What’s On: Five things in Edinburgh August 11-17 - Simple Minds, Frankie Boyle, Sir Ian McKellan

Your at-a-glance guide to the five best things to see in Edinburgh in the coming week.

Not sure what to do in Edinburgh this weekend? Whatever the weather, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s our guide to the best things worth seeking out in the Capital for the week beginning Thursday, August 11.


Clockwise from top left: Simple Minds, Sir Ian McKellen, Frankie Boyle and Nicola Sturgeon.

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    Simple Minds, Princes Street Gardens, Saturday, August 13, doors 6pm

    One of Scotland’s biggest ever musical exports, Simple Minds have experienced a remarkable journey since releasing their debut album, Life in a Day, in 1979.

    Constantly evolving, the Jim Kerr-fronted band’s rousing choruses and booming atmospherics made them one of the most iconic bands of the Eighties.

    Along the way, they’ve landed five UK No.1 albums, topped the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic, sold over 60 million albums and packed stadiums the world over.

    No strangers to the Capital, having played many huge gigs here over the years, Simple Minds’ gig on Saturday is the standout highlight of this year’s Edinburgh Summer Sessions.

    Tickets are still available, but selling fast. Get yours here.


    Louise Welsh with Nicola Sturgeon, Central Hall, Monday August 14, 5.30pm

    Louise Welsh burst onto the Scottish detective fiction scene in 2002 with The Cutting Room.

    Her enigmatic protagonist Rilke, auctioneer, cruiser, man of indeterminate morals, has retained his place in readers’ hearts for two decades, as has his creator. Now the wait is over. Join Welsh as she introduces Rilke’s return to the shadowy streets of Glasgow in The Second Cut.

    In this special event, as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, she speaks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

    Tickets are available here


    Frankie Boyle, Assembly Rooms, various dates until August 28, 6.15pm

    As part of a continuing physical and mental tailspin, Frankie Boyle suppresses his overarching sense of futility and horror to tell jokes for an hour in the final days of organised human life.

    It's a show largely about politics, satirising whichever new leaders emerge from the irradiated rubble.

    The show will then embark on a tour of Re-education Camps, Robot Barracks, and Colosseums built from old shipping containers.

    Tickets are available here


    Hamlet with Ian McKellen, Ashton Hall, Saint Stephens Stockbridge, various dates until August 28

    Ian McKellen and Peter Schaufuss collaborate and perform together at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the world premiere of Hamlet with a whole new performance concept, adapted from William Shakespeare’s play.

    In the show, Sir Ian performs Hamlet’s famous speeches and soliloquies, remaining on stage throughout the 75 minute performance.

    Reviewing the production for The Scotsman, Susan Mansfield wrote: ‘If you go expecting a text-based Hamlet, this isn’t it; the text that survives is brief, mostly fragments of the most famous soliloquies.

    ‘It’s not a traditional ballet, either, it’s a fusion of the two, tracing the beats of the story in dance but with McKellen’s powerful presence on stage throughout holding the still centre while the action swirls around him’.

    Tickets are available here


    Kyle Falconer, The Old Dr Bells Baths, Sunday, August 14, 7pm

    Kyle Falconer, from Dundee indie band The View, will be playing a set combining his solo music alongside hits such as Same Jeans and Superstar Tradesman.

    The Dundonian’s new solo album, No Love Songs For Laura, is out now on Honey Pie Recordings.

    Featuring the singles Wait Around and Stress Ball, the album has earned praise from Clash and NME, plus adds to Spotify playlists including Peach and Transistor.

    Support from The John Rush Band, The Laurettes and Hunter & McMustard.

    Tickets are available here

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