5-star

The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute by Scottish Opera. Photo: James Glossop.

Mozart’s classic ‘Singspiel’ The Magic Flute is a ravishing, glittering success. If you are new to Opera, this is probably one of the best ways to get an introduction, and this production will delight and surprise even the most seasoned opera fan. It’s in the form of what was known as a ‘Singspiel’ – telling…

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Local Hero

Local Hero at Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

It’s a big risk to take such an iconic, well-loved Scottish film and turn it into a stage musical. But Local Hero at The Lyceum is a triumphant, joyous and uplifting success. From the start, sparse, simple staging and subtle washes of light create an intimate, evocative atmosphere, with earthy humour and a distinctly Scottish…

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Touching the Void

Touching the Void, Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

I can recall many theatre performances. But I can only once recall seeing anything quite as accomplished,  astonishing and as well crafted as Touching the Void.* Story. Dialogue. Characters. Lighting. Sound. Set. Props. Movement. Music. All fused together to provide a jaw dropping spectacle that was an immersive and complete work of art. I was…

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Twelfth Night

Guy Hughes and Dawn Sievewright. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

Gender-bending, gloriously psychedelic, and deeply, madly groovy. This is a riot of music and colour carried off by a stellar cast, bringing this complex story to life with an energy and flair that is jaw-dropping, and includes the most show-stopping second half opener I have seen in years. The action opens in a debauched 60s /…

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Jo Caulfield: Killing Time

Jo Caulfield Edinburgh Festival 2018

Jo Caulfield walks on to stage, sizes up the audience in moments, and proceeds to question, mock and taunt them. The venue offers a welcoming bar at the side of the room, and is packed out even this early on in the run – early booking would definitely be prudent to make sure you catch…

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More Moira Monologues

Alan Bissett as Moira Bell in More Moira Monologues

Bisset, male, author. Plays Moira, female, cleaner. Completely straight. And she’s a foul mouthed, deeply funny, chain-smoking delight. It’s easy to see why this show won a Fringe First in 2017. This is deeply confessional, but still light as a meringue, and all at the same time, covers acres, hectares of difficult, sensitive and tricky…

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The Moira Monologues

Alan Bissett as Moira Bell in The Moira Monologues

Falkirk. Or tae be mair exact, Fawkirk. This is a sheer classic, and is both theatre and comedy, making a welcome return 8 years after its first appearance at the Fringe in 2010. And it’s still fast, fresh and very funny. The language is explicit lowland Scots, Fawkirk variety, and Bisset plays Moira Bell, a…

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Preview: The Sacrifice Zones by James O’Brien

James O'Brien

A small, intimate venue, a healthy crowd, and an understated, eloquent performance of searing political poetry. O’Brien is not new to stage performance, but is best known as a theatre director, having brought  his legendary GIRO Theatre Company to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on several occasions in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the company performed internationally…

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Meeting Jim

Meeting Jim

I’ve invited myself to Sunday dinner at Jim Haynes’ Montparnasse atelier at least four times.  Hold on. What kind of jackass invites themselves to dinner? Well, since he first started his dinners in 1978, there have been about 200,000 such jackasses visiting Paris by Jim’s reckoning. He says he has a mission to introduce everyone…

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Eugene Onegin

Eugene Onegin - Scottish Opera

Eugene Onegin towers over the Russian literature of the 19th century, and Tchaikovsky’s decision to create an opera based on a text which is still widely read (and regularly re-read) by Russians today was highly audacious. It is a sign of Tchaikovsky’s brilliance that the Opera, rather than the novel in verse it was based…

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