This Week’s Edinburgh Theatre: Top Tickets

There really is something for everyone in Edinburgh’s theatres right now – whatever your tastes. Directed by Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson, The Iliad brings Homer’s great tale of gods and heroes, love, jealousy and revenge to visceral life. At the Playhouse, a talented cast take you on an incredible journey through the legend that is The Carpenters story. While the Festival Theatre is the place to be for Mary Poppins, the magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane.

America Darkish as Helen in the Iliad at Lyceum Theatre

The Iliad

“… There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible – magic to make the sanest man go mad.”

The Gods of Olympus take their sides and the fates of all men hang in the balance. On the battlefield of Troy the scene is set for the final conflict to claim the beautiful Helen. Only the invincible Greek warrior Achilles can tip the scales of war to glory or defeat, but humiliated by his leader Agamemnon, he is stubbornly refusing to join the fray.

Homer’s Iliad, the greatest and most influential epic poem ever written, tells of the tragic and bloody climax to the ten-year siege of Troy; the darkest episode in the Trojan War.

This great tale of gods and heroes, love, jealousy and revenge is brought to visceral life in a brand new adaptation by award-winning Scottish Playwright Chris Hannan (Crime and Punishment, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn, Shining Souls).

Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, until Saturday, 14 May, 7.30pm (Wednesday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm, various prices, 0131-248 4848

carpThe Carpenters Story

The award-winning Carpenters Story celebrates the music of one of the most successful pop duos in music history, Richard & Karen Carpenter.

The internationally acclaimed Claire Furley is unsurpassed in her uncanny representation of Karen Carpenter. Her stunning vocal harmonies combined with state of the art video projection and lavish arrangements from no less than eight live musicians, will take you on an incredible journey through the legend that is The Carpenters story.

Featuring all the timeless hits from the Carpenters repertoire including (They Long To Be) Close To You, We’ve Only Just Begun, Superstar, Yesterday Once More, Top of the World, Please Mr Postman, and many more.

Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Sunday, 24 April, Friday, 29 April, 7.30pm, £22.90-£26.90, 0844-871 3014

crashCrash

Everything that happens is created by you.

Confidence is everything in the world of high finance. Confidence in yourself, confidence in the market. Lose that and you lose everything.

Crash is the story of an enigmatic trader attempting to rebuild his life following a tragic event. As he takes the first tentative steps back into the brutal landscape of trading stocks, he feels the pressure begin to build.

In the continuing wake of the financial crisis, Scottish writer Andy Duffy creates a rare and poetic insight into the psychology of a banker’s world.

Directed by Traverse Associate Artist Emma Callander, acclaimed for recent festival hits Cuckooed (Fringe First Award) and Theatre Uncut (Fringe First and Herald Angel Award).

Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, Friday, 29 April – Saturday, 30 April, 8pm, £16.50 (£8.50-£13.50), 0131-228 1404

menoMenopause The Musical

Don’t miss the hysterically funny and uplifting Menopause the Musical as it heads out on a UK-wide tour, packed full of sharp one-liners about memory loss and hot flushes and backed by an instantly recognisable soundtrack of comic parodies of pop classics.

This all-singing, all-dancing comedy is set in a department store where four women with apparently nothing in common meet, by chance, at a lingerie sale.

The show features an all-star cast including Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Linda Nolan (The Nolans) and Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty).

The women make fun of their lives as they go through ‘The Change’ –  the forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges. They soon bond as they realise that the menopause is no longer “The Silent Passage”, and is an unavoidable stage in every woman’s life. The show has played sold-out tours across the world so share in the fun and friendship and book your tickets today.

Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Saturday, 30 April, 7.30pm, £24, 0844-871 3014

rightRight Now

As Alice and Ben settle into their beautiful new flat they realise that the family across the hall hope to be more than just good neighbours.

Soon, Juliette, Giles, and their son Francis are wearing out the welcome mat; suggesting drinks, hors d’oeuvres and dancing. Things begin to heat up as innocent invitations lead to passionate encounters and unsettling revelations.

Written by award-winning Quebecois playwright Catherine-Anne Toupin, Right Now is a play with a dark heart, a disquieting exploration of one woman’s crisis and darkest desires. It walks a delicate line between playful laughter and deep trauma, teasing and thrilling audiences from beginning to end.

Directed by Michael Boyd, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, Tuesday, 26 April – Saturday, 7 May, 7.30pm, £18 (£8-£14), 0131-228 1404

chicagoChicago The Musical

“Murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery…all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts”…so begins the international award winning Broadway and West End musical, Chicago.

Based on real life events back in the roaring 1920s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle.

Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Monday, 25 April – Saturday, 30 April, 7.30pm (Wednesday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm, £15-£44.50, 0844-871 3014

maryMary Poppins

The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of Mary Poppins is brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film.

The stage production of Mary Poppins is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh and has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes.

It has a timeless score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman including the songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Feed the Birds with new songs and additional music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Wednesday, 27 April – Saturday, 21 May, various times and prices, 0131-529 6000