Some Things For The Weekend

Flies, Bridges and a last sprinkle of Stardust

Vladimir McTavishIf you’re taking part in Sober October, and wondering what you can do that doesn’t involve drinking copious amounts of alcohol, then there are plenty of options.

Some you can enjoy with the whole family, while others shall we say, are a little more ‘adult’ in nature. 

You can appreciate most of these without a drink.  Some, such as stand-up comedy, work much better with booze on board.  The choice is yours.

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

William Golding’s bleak psychological horror novel, about a group of schoolboys stranded on a desert island, may have been written in the 1950s, but many of its central themes are as pertinent today as they were sixty years ago.  For those familiar with the book, it will be interesting to see how it is re-interpreted for the live stage and for the 21st century.  For those who do not know the original story, this could be a grimly harrowing evening’s entertainment.

Filmhouse, Edinburgh   Monday 12th to Sunday 18th October  Times vary

This mini-festival of Japanese art-house cartoon films moves to Edinburgh this weekend, after a highly successful week at Glasgow.  While it largely appeals to a niche audience, for fans of Animee, this is a chance to gorge yourselves on some of the finest examples of the genre, past and present.  If you’re not a fan, and your partner is, take a chance on some of the screenings.  You may be surprised.

Speigeltent, County Place, Paisley   Friday 16th October  9.45

In case you thought you’d misread the venue details, they are in fact correct.  For those familiar with this sumptuous touring venue with mirrored walls from its many visits to the Edinburgh Fringe, it may seem somewhat incongruous to see it listed in Paisley, of all places.  The Speigeltent is the centre-piece for the Spree Festival taking place in the town for the past ten days. On Friday, it hosts a Best Of Scottish Comedy show.  I played it last week, and the audience was fantastic. Tonight’s line-up includes legendary Glaswegian stand-up Janey Godley, plus guests.

Edinburgh Playhouse.    Wednesday 14th to Sunday 18th  8pm

If you missed him in Aberdeen last week, and haven’t been able to get a ticket for his sold-out run at Glasgow’s Hydro, there is chance you may be able to squeeze in to catch Kevin Bridges in Edinburgh this weekend.  If it’s sold out, try popping round the corner to where his career started off, The Stand Comedy Club on York Place where this weekend’s show features Radio Four favourite Jo Caulfield.

Dundee Rep.  Wednesday 14th to Saturday 31st  7 pm

Dundee Rep is unique among Scotland’s major theatre in that it still has a resident ensemble company of actors, which imbues a strong sense of identity to all of the work it produces.  “Midsummer” is a play with music co-written by David Greig, author of Black Watch and Gagarin Way, so don’t expect this to be a sugary-sweet musical.  It’s a tragic romance, on a rainy midsummer’s weekend, between a failing car salesman on the fringes of crime, and a high-flying divorce lawyer who should not end up together.  Which, of course, is why they do.

Baileys StardustPhotography
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh    Until 18th

This weekend is your last chance to catch this retrospective of the work of David Bailey, the man whose photographs chronicled the 1960s.  Responsible for so many iconic photographic portraits of that decade and beyond, there are few celebrities who have not been snapped by Bailey over the last fifty or so years.  This is a rare chance to see some of those images up close in their original form.

The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen   Saturday 17th   11.30 to 4.30

After last year’s success, the Lemon Tree hosts the city’s second independent record label market, featuring some of Scotland’s most successful independent labels, showcasing music you will almost certainly not be able to buy in conventional stores.

O2 Academy, Glasgow,  Sunday 18th

While not reaching the dizzying heights of a decade ago,  the chart success of “All Sparks” and headline spots at virtually every major UK summer festival means The Editors are still a really exciting live band, and this promises to be a cracking gig. A perfect way to round off your weekend.

Vladimir McTavish’s 2015 Edinburgh Fringe show “Scotland: 45 Events That Shaped A Nation” will be available on DVD later this autumn.  Just in time for Christmas.

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