Theatre review: The Winter’s Tale

It’s a play of two halves, people often say. In truth, though, The Winter’s Tale is a play of at least three halves; and if you reckon that that makes more than one play well then you’re beginning to enter into the strange world of Shakespeare’s great late romance, where things don’t quite add up, and where magical redemption suddenly becomes possible, even in the frozen depths of grief.

Scott Reid is the centre of attention in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Theatre review: Pink Mist, Last Tango in Partick, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

It’s almost 11 years, now, since the National Theatre of Scotland launched its ground-breaking production Black Watch, an enthralling piece of physical and musical theatre based on verbatim interviews with Scottish soldiers who had served in Iraq. Since then many more shows have explored the experience of recent British veterans and their families.

Fringe shows have been staged in St Andrew Square Garden for the last three years.

Last-ditch plea over Fringe shows banned from historic square

Edinburgh Festival Fringe promoters have issued an eleventh-hour plea for a rethink over a ban on shows being staged in a historic New Town garden after city council chiefs rejected a bid to relocate them elsewhere.
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Fringe shows have been staged in St Andrew Square Garden for the last three years.

Spiegeltent could quit Fringe after St Andrew Square ban

The impresario behind one of the most celebrated venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe says it may have to quit the city after being forced out of its home in a historic New Town square.

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Transit by Zendeth Theatre

Interview: director Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh on her new show Transit

In an airport lounge at Schiphol, a father and daughter meet. She has grown up in Iran, choosing to be with her mother during the turbulent years when the country’s Islamic revolution was taking hold, amid the horror of the Iran-Iraq war; he is a music professor who has chosen a privileged life in the West. The year is 1988; and as they speak, an event takes place that shakes the world, and highlights both the distance between them, and the fate they share.

David Hayman

Theatre review: The Cause of Thunder

There’s so much history standing behind this latest touring show from Fair Pley Theatre of Glasgow that it sometimes seems to stagger a little under the pressure. There’s the whole history of the Scottish Labour and trade union movement, embodied in the character of Bob Cunningham, the retirement-age union official whose story shapes this new Chris Dolan monologue, as it did Dolan’s 2014 pre-referendum piece for the same character, The Pitiless Storm.

The cast of Cuttin A Rug

Theatre reviews: Cuttin’ A Rug | Made in India

The front of house staff are in swirling Fifties dresses with petticoats, and there’s a rock’n’roll band playing up a storm in the foyer; yup, it must be time for the second instalment of the Citizens’ slow-burning revival of John Byrne’s great Slab Boys trilogy. And things look good, as Caroline Paterson opens her production of Cuttin’ A Rug – set at Stobo’s annual Christmas dance in Paisley Town Hall – with an atmospheric glimpse of old newsreels and movies.

The year is 1957, the affluent society is on the horizon, and Bernadette, the dispatch-room lovely, will not have to rely on parcels from America for much longer, when it comes to glamorous clothes.

Joyce Falconer and Karen Fishwick in Dirt Under The Carpet

Theatre review: Dirt Under The Carpet

It’s a world hidden from most of us, as we snooze our way through the night. Yet in Britain today, hundreds of thousands of people, most of them women, scrape a living as part of the army of cleaners who start work as early as 3am, in the office blocks, hotels and malls that dominate our cities.

The cast of A Judgement In Stone

Theatre review: A Judgement In Stone

Ruth Rendell’s fine novel, A Judgement In Stone, begins with a sentence in which she tells us who committed the murder at the heart at the story, and the reason why. The rest of the book is the tense working-out of a tale of class hatred and unspoken pain gradually distilling into a ferocious act of violence that destroys the lives of four people.

