It is time to roll out the haggis, crack open the whisky and get to grips with the lyrical offerings of Robert Burns. There is just a week to go until the nation celebrates the Bard, with a host of events taking place all over the Capital in the run-up.
Whether you are hosting a Burns Supper, dining out with friends, or looking to introduce your children to the wonder that is Rabbie, here is a glimpse of what Edinburgh has to offer.
For the family
Immerse your little ones’ imaginations in interactive performance, puppetry and fun as they learn about the life and work of Burns. Next Saturday, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, in the High Street, has two events. At 11am, storytelling team Fergus McNicol and Ron Fairweather present The Twa Rabbies, serving up a conundrum of identity as two Rabbies claim to be the true Bard. At 2pm, storyteller, performer and puppeteer Sylvia Troon presents We’ll a’ be proud o’ Robin, bringing the past alive. Tickets cost £5 per child. Call 0131-556 9579 to book.
Edinburgh Castle is running a Burns For Beginners class to offer visitors to the attraction an informal introduction to the work of the Bard. The sessions take place Friday to Sunday, January 24-26 at various times throughout the day and entry is included in the general admission price.
Edinburgh Folk Club is offering a relaxed celebration of the work of Robert Burns at the Cabaret Bar, 60 The Pleasance, on January 23 at 8pm. Tickets cost £15/£12 (£8 for members) and can be booked by calling 0131-650 2458.
Head to Lauriston Hall next Saturday where the The Flaming Heather ceilidh band – with a piper in tow – will host a traditional knees-up. Tickets cost £8 and the event runs from 8pm to 12.30am. To book, call 0131-339 5374.
The Mother of All Burns takes place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre next Saturday, at 7.30pm. Award-winning playwright Andrew Dallmeyer and acclaimed Scottish singer Coreen Scott join forces in a dramatic musical tribute to the Bard.
The performance follows the life of Burns’ mother, Agnes Broun (portrayed by Anne Raitt), and reflects on his writing and songs. Genuine Scottish entertainment. Tickets cost £8/£6.
Cafe Ceilidh, also at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, will be held on January 28 at 2pm, offering a free afternoon of songs and music.
Head to the Duncan Street Baptist Church tonight for some early Burns Night celebrations. A free evening of poetry, dancing, music and haggis, neeps and tatties takes place from 5pm to 7.30pm.
The Scotsman Hotel is offering a four-course Burns Supper from Friday to Sunday, January 24-26. Designed by executive chef Paul Hart, the meal costs £35 per person, or a £15 supplement to include whisky pairing. For private dining – with an accompanying piper – tickets cost £45. For more information, call 0131-556 5565.
Edinburgh Larder Bistro, on Alva Street, is celebrating Burns Night next Saturday with a three-course set menu, including a dram of whisky, guest speakers and live music. The meal costs £35 a head and runs from 5.30pm to 10pm. To book, call 0131-225 4599.
Head to the Scottish Storytelling Centre for Supper with Burns – the alternative Burns Supper – taking place on January 22-24 at 7pm.
Diners can expect a night of entertainment performed by professional storytellers Linda Bandelier and David Campbell, written by Donald Smith. This dramatic offering weaves together the traditional supper format with stories and songs about Burns’ life – much with a wry smile. Tickets cost £25.
Burns enthusiasts are invited to Steak, in Picardy Place, on January 23 for a three-course set menu, a live ceilidh band and a “wee dram o’ whisky”. The event costs £40. Call 0131-556 1289 to book.
Grant Stott will be among the famous faces at Prestonfield House’s annual Burns Supper, this year in support of Prostate Scotland. Fine dining and comedy speeches come at a cost of £50 a head. The night runs from 7pm to midnight. To book, e-mail events@ prestonfield.com.
Bannockburns: Robert Burns and Scottish Independence will be held next Saturday at the Scottish Storytellng Centre, with Burns biographer Robert Crawford exploring what independence meant to the Bard. The poet’s politics in relation to today’s current climate will also be assessed. Tickets cost £5.
A drop-in mixed media exhibition Burnsiana will also run at the Scottish Storytelling Centre until Saturday, February 1. The offering is the work of Calum Colvin who suggests new ways of seeing the subject and the context and mythology that has grown around him. Colvin also appears at the centre on February 1 at 3pm for the guest lecture Burns: Visual Representations.
The work of Robert Burns will come under consideration at The National Library of Scotland on January 24 when rare books curator Robert Betteridge digs out some of the library’s Burns collection. The event is free and runs from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.