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Some Things for the Festive Season

Stade’s Hogmanay hootfest kicks off New Year

Vlad headThere is plenty to choose from around the country over the festive period, from pantomime and stand-up comedy to theatre and some top sporting action.

My going out guide this week stretches through to include next weekend too. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – and don’t forget to see a show.

Comedy
HOGMANAY HOOTFEST WITH TOM STADE
The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh Sunday 27th Dec to Saturday 2nd Jan 8.30
The Stand’s Hogmanay shows are always a joy for both audience and comics alike. Suddenly, after the stress of Christmas and all the enforced socialising that it entails, people once more go out with people whom the like, which makes them a much better audience. Joining me in Edinburgh this New Year are the one-and-only Tom Stade and up-and-coming talent Robin Grainger

Cinema
STAR WARS: THE FORCE WAKENS
On General Release
Probably the first-ever movie to have an English astronaut flown up to the International Space Station to boost its pre-release marketing. Personally, Star Wars has always bored me rigid, but if you’re into this utter nonsense, I’m sure this will be a big event in your festive calendar.

Theatre
RAPUNZEL
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow until 3rd January. Times vary
In thirty-odd years I have never seen a bad Christmas show at The Citz, and this year is no exception. Rapunzel is a welcome departure from the normal repertoire of panto stories, and contains a stunning set and some brilliant original songs.

Theatre
PETER PAN
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen Until 3rd January 1.45 and 7 pm
Who needs a pantomime dame, when instead you can have the real-life Grande Dame of Scottish comedy Elaine C Smith ? There are few better exponents of knockabout pantomime humour. Even if the rest of the cast were to be average, this would still be watchable.

Sport
EDINBURGH RUGBY V GLASGOW WARRIORS
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh   Sunday 27th December
The World Cup did a lot to publicise the game globally, and interest in the game in Scotland received a huge boost from the national team’s epic quarter-final against Australia. The festive 1872 Cup clashes are always tense affairs as the country’s two pro teams battle over two legs in the space of a week. Tickets for the Murrayfield leg will be much more easy to obtain, as the return leg in Glasgow’s compact Scotstoun Stadium are almost certain to sell out.

RANGERS v HIBERNIAN
Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow   Monday 28th December 3 pm
Another Glasgow v Edinburgh clash and another hot ticket for footie fans. Despite being in the second tier, this is without doubt the biggest game in Scotland over the Festive Season, and may well determine which of these two sleeping giants are in the Premiership next term.

Theatre
THE WITCHES
Dundee Rep   until 31st December 7pm (Matinees at 2.30)
If, like me, you prefer a “seasonal play”, rather than a pantomime, Dundee Rep stage adaptation of the Roald Dhal classic should be right up your street. And if your street happens to be in Dundee, all the better.

Theatre
CINDERELLA
Byre Theatre, St Andrews   until 2nd January.   Times vary
A modern take on one of the more traditional pantomime stories. The Byre Theatre’s version is set in a dance class run by Cinders’ wicked step-mother and has a Strictly Come Dancing feel to it. As well as the core professional cast, there are also some stunning performances from the local youth theatre. Also, in case you were worried, it does still end in a good old-fashioned singalong with the song-sheet.

Vladimir McTavish will be appearing at The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh from Sunday 27th December to Saturday 2nd January as part of the Hogmanay Hootfest.   All shows at 8.30

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