Inspire Me: 9 great things to do in the next week

Edinburgh Christmas lights
Edinburgh Christmas lights
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EDINBURGH is set to sparkle and glow this weekend when Olympic gold medallist Callum Skinner joins the Lord Provost and Forth One’s Arlene Stuart to switch on the Capital’s Christmas lights.

Sunday is Light Night, the time the switch is thrown and the Christmas Tree on The Mound lights up to signal the official start of Christmas.

The event this year will also incorporate the opening of Street of Light, on George Street, and performances by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus and Tigerstyle.

Cyclist Skinner, 23, was born in Glasgow but moved to Edinburgh when he was 12, was a revelation at this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil, not only part of the team that won gold in the men’s team sprint, setting a new Olympic record, he was also a silver medallist in the men’s individual sprint.

He says, “I’m proud to be returning to start Edinburgh’s Christmas festivities in the city I grew up in and where I first discovered track cycling.”

Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, adds, “I’m delighted such a great ambassador for the city and for sport will kick off the winter celebrations.”

Host for the night, Arlene says, “I am so excited... I love to see the whole community getting involved in the celebrations. This event marks the start of the festive season for me and I’m sure for the thousands of people who turn up every year. It’s a fitting celebration for a wonderful city.”

Christmas Lights Switch On, Light Night, George Street, from 4.45pm, free, full details


FANCY seeing yourself on Britain’s Got Talent? There’s a chance to follow in the footsteps of Susan Boyle this weekend as the 11th series of Britain’s Got Talent heads to back to the Capital in a search of talent.

The BGT team will be at The EICC on Saturday, so if you think you have what it takes to impress and entertain them, now is the time to show what you can do.

Successful acts will be in with a chance of securing a place at one of the judges’ auditions in 2017.

Open to any performer of any age, with any talent, visit to register for one of the audition days later in the year.

You can also apply by sending in a video audition of your act.


FOLK pit-pop and colliery brass band Dennis make their Scottish debut at Stramash, Saturday, supported by folk singer Lee Patterson.

Admission is free, however, as the evening is a charity fundraiser in aid Simpsons Special Care Babies, the charity will be collecting donations at the event.

Dennis, Stramash, Cowgate, Saturday, 7pm


THE Beaten Path, a series of new limited edition graphics by singer/songwriter Bob Dylan have just been released by fine art publisher Washington Green.

The Beaten Path captures iconic images of Dylan’s travels across America and offers an insight into his world.

From the shiny lights of motel signs against a backdrop of bright blue sky in Florida Country to a quiet view onto a gas station in Midnight Caller, join Dylan as he captures fleeting snapshots of downbeat motels and traditional diners, forgotten fairgrounds and vintage cars.

The 15 pieces, each signed by the man himself, are now exhibited and available to buy from Castle Fine Art, Multrees Walk.

If you want to take a memory of Dylan home, however, be ready to fork out from £1,750 for each of the 15 images, released in an edition of 295 and individually hand-signed by the artist.

The Beaten Path Ltd Edition, Castle Fine Art, Multrees Walk, until 11 December,


LOCAL author Millie Gray will take part in Book Week Scotland’s Meet the Author event at Portobello Library on Monday at 6.30pm. Gray, a writer and professional storyteller, describes herself as a ‘Leith-born people watcher’ and is also Arts Champion for Older People in Scotland.

Her humorous plays and novels have made her a popular face at workshops across the country.



ZOE Lyons tours her latest Fringe show, Little Misfit, back to the Capital on Sunday.

Lyons has recently appeared on Live at the Apollo, The John Bishop Show and Radio 4’s Just a Minute, as well as winning the Chortle Best Comic Award - not bad for a girl who has never really felt part of the gang.

“I am really looking forward to hitting the road with my new show, Little Misfit.

“Revisiting some favourite venues as well as performing in places for the first time. So many new Travelodges to explore, exciting,” she grins.

Zoe Lyons, The Stand, Comedy Club, Sunday, 8.30pm, £14, 0131-558 7272


AFTER witnessing the mental degeneration of his father, Dr Henry Jekyll sets out to examine the duality of man’s mind.

With only the support of his fiancee and closest friend, Jekyll sets in motion a course that will alter the three of them permanently.

A chance encounter leaves the doctor enchanted, and with a newfound ferocity he pours himself into his work.

But one man’s fantasy is another man’s reality, and Jekyll soon finds himself transformed into an unrecognisable identity controlled by sex, murder, insanity and passion.

Enter, Mr Hyde.

Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group bring the musical Leslie Bricusse popular musical to the stage of the Church Hill Theatre next week.

Jekyll & Hyde, Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, Tuesday-Friday, 7.30pm, £13,


IT’S still November, but the festive season comes early to the Capital this weekend as Edinburgh’s Christmas launches events and shows across the city centre.

For the more adventurous, the ice rink in St Andrew Square is the place to be.

Last year 61,000 tickets were sold so make sure you book early. Sessions run from 10am to 10pm daily, with slots 30-45 minutes long.

If it’s a musical you fancy, Five Guys Named Moe opens at Festival Square tomorrow evening. The West End hit features the toe-tapping hits of jazz legend Louis Jordan, including Early In The Morning, Choo Choo Ch’Boogie and Saturday Night Fish Fry.

Packed with an uplifting live sound track of soul, blues, gospel and early r’n’b, it’s described as a ‘high-octane production to lift your soul.’

The Mound Precinct and East Princes Street Gardens is the place to be for ‘the shows’, with the return of the Star Flyer, the Big Wheel, Santa Land and the European Christmas Market, all from Saturday.

And on Sunday, 1pm to 5pm, don’t miss Light Night, a free event for all the family.

For full details visit and make sure to get your Edinburgh residents 20% discount on all shows, rides and events, if it’s applicable.


GIRLS Aloud’s Sarah Harding makes her stage debut as Molly, opposite Andy Moss (Rhys Ashworth Hollyoaks) as Sam in Ghost at the Playhouse, next week.

Bill Kenwright’s new production of the timeless story of love, despair and hope takes its inspiration from the classic movie and features an expanded book, new music and original staging.

Walking back to their apartment one night a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his girlfriend Molly alone and in despair.

But with the help of a phony storefront psychic, Sam, trapped between this world and the next, tries to communicate with Molly to save her from grave danger...

Kenwright says, “Ghost is a story full of hope, and is one of those films which never leaves you.”

Ghost, Playhouse, Greenside Place, next Monday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £14.90-£52.90, 0844-871 3014