The Enlightenment House

Theatre review: The Enlightenment House, The Georgian House, Edinburgh ***

Heritage theatre has its limitations as an art form. Yet there is something deeply satisfying about watching a witty evocation of the past in the very place that inspired the story; and this Christmas, the National Trust for Scotland has had the bright – even enlightened – idea of commissioning award-winning director Ben Harrison to create a “play in five rooms” for the Georgian House in Charlotte Square.

Mike Vass PIC: John Devlin

Music review: Scottish Fiddle Festival, The Pleasance, Edinburgh ****

Not quite the thing for a fiddle to be smashed on stage – and at a fiddle festival too. The symbolic instrument-bashing, however, came during The Four Pillars, Mike Vass’s commission for Friday’s opening concert of the Scots Fiddle Festival, referring to the old tune De’il Stick the Minister which commemorated an infamously fiddle-phobic cleric.


Music review: BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow ****

When you hear the music of Gloria Coates, and that’s a rare occasion indeed, there’s no escaping its striking originality. That much can resolutely be said about the 80-year-old Wisconsin composer, who has written 16 idiosyncratic symphonies in her lifetime, three of which were played in quick succession in Saturday’s Hear and Now concert by the BBC SSO.

The Estonian National Ballet at Tramway PIC: John Devlin

Dance review: Estonian National Ballet, Tramway, Glasgow ****

Over the past year, a country of just 1.3 million people celebrated 100 years of independence with a remarkable worldwide celebration. Five hundred cultural events took place in 33 countries, proving that Estonia knows how to punch above its weight. The same could be said for its national ballet company – operating with a quarter of the budget of its nearest counterpart yet delivering an output any classical company would be proud of.

Janet Kenyon Fine Art

Five tips on buying art for your home

Buying art can be an intimidating prospect, but it doesn't have to be. Gone are the days of being sniffed at if you didn't know your Monets from your Michelangelos. When it comes to filling your home with pieces that make you smile, there are a few criteria but none, you'll be glad to know, have anything to do with impressing anyone other than yourself.

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