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

Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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THE Scotsman’s arts critics round up their must-see films, theatre and concerts for the next week

POP: CHVRCHES

Scotland’s most successful new music export of the last few years returns home to play their city’s biggest and most challenging venue. Electro trio Chvrches are not known for their huge stage presence or sense of occasion, but they do boast a healthy number of epic synth pop songs with which to fill this arena, courtesy of a second album, Every Open Eye, which unapologetically foregrounds their skills with earworm hookline. Fiona Shepherd

Hydro, Glasgow, tonight, 0844 844 0444

CLASSICAL: Denève Returns

Stéphane Denève knows how to get the best in colour and atmosphere from his former charges at the RSNO. So the prospect of a programme featuring Debussy’s Marche écossaise and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (played by Steven Osborne) and La Valse is as mouthwatering as it gets. Also on the bill is the Scottish premiere of James MacMillan’s orchestral work, The Death of Oscar, commissioned by Denéve. Ken Walton

Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 8 April, 0131-228 1155; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 9 April, 0141-353 8000

THEATRE: International Waters

It’s bold, it’s harsh, and it gets very messy indeed. Writer/director David Leddy’s latest Fire Exit production is a thrillingly theatrical show about theatre’s big topic of the year – the clash between comfortable western lives and mounting chaos elsewhere. In a world in meltdown, four members of the super-rich class meet in the passenger lounge of a huge container ship fleeing the UK. “No refugee crisis ever looked so chic, darling,” says the publicity; but the elegance doesn’t last long, in a fierce 80-minute tragi-comedy that features a terrific ensemble performance from the crack team of Selina Boyack, Claire Dargo, Lesley Hart and Robin Laing. Joyce McMillan

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, tonight; Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, 5 April; and MacRobert, Stirling, 7-8 April, www.davidleddy.com

ART: Scots in Italy: Artists and Adventurers

Rome in the 18th century was what Paris was to become in the 19th. As in Paris, expatriates helped make the excitement – and foremost among them were the Scots. Artists, travellers and Jacobites, they made a heady mix and helped introduce into European art some of the most radical ideas of the Enlightenment. A new display at the Portrait Gallery presents the story of this seminal group of expatriates. Duncan Macmillan

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until 3 March 2019, 0131-624 6200