Theatre review: The 39 Steps, Menzieshill Community Centre

There’s nothing 21st century theatre audiences like better than to be taken behind the scenes of some bigger and more dominant art-form, whether it’s film, television, or radio. Add the sheer nostalgic appeal of a show that features the golden years of radio in the 1930s and 1940s, and you have a perfect piece of lightweight entertainment, completely predictable in outline, yet infinitely fascinating and amusing in detail; and that’s exactly what Dundee Rep achieves with this year’s community touring show, which features American writer Joe Landry’s stage version of The 39 Steps, reimagined as a pre-war radio play based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film.

Quality Street at Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Theatre review: Quality Street, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

What an infuriating playwright is JM Barrie; one moment a hopeless, cloying Edwardian sentimentalist, the next a brilliantly waspish and radical social satirist. And both Barries are present in force in his rarely-performed 1901 Regency romance Quality Street, in its day such a colossal transatlantic success that it even gave its name to the famous brand of chocolates.

Angus Farquhar of NVA at St Peter's Seminary, Cardross PIC: Robert Perry

Joyce McMillan: The closure of NVA is immensely sad, but the company leaves a lasting legacy

On its website – still live and beautiful, for anyone who wants to see it – the Glasgow-based arts company NVA, which announced its closure last week, explains the meaning of its name. It says that it’s an acronym of “nacionale vita activa”, a phrase which – for the company’s founder Angus Farquhar – expresses “the Ancient Greek ideal of a lively democracy, where actions and words shared among equals bring new thinking into the world.”

Theatre 1
Melania seems grateful fo Jackie Kennedy's advice

Theatre review: Melania

JUST imagine – no, go on, try – that you are Melania Trump, unhappy in the White House. You are a good looking ex-model from humble origins in Slovenia who arrived in America determined to find wealth and security by marrying a rich man, and achieved that goal; only to find him making an unexpected run for the White House. You voted for Hillary, and assumed everyone else would do the same. Yet to your horror, he won; and now here you are, beset by tedious duties, mocked for your heavy East European accent, and under constant public scrutiny alongside a husband you don’t even like.

The Last Ship PIC: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Theatre reviews: The Last Ship | Titanic: The Musical

IT’S SEEMS a long time since we heard much – in theatre or anywhere else - from the voice of northern England’s working class, the ones who, after decades of neglect, voted for Brexit in anger, and perhaps despair. Now, though, in Scottish theatre, we’re slightly spoiled for choice, with Jim Cartwright’s Rise And Fall Of Little Voice playing at Pitlochry, and Sting’s mighty Tyneside musical The Last Ship storming into the Festival Theatre, and sailing on to Glasgow next week.

Reason I Jump. Picture: Pete Dibdin

Theatre review: The Reason I Jump, North Kelvin Meadow, Glasgow

In North Kelvin Meadow, at the end of a busy day, the world is suddenly still, and very beautiful. Beyond the gate into the meadow and children’s wood, a soft breeze ruffles the tops of the young trees; and in five sunlit spaces and clearings - linked in any order by a maze-like series of paths - five people wait to talk to us about their experience of being autistic, and about their response to Naoki Higashida’s remarkable book about his own autism, The Reason I Jump, first published in Japan in 2007.

Tom Walker as Jonathan Pie

Comedy review: Jonathan Pie, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

THOUGH best known for his three-minute YouTube rants, Tom Walker’s splenetic news reporter character Jonathan Pie is altogether funnier and more impressive in a live setting. The narrative arc of this show allows him to build up an incredible head steam, escalating from pompous self-regard and waspish asides, through thermonuclear paroxysms of rage to sustained and seething but clear-eyed invective.

Bill Murray and Jan Vogler warm up for their show, Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends, New Worlds. Picture: Copyright

Interview: Bill Murray and Jan Vogler

Bill Murray and a chamber trio led by his friend, cellist Jan Vogler, are travelling the world sharing their love of words and music with New Worlds, a celebration of positive American values. The Hollywood star talks to Janet Christie ahead of their Edinburgh show

News 1
Sanaa Mohammad, who arrived in Scotland 11 months ago, is expected to take part in the Easterhouse workshop

Refugees staging Greek tragedy in Glasgow to address trauma of war

A 2,400-year-old Greek tragedy is to be staged in one of Scotland’s most deprived communities to help Syrian refugees overcome the psychological traumas of war.

Theatre 4
John Byrne was reunited with his famous pop-up book stage set for The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil at the National Library today.

