Scottish Theatre Highlights: November 2019

We take a look at what's happening in theatre across Scotland this November before Panto season gets full underway. Oh no we didn't!

Preview by Eliza Gearty | 29 Oct 2019
  • Still No Idea

Edinburgh Theatre Highlights 

The Traverse Theatre have an exciting month of shows ahead, kicking off with Hope and Joy, a Stellar Quines and Pearlfisher co-production that examines the colliding lives of two women against the backdrop of a chaotic and changing world (1-2 Nov). Lisa Hammond, Lee Simpson and Rachael Spence's acclaimed creative experiment Still No Idea, during which they compel the public to write the story for them, gets its Scottish Premiere, running from 5-8 November (all performances are relaxed).

There are also two wonderful sounding festivals – First Stages and Emergence – taking place at the Traverse in November. First Stages Festival is a brilliant initiative. Focusing on encouraging and nurturing emerging talent, it includes script-in-hand readings of six selected plays from an open submissions window, writing workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities (7-9 Nov). Check out our profile on the festival, and interviews with three of the writers selected, in this issue. Presented by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, Emergence also puts the spotlight on new work and talent, presenting new works-in-progress from a range of youth theatre directors from across the country (15-16 Nov). 

At The Lyceum, on 4 November Talk Show will be inviting artists, authors and thinkers to watch that night's performance of Barber Shop Chronicles, taking to the stage afterwards to share their responses to the show. And the Christmas season officially kicks off there at the end of the month with An Edinburgh Christmas Carol beginning its run on 28 November, while festivities get under way at the Festival Theatre on 26 November with their opening night of Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.

Elsewhere, opera fans won’t want to miss Scottish Opera’s Tosca at the Festival Theatre (14-23 Nov), while Becoming Electra: A Queer Mitzvah sounds like an interesting and heartwarming new piece of theatre about ‘coming out’, in more ways than one (Studio Theatre, Edinburgh, 9 Nov).

Glasgow Theatre Highlights 

A Play, A Pie, and A Pint at the Òran Mór has a stellar programme this month, and the great news (for anyone that doesn’t already know) is that lunch and a drink is included with your hour of top-quality drama. At just £15 (£12.50 on Wednesdays), it's an absolute bargain, particularly when the line-up includes works from well-renowned dramatists like David Harrower, who won the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play for the stunning Blackbird, and has been writing internationally acclaimed work since.

Directed by Rosa Duncan, Harrower's play Good With People, described as "a haunting two-hander tracing one town’s path of personal and political destruction," sounds intriguing and runs from 4-9 November. Alan Bissett’s Do Not Press This Button then runs from 11-16 November, followed by Benny Young’s Cranhill Carmen (18-23 Nov), before things get festive with their Christmas Panto, Dixie Whittington: The Hamecoming (25 Nov-28 Dec).

In Easterhouse, be sure to check out Nosedive at Platform (1-2 Nov). A show based on a truly fascinating concept, it uses contemporary circus and theatre to question and ‘subtly reorder’ the roles of children and adults, and features an intergenerational cast. Back in the city centre, for a taste of the more traditional, a great gothic night out this winter could be Rona Munro’s new adaption of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Theatre Royal (25-30 Nov).

Dundee Theatre Highlights 

At Dundee Rep, two nights of their Great Big Dance Show (6-7 Nov) will feature performances by community groups and dancers from all around the world. Later in the month the Rep will host the World Premiere of "an awfy braw new musical" version of Oor Wullie (23 Nov-5 Jan), capping off a year where Edinburgh was quite literally covered in Wullies. Jings! Crivvens! Help ma boab!