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

Bay City Rollers. Picture: John Devlin
Bay City Rollers. Picture: John Devlin
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THE Scotsman’s arts critics round up their must-see films, theatre and concerts for the next week, including Bay City Rollers in concert and a screening of Die Hard, the most unlikely Christmas film ever

POP: Bay City Rollers

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Various configurations of Scotland’s biggest boy band have been doing the touring rounds for years, trying to claw back some of the money they were denied at the height of Rollermania. But the factions have now come together for this feverishly anticipated reunion of Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir and Stuart Wood, above, from the globe-conquering line-up of the 1970s. Tartan scarves at the ready to salute some of the finest bubblegum pop of that or any era. Fiona Shepherd

Barrowland, Glasgow, tomorrow until 23 December; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 27 and 28 December, 0844 844 0444

CLASSICAL: RSNO Christmas Concert

Of all the orchestral Christmas concerts, the RSNO’s tends to hit the spot for seasonal family entertainment. The formula rarely changes – a live music screening of The Snowman, with Scots actress Georgie Glen narrating this year, and a host of other Christmas gems from the RSNO, its choruses and the colourful Christopher Bell to liven things up from the podium. Ken Walton

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, today (two performances), 0131-353 8000);Usher Hall, Edinburgh, tomorrow, 0131-228 1155

THEATRE: Beauty & The Beast

In a world where Christmas shows are often bought in from the UK’s big panto providers, and then given a last-minute local twist, it’s a joy to see Ian Grieve’s Perth production of Beauty & The Beast, a gorgeous piece of theatrical home cooking created from scratch in Perthshire, using all the best local ingredients. There are gorgeous sets by Pitlochry regular Ken Harrison, great music and dancing, and a conspicuously local setting in the wee Tayside town of Auchendreich; and there’s also a brilliantly chosen cast of familiar Scottish theatre stars, led by Barrie Hunter as the unstoppable Dame Betty Blumenthal. Joyce McMillan

Perth Concert Hall, until 26 December, 01738 621031

ART: Society of Scottish Artists Anunal Exhibition

Running into the new year, this year’s SSA exhibition will mark the 125th anniversary of the Society’s foundation. Formed in protest at the stuffiness of the Academy, it has kept its progressive character. Don’t miss it because it’s competing with Christmas shopping. Indeed it might be the place to find that important present that has eluded you. Duncan Macmillan

RSA, Edinburgh, 21 December until 18 January, www.s-s-a.org

FILM: Die Hard

“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except... the four a**holes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation.” One of the many quotable lines from Die Hard there, which has become the de facto Christmas classic for moviegoers who like their seasonal movies with guns, explosions and wise-cracking dialogue. As vest-wearing old school New York cop John McClane, Bruce Willis has never been better, and nor has Alan Rickman, elevating withering disdain to Olympian levels as Hans Gruber, who is trying to steal from the vaults of Nakatomi plaza on Christmas Eve. Alistair Harkness

Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, 24 December, www.picturehouses.com