The Month in Scottish Theatre: July 2018

With the Fringe just a month away, Scotland’s theatre calendar is looking busy, so whether you’re looking forward to the festival, or not, here is a quick guide to the month in Scottish theatre before the month to end all months

Preview by Amy Taylor | 11 Jul 2018
  • Project Y Tour

While preparations for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August are heating up, the Scottish theatre calendar is as strong as ever, with a number of great productions taking place this month. From big musicals to filthy poetry, performing anger and the next generation of young dancers, Scotland’s stage is heaving with stories, talent and much, much more.

Starting off the month is the return of Smut Slam, a quarterly spoken word night “where sex and storytelling collide”. The latest next instalment of the popular evening takes place for one night only at Woodland Creatures on Leith Walk on 2 July. Hosted by Cameryn Moore, the theme this time around is “holidaze”, only without the holiday pictures and with a lot more of their signature X-rated stories. There’s also a a guest panel of judges and the ‘Fuckbucket’ where audience members can anonymously submit questions and even confessions, if they dare.

Next up is the Edinburgh Playhouse with two big musical productions: the musical adaptation of the film An Officer and a Gentleman and The Band, the new musical from Take That. Making its Edinburgh premiere, An Officer and a Gentleman runs from 2-7 July, and features the songs you may know from the movie including Up Where We Belong, as well as Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Heart of Glass. The show follows Zack Mayo, a US Navy pilot in training who falls in love and has to learn to be himself, and other life lessons.

The Band opens on 10 July and runs for five nights until 14 July, featuring everything that you might expect from a jukebox musical about one of the most popular boy bands of all time; teenage girls, hero worship, 90s fashions and, yes, those songs. Dubbed the fastest-selling musical of all time, this is your chance to see it before it transfers to the West End later this year.

In Aberdeen, Aberdeen Performing Arts plays host to two different, but equally exciting projects. First up is Vent, at The Lemon Tree on 26 July, created and performed by the Scottish Youth Theatre National Ensemble. A new piece of performance that blends physical theatre and live soundscapes, Vent explores how we express anger; if we had eight minutes to vent our feelings, what would we do? And how could it change your life forever? The next day, on 27 July, YDance presents Project Y, their yearly showcase for dancers aged 16-21 who have completed their intensive four-week dance training programme, the Project Y Performance Course. This year, the troupe present a collection of four new dance works by some of the UK’s best young contemporary dancers.

Ending the month is Scottish Opera’s Pagliacci, at the Paisley Opera House. If you haven’t heard of this venue before, it’s because this is a brand new one, described as a “huge tented structure”, where Pagliacci runs from 26-29 July. Directed by Bill Bankes-Jones, this promenade-style production puts the audience at the very heart of this tale of love and jealousy. Featuring a company of nearly 200, it stars Ronald Samm, Anna Patalong, Robert Hayward, Samuel Dale Johnson and Alasdair Elliott.