An unseasonably quiet week in Capital theatres – but there’s still one or two productions that are worthy of your attention. At the King’s Theatre, Roald Dahl’s classic tale, James and the Giant Peach will enchant audiences of all ages, while those who love a good ballet are advised to make a beeline for the Festival Theatre, where Scottish Ballet’s Swan Lake is showing this week.
James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl’s classic tale follows the adventurous, young James and his friends – Miss Spider, Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybird and Earthworm. Beginning at the end of the story, like all great tales do, James and his friends are living in the giant peach stone in Central Park, New York, but the real story lies in how they got there, all the way from the White Cliffs of Dover.
Orphan James Henry Trotter was sent to live with his evil aunts, Spiker and Sponge, after his parents were killed in a tragic rhinoceros accident. Just when James thinks he will never be allowed to have fun again he meets an old man who gives him a bag containing the ingredients for the strongest magic potion in the world. When James accidentally spills it near the old peach tree in his aunts’ garden the most marvellous things start to happen and he begins the greatest adventure of his life.
Join James and his new found insect friends on their extraordinary journey fraught with enemies, dangers and excitement, which will take them halfway around the world in a giant peach full of friends, music and laughter.
King’s Theatre, Leven Street, Tuesday, 24 May – Friday, 27 May, various times, £15.50, 0131 529 6000
Scottish Ballet: Swan Lake
Scottish Ballet has commissioned award-winning, international choreographer, David Dawson, to create a new Swan Lake.
Dawson’s work is visceral, daring and always pushes dancers to their limits.
“David always looks to push the boundaries of classical ballet, and I know that his production of an iconic story will be a thoughtful, fresh and very bold addition to our repertoire,” says Scottish Ballet’s Artistic Director, Christopher Hampson.
“David was recently appointed Associate Artist of Dutch National Ballet. His work challenges and extends the realms of classical technique and his brave stagings have made him a choreographer in demand across the globe.”
A world premiere tour, this new commission will ensure that a new generation will be engrossed by the timeless story of Swan Lake in a style and choreographic language relevant to the 21st century.
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Wednesday, 25 May – Saturday, 28 May, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee, 2pm), £14.50–£43.50, 0131-529 6000
Thon Man Molière (or Whit got him intae aw that bother … )
“Why do folk not, ever, catch on to themselves?…Ach, gies you another interesting nutter to play…” Welcome to Paris at the time of Louis XIV. Come backstage and meet the King’s theatre company – a troupe of, grande dames, old hams, ingénue’s and of course, their leading man.
Right at the centre, author of their dramas and cause of all their troubles – Thon man Molière. In constant threat of debtor’s prison, in big bother with church and state and – worst of all – disastrously in love with the wrong wife, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin de Molière writes brilliant comedies inspired by a desperate life.
But telling the truth is a dangerous business and getting his latest drama on stage could be the death of him!
Writer of the acclaimed Perfect Days and Mary Queen of Scots got her Head Chopped Off, as well as celebrated Scots versions of Medea, Oedipus, Antigone and Molière’s great trio of masterpieces; poet and playwright Liz Lochhead returns to The Lyceum with a brand new original play.
It tells the story of her hero, the great comedian Molière; his scandalous marriage, his scurrilous plays and the irresistible creation of his infamous and celebrated satire Tartuffe.
Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, Friday, 20 May – Saturday, 11 June, 7.30pm (Wednesday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm; previews 20, 21, 23 May, £10), £15 – £29.50, 0131-248 4848