Liam Rudden’s 5 Must See Autumn Shows

MAMMA MIA! Picture: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg
MAMMA MIA! Picture: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg
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FROM the darkly comic Addams Family Musical to Ireland’s The Commitments, the classic Thoroughly Modern Millie to the camp glitz of La Cage Aux Folles and the UK premiere of Wonderland, not forgetting the return of the National Theatre’s 
ground-breaking War Horse – 2017 sees the best of Broadway and the West heading to Capital stages.

This autumn too, there are thrillers, musicals and classics aplenty, including Michael Frayn’s Democracy, starring Taggart’s Colin McCredie, The Full Monty, and The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in history. See them all at the King’s.

Then there’s the ever-popular supernatural love story Ghost, which returns to the Playhouse, while over at Grindlay Street, the Royal Lyceum brings John McGrath’s The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil to town, before lifting the curtain on new artistic director David Greig’s inaugural season.

Cherry-picking the best, here Evening News Entertainment Editor Liam Rudden picks his five must-see shows in the city this autumn.

MAMMA MIA!

IT’S going to be an Abbatastic festive season at the Playhouse 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 ten 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, it¹s the perfect winter warmer.”

With music and lyrics by Abba’s Benny and Björn, you can be sure to be dancing by the end. Mamma Mia! Here we go again...

Mamma Mia, Playhouse, Greenside Place, 29 November-7 January, various times, £15-£59.50, 0844-871 3014

THE BROONS

JINGS! Crivens! Help ma boab! Scotland’s favourite family, The Broons of 10 Glebe Street, Auchenshoogle, come to the Capital this November, the first time in 80 years Granpaw, Paw, Maw, Hen, Joe, Daphne, Maggie, Horace, the Twins and the Bairn, have been brought to life on stage.

In this new adventure by Rob Drummond, Maggie is really, finally, getting married... again.

As the family work together to give her the wedding of her dreams, they all start thinking about their own plans for the future: Joe thinks he should move to London. Horace wants to explore outer space and Daphne and Hen try their hand at Internet dating.

But with Maw determined to do anything to keep her brood together in Glebe Street, will Maggie even make it to the Kirk this time?

Inspired by the long-running Sunday Post comic strip, The Broons are Kern Falconer as Granpaw, Still Game’s Paul Riley as Paw, ex-river City star Joyce Falconer as Maw, with Tyler Collins as Hen, John Kielty as Joe, Laura Szalecki as Daphne and Kim Allan as Maggie.

Horace is played by Euan Bennet, the Twins by Kevin Lennon and Duncan Brown, and the Bairn by another Still Game favourite, Maureen Carr.

The Broons, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 1-5 November, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £17-£30.50, 0131-529 6000

BILLY ELLIOT

IT’S the story of the boy who wanted to dance that has been entertaining London’s West End for ten years, picking up five Olivier Awards along the way. Now it’s Edinburgh’s turn to embrace the magic of working class ballet boy Billy Elliot.

Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy’s journey takes him out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.

The smash hit musical, now seen by nearly 11 million people, comes to the Playhouse next month with a score composed by Elton John and the creative team that was behind the film.

In total, worldwide, 90 boys have now played the iconic role on stage, come along and see the latest Billys.

Billy Elliot the Musical, Playhouse, Greenside Place, 20 September-22 October, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £20-£67, 0844-871 3014

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

ALICE ventures back down the rabbit hole at the Royal Lyceum this November, and stays there over the festive season, in a new version of Lewis Carroll’s classic.

When Alice sees a snappily-dressed white rabbit holding a pocket watch, she knows today is not going to be like any other. An adventure is beginning. Tumble with her into Wonderland, a place where everyone and everything seems to be stark raving mad and things keep getting curiouser and curiouser.

There are drinks to make you shrink and cakes which make you grow. A mad March Hare, and a cat that can disappear.

But will Alice ever be able to solve the Mad Hatter’s riddles or will the Queen of Hearts command “Off with her head!”?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 26 November-31 December, 7pm (matinees 2pm), £20-£30, 0131-248 4848

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

YOU will believe a car can fly. That’s what they said the last time Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flew into town, so prepare to be amazed again as Ian Fleming’s famous creation soars above the stalls of the Festival Theatre next month.

Jason Manford as Caratacus Potts, and Phill Jupitus as Baron Bomburst, lead the cast, joined by Claire Sweeney as Baroness Bomburst.

Come along and discover if the lovable, whacky inventor, Potts, and his two children can outwit the bombastic Baron Bomburst who has decreed all children be banished from his kingdom. And what happens when the children are caught and imprisoned by the evil Child Catcher?

With music and lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman, expect favourite numbers such as Truly Scrumptious, Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain and, of course, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang... just be sure to avoid the Child Catcher.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 5-16 October, various times, £27 - £47, 0131-529 6000