Theatre review: The Addams Family – The Musical Comedy

It’s a rare privilege and thrill to be present at the world premiere of what’s clearly set to be a smash-hit production of a wildly popular musical; but that’s what happened to the lucky audience at the Festival Theatre on Tuesday night, as Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics officially rang up the curtain on The Addams Family–The Musical Comedy, a brilliantly revised and re-energised version of Andrew Lippa’s 2010 Broadway hit, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Bill Ward plays Detective Superintendent Roy Grace with Laura Whitmore as pathologist Cleo

Theatre review: Not Dead Enough

First the bad news: there are no claims to be made about this Peter James thriller, adapted by Shaun McKenna, as a serious piece of drama, or even a respectably well-crafted one. The story creaks like an old cell door and the ending is preposterous, and some of the acting barely rises above the level of the script, which sets a pretty low bar.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival will spill out of Charlotte Square and onto George Street this August.

Edinburgh Fringe and book festival to join forces for 70th anniversary arena

Fringe promoters are set to join forces with organisers of Edinburgh’s long-running book festival to run venues due to take over part of one of the capital’s main thoroughfares.

Ian McDiarmid had the pivotal role as the Emperor in the Star Wars films.

Star Wars villain Ian McDiarmid to play Enoch Powell on Edinburgh stage

He is known to millions of movie fans as the man behind the villainous Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars blockbusters.
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A specially-branded open top bus was unveiled today to coincide with the World Fringe Day launch.

Global festivals celebration to mark Edinburgh Fringe's 70th birthday

A global celebration of festivals is to be staged for 24 hours in the run-up to the 70th anniversary Edinburgh Fringe - in a bit to emulate the worldwide buzz generated by St Patrick’s Day and Burns Night.
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Each Other by Scottish Ballet, choreographed by Israeli-Dutch duo Ivgi & Greben.

Dance reviews: Scottish Ballet’s Each Other & Mark Murphy’s V-TOL: Out of this World

It’s not unheard of for a ballet company to bring a tear to the eye. A tender pas de deux, emotive death scene or moment of sheer beauty can do it. None of which are evident in Scottish Ballet’s latest work, created by choreographic duo Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben. Instead, Each Other touches us in other ways, tapping into our very human need to belong. Hailing from Israel and the Netherlands respectively, Ivgi and Greben were inspired by worldwide tensions born out of intolerance and fear. The walls and borders that separate us, existing or planned, are replicated by shoes – two tonnes of them, sculpted into piles by the dancers to form partitions or islands.

Billy Mack as William Thomas Baxter and Irene MacDougall (as Marianne Baxter) in Monstrous Bodies at Dundee Rep. PIC:  Jane Hobson.

Theatre review: Monstrous Bodies

It’s almost 35 years since Liz Lochhead launched her remarkable playwriting career with Blood And Ice, a play inspired by the extraordinary life and imagination of the woman who wrote Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. And now, out of the darkness of Dundee Rep’s beautiful, sweeping stage, comes another magnificent Shelley-inspired drama about the unending struggle for women’s rights and self-determination – a struggle which 200 years ago shaped the lives of Mary Shelley and her remarkable mother, the campaigner and writer Mary Wollstonecraft, and which continues unabated today, when despite so many gains over the last century, young women face brand new hazards of online abuse and hatred.

Funny Girl stars Sheridan smith

Theatre review: Funny Girl – The Musical Coriolanus Vanishes Voices in Her Ear

WITH Nell Gwynn at the King’s, and Funny Girl at the Playhouse, women on stage is a major theme in Edinburgh theatre this week; and what’s striking is how little seems to have changed, in 350 years, in a culture that still often seems prefer its women pretty, decorative, and not too mouthy.

Laura Pitt-Pulford delivers a funny, raunchy yet nuanced performance as Nell

Theatre review: Nell Gwynn

THE lights go up, at the King’s in Edinburgh, on a set by Hugh Durrant that looks as if it might have been made for this gorgeous Edwardian theatre; a glowing red-and-gold half-circle of theatrical arches and boxes that merges seamlessly into the curves of the King’s auditorium, reminding us of the centuries of history that led to this vision of how a theatre should look. And there, on the edge of the stage, sits Nell Gwynn the russet-haired orange-seller, thoroughly at home in a theatre where ushers with trays of interval ice-cream still take up position in the same aisle, and where pantomime stars regularly venture into the audience, as if the famous “fourth wall” had never existed.

