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Some Things for the Weekend

Vlad’s pick of the top shows in Scotland

Vlad headThe undoubted headline story in there theatre world in Scotland over the past seven days was last week’s shock resignation of National Theatre Of Scotland’s artistic director and chief executive Laurie Sansom after three successful years.in the job.

His departure is still shrouded in mystery. What is not in doubt is his massive contribution to the development and growth of NTS, building on the foundations of his predecessor Vicky Featherstone.

At the same time, but with longer notice given, Mark Thompson is also leaving The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, and its current production will be his swansong.

While these two familiar faces may be about to depart the cultural landscape of our country, there is a welcome return for one of our prodigal sons, among this weekend’s highlights.

PICK OF THE WEEK

Theatre

RIGHT NOW

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Until 7th may.  Times vary

Thirty years ago, Michael Boyd directed a number of highly critically-acclaimed productions at The Tron Theatre in Glasgow, including one pantomime which featured among its cast a little-known comedian called Bing Hitler, now better known under his given name of Craig Fergusson, and who presented The Late Late Show on CBS network TV in the USA for nine years until 2014.   Boyd himself went on to pastures new, finally becoming Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and receiving the inevitable knighthood which goes with that position.  Sir Michael now returns to  creative duty in Scotland for the first time in well over a decade with this imaginative 20th-century farce-cum-nightmare.

LOVE SONG

Dundee Rep   Until Saturday 23rd April  Times Vary

Dundee Rep’s resident ensemble are one of the greatest treasures of the Scottish theatre scene, and the company’s commitment to this approach to casting is to be applauded as a welcome antidote to the star-led model employed elsewhere.  This wonderfully funny and moving production is testament to their unique approach to drama, and is receiving press rave reviews.

THE ILIAD

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh  Until  14th May Times vary

Mark Thompson’s final production as artistic director of the Lyceum is an imaginative re-working of the timeless Greek myth, originally penned by Homer. The strong ensemble cast includes Olivier award nominee Meldy Grove and Scottish theatre stalwart Ron Donachie, who many may remember from the icons 1980’s BBC Scotland comedy drama Tutti Frutti

JACKIE THE MUSICAL

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh   Tuesday 26th to Sunday 30th April

Who would have thought that a musical based on a trashy 1970’s teenage girls’ magazine would turn out to be one of the biggest theatre hits on 2016 ?  Certainly not me.  If you missed Jackie The Musical in Edinburgh, you can catch it in Perth, Inverness and Aberdeen in July

Visual Arts

GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL

Venues throughout Glasgow until Monday 25th April

Running until the end of the month, Glasgow International is a truly unique event.  While predominantly a visual arts festival, it also embraces other disciplines such as performance and music in a multiplicity of venues throughout the city, including some spaces one would least expect to find an exhibition.  For example, one event takes place in a townhouse on the edge of Kelvingrove Park.

Comedy

PAUL PIRIE, SUSIE McCABE, GUS LYMBURN

Breakneck Comedy, Blue Lamp, Aberdeen  Saturday 23rd April 8.30

Paul Pirie is quite simply one of the funniest people to have come out of Scotland in the last thirty-odd years. He also happens to earn his living a stand-up comedian. He’s supported on this bill in Aberdeen likeable-gritty Glaswegian Susie McCabe in a show hosted by the unique manic buffo by ornery of Gus Lymburn.  With Lymburn and Pirie on the same show, literally anything could happen.  Don’t be surprised if the bar is drunk dry by the end of the night.

Exhibitions

BRITISH ART SHOW 8 in EDINBURGH

Inverleith House, Modern Art Gallery and Talbot Rice Gallery.  Until 8th May

On tour from the Hayward Gallery in London’s South Bank, British Art Show 8 comes to Edinburgh until the spring at three venues in the city.  Catch it at Inverleith House, which is in the Royal Botanic Gardens, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and at The Talbot-Rice Gallery in the University.

Vladimir McTavish will be performing at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Monday 25th April

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