Theatre round up: What’s on this week

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IT used to be known as the home of variety, back in the day when it was called the Empire Theatre.

Today, the Festival Theatre on Nicolson Street plays host to some of the biggest shows to come to town.

This week, however, there’s something for everyone as the venue lives up to its age- old reputation and presents a variety of very different entertainment over the course of the week. From Japanese drumming, to Strictly Come Dancing stars to a drag ballet, read on to discover more about three of this week’s hot tickets.

Yamato Drummers

(Tonight, 7.30pm, £19.50-£23.50)

As part of their 20th Anniversary world tour the Yamato Drummers bring their dynamic new show The Beat to Edinburgh. The company’s last visit to the UK in 2008 was a sell-out. Showcasing the energy and skill for which they are renowned, this is a thrilling performance of Japanese Taiko drumming.

Brendan Cole:

Licence to Thrill

(Tomorrow, 7.30pm, £23.50-£36.50)

Brendan Cole is once again set to dazzle his audience with his brand new show. Join him and a cast of 20 musicians and dancers as they take you on a journey of music and dance, hosted by one of Strictly Come Dancing’s most charismatic stars.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

(Friday & Saturday, 7.30pm, £17-£29)

The all-male divas of the Trocks return following their last sell-out visit. With their dedicated tootsies shoe-horned into size 10 pink satin pointe shoes, they return with a new programme, a lorry load of costume changes and lashings of diva attitude.

Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 0131-529 6000

Time And The Conways, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street

Tonight-9 March, 7.45pm (matinees 2.30pm), £14.50-£29, 0131-248 4848

THE year is 1919, and Kay Conway has a birthday to celebrate with her family – her mother, sisters Hazel, Madge and Carol, and brothers Alan and Robin.

Celebrating the end of the war, Kay looks forward to a prosperous future, along with her friends Gerald – a solicitor, Joan, a young woman in love with Robin, and Ernest – a young, ambitious entrepreneur of a lower social class.

Left alone on stage she seems to slip into a vision of the future.

So ends Act I of JB Priestley’s Time And The Conways, which opens tonight at the Royal Lyceum.

Written in 1937, it is known as one of the playwright’s “time plays” and examines the different concepts and theories of time. Hence when the characters return in Act II, it is the same night, 18 years later.

Time, it seems, has dashed their hopes and dreams. Aspirations have turned sour and relationships twisted as the truth of their destiny plays out.

Act III, however, finds the action hurtling back to the original evening, where the seeds of the family’s downfall are being sown.

Directed by Jemima Levick, the play is a co-production with Dundee Rep and a piece that is rarely performed.

The company is led by Andy Clark, best known for playing Michael Brodie in River City, as Earnest Beevers. He is joined on stage by Nicola Harrison, Irene Macdougall, Sally Reid, Jessica Tomchak, Molly Vevers, Emily Winter, Richard Conlon, Jamie Lee and Martin McBride.