon everyone is losing their head over! From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII finally take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a…

Tue 11 May 2021

0131 529 6000

Wed 12 May 2021

0131 529 6000

Thu 13 May 2021

0131 529 6000

…and 3 more dates until 16 May 2021

Tea and 'Jam': Dementia Friendly

Enjoy some music at this dementia-friendly event. You can even join in with your own instrument.

Fri 24 Apr

£2 / 0131 529 6000

Trixie Mattel

A hilariously funny one woman comedy show from one of the greatest stars of RuPaul's Drag Race. The All Stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel returns with razor sharp wit and breathtaking garments.

Sun 31 May

£31.25–£101.25 / 0131 529 6000

Vincent Simone: Tango Passions

Argentine Tango King and Strictly Come Dancing legend, Vincent Simone, returns to the stage with his brand new show… Tango Passions. Accompanied by world-class Argentine Tango specialists, plus Tango band Tango Siempre from his shows Midnight Tango and The Last Tango, let the original Italian stallion take you on a…

Wed 4 Nov

0131 529 6000

Reviews & features

The Edinburgh theatre scene beyond the Fringe

20 Sep 2018

We explore why Edinburgh's theatre scene is still alive and kicking, way beyond August

If you're arriving in Edinburgh in September, you're likely to be greeted by a litany of old Fringe flyers, with the occasional Festival poster still tacked up on a wall. But don't for a second think this means that Edinburgh's stages are winding down…

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.

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