27 great things to do in September

The post-Festival lull is coming to an end in the Capital, and if you've recovered from August there's plenty to look forward to in Edinburgh this month, from top stand-ups Susan Calman and Dave Gorman to the Kiltwalk and, er, Gazza in conversation. Here are 27 suggestions to make your September one to remember.

Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 2:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 2:10 pm
Football legend Paul Gascoigne is at the EICC on Saturday night
Football legend Paul Gascoigne is at the EICC on Saturday night

Wednesday 5

Top Banana

Bananas are funny, if you’re not slipping on the peel. Or trying to eat them sideways on. Andy Gray only has to say ‘Ba-na-na’ at the King’s panto for hundreds of people to fall about laughing. Let’s try it… ba-na-na! No? Oh well, maybe the comics on the bill at Top Banana, Monkey Barrel’s Wednesday showcase for up-and-coming talent, will get you giggling. 8.30pm, £3.

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Dave Gorman fires up his PowerPoint presentation at the Playhouse on Sunday

Thursday 6


That’s Julie as in Miss Julie, August Strindberg’s dark drama of love and Darwinism from the depths of the 19th century. The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby and Humans’ Eric Kofi Abrefa feature in this updated production broadcast live from London’s National Theatre and screened at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, and Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh. It’s real theatre, but with close-ups! 7pm, tickets from £16.50 (Festival Theatre)/£13.50 (Brunton).

Friday 7

Strictly star Susan Calman will be discussing her new book, Sunnyside Up, at the Assembly Rooms


A fairy-tale for Scotland’s Year of Young People that questions how our society treats the young and vulnerable, Nests introduces us to a frightened, starving boy and his only friend, a crow, who encounter a man on the edge of society trying to forget his past. See it at the Traverse today or tomorrow, 8pm, £6-£12.

Saturday 8

An Evening With Paul Gascoigne

Joan Armatrading will be performing solo at the Usher Hall

Former Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton and England International Gazza recollects the good times of his playing days with former team-mates. He’ll be front and centre forward at the EICC, 8pm, tickets from £49.50.

Sunday 9

Dave Gorman – With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint

Now there’s a title for Spider-Man fans, but how does it relate to Dave Gorman’s latest show? Find out as the comic, armed with laptop and projector screen, lights up Edinburgh Playhouse at 8pm, tickets from £31.65.

Monday 10

An Evening With Susan Calman

She’s danced on Strictly, solved crimes in Armchair Detectives, and now she’s selling books for Blackwells. No, Susan Calman’s not on the till, she’s at the Assembly Rooms talking about her latest book, Sunny Side Up, which aims to persuade people to be kinder to each other and spread more joy. Can’t be bad! Tickets for the 7pm event are £23.68-£32.12, and if that doesn’t include a copy of the book you really will need cheering up.

Tuesday 11

A Play, A Pie and a Pint

Back for the autumn season, the Traverse’s popular lunchtime event this year features Scotch pie, macaroni pie, a vegan tart . . . oh, you want to know about the play? Fair enough, they’re good too. Today’s offering is Outside In by Chris Grady, in which Jay, who prefers to stay indoors and avoid people, must face his fears when a gun is posted through his letterbox. Starts 1pm, ticket £13.50, includes savoury and something to sup.

Wednesday 12

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham

Nope, it’s not Hogmanay, fiddler Aly and accordionist Phil thrill audiences all year round with their patented brand of folk music, and here’s your chance to tap your toes to their traditional rhythms. Howden Park Centre, tickets from £17.50.

Thursday 13

51 Shades of Maggie

After three sell-out Scottish tours, smash hit comedy 51 Shades of Maggie returns with River City and Gary: Tank Commander star Leah MacRae in the title role. A send-up of 50 Shades of Grey – you probably realised that – it tells the story of loveable Maggie, who has been let down by all the men in her life Then, a chance encounter at the Social Security office brings hope and, hopefully, not too many whips. Needless to say, this is adults only. Well, over-16s, anyway. 7.30pm, tickets from £26.25.

Friday 14

Rob Brydon – I Am Standing Up...

The Welsh star of Marion & Geoff, Gavin & Stacey and Swimming With Men has embarked on his first stand-up tour since 2009. We’re not sure about the show title, is Rob Brydon short? Let’s Google… um… 1.7m or 5ft 5in. That’s not too bad, is it? See how he fits the Festival Theatre stage at 8pm, tickets £40.

Saturday 15

Rip It Up – The 60s

Strictly Come Dancing 2018 had its launch show last Saturday, but if you’re feeling nostalgic for contestants past, join previous champions Harry Judd and Louis Smith MBE and, er, “people’s champion” Aston Merrygold as they trip lightly to the music of the Sixties at the King’s Theatre. Start dancing at 7.30pm, tickets from £22.50.

Sunday 16

Edinburgh Kiltwalk

The Kiltwalk returns for 2018! Taking in all the iconic sights that the Capital has to offer the Kiltwalk is a unique way to see Edinburgh, with three distances – Mighty Stride, Big Stroll and Wee Wander – meaning there’s something for every energy level. Raise money for your chosen children’s charity while baring your bits . . . WHAT? Knees, we mean knees! See website or entry details.

Monday 17

Benidorm – Live!

