Spotlight on . . .

YOU wouldn’t believe the random items and emails that arrive on the desk of an entertainment editor. In Spotlight on... I’ll highlight the ones that might otherwise slip under the radar, have some cult value or simply just be worth mentioning again. This week ...

By Liam Rudden
Thursday, 6th October 2011, 5:14 pm



YOU don’t need a Tardis to travel back in time at Edinburgh Castle this weekend.

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On both Saturday and Sunday, between noon and 4pm, visitors will be transported on a journey back into the Capital’s past. To 1650 to be precise, the year when Oliver Cromwell, having overthrown and executed Charles I, invaded Scotland and captured the Castle.

Witness the grand parades of English and Scottish troops, the massive thunder of musket volleys and the roar of cannons as the Dragoons defend Edinburgh’s mighty stronghold.

Edinburgh Castle played a prominent role in the wars sweeping across Britain and was besieged and stormed several times. It was at the centre of brutal executions and imprisonments.

Nick Finnigan, executive manager of Edinburgh Castle, promises, “This is going to be a fantastic weekend for all the family. History is going to be brought to life in a spectacular fashion. Come along and meet the soldiers defending the walls as the Castle holds out for the King and Scotland.”

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Saturday & Sunday, noon-4pm, £14 / Child £8.20 (includes admission to the Castle), 0131-225 9846



LOVE her or hate her there’s no escaping Mrs Brown and her beloved boys at the moment.

The DVD of the first series of the BBC sitcom featuring Dublin’s best-loved, foul-mouthed mammy is released this week, just as the second series begins recording.

Just the other day it was also announced that an extra matinee performance has been added to next year’s Playhouse run of Good Mourning Mrs Brown. Tickets for the show, on Saturday March 17, St Patrick’s day no less, go on sale tomorrow.

Starring Brendan O’Carroll Mrs Brown’s Boys premiered on BBC 1 earlier this year and was nominated for a Bafta. The Guide has teamed up with Universal Pictures (UK) to give you the chance to win the first series on DVD.

Already an established live theatre show, Mrs Brown’s Boys has been a sell-out success for a number of years in Ireland and the UK.

This six part television series, specially written by O’Carroll, is jam-packed with all the laughs and drama of Mrs Brown on stage and features the original cast including O’Carroll’s real-life wife Jennifer Gibney as daughter Cathy, Fiona O’Carroll as future daughter-in-law Maria, his son Danny O’Carroll as friend of the Brown family Buster, and his sister Eilish O’Carroll as best friend Winnie McGoogan.

The DVD also features an extra bonus disc of exclusive never-seen-before outtakes, extras, the original pilot episode plus extended scenes.

To enter the draw to win simply email your name, age and address to [email protected] with the word AGNES in the subject line. Entries to be received by midnight Sunday. Usual Johnston press rules apply. Editor’s decision is final.

Mrs Brown’s Boys (15) is now available on DVD (£19.99)


THE Stand’s Thursday show

THE weekend starts early at The Stand tonight when five acts line up for a two-hour, stand-up showcase.

This week features “ace compere and cheeky chappie” Joe Heenan, acclaimed writer and comic Ben Verth, and the comedy world’s only former forensic scientist-cum-comedy songstress Ria Lina.

Stand favourite Keir McAllister also makes an appearance and headliner for the evening is Gordon Southern, whose laid-back style combined with razor-sharp improvisation makes for a killer combination.

And don’t worry if you can’t make it tonight, the same line-up returns to the venue tomorrow.

The Thursday Show on a Friday or the Friday Show on a Thursday. It’s your choice.

The Stand, York Place, 9pm, £8/£10, 0131-558 7272


Reginald D Hunter: Sometimes Even The Devil Tells The Truth

IN just over a decade since he began performing, American Reginald D Hunter has become one of the UK’s best-known and most distinctive stand-ups.

Brutally honest and frequently controversial, it’s rare, however, to see him in Edinburgh outside the Festival Fringe, where he has been nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award on no less than three consecutive occasions.

You’ll also know him from Live At The Apollo, QI and Have I Got News For You.

Later this month, he turns up at the Edinburgh Playhouse for one night only, with his new show, Sometimes Even The Devil Tells The Truth, a typically no-holds-barred look at his homeland.

“Since September 11, there’s been a lack of elegance about government deception. It’s been naked and half-done and ill-prepared, kind of balls-out.

“When you listen to politicians or entertainers talking about profitability or collateral damage, they’re telling you nakedly that whatever their interests are it is not for a collective good. Sometimes even the devil tells the truth,” he explains.

“My sister got mad at me about the title as she’s a born-again Christian. But to tell the best lies you have to have a basic understanding of the truth; blueprint-wise you have to know how that works.

“So as we move away further from the collective good and public discourse and more towards personal interest. People are losing any sense of the need to even use euphemisms any more: ‘we’re doing this; we’re drilling here.’ Sometimes even the devil tells the truth.”

Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, October 18, 8pm, £21, 0844-871 3014