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Some Things for the Weekend

Add some cheer to the bleak midwinter

Vlad headThe lights have been taken down, the tree has been thrown out or put back in its box, and the first full working week of 2016 has been completed. There is always a certain air of bleakness to the first week in January.

You may well be off the booze. In some parts of Scotland you may still be underwater. You’ve partied too hard for much too long, and your credit card is maxed to the limit. Do you really feel like going out this weekend ? If you do, here are some suggestions to gently ease you into 2016.

Sport
THE GREAT WINTER RUN
Holyrood Park, Edinburgh   Saturday 9th January 10 am
Every year, on the first Saturday after the holiday season has ended, several thousand hardy (or should that be foolhardy ?) souls run a 5 km course around Arthur’s Seat at a ridiculously early hour of the morning, and I’m usually one of them. If you fancy watching a crowd of fairly unfit people attempting to run off their festive hangovers, and maybe even being sick, then I’ll see you on Saturday morning!

Comedy
NISH KUMAR: LONG WORD, LONG WORD, BLAH, BLAH,. BLAH, I’M SO CLEVER
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen Saturday 9th January at 7 pm
Award-winning stand-up Nish Kumar takes his first sol touring show to Aberdeen. He has appeared on Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience on Comedy Central, and is (as the title suggests) very, very clever. More importantly, he is also very funny.

Stu and GarrySTU AND GARRY (pictured)
Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, Sunday 10th January 1.30 pm
Another show I make no apologies for including in this column again, as it’s on every week, and every week it is guaranteed to provide top-class afternoon entertainment. Furthermore, if you’re tightening your belt after too much Christmas spending, this show is free. Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson are the finest exponents of improvised comedy in Scotland.

MARK NELSON PLUS SUPPORT
The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow Thursday 7
th to Friday 9h January 8.30
A night of award-winning comedy at the Glasgow Stand. Mark Nelson won Best Headline Act at the 2015 Scottish Comedy Awards. He is consistently inventive and challenging, and his material always falls just on the right side border between acceptable and offensive. This weekend he’s supported by Scottish Comedian Of The Year Daisy Earl, in a show compered by the hyper-energetic Billy Kirkwood, who won Best Compere at the 2014 Scottish Comedy Awards.

Cinema
THE HATEFUL EIGHT
On General Release from Friday 8th January
Quentin Tarantino’s eighth full-length feature film is released at the weekend, and one can think of no more fitting counterpoint to the sentimental slush of much of the festive entertainment we have had to endure throughout the past month. His latest offering is a Western set in nineteenth-century Wyoming, where a group of bounty hunters, and their prized prisoner are stranded in a storm. As it’s Tarantino, expect shooting, blood, guts, gruesome violence and some very bad language indeed. I can’t wait!

THE DANISH GIRL
On General Release
This has been one of the most heavily-publicised movies of 2016 so far. Much of the hype has been on the back of Eddie Redmayne’s 2015 Oscar-winning performance as Stephen Hawking . Having played a man with motor-neurone disease, he now takes on the role of a transgendered female artist in 1930’s Berlin.

Dance
SCOTTISH DANCE THEATRE: DO YOUR THING
Dundee Rep Saturday 9th January to Saturday 26th March 10 am
If you made a New Year’s resolution to be more active in 2016, but don’t fancy going out running in Scottish winter weather, Scottish Dance Theatre is running a weekly dance workshop at Dundee Rep every Saturday morning through to late March. The classes are open to people of all abilities and there is a course for children at the same time.

In a similar vein The Citizens’ Theatre in Glasgow starts its adult Night School acting classes on 11th January.

Theatre
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
The Playhouse, Edinburgh Until Saturday 9th January Check times with venue
Without doubt, the film would have been on one TV channel or other over the Christmas period, but some people love the songs so much, they can watch it again and again. It would not surprise me if this were to be one of those shows where the audience go dressed as members of the cast.

Vladimir McTavish will be headlining a benefit night in aid of Refugee Action at The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh on Tuesday 12th January at 8.30



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