Some Things For The Weekend

Stylistic approach to Velvet production

Vlad headAs a child growing up in Scotland, Hallowe’en was always my favourite festival of the year, more so even than Christmas.  All the kids from our neighbourhood would go out “guising” in fancy-dress, knocking on neighbours’ doors and performing our party pieces for an audience of long-suffering grown-ups.

For weeks beforehand, probably from the start of October, I’d start planning my costume.  Sadly, more went into planning than into execution.  One year, a robot outfit I had made out of cardboard boxes disintegrated immediately on contact with the driving October rain. I’d like to say that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the night, but of course it did.

If you want to escape the house, to avoid your neighbours children calling, there is plenty of professional entertainment throughout Scotland this weekend.  Here is a selection of my personal highlights.


Opium, Cowgate, Edinburgh Friday 30th October.  Check venue for time.

Take the chance to catch one of Scotland’s most exciting up-and-coming bans, The Van T’s, in the intimate (if not exactly salubrious) surroundings of Opium in Edinburgh’s Cowgate.  Having wowed audiences this summer at Wickerman and T In The Park, this surf-rock-grunge quartet will not be playing venues this small for long.  If you find the Cowgate a bit scary this close to Hallowe’en, they also play Bloc + in Glasgow on Saturday 31st.


Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh,  until Saturday 14th November 7.30  (2 pm Wed and Sat)

The television adaptation of Sarah Water’s novel about the lesbian scene in Victorian London provoked some controversy amongst the sections of society who like to write letters to Points Of View. With an ensemble cast of fourteen, Laura Wade’s stage adaptation, which premiered at the Lyric Theatre in London’s Hammersmith, takes a much more stylistic approach to the story, with songs, music-hall jokes and a hybrid score of modern-day pop and old-time variety.

Tipping the Velvet


Breakneck Comedy at Bridge Of Don, Parkway Inn, Balgownie Road, Aberdeen Friday 30th October   8.30 pm

Aberdeen’s premier stand-up promoter, Breakneck Comedy present their third bi-monthly show out in the suburbs at Bridge Of Don. Headlined by hard-hitting yet genial comic John Scott, the show is in the Parkway Bar, adjacent to Sri Beema’s curry house, and a full Indian menu is also available as well as a top-quality night of comedy.  If that’s not enough, they also have a late bar.

Dundee Rep, until Saturday 31st October  7 pm

This weekend is the final chance for audiences in Dundee to catch the highlight of the Rep’s autumn season Midsummer, co-written by David Greig, the author of Black Watch. 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.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until Saturday 31st October 1pm and 7 pm

The latest production in the Traverse’s autumn “A Play, A Pie and A Pint” season. Despite his antipathy towards Scotland, Dr Johnston employed five Scots to help compile his famous dictionary.  Find out just how smooth a process ensued in this one-hour play.  Your ticket price, as ever, includes a pie and a drink.


The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow,   Sunday 1st November 3 pm

Comedy for children is a grossly-underrated art.  It may seem easy, but it is notoriously difficult.  Ask any stand-up.  Fortunately for him, and indeed for his audience, former street performer Martin Mor is one of the most skilled children’s entertainers in the business.  Having headlined The Stand’s adult shows over the weekend, he revives his Edinburgh Fringe sell-out kids’ show on Sunday afternoon.


Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Friday 30th October 7.30 pm

A one-night stand in Aberdeen from exceptional six piece all-female band, The Shee, as part of a European tour, promoting their third CD Murmurations. Their powerful three-strong vocals and astonishing instrumental prowess showcase a diverse range of individual musical influences to produce an adventurous brew of Folk, Gaelic and Bluegrass.


Citizens Theatre, Glasgow     

One of the most eagerly-awaited theatre shows in Scotland this autumn, The Citizens present the World Premiere of The Choir, by Paul Higgins and Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross.  It’s a funny, gritty musical about a disparate group of strangers – from a Tory councillor to an Iraqi immigrant – who come together to sing in a community choir.  If you’re a fan of uplifting, heart-warming musical theatre, this is definitely the show for you.

Vladimir McTavish will be headlining Monkey Barrel Comedy at The Beehive Inn in Edinburgh on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st October at 8.30 pm

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