Guerilla by Conde de Torrefiel from Spain. Part of Take Me Somewhere, opening 22 February

Preview: Joyce McMillan looks forward to Glasgow’s Take Me Somewhere festival

Scotland’s most exciting artists and makers come out to play for Glasgow’s first Take Me Somewhere festival, which also promises a dynamic international dimension

Still Game: Live 2 Bon Voyage. Picture: Graeme Hunter

Review: Still Game Live 2 at the SSE Hydro

Joyce McMillan reviews the latest Still Game live show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

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The End of Things PIC:  Brian Hartley

Theatre reviews: Manipulate festival

On a stage, there’s a huge red plush armchair, and a tall, slim young woman, checking out her ticket like any other member of the audience. She soon discovers that her seat is the big one on stage; and from that moment, it’s all about her relationship with the chair, as she struggles to find a comfortable position on it, luxuriates in it and massages its shoulders, suddenly disappears into it, and then reappears again, from unexpected angles.

Michelle Collins as Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie PIC: Darren Bell

Theatre review: Thoroughly Modern Millie

IT’S the lightest of romantic comedies, and it struggles to get round the old-fashioned racial stereotypes in the original 1967 film. Yet if you want an evening of sheer, blissful entertainment in Edinburgh this weekend - with fabulous dancing, and a gorgeous 1920s New York set - then Thoroughly Modern Millie is your show, not least because of a storming star performance from lovely Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton, who dances like a dream, sings pretty well, and also develops some fine comic body-language, in the role of our heroine, Millie Dillmount.

St Andrew Square has been one of the main outdoor arenas at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the last three years.

Ban on St Andrew Square festival shows for Fringe's 70th birthday

FESTIVAL shows are to be turfed out of one of Edinburgh’s main public spaces this year - on the 70th anniversary of the Fringe.
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In 2014, Still Game Live drew an audience of almost a quarter of a million to Glasgow's SSE Hydro

Joyce McMillan on the huge appeal of Still Game on stage

The big venue tricks borrowed from rock concerts made Still Game Live a new kind of theatrical experience. But as thousands flock to the new show, it is the writing that has embedded Jack and Victor in Scottish hearts

The cast of Let The Right One In rehearsing in Rockvilla PIC: Gillian Hayes

Joyce McMillan on Rockvilla, the National Theatre of Scotland’s new £6.5 million home

It was a beautiful, misty winter’s morning in Glasgow, as the Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop raised a giant pair of scissors, invited the assembled local schoolchildren to count down from five, and – with the help of Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety – cut the big red ribbon wrapped around the National Theatre of Scotland’s new headquarters at Rockvilla, designed by Hoskins Architects, on a curve of the Glasgow Canal just north of Port Dundas.

Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan will be bringing Jack and Victor back to the Hydro this weekend.

Jack and Victor to struggle in a freezing flat in new Still Game show

STILL Game favourites Jack and Victor are set to do battle with the impact of a big freeze - but their creators have promised their new stage show will be kept free of politics.
Lifestyle 2
Fisk, part of the Manipulate festival

Theatre reviews: Fisk | Lysistrata

In the dark of an Edinburgh January, there’s always something magical about the first day of the Manipulate Festival of visual theatre at the Traverse. Suddenly, the building is full of cutting-edge theatre artists from across Scotland and across Europe and North America, taking part in workshops and masterclasses, sampling and responding to works in progress. It’s not a noisy festival, but below ground at the Traverse, it fairly simmers and glows; and on Saturday, the main attraction – in Traverse 1 – was the latest production by young Edinburgh company Tortoise In A Nutshell, now working with Danish company Katapult on a show called Fisk, about a man in crisis who sets sail in a fragile paper boat, apparently bent on suicide, only to be interrupted by an encounter with a huge and colourful fish.

Michelle Collins prepares for Thoroughly Modern Millie and her own play, A Dark Night in Dalston. Picture: Debra Hurford Brown, Hair and Make up Shari Rendle, thanks to The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, London

Interview: Michelle Collins on a thoroughly modern career

MICHELLE Collins is embracing life as a character actress, she tells Janet Christie, back on stage and on the road

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