As Edinburgh’s theatres return to life with the arrival of their Autumn/Winter seasons, these are the 10 Must See shows coming to the Capital before Christmas.
Royal Lyceum, 12 September-5 October
A NEW play by David Greig adapted from Stanisław Lem’s classic sci-fi novel opens the Lyceum’s 2019/20 season.
Within hours of arriving on a space station in orbit around the mercurial planet Solaris, psychologist Kris is troubled by the evasive habits of her fellow scientists who each seem haunted by ghosts. It’s not long before she herself is confronted by the spectre of an old love.
Are these apparitions real or is the planet conjuring them to communicate with the crew?
Following Tarkovsky and Soderbergh’s cult films, Lem’s work comes to the stage for the first time, starring Polly Frame with Lord of the Rings’ favourite Hugo Weaving appearing on video as Dr Gibarian.
A TASTE OF HONEY
King’s Theatre, 23-28 September
SHELAGH DELANEY’S career-defining play is an exhilarating depiction of working-class life in post-war Salford, starring I’d Do Anything finalist Jodie Prenger as Helen.
When her mother Helen runs off with a car salesman, feisty teenager Jo takes up with Jimmy, a sailor who promises to marry her, before he heads for the seas leaving her pregnant and alone.
Art student Geoff moves in and assumes the role of surrogate parent until, misguidedly, he sends for Helen and their unconventional set- up unravels.
ON YOUR FEET!
Festival Theatre, 7-12 October
THE Broadway and West End production of Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s smash-hit musical comes to Edinburgh.
On Your Feet! is the inspiring true love story of Emilio and Gloria and charts their journey from its origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom.
THE KING AND I
The Playhouse, 17-26 October
HAILED as ‘the theatrical event of 2018’, the critically acclaimed Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King And I stops off at the Playhouse direct from a record breaking sold out season at The London Palladium.
Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.
The show’s loved score includes the songs Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance.
King’s Theatre, 21-26 October
EVERYONE loves a bit of Gothic horror and Mary Shelley was just 18 when she dreamed up a monster whose tragic tale has captured the imaginations of generations.
A young scientist by the name of Frankenstein breathes life into a gruesome body.
Banished into an indifferent world, Frankenstein’s creature desperately seeks out his true identity, but the agony of rejection and a broken promise push him into darkness.
Dangerous and vengeful, the creature threatens to obliterate Frankenstein and everyone he loves...
Rona Munro’s new adaptation of the Gothic masterpiece places the writer herself in the action of the piece as she wrestles with her creation and with the stark realities facing revolutionary young women, then and now.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
The Playhouse, 28 October-2 November
IT’S just a jump to the left... Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical returns starring ex-boyband heart-throb Duncan James as Frank n Furter and Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff.
This is the story of two squeaky clean college kids - Brad and his fiancée Janet. When by a twist of fate, their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, they meet the charismatic Dr Frank n Furter... and nothing, can ever be the same again.
Get ready to join in with the pelvic thrusting Time Warp and don’t forget to shout the obligatory audience responses.
King’s Theatre, 5-9 November
THE hit West End chiller finally arrives in Edinburgh.
Inspired by true events, the two-time Oscar-winning movie of The Exorcist has thrilled generations the world over since its release in 1973.
Now it’s your turn to experience The Exorcist live in this spine-tingling new stage production starring Paul Nicholas and Sophie Ward.
When desperate mother Chris is unable to get any answers from a succession of doctors about her young daughter’s strange symptoms, she reluctantly turns to a local priest for help.
But before Father Damien can tackle what’s before him, he must overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul.
Get ready to jump out of your seats... I did.
DISNEY’S THE LION KING
The Playhouse, 5 December-9 February 2020
ARGUABLY the biggest show of the year to come to Edinburgh.
Reimagined for the stage, Disney’s beloved animated film has been transformed into this spectacular stage production, which returns to the Playhouse for a second extended season.
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, this multi award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience that you will remember forever.
At its heart is the powerful story of Simba and his epic adventure to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.
I CAN GO ANYWHERE
Traverse 2, 7-21 December
DOUGLAS MAXWELL’S ‘big, beautiful life-saver of a play’ gets its World Premiere at the Traverse.
Stevie is a disillusioned academic who once wrote an unfashionable book on youth movements in Britain, now struggling to cope after a painful break-up.
His misery is interrupted by Jimmy who lands unexpectedly on his doorstep beaming with excitement.
Jimmy is 100% Mod: oversized military parka, fitted Italian suit, dessy boots, pork pie hat. The full package - he’s seeking asylum in the UK.
With just a few days before the substantive interview that’s going to decide his fate, the stakes are high.
So he came up with a brilliant plan. A plan that’s going to work against all odds. It has to work. He can’t go back.
And Stevie has an important part to play.
CHRISTMAS WITH STEPTOE AND SON
Brunton Theatre, 8 November
CATCH up with the nation’s favourite rag and bone men, for some classic, festive misadventures in these much loved episodes of classic comedy from Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, freshly adapted for the stage by John Hewer.
Albert and Harold seem doomed to spend Christmas in each other’s company.
But Harold has his flights of fancy, including a flight he fancies abroad or to throw the biggest Christmas party London’s ever had to offer.
His ‘dirty old man’ Albert, of course, has other ideas!
WHERE TO GET TICKETS
The Playhouse, Greenside Place, 0844-871 3014, www.atgtickets.com/edinburgh
The King’s, Leven Street, and Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 0131-529 6000, www.capitaltheatres.com
Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 0131-248 4848, www.lyceum.org.uk
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131-228 1404, www.traverse.co.uk
Brunton, Musselburgh, 0131-665 2240, www.thebrunton.co.uk/