Photo Feature | Previews

First Look: Ivor Cutler

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler opens in Glasgow

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

Sandy Grierson as Ivor Cutler. Photo © Tim Morozzo

Words: Thom Dibdin
Photos: Tim Morozzo

The strange and idiosyncratic world of Ivor Cutler has been brought to the stage in a new co-production between Matthew Lenton’s Vanishing Point and the National Theatre of Scotland.

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler opened at the Glasgow Citizens on Thursday 10 April and tours to Edinburgh’s Traverse from Tuesday 29 April for six performances.

Ahead of the production’s arrival in Edinburgh, when Hugh Simpson will be reviewing for Æ, here are some of the official pics of the show, taken by Tim Morozzo. … Continue reading First Look: Ivor Cutler

Production News

Curious Incident Festival Theatre dates announced

NT smash hit to play Edinburgh in April 2015

4. NIAMH CUSACK as Siobhan and LUKE TREADAWAY as Christopher Boone. Photo © Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

Niamh Cusack as Siobhan and Luke Treadaway as Christopher Boone. Photo © Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

By Thom Dibdin

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is to tour to the Festival Theatre as part of a ten-date national tour.

The tour opens at the Lowry Theatre in Salford this December and continues in 2015. The show will arrive at the Festival Theatre for a two week run from Monday 27 April to Saturday 9 May.

Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel won seven Olivier Awards in 2013 including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.

It also won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Theatre and has been seen by over 200,000 people during its run in the West End. … Continue reading Curious Incident Festival Theatre dates announced

Blog | Spoken Word

Giving Voice – Wordly Wisdom for All

Giving the quiet folk a voice

 Photo: Thanks to Kevin Cadwallendar.For his round-up of spoken word events during the last weeks of April, resident poet J. A. Sutherland looks at events drowned out by the louder voices – in particular, those that don’t claim to be ‘spoken word’ but in which words are spoken and/or read aloud.

Over the last month or so there have been several book launches which, naturally, include readings. Two well-established publications – Magma, and The Istanbul Review – held their Edinburgh launches, in The Blind Poet and Looking Glass Books respectively.

Later in March, a capacity audience squashed into the Saltire Society for the launch of two new poetry books. The first was Alasdair Paterson, who read from his book Elsewhere or Thereabouts with … Continue reading Giving Voice – Wordly Wisdom for All


St Cecilia’s takes One Last Dance

Scotland’s oldest concert hall relives ballroom past

Pin-up and Pout! Photo © Laurence Winram Photography

Pin-up and Pout! Photo © Laurence Winram Photography

By Thom Dibdin

St Cecilia’s Hall on the Cowgate, Scotland’s oldest purpose-built concert hall, is to relive its trendiest incarnation in May, ahead of being closed for a £6.5m transformation.

Swing dancers, jazz musicians and vintage hairstyles are set to return the hall to its 1940s ballroom setting as part of a three-day series of events over the weekend of May 16-18.

On Saturday 17 May, One Last Dance will be an evening of dancing with live music from the University of Edinburgh’s Jazz Orchestra.

There will be an opportunity to take a swing dance class beforehand and, earlier in the afternoon, a master class in recreating 1940s hairstyles. … Continue reading St Cecilia’s takes One Last Dance

Production News

We’ll Always Have the Pleasance

Casablanca: the Gin Joint Cut pauses before Paris

Gavin Mitchell, Clare Waugh. Photo © John Johnston

Gavin Mitchell and Clare Waugh. Photo © John Johnston

By Thom Dibdin

Classic fringe hit and product of the Oran Mor play factory, Casablanca: the Gin Joint Cut, returns to Edinburgh for one performance only this Sunday.

The play is off to Paris for a ten-night stint at the Théâtre Déjazet, on the request of Jim Haynes, co-founder of the Traverse and its former Artistic Director.

