You’ll warm to 2012’s hot shows

Oliver is coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse, courtesy of Cameron Mackintosh
Oliver is coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse, courtesy of Cameron Mackintosh
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Hot tickets. There are few must-see shows coming to Edinburgh in 2012. From the live stage version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, featuring many of the original radio cast, to the ever popular Calendar Girls - there’s something for everyone.

Here, Evening News Arts and Entertainment editor Liam Rudden ticks off his Top 5 Hot Tickets of 2012.

NO 5: AMERICAN IDIOT

US punksters Green Day formed in 1987. American Idiot, a musical based on their 2004 album of the same name, is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it has certainly caused a buzz and looks set to be one of 2012’s hot tickets.

A concept album, American Idiot tells the story of Jesus of Suburbia, a powerless everyman desensitised by a steady diet of ‘soda pop and Ritalin’. Could be Marmite!

American Idiot, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Oct 22-27, various times, £18.50-£43.50, 08 44-871 3014

NO 4: DIRTY DANCING

IT was the fastest selling show in West End history, now Dirty Dancing looks set to be the next Christmas blockbuster. If you know the film, you’ll love the show and no doubt leave singing, ‘I’ve had the time of my life...’.

Dirty Dancing, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Dec 4-Jan 12, 2013, various times, £19.50-£49.50, 08 44-871 3014

NO 3: THE MOUSETRAP

WHODUNNIT? Agatha Christie, who else? Incredible as it may seem, Christie’s murder mystery play, The Mousetrap, has been running on the West End for 60 years now, notching up more than 24,500 performances. To celebrate its diamond anniversary a touring production takes to the road later this year.

It’s 1952. A woman has been murdered in London, while in the Great Hall of Monkswell Manor, Mollie and Giles Ralston are welcoming guests to their guest house, then the police call to reveal there’s a murderer in their midst.

Traditionally, audiences are asked not to reveal the identity of the killer, but everyone knows that...

The Mousetrap, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, Oct 29-Nov 3, 7.30pm (2.30pm), £11.50-£29.50, 0131-529 6000

NO 2: THE INFAMOUS BROTHERS DAVENPORT

KNOCK once for yes... It is 1862 and the gaslights are flickering. Welcome to an evening of magic and illusion with the infamous brothers, Willie and Ira Davenport.

Inspired by the Davenports’ Spirit Cabinet act, this play promises to be a theatrical treat as the Davenports, played by real life brothers Ryan and Scott Fletcher, make furniture dance, bodies levitate and the voices of the dead resonate in the air.

Discover the dark undercurrent to their Victorian world as showmanship and drama contrasts with a cruel and curious childhood.

The Infamous Brothers Davenport, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, Jan 19–Feb 11, 7.45pm (2.30pm), £14.50-£29, 0131-248 4848

Recommended 14+

No 1: OLIVER!

OLIVER!FOR me, the highlight of Edinburgh 2012 theatre season will be Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Lionel Bart’s smash hit musical Oliver!, which comes to the Playhouse in May for its Scottish premiere and a four-week run.

A great story with a sensational score including Food Glorious Food, I’d Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah and As Long As He Needs Me, this telling of the story of the orphan who dared ask for more stars Brian Conley as Fagin, the role made famous by Ron Moody; I’d Do Anything contestant Samantha Barks as Nancy and The Bill’s Iain Fletcher as Bill Sikes

Oliver! recently completed a two year run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London where it opened to rave reviews, sell-out business and the biggest advance sales of all time for a West End show. Stephen Moore, who played Mr Brownlow at the Theatre Royal, repsises his role for the Edinburgh run.

Last year, Oliver! celebrated its 50th birthday, having premiered in the West End in 1960. This new production should show just why it has won a place in the hearts of theatre-goers the world over.

Oliver!, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, May 30-June 23, £18.50-£55.50, 0844-871 3014

* Other productions worth a look this year include Avenue Q (Feb 7-11) at the Playhouse, Swallows and Amazons (Jan 31-Feb 4) and Funny Peculiar (Feb 27-Mar 3) with Corrie’s Craig Gazey, both the Festival Theatre.

Of Mice And Men (Feb 17-Mar 17) at the Lyceum, and South Pacific (Apr 3-14) and The Phantom of the Opera (Sep 17-Oct 20), both at the Playhouse, are also worth a punt if you like that sort of thing.

If it’s just a good laugh you want, however, the Playhouse also hosts the return of Spamalot (Mar 19-24) and Good Mourning Mrs Brown (Mar 13-17) - although you’ll have to queue for returns for that one as all performances have already sold out.