Things to do in Edinburgh: Our Top Five Picks

Stuck in the capital this week with nothing to do?

Follow our guide to find the best events Edinburgh has to offer.

5. Cinderella – Australian Ballet

STARRING: Leanne Stojmenov, Kevin Jackson, Ako Kondo

Released: 23rd November

cinderella

Picture Credit: The Australian Ballet

The classic fairy-tale returns in beautiful ballet form. If you can’t catch it on stage, you can watch it at your local cinema.

The award-winning, critically acclaimed production, created by Alexei Ratmansky, one of the world’s most sought after choreographers, puts a twist on the story of Cinderella, her wicked step-mother and sisters and of course the glass slipper.

After sell-out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide the show makes its way to London, and various Vue cinemas, including Edinburgh. Be sure not to miss the ball.

4. Book Week Scotland

book-week

Scotland’s Book Week

Book Week Scotland, beginning yesterday (Monday 21st) and is running until Sunday 27th November, is a week-long event organised by the Scottish Book Trust that aims to celebrate reading and writing amongst the young and the old alike.

Featuring talks and events across the country, speakers like Tony Robinson and Val McDermid will be appearing to discuss their work and love of literature face to face with readers. For any lover of books, this one is not to be missed!

3. Edinburgh Christmas Market

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Edinburgh Christmas Market began this week with Sunday’s Light Night which officially launched Christmas in Edinburgh.

From Five Guys Named Moe on the West End stage to the European Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens.

Get yourself in the Christmas mood and visit the event website for more information.

2. Ghost The Musical starts run at Edinburgh Playhouse

Ghost the musical starts its six day run tonight at Edinburgh Playhouse.

playhouse

Ghost starts it’s run at Edinburgh Playhouse

Produced by Bill Kenwright, the musical presents a re-imagined, unchained version of the classic film.

Sarah Harding, the Girls Aloud singer and actress, makes her stage debut as Molly, opposite Hollyoaks star Rhys Ashworth as ‘Sam’.

The musical is based on the Academy Award winning movie and starred the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.

The plot sees Sam tragically murdered in front of his girlfriend, Molly. Sam finds himself trapped between this world and the next. Assisted by a psychic Sam attempts to communicate with Molly and protect her from imminent danger.

With such a popular film to live up to, fans have been promised the iconic scene in which Molly sculpts a pot to the Righteous Brother’s Unchained Melody will also feature in the musical version.

Ghost The Musical premieres tonight at the Edinburgh Playhouse at 7.30pm and runs till Saturday and then tours to Nottingham.

1. The Heavy

Good news for all Edinburgh-based fans of indie rock, as ‘The Heavy’ are playing at Liquid Room tonight.

The band from Bath will be presenting their new Album ‘Hurt & The Merciless’, which is in line with what makes The Heavy’s style so unique: powerful arrangements, rough guitar sounds and, of course, Kelvin Swaby’s haunting voice – all topped up with drums that promise to make an audience go wild.

Tickets are available online

 

Spamalot opens at Playhouse tonight

Monty Python’s Spamalot, a hit Broadway musical is opening at the Edinburgh Playhouse tonight.  Written by Eric Idel and John du Prez, this production of the “rip-off” of Monty Python will run for six-days.

The production stars former Doctor Who Star Bonnie Langford and this UK tour will run in Edinburgh for 6 days.  In celebration of the musical, a giant spam tin is making appearances around the city centre, visiting Edinburgh Castle, the National Gallery and Parliament.

Spamalot tells the story of King Arthur and his knights of the round table à la Monty Python.  Featuring the 1975 film’s killer rabbits, foul-mouthed Frenchmen alongside Broadway staples like chorus girls, the show was immensely popular in the US, winning the TONY award for best musical in 2005.

The show begins at 7:30 Monday-Saturday (matinees at 2:30).  Tickets can be purchased on The Playhouse’s website for between £15.50 and £39.50.

UK Touring Theatre in Audience Decline

An empty space: The future of Theatre?

By Anne Mackie

West End theatre has experienced a record breaking year in 2010 according to theatre producer Colin Ingram. Regrettably the same box office breaking statistics do not parallel the success of touring productions across the UK.

In a report produced by Ingram it was publicised that touring theatre is in decline due to high ticket pricing across the UK. Ingram said:

“Only popular musicals are touring the UK due to the simple fact that they are easier to fund. Fewer people are going to the theatre because there is the cheaper and frankly modern option of reality television and 3D cinema. Theatre is valued as too traditional in society today”.

A survey across major UK theatrical venues revealed 57 per cent of the population would rather watch reality television including The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing than attend a theatrical production.

With ticket prices averaging £42, the cheapest peaking at £32, the BBC and ITV are undeniably winning television ratings. In 2009, the ITV’s X-Factor audience peaked at 20 million – 62% of the television audience.

Regular theatre-goer, Jonny Farley expressed his concerns regarding the rising price of theatre tickets:

“There should be a better pricing system with more advantageous offers. I’m seeing fewer shows as a result of the current box office prices”.

The average theatre goer has risen from 25 to 43 years of age. As a result, producers are placing less emphasis in new innovative theatre writing. ‘Safety net’ shows including the Rat Pack concept, appealing to an older audience are persistently regurgitated. Investor of Rat Pack show ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’, David Warnock explained their consistent popularity:

“These shows are churned out time after time because they work. Audiences want to relive Frank Sinatra’s song. They bring in more money than your average new musical for the simple fact that they are popularly reliable”.

Theatre productions on all levels face considerable competition from both rivalling theatre groups, and large scale television companies. Audiences are left to debate a Saturday night on the sofa or in the stalls unless a significant reduction in ticket pricing is met.

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