DCSIMG

Critics choice: What to see this week

The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society | Sweet Smell of Success | Victoria Crowe | RSNO: John Lill Plays Grieg | Slow Club / Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler / Cerys by Candlelight

THEATRE

THE ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE APPRECIATION SOCIETY

TRAVERSE THEATRE, EDINBURGH, UNTIL 22 DECEMBER

IF YOU’RE not in panto mood – but you do fancy a gently entertaining Christmas show for grown-ups – then this lightweight but finely-crafted show about the strange life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is for you. Created by the Traverse and the anarchic comedy group Peepolykus, the show takes the form of a much-interrupted lecture about the Edinburgh-born Sir Arthur’s complex relationship with his super-rational hero Sherlock Homes, delivered by harassed but lovable young academic Jenny McGeary. There’s plenty of slapstick and silliness; but there’s also some deep thought about life, death, illusion and loss, matched by a beautiful central performance from Gabriel Quigley, and some gorgeous design, complete with sparkling Edinburgh winter skyline.

• Tel: 0131-228 1404

JOYCE MCMILLAN

FILM

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS

FILMHOUSE, EDINBURGH, 14-15 DECEMBER

If YOU’RE looking for a break from all the seasonal rep cinema at the moment, here’s a chance to celebrate the centenary of American-born/Glasgow-raised cinematic genius Alexander MacKendrick with a screening of The Sweet Smell of Success, his savage, pugnacious and prescient takedown of showbusiness and celebrity culture. Featuring career best performances from Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis and shot – unusually for the times – on the streets of New York, it remains a landmark, hugely influential and bracingly modern film even now, 55 years on.

• Tel: 0131-228 2688

ALISTAIR HARKNESS

VISUAL ART

VICTORIA CROWE

THE SCOTTISH GALLERY, EDINBURGH, UNTIL 24 DECEMBER

Victoria Crowe’s show at the Scottish Gallery is a minor retrospective of a very interesting artist. It includes work from the first years she spent here after moving from the south in 1968 right up to the present. From the start her pictures were never simple. They have always explored poetic and personal allusions incorporating elements of the Borders landscape, or more recently increasingly of Italy and especially Venice.

• Tel: 0131-558 1200

DUNCAN MACMILLAN

CLASSICAL

RSNO: JOHN LILL PLAYS GRIEG

USHER HALl, EDINBURGH, TOMORROW; GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, 15 DECEMBER

Grieg’s Piano Concerto might be an old warhorse, but when the soloist is popular veteran pianist John Lill, inset, no amount of familiarity should put you off. Lill brings his magnetic musical personality to the RSNO this week, in a programme conducted by the orchestra’s Danish associate conductor Christian Kluxen.

• Tel: 0131-228 1155 (Edinburgh); 0141-353 8000 (Glasgow)

KENNETH WALTON

POP

SLOW CLUB / EMMY THE GREAT & TIM WHEELER / CERYS BY CANDLELIGHT

ORAN MOR, GLASGOW, TOMORROW, 17 AND 18 DECEMBER

Not one but three festive gigs to give you that Christmas frisson, and all taking place in the basement venue of this converted church. First up, Sheffield boy/girl indie duo Slow Club, whose Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP puts a particularly unsentimental spin on the season with tracks such as It’s Christmas And You’re Boring Me.

Indie couple Emmy the Great and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler offer an irreverent perspective with their self-penned punk pop ditties Zombie Christmas and Sleigh Me, while former Catatonia frontwoman Cerys Matthews can surely be relied upon to bring the cosy Christmas spirit with her candlelit evening of winter song, spoken word and seasonal singalongs.

• Tel: 0141-357 6200

FIONA SHEPHERD

 

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