Scotsman critics’ choice: Five must-see shows on this week

Arthur Melville: Adventures in Colour. Picture: Jane Barlow

Arthur Melville: Adventures in Colour. Picture: Jane Barlow

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THE Scotsman’s arts critics round up their must-see films, theatre and concerts for the next week

POP: The Charlatans

The Charlatans, above, are often characterised as indie survivors, having weathered changing trends and come through their unfair share of band tragedy to emerge indestructible more than a quarter of a century on. Current album Modern Nature is one of their more inspired efforts, the kind of music you would expect these mature indie kids to produce, especially in response to the death of their beloved drummer Jon Brookes. Fiona Shepherd

Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 14 December, 0131-228 1155; Caird Hall, Dundee, 15 December, 01382 434451

THEATRE: Tracks Of The Winter Bear

Once again, the Traverse offers an alternative to the panto season with a full-blown mainstage theatre production; and this time it’s a double bill of winter love stories written by two of Scotland’s leading playwrights, Stephen Greenhorn of Passing Places and Sunshine On Leith, and Rona Munro, author of The James Plays. Billed as “two plays, one inspiration, a seasonal tale of lovers, loners and carnivores,” the plays are directed by Traverse associate Zinnie Harris and artistic director Orla O’Loughlin; and David Paul Jones provides the music, for what should be a magical evening of Christmas theatre, for grown-ups. Joyce McMillan

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until 24 December, 0131-228 1404

ART: Arthur Melville: Adventures In Colour

Arthur Melville is the great unsung hero of Scottish art. His wonderful show at the National Gallery, right, is an eye-opener and certainly one of the top shows of the year. Make it a Christmas treat, or at least don’t let time slip by till you find you have missed it. It’s only on till 17 January. Duncan Macmillan

Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 17 January, 0131-624 6200

CLASSICAL: SCO & Llyr Williams

Familiar faces and some great music to go with them in this week’s SCO concert. It features violinist Alexander Janiczek as soloist/director in Mozart’s bubbly Violin Concerto in B flat and Rondo Concertante, and the other star guest is pianist Llyr Williams, bringing his uniquely intense interpretational style to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3. CPE Bach’s Symphony in E flat opens the programme. Ken Walton

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 17 December, 0131-668 2019; City Halls, Glasgow, 18 December, 0141-353 8000; Aberdeen Music Hall, 19 December, 01224 641122

FILM: I Do?

It’s coming up for a year since same-sex marriage was legalised in Scotland and to mark the occasion the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) have teamed up with the BFI for a short season of screenings linked to the latter’s ongoing “Love” season. I Do? kicks off with Fire, the first gay-themed commercial movie to be made in India, and follows on with a shorts programme that includes Homotopia, a radical queer rejection of the very idea of marriage. The season draws to a close on the actual anniversary with screenings of Cloudburst and the ace Annette Bening/Julianne Moore film The Kids Are All Right. Alistair Harkness

Various venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Orkney and Inverness, 13-16 December, www.bfi.org.uk/love

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