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

Ian Rankin. Picture: Jane BarlowIan Rankin. Picture: Jane Barlow
Ian Rankin. Picture: Jane Barlow
Have an event you'd like considered for Inspire Me? E-mail Entertainment Editor Liam Rudden [email protected]


FOR the first time in its history, the Lothian Chambers, the city’s former council chambers, have been transformed into an art gallery, to showcase the work of Scottish-born art sensation Stuart McAlpine Miller.

Free, and open to the public until 29 August, the exhibition features six originals and 13 signed limited edition paintings, one of the largest exhibitions of McAlpine Miller work on Scottish soil to date.

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The artist, who has worked on numerous advertising campaigns and be commissioned by celebrities such as Paul McCartney, was also artist in residence at London’s Savoy Hotel in 2012.

Dubbed “one of the best artists of our time”, his startlingly photorealistic compositions, appear at first glance to be collage or an amalgamation of magazine clippings and cartoon imagery. Upon closer examination, the intricate, hand painted works bring these worlds together with subtle tones that create the illusion of transparency.

Cartoons, comic book superheroes and fashion models converge and collide in McAlpine Miller’s work.

Lothian Chambers, City Chambers, High Street, 0131-529 5974


COLIN McCredie, Taggart’s DC Stuart Fraser, is just one of the familiar faces coming to the King’s in September when Democracy, by Michael Frayn, tours there next month.

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A gripping spy thriller, based on a true story, Democracy is set in West Germany, 1969.

Charismatic Willy Brandt has been elected Chancellor. However, his own political party are starting to plot against him.

As his enemies tighten the noose around his neck Brandt believes the only man he can truly trust is Gunter Guillaume, his devoted personal assistant.

But in the world of political intrigue, espionage and betrayal, who can you trust?

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McCredie is joined by Tom Hodgkins, Neil Caple, Sean Scanlan, Michael Moreland, Jack Lord, Alan Steele, Jim Kitson, Steven Scott Fitzgerald and Stewart Porter.

King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 29 Sep-1 Oct, 7.30pm, £17.50-£30.50, 0131-529 6000


ALASDAIR Hutton, has narrated The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo for 25 years, that an audience of five million hanging on his every word.

Now you can enjoy a insider’s account of the annual event in his new book, The Greatest Show On Earth.

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With full colour images from performances down the years, Hutton shares behind the scenes stories as he explains the excitement and complexities of staging such an amazing show year after year.

The Greatest Show On Earth, published by Luath Press, is available now, £14.99


THE Edinburgh makars have two plays at the Royal Scots Club this Fringe.

The first, Collateral Damage by Tariq Ali, Howard Brenton and Andy de la Tour, was written at the time of the Kosovan war, yet the themes remain as relevant today as Labour tears itself apart, refugees cross borders and we debate whether military intervention makes things better or worse.

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A portrayal of the dissolution of relationships, it stars Jana Doughty as Leonie and Chester Parker as Daniel, who are arranging a dinner party to celebrate Daniel’s 50th birthday, and is directed by Martin Burnell

The second piece, The Gingerbread Lady, is one of Neil Simon’s less well known pieces.

A dark comedy, it centres on a cabaret singer struggling with an alcohol problem and just back from rehab. Her remaining friends and daughter try in their own ways to support her while coping with their own problems.

It stars Thérèse Gallagher, Georgia Smith, Derek Melon, Jan Renton and Anton Hiett and is directed by Margaret Milne.

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Collateral Damage, 6.30pm, £10, The Gingerbread Lady, 7.45pm, £12, Royal Scots Club, Abercromby Place, until 27 August, 0131-226 0000


LOOKING to treat the kids?

At Ed’s Easy Diner, Fort Kinnaird, they have a new Junior Menu. In addition to ‘puppy dogs’ and chicken strips, they’ve added mac’n’cheese bites, sweet potato fries and brownies into the mix. A taste of Americana, the Junior Menu and fun pack (under 10s) costs £5.95 for main, side and drink.


Looking for some comedy in the coming days? Most seven-year-olds don’t pick a ghost as a role model. But local comedian Ross Hepburn wasn’t like most seven-year-olds.

Discover the story behind his strange and unusual choice of hero in a show that explains why sometimes only the undead can help you live life to the full.

And best of all it’s free.

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Banshee Labyrinth, Niddry Street, until 28 August, 8.40pm, free


JUGGLERS, human statues and musicians of every style are set to descend on Portobello beach this Saturday for The Big Beach Busk.

From noon onwards entertainers are invited to turn up and perform, whether that be mime, magic or a set of favourite songs.

Now in its seventh year, previous Big Beach Busks have featured accordion players, brass bands, drummers, salsa bands, guitar players, singer-songwriters, juggler, a poet and even a musical pop up tennis coach.

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So something for every one. There’s even a sand castle building contest for the kids. Best of all, it’s all free, just turn up and join in.

Big Beach Busk, Portobello Beach, noon-6pm, free


THIS Sunday, join former Olympic swimmers Michael Jamieson and James Goddard for free swimming lessons at the Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym at the Omni Centre.

Former 200m breaststroke silver medallist Jamieson, left, who studied at the University of Edinburgh, will be back in town to pass on top tips, while Goddard, ex-Olympian and Commonwealth champion, will lead the coaching session.

Both will be joined by Kirsty Gallacher, who is supporting the campaign to get fit through swimming.

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Gallacher says, “I was born in Edinburgh and love spending time here, so I’m very excited to be back to encourage people to get involved in Speedo’s Dive In campaign.

“I’ve always liked swimming, and improving my front crawl has really helped me get more from my fitness workouts in the pool.

Sunday’s 60-minute session will start at 10am.


FANCY pounding the Rebus beat? With BBC One’s much anticipated crime drama One Of Us hitting TV screens this week, This Is Edinburgh is celebrating with the launch of a new guide, detailing locations of famous films and TV programmes that have seen the Capital become the home of British crime drama.

With record numbers of visitors travelling to Sweden, following the success of Nordic Noir series The Bridge and Wallander, This Is Edinburgh hopes the new crime drama location guide will help locals and visitors retrace their favourite scenes and walk in the footsteps of famous stars, including David Tennant (Escape Artist) and Ken Stott (Rebus).

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One Of Us is the latest in a long tradition of crime-drama series to be made in Edinburgh. Written by Harry and Jack Williams, it’s a tense thriller following the twists and aftermath of the brutal murder of two childhood sweethearts, just back from honeymoon.

The drama based its pre-production in the Capital before a three month filming schedule in the city and the Scottish Borders.

Film Edinburgh has revealed that of the 200+ dramas filmed in Edinburgh over the last 25 years, crime dramas have made up more than 20 per cent, hitting their peak in 2012, when a massive 43% of all dramas filmed in the region were crime.

To view the crime drama guide visit: