Inspire Me: 9 great things to do in the next week

Florian Sainvet
Florian Sainvet
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Have an event you’d like considered for Inspire Me? E-mail details to entertainmnet editor Liam Rudden at lrudden@edinburghnews.com

COLLECTION OF WONDERS

ONE of the best sleight of hand magicians in the world, Frenchman Florian Sainvet joins forces with Scotland’s foremost mind-reader Drew McAdam and a host of world class illusionists and magicians in the MagicFest Christmas Special, Collection of Wonders, at George Square Theatre, from week.

Audiences of all ages can wrap themselves in magic in a heart-warming mix of spectacle and comedy, hosted by Kevin Quantum.

Scientist/magician Quantum, says, “Christmas is so special for me. Spending time with family, eating lots of food and of course going to live shows and pantos, which is why I’m so happy to announce Magicfest’s inaugural Christmas show.”

Also featured during the run of the show are Matthew J Dowden, the Dean Martin of magic, and Lewis Barlow, Edinburgh’s sleight of hand master. Check www.magicfest.co.uk for nightly programme of performers as not all appear at every performance.

Collection of Wonders, George Square Theatre, George Square, Tuesday-30 December, 2pm and 7pm, £18, 0131-226 0006

FOODIES FESTIVAL CHRISTMAS

FOODIES Festival Christmas comes to the EICC this weekend, bringing MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire, Michelin Starred Adam Simmons, Top TV chef Ed Baines and other top British chefs to the Capital.

All will be cooking up their festive favourites in the Chef’s Theatre while visitors will have the chance to learn all the skills to become the ultimate festive host at the 12 Top Tip festive masterclasses.

While there, put the merry into Christmas with craft beer, wine and Champagne masterclasses in the Drinks Theatre.

For the kids, there’s the Elf’s Cookery School and for those with a sweet tooth, a Chocolate and Churros classes as well as Burlesque Baker Charlotte White’s show-stopping Christmas Cake demos in the Cake and Bake Theatre.

With more than 200 stalls, live music, a vintage tea room and a luxury VIP area, Foodies Festival is the ideal place to kick off your festive season.

Foodies Festival Christmas, EICC, Morrison Street, Friday-Sunday, £10-£38, foodiesfestival.com

JIM DAVIDSON: 40 YEARS ON

IT’S 40 years since the world was first introduced to controversial funny man Jim Davidson when he got his big break on New Faces back in 1976.

At Dunfermline’s Alhambra Theatre tonight, Davidson relives those years in 40 Years On, his new stage play which he describes as a heartfelt and hilarious autobiographical reflection on his career.

Funny, poignant and at times searingly honest, 40 Years On looks back at Jim’s triumphs and tragedies, from Up The Elephant and ‘Round The Castle to Home James, The Generation Game and Big Break, through to Hell’s Kitchen and winning Celebrity Big Brother in 2014.

Davidson takes a trip down memory lane revealing never-before-heard stories, as he reminisces on the highs, lows and controversies of a life spent in the public eye.

Jim Davidson: 40 Years On, Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, Friday, 7.30pm, £12-£23, 01383-740 384

BAY CITY ROLLERS PLAQUE

IN the 70s they topped the charts worldwide and had a mania named after them.

On Wednesday, 45 years after scoring their first No 1 hit, the Bay City Rollers will be properly recognised in their home city for the first time.

Fans from around the globe are expected to gather at Ryrie’s Bar, Haymarket, when Lord Provost Donald Wilson unveils a plaque celebrating the band’s achievements on St Andrew’s Day.

The plaque, the brainchild of superfan Graeme Whitehead, 58, from Niddrie, will be on permanent display in the downstairs bar of the pub.

Founding member of the Bay City Rollers Alan Longmuir will be in attendance at Wednesday’s unveiling, as it is hope will be other members of the band.

“The Rollers should be honoured in their home city as The Beatles are in Liverpool,” says Graeme.

OPERA NORTH

OPERA North return to the Capital next week with two exciting productions. Billy Budd, a psychological thriller, follows Budd, a young, innocent sailor, the envy of those around him and the failure of Captain Vere to save him.

In Il tabarro and Suor Angelica, welcome to a gritty world of rage-fuelled revenge, deep desires and dark secrets.

Part of Opera North’s Season of Secrets Puccini’s two bitesize operas pack a punch.

Opera North, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 30, next Wednesday-Saturday, 7.15pm, £17.50-£67.50 0131-529 6000

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

IT’S panto time at The King’s again - Oh!, yes it is! - and this year the spotlight shines on the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Doomed to sell his trusty cow, Jack must fight to save the beautiful Princess, outwit the evil giant and win the hand of the girl he loves.

Expect laughs, music, dazzling special effects, magic beans and bundles of audience participation. Starring Allan Stewart as Dame Trot, Andy Gray as Farmer Hector and Grant Stott as Fleshcreep, the trusty trio are joined by Greg Barrowman as Jack Trot and Rachel Flynn as the Princess.

Jack and the Beanstalk, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, Saturday-15 January 2017, £16-£33, 0131-529 6000

PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE

AHEAD of St Andrew’s Day, The Palace of Holyroodhouse is offering free admission and whole range of activities for all the family this Sunday.

Explore the State and Historic Apartments and discover the Palace’s dramatic history with tales of Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Families can also get involved in arts and crafts activities to make their very own crown or get dressed up in historic costumes in the Family Room. Throughout the day visitors can enjoy hot apple cider and warm syrup waffles in the Palace Courtyard.

To register for your St Andrew’s Day e-ticket visit royalcollection.org.uk/holyroodhouse

MAMMA MIA!

IT’S going to be an Abbatastic festive season at the Playhouse this year as the sensational feel-good musical Mamma Mia! returns for the first time in a decade. Sarah Poyzer stars as Donna Sheridan opposite local favourite Philip Ryan, in the tale of family and friendship that unfolds on a Greek island paradise.

Creator and producer Judy Craymer says, “It’s fantastic we have the chance to bring Mamma Mia! back to Edinburgh.

“It will be 10 years since the show last visited this wonderful city and we look forward to welcoming new audiences as well as those that are re-joining us for the party.

“With its uplifting, sunny story and the much-loved music of Abba, it’s the perfect winter warmer.”

Hit after hit is guaranteed, all with music and lyrics by Abba’s Benny and Björn, so you can be sure you’ll be dancing in the aisles by the end. Mamma Mia! Here we go again...

Mamma Mia, Playhouse, Greenside Place, Tuesday-7 Jan, various times, £15-£59.50, 0844-871 3014

HOLY CORNER CRAFT FAIR

NOW in its fifth year, the biggest Christmas Craft and Food Fair in Holy Corner history comes to the Eric Liddell Centre, Morningside Road, this Saturday, 11am-4pm.

Focusing on local producers and crafts people, 20 stall holders, including bakers, candle, scarf and toymakers, will transform the Lidell Centre into a Christmas shopping extravaganza.