Do you yearn to do a bit of theatre? Fancy trying your hand at writing for theatre or screen? Want to build confidence and make new friends? Or even improve public speaking and team building in your company?
Whether a seasoned actor or an aspiring thesp, opportunities for strutting your stuff in Edinburgh have never been better.
Kirsty Mackay, a graduate of the fabulous Lyceum Youth Theatre, is now showing the world what Edinburgh yoof are made of in her starring role of Juliet, with co-suicidee, Romeo.
Shakespeare’s classic elegy of doomed yoof starts the Lyceum’s exciting Autumn of Love season next Friday 17th September. Check the video trailer here. The first night has already sold out but if you hurry, you can get tickets for as little as £4.75 for afternoon and evening shows at concession rates.
Tightlaced Theatre is a company for new writers – not just for developing new plays, but fostering the talents of new playwrights in the early stages of their careers.
“We have such a rich pool of creative in the city. But if we don’t use it, we lose it,” said Artistic Director Jen McGregor. “We have to help each other to get along, build our experience, create networks, get everyone more engaged and have a laugh.”
Tightlaced’s latest show, The Dress Affair, written by Rob David, showcases the best of what grassroots theatre can offer in Edinburgh today. The play is an adaptation of a poem by Carlos Drummond do Andrade, Brazil’s most influential poet of the 20th century.
The dress itself is a central character to the play. It holds the power to exploit both males and females in its sexual thrall. When a woman wears it, her normal pragmatic non-sexy self is held hostage by the dress and she becomes a seductress, while men fall victim to its sexual potency.
Sensitively directed by Flavia d’Avila, ‘The Man’ and ‘The Woman’ twist and turn through this brooding epic in a piece with potential for larger spotlights. With live, newly minted music by Iain Orr, the piece is rooted in the misogyny of the past and reminds us of times once romantic, now infused with oppression and the inescapability of cultural norms.
“Brazil only came out of military dictatorship and cultural oppression 25 years ago,” said Flavia. “Brazilians are not fond of political correctness. As a company, we relish the tension that comes from offering non-PC material to a sophisticated 21st century audience.”
The audience is able to help with the development of the piece with a dynamic Q&A after the show, placing this work solidly in the gift of Edinburghers to support , develop and own. The Dress Affair is at GRV every night at 7:30pm until Sat 11th September.
That’s Lunch Productions have a new drama group starting on 16th September where you can learn techniques in acting, performance, improvisation and team work.
That’s Lunch Productions, fronted by Michael Shand, has already produced two plays in Edinburgh to great acclaim: Give A Dog A Bad Name and Apathy and are currently rehearsing an exciting two-woman show in October called Cutting the Chord which will then go on to tour the Borders in November.
To find out more about the classes, email Sara on firstname.lastname@example.org or turn up at at West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre 6pm to 9pm, only £4.
“it is incredibly difficult for the Lone Actor to keep a dab hand in his / her skills, to feel his / her creativity is still alive and to feel part of an artistic community,” said Adrienne-Marie Zitt
Their last show, In Transit, was critically acclaimed to a packed GRV, the stomping ground of up-and-coming actors in Edinburgh. For more information, contact them here but to join this talented group, you will need to provide Equity or Spotlight information or other proof of professional performance experience.
There is an incredible range of theatre companies you can join. Thanks to Thom Dibdin’s wonderful theatre blog, here’s a comprehensive list of all the fun, serious, wacky and talented groups in Edinburgh.
- Active Enquiry
- Allegro Musicals
- Arkle Theatre Company
- Balerno Theatre Company
- BigVillage Theatre Co
- The Bohemians
- Edinburgh Gilbert & Sullivan Society
- Edinburgh Grand Opera (EGO)
- Edinburgh Music Theatre
- Edinburgh People’s Theatre (EPT)
- Edinburgh Studio Opera (ESO)
- Edinburgh Theatre Arts (ETA)
- Edinburgh University Footlights
- Forth Childrens Theatre
- Edinburgh Gang Show
- The Grads
- Holy Cow Performing Arts Group
- Holyrood Amateur Theatrical Society (HATS)
- Lothian Youth Arts & Musicals Company LYAMC
- The Edinburgh Makars
- Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association (MAMA)
- The Melodramatics
- The Mercators
- Opera Camerata
- random ACT theatre company
- St Columbas Dramatic Society
- St Serfs Players
- Saughtonhall Drama Group
- Southern Light Opera
- Tempo Musical Productions
- The Luvvies
- SCDA – the website of the Scottish Community Drama Association
- NODA Scottish Area Website
The audio clip of Flavia d’Avila and Rob David, when they appeared on Wednesday night’s Leith Tonight arts and culture radio show, is here.
Annabel Cooper is hosting the show and you can also hear the incredibly young and talented Sheila Who playing a live acoustic, meet James Christie our new LeithTonight superstar photographer and listen to an extensive interview with the amazing Rod Jones of Idlewild. You can hear me making a case for why we should continue supporting the Edinburgh International Festival and arts budgets in general.
© Fin Wycherley
Edinburgh Spotlight review of The Dress Affair
TV Bomb’s review of The Dress Affair
Joyce McMillan review in The Scotsman