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

The James Plays - James III: The True Mirror. 
Matthew Pidgeon stars as James III with Malin Cre�pin as Margaret, Queen of Scots

The James Plays - James III: The True Mirror. Matthew Pidgeon stars as James III with Malin Cre�pin as Margaret, Queen of Scots

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

THEATRE: The James Plays

They’re just back from a triumphant tour of Australia and New Zealand; and now there’s a brief chance for home audiences to catch up with the National Theatre of Scotland’s mighty and much-debated James Plays trilogy, before it begins a long swing through the cities of England. Directed by Laurie Sansom, Rona Munro’s huge piece of ensemble theatre is breathtaking in scale, as is John Bausor’s great arena set; and it features haunting performances from Steven Miller, Andrew Rothney and Matthew Pidgeon as the three kings, struggling to forge a modern nation in the turbulent landscape of 15th century Scotland. Joyce McMillan

Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, 30 March until 2 April; King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 8-10 April, www.nationaltheatrescotland.com

READ MORE: Read Joyce McMillan’s review of The James Plays

CLASSICAL: Piano Sundays in Perth: Tom Poster

Tom Poster, above, a former winner of the Scottish International Piano Competition, is the focus of this weekend’s Piano Sundays in Perth, where he plays a varied solo recital programme of Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn and Ravel. Ken Walton

Perth Concert Hall, 27 March, 01738 621031

POP: Primal Scream

Primal Scream don’t really do low-key but these latest Scottish shows are a suitably intimate way to introduce their hardened indie rock fans to the unashamedly pop material from new album Chaosmosis. Its self-styled “ecstatic, depressive realism”, as coined by frontman Bobby Gillespie, adds another strand to an already diverse setlist which encompasses trippy, trancey anthems, Neanderthal rock’n’roll, turbo-charged industrial electronica, rip-roaring rootsy workouts and the occasional anguished ballad. Fiona Shepherd

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, 29 March, 01224 647 647; ABC, Glasgow, 30 March, 0141-332 2232

READ MORE: Read Malcolm Jack’s Scotsman interview with Bobby Gillespie

ART: Graham Fagen

In the arts and crafts splendour of Arbroath’s Hospitalfield House, which is full of paintings and decorative furniture, it takes a minute for the eye to adjust. Then out of the ornamental throng looms Graham Fagen’s beautiful, sinister bronze sculpture Rope Tree. Made for the Scottish presentation at last year’s Venice Biennale, Fagen’s sculpture, drawings and video works have returned to Scotland where they muse upon Robert Burns and Scotland’s legacy of slavery, and evoke the complicated magic of Venice itself. Moira Jeffrey

Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, until 17 April, 01241 656124

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