Your guide to the best shows and events
New column: Some Things for the Weekend
Autumn sees some semblance of normality return to the streets of Edinburgh after the media circus of the Fringe, although last weekend the city was once more able to bask in a little bit of showbiz glamour when the red carpet was rolled out for the premiere of Macbeth which can be seen at cinemas throughout the country from this Friday.
Believe it or not, despite being shot in Skye in mid-winter, the film actually has to rely on computer-generated fog.
However, if you’re looking for some live entertainment to lighten up an October night, there are plenty of options available this weekend. Here are some of my highlights across the country.
WAITING FOR GODOT
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, until Saturday 10th October
Probably the highlight of the entire autumn season, this is a must-see production of Samuel Beckett’s classic surreal dark comedy, sixty years after its first performance. Whether you are a fan of Beckett or not, it features Brian Cox and Bill Paterson, two of the greatest Scottish actors of their generation, familiar to us all on screen but rarely seen on stage in their homeland.
A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen. Friday 2nd October at 2 pm, Saturday 3rd at 1 pm
This show does exactly what it says on the tin. For the price of your ticket, you see a an hour-long play, get a pint of beer (or glass of wine, or soft drink) and a pie. The whole idea began more than ten years ago at Oran Mor in Glasgow’s West End and has become a phenomenal success since, premiering new theatre writing. This week’s offering in Aberdeen is “One in a Million” by Cathy Forde.
SINGING I’M NO’ A BILLY, HE’S A TIM
Dundee Rep,, Saturday 3rd October
Des Dillon’s hilarious satire about religious bigotry in Scottish football, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005 and has been a sell-out success on tour. A Rangers fan and a Celtic supporter end up sharing a courtroom cell on the day of an Old Firm game, and bet on the outcome of the match to pay their fines.
Aberdeen Music Hall, Saturday 3rd October
After hearing various rumours about him “retiring” from live stand-up, it’s great to see my old mate and one-time partner-in-comedy-crime back on tour. OK, Frankie divides opinion, but there is no doubting his talent as a shock-and-awe comedian. I’m sure he’ll have some fairly astute jokes about David Cameron’s undergraduate days in this set.
STU AND GARRY’ FREE IMPROV SHOW…WHOSE LUNCH IS IT ANYWAY?
Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, Sunday 4th October
If you’re looking for lunchtime entertainment in Edinburgh on a Sunday, look no futher than here. Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson are the finest exponents of improvised comedy in Scotland and perform a free lunchtime show every Sunday at the Stand in Edinburgh. If that does not entice you along, the lunchtime menu is stunning.
COMEDY AT THE STATE
State Bar, Holland Street, Glasgow. Saturday 3rd October
The longest-running comedy night in Scotland, Glasgow’s State Bar has been running stand-up shows every Saturday night for nearly 25 years, and some of the biggest names in the business have appeared in the this tiny basement room where they manage to shoe-horn in an audience of sixty. This weekend’s show features the legendary Bruce Morton of Channel4’s Sin.
THE TURNER PRIZE
The Tramway, Glasgow, from Thursday 1st October
For the first-time ever, the exhibition of the work of the artists shortlisted for The Turner Prize comes to Scotland. Glasgow artists have been prominent in past years, although none feature in 2015. Take the chance to be over-awed, under-impressed or annoyed at the pretensions on offer in this exhibition.
OCTOBER BACKSTAGE TOUR
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh. Saturday 3rd October 10.30 am
A unique opportunity to have a glimpse behind the curtain and find out what it’s really like backstage, although I suspect they will probably have cleaned-up a bit before letting the public see what it’s really like. Nonetheless, if you’re curious about these things, then this may be for you.
Vladimir McTavish will be appearing at Breakneck Comedy in Aberdeen on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October