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

Shrek: The Musical. Picture: Helen Maybanks
Shrek: The Musical. Picture: Helen Maybanks
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THE Scotsman’s arts critics round up their must-see films, theatre and concerts for the next week

THEATRE: Shrek The Musical

Nicolas Deshayes's Darling, Gutter

Nicolas Deshayes's Darling, Gutter

It’s big, it’s spectacular, and it’s mainly brown and green; so if you’re in the mood for a flashing Shrek-ears headband and a rousing chorus of I’m A Believer, then it’s time to cut along to the Playhouse, where Shrek The Musical is just beginning its three-week Edinburgh run. Admittedly, this Dreamworks-led stage version makes heavy going of its sub-plot about lost Hollywood fairytale characters. But with Dean Chisnall in great form as Shrek – and lovely Bronte Barbe now playing Fiona – it remains an irresistible counterblast to the idea that heroes and heroines always have to be beautiful and wasp-waisted; featuring excellent choreography, some fine original songs, and a few vintage comic moments, to add to the fun. Joyce McMillan

Playhouse, Edinburgh, until 8 November, 0844 871 3014

MUSIC: Randy Newman

Celebrated for both his satirical humour and his empathetic anthems, this Californian piano man is the go-to musician for making wry sense of a senseless world. These days he is more likely to be found writing a big-hearted film score for Pixar and Disney so his concert tours are rare delights, to be cherished for Newman’s ability to appeal to the intellect as well as the emotions. Fiona Shepherd

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall,30 October, 0141-353 8000

ART: Nicolas Deshayes: Darling, Gutter

Sculptor Nicolas Deshayes is everywhere this season: on the stand of Glasgow Gallery Koppe Astner at the Frieze art fair, in the important survey show The British Art Show which has just opened in Leeds, and in this major solo presentation at Glasgow Sculpture Studios. Deshayes is dazzlingly inventive, using modern materials from the construction industry or specialist technologies, drawing contrasts between the cold modern textures of our world and the warm dirt beneath our fingernails. Moira Jeffrey

Glasgow Sculpture Studios, until 12 December, 0141-353 3708

FILM: Sonica: Wings

As we’re about to enter Oscar season, here’s an intriguing way to revisit the first ever recipient of the Academy Award for best feature. Playing as part of this year’s Sonica electronic arts festival in Glasgow, William A Wellman’s 1927 World War One drama Wings has been re-interpreted by composer and saxophonist Eric Sleichim and his Bl!ndman collective who will accompany a screening of the film with a live electronic score – interspersed with fragments of percussive scores from the likes of Steve Reich and John Cage – designed to enhance the movie’s themes. The performance will be followed by an on-stage discussion with Sleichim. Alistair Harkness

Tramway, Glasgow, 31 October, 0845 330 3501,

CLASSICAL: SCO: Nilesen, Sibelius & Wennäkoski

It’s a Scandinavian feast at the SCO this week, part of its 150th anniversary celebrations of Sibelius and Nielsen. Nielsen’s luminous Violin Concerto is played by Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto; Thomas Hannikainen conducts his own arrangement of music from Sibelius’ only opera The Maiden in the Tower; and there’s the premiere of Lotta Wennäkoski’s Verdigiris, a tribute to Sibelius specially commissioned by the SCO. Ken Walton

Younger Hall, St Andrews, 28 October, 01334 475000; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 29 October, 0131-668 2019; City Halls, Glasgow, 30 October, 0141-353 8000