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

The James Plays
The James Plays
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THE Scotsman’s arts critics round up their must-see films, theatre and concerts for the next week

POP: Dawn Penn

Simply Painting

Simply Painting

No no no….say it ain’t so. It looks like this is the last waltz for cosy trad pub MacSorleys in its current incarnation as a music bar and pre-club watering hole for The Sub Club. But they are going out in style with reggae diva Dawn Penn, best known for her slow jam hit You Don’t Love Me (No No No), closing off a weekend of free live music. It’s Valentine’s Day, so show some love to a venue which has supported live music in the city through its residencies and the occasional big name appearance by the likes of KT Tunstall. Fiona Shepherd

MacSorleys, Glasgow, tomorrow, 0141-248 8581

FILM: The Hateful Eight: 70mm

The much-discussed “roadshow” version of Quentin Tarantino’s latest film finally arrives in Scotland, courtesy of this special 70mm presentation at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse. Replete with overture and a real-time intermission, it delivers an added element of showmanship to the film and lets you appreciate the full scope of Tarantino’s grand experiment, using the ultra widescreen format in a mostly enclosed environment to expose the hotbed of racial tension that has been too often ignored by the the genre’s romantic attachment to America’s epic landscapes and frontier myths. Alistair Harkness

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, until 18 February, 0131-228 2688

ART: Simply Painting

Peacock Visual Arts is best known as a major print workshop, but in a new show called Simply Painting it turns its attention and ours to just that, the pure painting of abstract art. Curated by Jim Mooney, who is a painter himself, the show includes work by eight artists. Notable among them are Ken Dingwall and the late John Golding, both masters of abstraction at its purest and most poetic. Duncan Macmillan

Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, until 19 March, 01224 639539

THEATRE: The James Plays

Rona Munro’s trilogy is probably the biggest and most ambitious show ever to emerge from Scottish theatre, with a magnificent cast, stunning production values, and a fascinating subject – the turbulent history of 15th century Scotland. And this spring, it goes on tour to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and across England. There are still chances to catch it in Scotland, though, with a final performance of the whole trilogy in Edinburgh today, and visits to Inverness and Glasgow, in March and April. Joyce McMillan

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, final performances today; Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, 30 March until 2 April; and the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 8-10 April,

CLASSICAL: RSNO: Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony

The RSNO are all at sea this week, as Peter Oundjian negotiates the oceanic spray of Debussy’s La Mer alongside the majestic seascape that is Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. The soloists in the latter are Katherine Broderick and Benedict Nelson, in a performance that also includes the RSNO Chorus. Ken Walton

Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 19 February, 0131-228 1155; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 20 February, 0141-353 8000