Cameron Blakely as Gomez and Samantha Womack as Morticia in the touring show of The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy. Picture: Matt Martin

Theatre: The producer bringing The Addams Family to the Edinburgh theatre he used to run

Since leaving his job running the King’s and Festival Theatres, John Stalker has worked as a producer of touring shows. His latest is creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky – and at the EFT until the end of the month

Off Kilter

Joyce McMillan: the relationship between music and theatre comes under the microscope in this year’s Mayfesto

In tough political times, it seems that we often turn to music to point a way forward. From the tremendous black music tradition that helped shape the civil rights movement in America, to Rock Against Racism in the 1970s and 80s, music can often seem like the voice of the future, at a time when ordinary political language seems to fail us; so it’s perhaps not surprising that this year, the Tron Theatre’s annual mini-festival of radical and provocative new work is all about exploring the relationship between music and theatre, and showing how – in an age of ever-expanding technical possibilities – each art form can drive the other forward.

Jamie Sives starred in The James Plays at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014.

Postman turned actor to play John Knox on stage

A former postman and scaffolder who won a screen role in Game of Thrones is to step into the shoes of John Knox on stage.

Under the Skin

Dance review: Scottish Ballet Digital Season

We all sense the passing of time, and its impact upon our physical being – but perhaps more than most, dancers feel that change more keenly. So it seems apposite that Scottish Ballet’s first ever digital season, while rejoicing in the wonders of technological advancement, never loses sight of the human body, and its relationship with time.

A Machine They're Secretly Building

Theatre review: A Machine They’re Secretly Building

On the way out of this show, performers Rachel Baynton and Gillian Lees hand out programmes to the audience. Actually, they’re more like political leaflets. The credits for the cast and crew of Lincoln’s Proto-type Theatre take second billing to learned quotes from Michel Foucault and Tim Berners-Lee, as well as links to articles and campaign groups.

An ITV tribute to Billy Connolly's career will be broadcast this week. Picture: Contributed

Billy Connolly removed from school records over ‘blasphemy’

Billy Connolly was scratched from his old school’s records and branded blasphemous by its teachers when he became famous, a new TV tribute to the star has revealed.

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Irvine Welsh's new stage play has been inspired by the cult gangland film Performance.

Irvine Welsh to premiere new play at Edinburgh Fringe

Irvine Welsh has revealed he is to premiere a brand new play at this summer’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe – set at the height of the swinging Sixties.

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Foil , Arms and Hog , Irish comedy sketch trio

Comedy review: Foil, Arms and Hog

Irish sketch trio Foil, Arms and Hog have quietly built up a cult following, packing the Stand out on a Monday night despite having little profile in Scotland beyond their YouTube channel and Edinburgh Fringe appearances of eight years. It’s easy to see why they’ve endured while other, less committed sketch acts have fallen by the wayside. Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog) prefer high-concept skits and their best work is generally loose but well written. However, it’s their knockabout energy and rapport with the audience as they wade in and out of the crowd, consistently dragging them into their tomfoolery, that sets them apart.

ALL OR NOTHING - The 'Mod' Musical is a trans-generational musical experience celebrating the unique sound of the iconic Mod band, THE SMALL FACES. Including an arsenal of brilliant hits like 'Whatcha Gonna Do About It', 'All Or Nothing', 'Tin Soldier', 'Lazy Sunday', 'Here Comes The Nice' and 'Itchycoo Park'.

Theatre reviews: His Final Bow | And Then Come the Nightjars | All or Nothing

You wait years for a play about men hanging out in a barn, then two come along in a week. The best of these is His Final Bow, a punchy lunchtime play by Peter Arnott that imagines the last days of actor John Wilkes Booth after he shot President Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head. On the run with a star-struck sympathiser, the pro-slavery supporter takes refuge on a Virginian farm in the vain hope of escaping the authorities. It’s not a spoiler to say things don’t end well for him.

A Number

Theatre review: A Number

The Edinburgh International Science Festival has impacted on theatre significantly this year, with major productions connected to it at the Traverse, by Grid Iron/Lung Ha/Lyceum at the zoo, and this one, on the Lyceum stage. Caryl Churchill’s short play (just under an hour), first staged at the Royal Court in 2002, is presented in conjunction with nightly pre-show discussions around the theme of identity.

Tyler Collins, second right, in Last Dream (On Earth), is back in the USA and reapplying for a visa. Picture: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Theatre: The struggle international artists face to stay and work in Scotland

International artists enrich our cultural life, but proving it to the Home Office is easier said than done

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