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Some Things for the Weekend

Sherlock, Shawshank and the Stand on the Tyne

Vlad headAs we approach the second weekend of the month, there is a distinctly autumnal feel to our days and nights, after the glorious Indian summer of the past month.  Already the days feel colder, and the nights are getting longer.  Accordingly, our thoughts turn to indoor leisure pursuits, no more balmy evenings in beer gardens from now on. 

Indeed, for myself and many others, thoughts have turned away from drinking completely.  I have signed up to Sober October, partly as a kneejerk reaction to the amount of alcohol I consumed last month, or Can’t-Remember September, as I now call it.

Fortunately, there is plenty of indoor entertainment on offer throughout Scotland this weekend.  I have also included some events in Newcastle this Saturday, when the city becomes a mini-Caledonia as it hosts Scotland v Samoa in the Rugby World Cup.

For those lucky enough to have tickets for the game, I have some recommendations for an evening out on Tyneside, hopefully one of celebration:

Theatre
OUR LADIES OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR
Live Theatre, Newcastle  Friday 9th and Saturday 10th October at 7.30pm, Sunday 11th at 4 pm

Live Theatre, based in a converted warehouse on Newcastle’s historic Quayside, has been a powerhouse of new theatre writing for over thirty years. Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour, a joint-production with the National Theatre of Scotland, was a huge hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.  Written by Lee Hall, who created Billy Elliott, it is a raucously-rude coming-of-age play about a Catholic school girls’ choir whose trip to Edinburgh goes spectacularly wrong.

GHOSTS
Tron Theatre, Glasgow   Friday 9th, Saturday 10th October  7.45 pm

Glasgow’s Tron theatre Company is held in deservedly high repute for the quality and volume of new theatre they have produced over the last three decades.  However, this autumn they present a dark, and at times disturbing, re-working of Ibsen’s brooding classic. Whether you are familiar with the original or not, this should be a gut-moving night of emotionally-charged drama.

A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh  Friday 9th 1pm and 7 pm, Saturday 10th at 1 pm

An idea that started at Glasgow’s Oran Mor, and has proved equally popular across Scotland, including The Traverse in Edinburgh.  Your ticket gets you entry to the play, plus a pie and a drink, This week’s offering at the Traverse is 140 Million Miles by Adam Pack, about a couple who are offered the trip of a lifetime, a space flight to Mars.

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.   Friday 9th October at 7.30pm, Saturday 10th at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

This is a less a stage adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, and more a live version of the movie based on the book.  It was written by comedians Owen O’Neill and Dave John’s who allegedly adapted it for the stage by repeatedly watching the film and transcribing the dialogue.  While that may or may not be true, the end result was a huge box office hit at the 2013 Fringe.

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE RIPPER MURDERS
Dundee Rep, Friday 9th, Saturday 10th October

This promises to be a stunning piece of theatre.  True history and fiction collide as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson attempt to solve the notorious serial murderers committed by Jack the Ripper.  With its accompanying conspiracy theories, and rumours of cover-ups and Royal involvement, the Ripper murders are still a source of lurid fascination over a century later

Comedy
JASON COOK, LOST VOICE GUY, MATT REED
Stand Comedy Club, Newcastle, Friday 9th  and Saturday 10th October at 8.30pm

The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle presents live stand-up comedy every night of the week, with its weekend shows routinely featuring bills which bring together TV names and some more interesting and quirky acts of the live circuit. This weekend’s show is headlined by Jason Cook, writer and star of Channel 4 sitcom Hebburn, supported by Lee Ridley (aka The Lost Voice Guy) and hosted by local favourite Mat Reed.

KEVIN BRIDGES: A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY
AECC, Aberdeen Friday 9th October 8pm

A little over a decade ago, a young teenage boy emerged on the Scottish comedy scene. Too young to be served in the pubs in which he was gigging, he invariably blew all us more experienced comedians out of the water.  That boy was Kevin Bridges.  Now in his late twenties, and a global star, his latest tour includes a mind-boggling eleven sell-out shows at the Hydro in Glasgow.  Best of luck getting a ticket to Friday’s show in Aberdeen.

HAL CRUTTENDEN: STRAIGHT OUT OF CRUTTENDEN
The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen  Saturday 10th October.   Check time with venue

A stalwart of the live circuit for many year, Hal Cruttenden is finally receiving the critical acclaim, and the TV credits, that his talent deserves, with appearances on Live At The Apollo and Have I Got News For You. His relaxed demeanour, easy charm and posh accent hide a scathing wit.

Vladimir McTavish will be headlining The Best Of Scottish Comedy at The Spree Festival in Paisley on Friday 9th October and Comedy At The State in Glasgow on Saturday 10th October

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