John Byrne's 'pop-up book' Cheviot stage set to go on display at Dundee V&A

His paintings, album covers, plays and stage designs have made him one of Scotland's most popular cultural figures.
A scene from Ballet Black's The Suit

Dance review: Ballet Black, Dundee Rep

Unusually for an artistic director, Cassa Pancho dreams of a time when her company doesn’t exist. Until black and Asian performers are commonplace in other dance companies, however, Ballet Black will keep doing what it’s doing, making small but important ripples along the way.

The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice. PIC: Douglas McBride / Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Theatre reviews: The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, Pitlochry Festival Theatre | Downs With Love, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

Being a teenager is never easy; and least of all for young LV Hoff, the silent girl at the heart of Jim Cartwright’s acclaimed 1992 play The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, set in a depressed Lancashire town at the end of the 1980s. Mourning the equally quiet Dad who left her his much-loved record collection of the great female singers of the 20th century – and stuck with a good-time-girl Mum, Mari, who just can’t stand her quiet and reclusive ways – LV has one asset, in the beautiful voice she uses to bring back to life the great singers in her record collection; but when her Mum’s flashy new boyfriend Ray Say begins to take an interest, the pressure of his plans for her showbiz career soon becomes too much.

Much Ado About Nothing, pictured, will form part of the Star-Cross'd Lovers season at the Botanics, along with Antony and Cleopatra, Edward II and (of course) Romeo and Juliet

Theatre preview: Glasgow’s Bard in the Botanics launches Star-Cross’d Lovers Season

In an age when most of Scotland’s big companies struggle to offer one Shakespeare production a year – and often not even that, given the size of the casts involved – there’s no more persistent miracle, in the world of Scottish theatre, than the long-term survival of Bard In The Botanics. Founded in 1999, the annual Shakespeare season staged in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens offers four Shakespeare productions each summer, two of them large-scale shows on an open-air stage in the gardens, and the others smaller chamber-sized adaptations, presented in the elegant setting of the Kibble Palace.

Presenter actress Blythe Duff pictured with Best Production winners Oguz Kaplangi Rhinoceros music Composer and Rhinoceros Director Murat Daltaban. Picture: Graeme Hart

Anti-fascist play tops Scottish national theatre awards

A reworking of a classic play which tackles the rise of fascism and Nazism in Europe has come top in a national theatre awards ceremony.

News 12
Love From a Stranger

Theatre reviews: Love From A Stranger | The Thinkery

IF EVER a play had a dramatic history it is Love From A Stranger, playing at the King’s in Edinburgh this week. Based on an early short story by Agatha Christie, it was adapted for the stage by writer and actor Frank Vosper, who also played the leading male role in its successful first production in London in 1936, but died in tragic circumstances a year later, after apparently falling into the English Channel from a transatlantic liner.

Mathew Bourne's Cinderella PIC: Johan Persson

Dance review: Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

As with all of Matthew Bourne’s productions, it’s hard to know who the star of Cinderella is – Bourne for dreaming up his vision, the dancers for delivering it, or designer Lez Brotherston for creating a breathtaking world for us to inhabit. Then there’s Prokofiev, whose score plays no small part in drumming up our emotional response.

A new five-year vision for the future of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was unveiled at its launch today.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe to introduce cashless donations for performers

A new cashless donations system and bigger stages for performers will be introduced on the Royal Mile as part of the biggest shake-up of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s street theatre arenas for 20 years.
Managing director Joanna Baker has been with the Edinburgh International Festival for 26 years.

Edinburgh International Festival chief to step down

One of the key figures in Edinburgh’s festivals is to step down after more than quarter of a century of involvement with them.
Edinburgh festivals
Drag queen Ripley makes her Fringe Festival debut with her show Like A Sturgeon. Picture: contributed

Highlights of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 programme

Shows inspired by the “Me Too” movement against sexual harassment and assault, the looming prospect of Brexit, spiralling gun ­violence and race relations tensions in America during the Trump era, and digital identity theft will be staged during this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Music 15
Abi plays Beth, a young woman who lives a happy, independent life. Picture: Neil Hanna

Abi Brydon on how acting with Down’s Syndrome is far from a disability

A new play about a young woman with Down’s Syndrome, currently touring Scotland, explores the subject of love and disability. Susan Mansfield meets the creative team and cast, including lead Abi Brydon, whose experiences growing up with Down’s helped shape the story

Load more
Get daily updates Sign Up