Some Things for the Weekend

Handbags and Gatsby’s gladrags

Vlad cigarEvents

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh  Until Saturday 22nd Nov  Several shows daily

What better way to take advantage of the long winter evenings can there be than this outdoor festival of light at Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens?  Back for a second year after 2014’s outstanding success, Botanic Lights promises to be bigger and better this year. The gardens re-open after dark, and visitors are able to follow a trail of magical light, accentuating the park’s stunning natural autumn colours. A unique evening experience not to be missed.


The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow  Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th Nov 8.30

One of the box-office hits of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Canadian Tom Stade returns to Glasgow as part of his UK-wide tour. Now finally receiving some long-overdue and much-merited TV exposure. His stoned persona masks a huge intellect, and his ability to construct multi-layered routines from the smallest of beginnings is a sheer joy to watch.

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh  Until Saturday 7th November  7.30

What really happened when Margaret Thatcher had her weekly audiences with the Queen ?  It’s unlikely you’ll find the answers in this show, but it promises to be entertaining nonetheless. A huge hit in London’s West End, this hilarious comedy speculates on what the world’s most powerful women really talked about behind closed palace doors.



Dundee Rep, Tay Square, Dundee   Thursday 5th, Friday 6th November  7.30

A new stage adaptation by critically-acclaimed Blackeyed Theatre of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novel set in America’s decadent “Jazz Age”. A brilliant evocation of a society obsessed with wealth and status, as relevant today as when it was first written.


Breakneck Comedy, The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen  Saturday 7th November 8.30

Aberdeen’s top comedy club this weekend welcomes one of the finest stand-ups on the live circuit. Gary Little is a big guy with an enormous stage presence, yet his comedy can be surprisingly gentle and self-mocking at times, and the man is a born story-teller.  Plus full supporting bill, and resident compere, the hilarious Gus Lymburn.

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow     Until Saturday 14th November, times vary

I mentioned this show last week, but I’m recommending it again, as friends in Glasgow have been praising it to the hilt.  Co-written by Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross, The Choir is 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.

Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, Sunday 7th November

Another show I make no apologies for including in this column for a second time, as it’s on every week, and every week it is guaranteed to provide top-class afternoon entertainment. 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.


Oran Mor, Glasgow   Saturday 7th November 

I was amazed to find this guy’s still alive, never mind still on a tour. But I’m sure some people say the same about me. The Tom Robinson Band had a string of hits in the immediate post-punk years of the late seventies and early eighties, mixing music with political activism in songs such as 2-4-6-8 Motorway and Glad To Be Gay. This should be an evening of non-stop nostalgia for music fans in their mid-to-late fifties of a vaguely left-wing persuasion.

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