Leith Festival: Must-see shows

Leith Festival -Parade. Pic: Ian Georgeson-

Leith Festival -Parade. Pic: Ian Georgeson-

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ALL roads lead to Leith this weekend as the port begins its annual 10-day Festival with the now historic pageant, gala day and an exciting programme of theatre, music and comedy to suit all tastes.

With more than 100 events programmed, covering everything from film to dance and crafts, in 27 different venues, festival director Tony Delicata promises, “There will be something for everyone this year.

“We had 15,000 people on the Links for the gala day last year, and with our new Kids’ Zone we hope to exceed that this year.

“I am also really pleased to be presenting what I believe is the strongest theatre strand we have had for some years.

“And comedy, too, is back for the first time in a while, with a very strong line-up that boasts a lot of local talent.”

EVENTS

Leith Festival Gala Day

The 2014 Leith Festival kicks off, as ever, with its traditional pageant and gala day. The fun begins in the Links at 11am, with the numbers there swollen by the arrival of those who have taken part in the Gala Day Pageant at about 1pm - this year’s theme is The Rock ‘n’ Roll days.

Leith Links, Saturday, from 11am, free

Leith Festival Tattoo 2014

Outside Mal Maison, that’s where to gather for the 2014 Tattoo. Local community groups, bands - including the pipes and drums - and a host of other entertainers come together in front of Leith’s spectacular four star hotel for an evening of music, dance and fun. Best of all, it’s free.

The Piazza On The Shore, Tower Street, 22 June, 7pm, free

THEATRE

Thief

Direct from the Brighton Fringe where it won the Best Theatrical Performance Award.

Sailor thrives in the bars, dives and doss-houses of the most squalid ports. Look, you will see him. Sailor lives for robbery, imprisonment and expulsion. Be his victim. Sailor’s virtues are simple: rent, theft and betrayal. Join him.

Inspired by the life and works of vagabond poet Jean Genet, it is a dark and challenging piece of theatre, not for the easily offended. Disturbing. Spellbinding. Adults only.

The Granary, The Shore, Saturday and Sunday 6pm, £10, www.eventbrite.co.uk

One of Our Ain

Former Scotswoman of the Year, Sandra Brown, reveals why the case of Moira Anderson, at one time Scotland’s longest unsolved cold case, continues to make headline news in 2014.

A one hour event with Q&A, Brown tells her amazing story of growing up in a Scottish community profoundly affected for more than 50 years by the disappearance of a schoolgirl.

South Leith Parish Church, Henderson Street, Monday, 8pm, donations at the door, www.leithrotaryclub.co.uk

Leith at War

Leith at War, by Laure C Paterson, writer of Leith Hidden Treasure, Citadel Art Group’s 2012 celebration of Leith Hospital, is based on the reminiscences of local people of life on the Home Front in Leith during World War ll.

Leith Hub, Leith Walk, 19-20 June, 7,30pm, 21 June 2pm, £7, www.citadelartsgroup.co.uk

Fish is the Future

The small island community of Fishtown has existed for centuries, cut off from the world. But when a mysterious bridge appears, heading off into the mist, Fishtowners are faced with a choice – seek a connection with others or preserve their autonomy?

Active Inquiry’s Fish is the Future takes a humorous look at what independence means for Fishtown and may be of interest to residents of other countries having similar debates... Adults only.

Out Of The Blue Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street, 19-20 June, 7.30pm, 21 June, 2.30pm and 6pm, £6, www.activeinquiry.co.uk

Lifeline

Appropriately, Lifeline Theatre Company set their 2014 Festival offering in the Capital’s roguish port, where lovable no-hoper Phil Roach is in a lack lustre relationship with girlfriend Sarah. When it ends disastrously in a Leith walk cafe, Phil’s life is torn apart. At his lowest ebb, he becomes inspired to post 10’000 flyers all over Scotland with his number and the simple message , ‘Are you Lonely? Call Phil, day or night. Here to talk.’

Described as a black comedy, Lifeline is a tragic tale of love, compassion and the rediscovery of humanity.

South Leith Parish Church, Henderson Street, 20-22 June, 8pm, £10, www.lifelinetheatre.co.uk

Aye or No

The Citadel Arts Group also turn their attention to the Scottish Independence Debate through the eyes of our bairns. Andrea McKenzie returns to Leith Festival to present a fun take on The Referendum, with the youth theatre company, Leith Drama Team.

An original play, it may even shed some light on the big question, Aye or No!

Leith Hub, Leith Walk, 20-21 June, 5.45pm, £3, www.citadelartsgroup.co.uk

COMEDY

Men With Coconuts

A merry band of the city’s top improvisers and a bloke they met that can play piano are set to weave stories and games before your very eyes based on suggestions. Culminating in an original Broadway musical. But be warned, it’s adults only.

The Granary, The Shore, Saturday and Sunday, 8pm, £5, www.improfx.com

Comedy at the Constitution

Mirth of Forth Comedy brings some of the finest stand up comedians from the Scottish circuit to perform in nine different shows at The Constitution Bar. The line-up schedule of shows is as follows:

Saturday: Graham Mackie, Viv Gee and guests, Saturday, 8.30pm, £7

Sunday: Billy Kirkwood in Show me your Tattoo, 9pm, £5

Monday: Richard Pulsford in Ricard Pulsford is Going On, 9pm, £5

Tuesday: Raymond Mearns – Rock n Roll Comedian – The Therapy Sessions, 9pm, £5

Wednesday: Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister in Aye Right? How No?, 9pm, £5

19 June: Stu Who in Gerritrightupye, 10pm, £5

20 June: Susie McCabe in Tourist Misinformation, 8.30pm, £7

21 June: Susan Morrison, Bob Graham and guests, 8.30pm, £7

22 June: Janey Godley in Oh My Godley, 9pm, £5

The Constitution Bar, Constitution Street, tickets for all shows available from http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/639308

MUSIC

Ride It Like A Shark Weekender

Devised by Frantic Chant to promote the release of their new album, Ride It Like A Shark, the Weekender consists of two nights of live music featuring Frantic Chant, The Valkarys, The Dark Jokes, The Liberty Takers, Sea Bass Kid, My Electric Love Affair, Andy Boyle (The Rules), Balor Mile, Electric Church and Lyndsey Craig. Complete with lighting from The Mind’s Eye Psychedelic Light Show.

Cruz, The Shore, Friday and Saturday, 6.30pm, £6, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/607368

Justified Sinners

Take a trip back to the decades that taste forgot with Justified Sinners and an evening of 70s and 80s rock covers as well as their own original material.

The Granary, The Shore, Friday, 8pm, Free

Bach To The Future

EdinBaroque are a family recorder trio consisting of siblings Ruth, Paul and Lisa who have enjoyed playing music together from an early age. In Bach To The Future, the trio take the audience on a journey through various musical genres from the baroque era right through to the modern day. With tea and biscuits served after the concert.

North Leith Parish Church Hall, Madeira Place, 21 June, 3pm, £4, 07730-440 946

LCCB Festival Concert

The Leith Community Concert Band perform at St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Easter Road. Escape for a couple of hours and enjoy this annual highlight of the Leith Festival.

St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Easter Road, 19 June, 7.30pm, Free

• Leith Festival runs from Saturday-June 22. For full programme of events visit www.leithfestival.com or www.wow27.co.uk