Check-in to the Solana for a dose of Benidorm sunshine and see your favourite stars live on stage for the first time at Edinburgh Playhouse. ITV’s award-winning comedy celebrates a decade of all-inclusive hilarity by bringing stars Sherrie Hewson, Janine Duvitski, Jake Cabuso and more to the Capital. Book now before the Germans nick all the best seats. Starts 7.30pm, tickets from £16.

Tuesday 18

Twelfth Night

Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Bristol Old Vic present Shakespeare’s most sparkling cocktail of wit and deep feeling. In this bittersweet comedy centred on a pair of twins, genders blur, boundaries are crossed and the world is turned upside down, all with music as the engine for these Bacchanalian shenanigans. If music be the food of love and all that. 7.30pm, tickets from £16.

Wednesday 19

Topical Storm

Billed as ‘topical comedy for a radical Scotland’, this Stand show may not be for the snowflakier among us – find out if it’s for you as comics Mark Nelson, Keir McAllister, Stuart Murphy and Vladimir McTavish attempt to answer the nation’s big questions via stand-up, chat and comment. 8.30pm, tickets from £5.

Thursday 20

Iain Stirling – U OK HUN? X

Famous these days for his commentary for ITV2 show Love Island – never seen it, you can’t make us watch! – Iain Stirling is, at heart, an Edinburgh boy. So give him a big welcome home as he brings his current tour to the King’s. He’ll be exploring dinner party etiquette, the pressures on a generation brought up in a world of instant gratification and more. 8pm, tickets from £19.50.

Friday 21

Little Baby Bum

Something for the little ones. Babies, we mean, not Rob Brydon. Step into the magical and colourful world of YouTube stars Little Baby Bum at the King’s. Join Mia, Jacus, Twinkle and their Nursery Rhyme Friends at the world premiere of a brand new live show. 3.30pm, tickets from £14.

Saturday 22


. . . and it’s not even Friday. The former Marillion frontman takes a break from a current spot of songwriting in his Scottish studio to entertain at the Queen’s Hall. He’ll be playing the entire Clutching at Straws album as wel as songs from the new Weltschmerz album coming soon. “Weltschmerz”, of course, is German for “a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness”. Hopefully that’s the last thing Fish, aka Derek Dick, will spread tonight. 7pm, tickets from £27.50.

Sunday 23

Gershwin and Bernstein

Two American masters are celebrated as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra play George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest at the Usher Hall. Plus, Aaron Copland’s Fanfare For the Common Man and Augusta Read Thomas’s Brio. 3pm, tickets from £6.

Sarah Millican – Control Enthusiast

Why aye pet, haddaway and . . . we can’t finish that bit from the Larn Yersel Geordie book of slang, but we can tell you that the South Shields comic is talking about being a control enthusiast – never a freak – at the Festival Theatre at 8pm, tickets from £30.

Monday 24

Helen Bellany

Artist, muse, mother, author, raconteur – Helen Bellany is a lot of things, and you can celebrate them as Valvona & Crolla hosts a Port Seton Supper to promote her book The Restless Wave: My Two Lives With John Bellany. 6.30pm, £25 for two courses with a glass of wine.

Tuesday 25

Joan Armatrading

As the very first UK female singer/songwriter to gain international success, national treasure Joan Armatrading has spent the last 45 years touring and recording. And she’s not completely knackered! Heck, she doesn’t even need other musicians, she’s doing this tour completely solo. Expect new material and such classics as Love and Affection, Drop the Pilot, Me, Myself, I and I’m Lucky as she plays the Usher Hall. 7.30pm, £35.75.

Wednesday 26

Kevin Bridges – the Brand New Tour

You can’t accuse Kevin Bridges of getting too fancy schmancy with the title of his latest tour – he’s a straightforward fella and he’ll be going straight for belly laughs at the Playhouse over the next five nights. 8pm, tickets from . . . oh, they’re sold out already. Maybe try for a return.

Thursday 27


Theatre Gu Leor presents Scotties, a powerful, new play celebrating the music and languages of Scotland and Ireland. A telegram from Ireland in 1937 inspires the untold story of ten young lads from Achill lost in a Scottish bothy fire. The effects reach across the sea, waking the soul of a young Glasgow boy today struggling to find his voice. And you don’t need to know the old Gaelic to enjoy this Traverse show. 7.30pm, tickets from £6.

Friday 28

Still Alice

Scottish actress Sharon Small stars in a tender and touching insight into the world of a 50- year-old woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Take tissues to King’s for 7.30pm, tickets from £18.

Saturday 29

Doors Open Day

Today and tomorrow is your annual chance to look behind the scenes of some of the Capital’s most remarkable buildings. This year’s highlights include the Glasshouses at Royal Edinburgh Hospital, the Official Residence of The Consul General of France and ROTOR Bunker aka the Cold War nuclear fallout shelter – we’ve already booked that one. Visits are free, but spaces are limited. See the website for full details.

Sunday 30

Ghillie Dhu Cinema Club

Fancy singing along to a classic film? Ghillie Dhu are offering two options today, the 10am Family Cinema Club (brunch and film, £7.95 per adult, kids eat free) for a Beauty and the Beast singalong or the 8pm Ghillie Cinema Club (dinner and film from £20 per person), featuring a Moulin Rouge singalong. Just don’t sing with your mouth full, it’s not pretty.