Theatre review: Queens Of Syria, Edinburgh

Sometimes, a piece of theatre appears that simply transcends theatre, and becomes a vital document for our time. Queens Of Syria, now on tour around the UK, is one of those shows; a version of Euripides’s Trojan Women that brings together a cast of 13 Syrian refugee women now living in Jordan, and – within a slender frame-work of choruses from the original drama – invites them to tell their own stories of loss, exile and horror, and to protest against a timeless human tragedy now repeating itself in front of our eyes.

At the CCA, Glasgow. Picture: Google

Theatre review: The End of Things, Glasgow

Death isn’t something we’re terribly good at facing up to, until it’s quite literally staring us in the face, which, half-way through this new work from Glasgow’s Company of Wolves, it is – in a most confrontational manner.

Bard in the Botanics delivers a fine Faustus despite having a cast of only three people. Picture: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Theatre review: Doctor Faustus, Glasgow

Most standard editions of Christopher Marlowe’s mighty 1588 play Dr Faustus list 28 characters on stage, so it’s a measure of the radical energy writer-director Jennifer Dick brings to this new adaptation – as well as of the limited resources the Bard In The Botanics season brings to its annual summer magic – that this wild, noisy, and sometimes thrilling 90 minutes of theatre somehow succeeds in telling the story through just three actors.

Edinburgh's spectacular end-of-festival fireworks display. Picture: Contributed

Edinburgh International Festival Fireworks: What you need to know

THE capital’s annual fireworks display marks the end of the festival season in spectacular style. If you plan to watch next month’s pyrotechnic extravaganza, here’s what you need to know

Ian Rankin will be one of several high-profile figures to perform the show. Picture: PA

Ian Rankin to help read Chilcot Report in its entirety at Fringe show

A host of comedians and authors are to read the entirety of the Chilcot report at the Edinburgh Fringe.

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The Edinburgh International Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary. Picture: Neil Hanna

EIF’s 70th anniversary plans to be rethought in wake of Brexit

The director of the Edinburgh International Festival says he is having to rethink plans to mark the 70th anniversary of the event in the wake of the Brexit vote – to underline that its links with Europe are “as strong as ever.”

Theatre 18
The Pleasance Courtyard, one of Edinburgh's most popular Fringe venues. Picture: Pleasance Theatre Trust

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: 10 key venues

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Boris Johnson has had an interesting few months. Picture: Getty

Tom Crawshaw: Why making a Boris Johnson play has been tough

There is a good reason that most Fringe shows wait until a person’s life is over before telling their story. Just like history, biography requires a look back on an entire life or career to construct a narrative.

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he 306: Dawn

Joyce McMillan: Wanted: creative visionary for the NTS

After a long review, the National Theatre of Scotland has begun its search for a new artistic director. It’s a big, but very desirable job

Keith Fleming as Coleman and David Ganly as Valene

Theatre review: The Lonesome West, Glasgow

There are two things worth noting before we tangle with Martin McDonagh’s great 1997 black comedy, now revived in a superb and satisfying Tron production by Andy Arnold.

Ukraine's culture minister Yevhen Nyshchuk in a performance of Narnia

Joyce McMillan: How the Traverse reached out to Ukraine

The Traverse’s Class Act scheme has always had the power to help young lives, but rolling it out to Ukraine took things to another level

Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

Theatre review: Rumple Still-Skint, Glasgow

All the ingredients for fine political jokery are present and correct, in the latest Oran Mor summer panto for grown-ups, written by David Anderson - who also plays the Dame - and young star writer Gary McNair.

Christopher Price and Kirsty Mackay in RolePlay. Picture: Douglas McBride

Theatre review: GamePlan, FlatSpin and RolePlay

This year at Pitlochry, it’s all about the sets. In the opening production, Carousel, the set was so elaborate that it almost seemed to overwhelm the acting and singing.

Emma Watson gave the play a positive review. Picture: Getty

Emma Watson ‘met younger self’ at Harry Potter play

Harry Potter star Emma Watson felt she was “meeting her older self” as she embraced the actress who plays Hermione in JK Rowling’s new stage play.

'It's just cats.' Picture: Getty Images

Theatre review: Cats, Edinburgh Playhouse

Look, I get why everyone loves a six-second cat clip on Vine. And I see the funny side of that #CatsAgainstBrexit hashtag. I’ll go further and say there must be pleasure in flicking through TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

Queen of Syria

Joyce McMillan: Survivors of Syrian conflict find their voice

When Reem Alssayyah first walked into a rehearsal-room in Amman in the autumn of 2013, and began to read the script of Euripides’ Trojan Women, her eyes fell on some lines spoken by the defeated Trojan queen, Hecuba, whose terrible plight forms the centrepiece of the drama, first performed in Athens 2,400 years ago.

Twelfth Night left the audience in suspense when the weather  an abiding danger at the Bard In The Botanics  struck again. Picture: Contributed

Theatre review: Twelfth Night, Botanic Gardens, Glasgow

It was all going so well at the Bard In The Botanics’ new production of Twelfth Night – the leafy outdoor setting, the fierce but strangely Shakespearean cross-casting, and the early Sixties look, complete with enviable play-list of hits from stars like Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black, plus nifty choreography by cast member Stephanie McGregor.

Joyce McMillan. Picture: Neil Hanna

Brian Ferguson: Scottish theatre brought to book in a timely way

For a book that was several years in the making, there was remarkable timing about the launch of Scotsman chief theatre critic and columnist Joyce McMillan’s new collection of theatre writing.

Vinyl Idol provides some perfect pastiche. Picture: Leslie Black

Theatre review: Vinyl Idol, Glasgow

CLARA may be a material girl, in a material world, but the material that interests her is all to do with dreams of the glamorous 1950’s, and of the great male stars of that vinyl era, from Frank Sinatra to Cliff Richard.

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