Review: The Arabian Nights

Why have one story in your Christmas show when you could have a whole collection of them? In Suhayla El-Bushra’s new telling of The Arabian Nights at the Lyceum, directed by Joe Douglas, a stubborn and resourceful young girl named Scheherazade – played very likeably by Rehanna MacDonald – must use her storytelling to save her mother and the other inhabitants of Baghdad’s marketplace from imprisonment by the Sultan. There’s intrigue. There’s shadow puppetry. There’s a sock genie and dogs making fart jokes. In short, it’s everything you could want from a fun, charming night at the theatre.

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Review: Legally Blonde

The point of Legally Blonde – or at least this version of Legally Blonde, directed by Anthony Williams – isn’t so much what happens, as how it feels. Personally, I think that’s one of the things that makes theatre different from other modes of storytelling – the experience of being in a room with the rest of the audience, the rest of the performers, and sharing the feelings, the electricity. And this production goes all out, precisely as it should do: there’s technicolour set, dozens upon dozens of costume changes, frequent full-company dance breaks, glitter balls over the auditorium. The lighting designer has clearly had a field day. The result is exuberant, lively, and just all round a really great room to spend three hours in.

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Review: Cockpit

The Lyceum’s gone all immersive! This apart from anything else is exciting: front of house is all decked out with sandbags and suitcases, the auditorium dressed up with banners and paraphernalia. There are ladders, trapdoors, audience seating on the stage. It’s all terribly thrilling.

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Review: Hedda Gabler

So what do we think about Hedda Gabler, then? Is she a woman who’s been unfairly backed into an inescapable corner, or is she a bona fide psychopath? Either way, it’s an interesting question – it’s tempting to wonder what an audience would have thought in 1890, but in Ivo van Hove’s new production of Patrick Marber’s adaptation, well, it’s tempting to veer towards option B.

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Review: Love Song to Lavender Menace

Love Song to Lavender Menace is a two-man show about Lavender Menace, the radical feminist and LGBTQ bookshop that made a lasting impression on Edinburgh’s west end in the 1980s. We open with Lewis (Pierce Reid) and Glen (Matthew McVarish) in 1986, packing up the final few books and lamenting the close of Lavender Menace, telling stories about its existence, its founding, its patrons, and the city and cultural climate in which they found themselves. To say something completely obvious, Edinburgh has changed a lot in thirty years, politically as much as in any other way: for some, this is a trip down memory lane. For the rest of us, it’s a celebration, a reminder of how far the world – and Scotland – has moved in the meantime.

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