The production is a stunning and loving homage to the classic black and white movie from writer and director Morag Fullarton – presented in … Continue reading We’ll Always Have the Pleasance

Reviews | Traverse

A Perfect Stroke – Review

✭✭✭✭✭     Perfectly stroked

Anita Vettesse, Dani Heron and Scott Reid. Photo © Oran Mor

Anita Vettesse, Dani Heron and Scott Reid. Photo © Oran Mor

Traverse Theatre
Tue 8 – Sat 12 April 2014
Review by Thom Dibdin

Tense and nervous drama of the kind that just won’t relax comes to the Traverse this week in the second instalment of the Spring 2014 season of lunchtime theatre A Play, A Pie and A Pint.

Writer Johnny McKnight, who has six seasons of successful pantomime at the macrobert in Stirling under his belt, is best known for his comedy – and this certainly sets out as such.

But he also knows how to write the sort of drama that will have you squirming in your seat at the truth and suspense of it all. Which is exactly where he has gone with this brilliant piece of lunchtime theatre. … Continue reading A Perfect Stroke – Review


Hairspray – Review

✭✭✭✭☆   Depth and pleasure

Laura Flynn and Alex Gordon. Photo © Mark Gorman

Laura Flynn and Alex Gordon. Photo © Mark Gorman

Wed 9 – Sat 12 April 2014
Edinburgh Academy
Review by Thom Dibdin

It’s Good Morning Baltimore at the Edinburgh Academy’s theatre all this week where the young members of the Forth Children’s Theatre are getting it right with a super production of Hairspray.

The stage adaptation of John Waters film of racial integration and triumph over body fascism, set in early 1960s Baltimore, has big tunes, big dance numbers and big characters coming out of its ears.

Fortunately, FCT is equally well-equipped with great young performers who, if their vocal equipment is not yet quite up to the … Continue reading Hairspray – Review


New collective for Edin Companies at EdFringe

Theatre groups invited to join marketing campaign #HomeTurf
Carol Hayes and Amy Gilmartin at the launch of TheatreUncut last year. Photo © Philip Roberts

Carol Hayes and Amy Gilmartin at the launch of TheatreUncut last year. Photo © Philip Roberts

By Thom Dibdin

Edinburgh’s professional theatre companies staging shows at this year’s fringe are being invited to join a new collective, under the banner of Home Turf.

Started by Amy Gilmartin of Urban Fox Theatre with Carol Hayes founder of the CulturePie website, Home Turf aims to unite Edinburgh-based companies whose work is listed in the Theatre section of the Edinburgh Fringe Guide.

According to the open invitation going to interested groups: “The idea is to group together and share resources to produce an A5 booklet featuring each company’s production, alongside a dedicated website, Facebook page and twitter campaign (#HomeTurf). … Continue reading New collective for Edin Companies at EdFringe

Blog | Spoken Word

Wordly Wise – April Collisions

Opened doors, public art and poetics…

13 The Culture Collider

The Culture Collider

Now that the stooshie over spoken word performance has hopefully died down, here are this week’s collisions of culture and – even – science from resident perveyor of poetry J. A. Sutherland.

As spring tries to fight its way through the fog (that some folk erroneously called the “ha’ar”) there has been a profusion of public art popping up. Lights in St Andrew’s Square, photographs on The Mound and, last week, a dazzling display of artwork in the dank dungeons of Market Street.

Hidden Doors was more than just public art; it was a statement about how we use the empty spaces in our city and illuminate our darkest places. Particularly thought-provoking was the installation by … Continue reading Wordly Wise – April Collisions

King's | Reviews

Princess Ida – Review

✭✭✭✭☆   Grace and frivolity

Rae Lamond and Susanne Horsburgh. Photo © Simon Boothroyd

Rae Lamond and Susanne Horsburgh. Photo © Simon Boothroyd

Tue 1 – Sat 5 April 2014
King’s Theatre Edinburgh
Review by Thom Dibdin

Uplifting grace and outmoded comedy combine in equal measures for the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s new production of Princess Ida which plays at the King’s all week.

Written when Gilbert and Sullivan were reaching the peak of their popularity and just before the Mikadoreviewed at the Roxy Arthouse last weekPrincess Ida itself finds its own set of internal contradictions.

On the one hand Sullivan’s music is some of his best – it got contemporary tongues wagging in 1894 and still gladdens the heart. On the other, Gilbert’s plot is a tirade against female education that is based on … Continue reading Princess Ida – Review