Critics choice: A Doll’s House | Dead By Dawn Festival | RSA New Contemporaries

Our critics select the best of Scottish music, theatre, film and visual art.
A Dolls House is playing at  the Royal Lyceum Theatre. Picture: ContributedA Dolls House is playing at  the Royal Lyceum Theatre. Picture: Contributed
A Dolls House is playing at the Royal Lyceum Theatre. Picture: Contributed


A Doll’s House

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Until 4 May

Despite its conventional Edwardian look, there’s a subtle radicalism about Zinnie Harris’s new version of Ibsen’s most famous play, staged by the Royal Lyceum and the National Theatre of Scotland. By shifting Ibsen’s story into the world of politics, and making Nora’s husband Thomas an ambitious young cabinet minister, Harris and director Graham McLaren inject a terrific urgency and pressure into the story of Nora’s rebellion against her apparently perfect marriage; and the excitement is heightened by Amy Manson’s thrilling performance as Nora, a passionate young woman with a completely modern sense of herself, caught in the trap of love and tradition.

• Tel: 0131-248 4848



Dead By Dawn Festival

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Tonight Until 28 April

Scotland’s longest-running horror film festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with three days (and one night) of bloody mayhem, kicking off tonight with the premiere of The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh, and concluding on Sunday with a late night screening of the fesitival’s namesake: Sam Raimi’s splatter classic, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. In between are new films (zombie flick The Battery, Japanese kidnap thriller The Abductee) and established cult classics (Hellraiser), though by far the most intriguing film looks set to be My Amityville Horror, a documentary about the real story that inspired the Amityville series.

• Tel: 0131-228 2688


Visual Art

RSA New Contemporaries

Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Until 8 May

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RSA New Contemporaries, now in its fifth year, replaced the Annual Student Exhibition first held in 1976. It is a once a year chance to spot new talent from among the graduating students of Scotland’s five art schools and you don’t need to tramp round all the degree shows to do it. The work has been done for you by the curators from the RSA. They have selected the best from each school, the numbers according to the size of the graduating classes, and it makes a lively show.

• Tel: 0131-225 6671



Sco: Britten 100

City Halls, Glasgow, Tomorrow; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 27 April;

In the second of the SCO’s Benjamin Britten orchestral tributes for Britten 100, George Benjamin conducts a programme that has the composer’s poetic masterpiece, Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, at its heart. John Mark Ainsley’s is the tenor soloist, alongside SCO principal horn Alec Frank-Gemmill. Leading up that is short sharp theatricality of Harrison Birtwistle’s Carmen arcadiae mechanicae perpetuum and Scots-born Martin Suckling’s impressive earlier commission from the SCO, storm, rose, tiger. Mozart’s Symphony No.40 closes the concert.

• Tel: 0141-353 8000 (Glasgow); 0131 668 2019 (Edinburgh)



Ricky Ross

Orkney Arts Theatre, Kirkwall, 26 April; Village Hall, Ullapool; 27 April; An Lanntair, Stornoway, 29 April; Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, 1 May; Gardyne Theatre, Dundee, 3 May; Tolbooth, Stirling, 4 May

Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross takes time out from promoting his band’s comeback album The Hipsters to tour the contrasting sound of his latest solo album, Trouble Came Looking, a stripped-back collection of acoustic tales of woe and sometimes hope in the Woody Guthrie tradition which should resonate suitably through these intimate venues. Support on all dates comes from husband-and-wife country harmony duo My Darling Clementine.

• Tel: 0844 844 0444