What's On Scotland 5-12 Dec: Festive Theatre & more

Heading to the theatre over the festive season? Pick from The Lion King, Pinocchio and Oor Wullie. Plus, more Christmas markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow, gigs from Clairo, Barney Artist and Free Love, and much more...

Feature by Nadia Younes | 05 Dec 2019
  • Dashaun Young (Simba) in Disney's The Lion King UK & Ireland tour

A trip to the theatre is a family staple across the festive period, and luckily there are plenty of productions to choose from for those not so keen on the panto realm.

In Edinburgh, you'll be belting “It’s the circle of life!” at the top of your lungs at the stage adaptation of Disney classic The Lion King, reimagined for the stage by director Julie Taymor. Over in Glasgow, another children's classic comes to life in Pinocchio at Tramway. Adapted for the stage by Robert Alan Evans and Lu Kemp, the production follows Pinocchio as he longs to become a real boy.

If you feel like you've seen enough of those creepy Oor Wullie statues jumping out at you, then you might want to stay as far away from Dundee Rep as possible over the next month or so. For their festive production, Noisemaker's Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie have created a musical stage adaptation of Oor Wullie, which is currently showing at Dundee Rep before touring across Scotland.

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QMU, Glasgow. 8 Dec, 7pm
Boston-born lo-fi pop musician Claire Cottrill's debut album as Clairo, Immunity, is a sweet and endearing portrait of young love and heartbreak. It showed that there's much more to her music than just viral online hits like Pretty Girl and Flaming Hot Cheetos, and proved her a serious one to watch for the future. Keep your eyes peeled on Clairo for 2020 and beyond. Image: Hart Leshkina

Barney Artist
The Hug and Pint, Glasgow. 10 Dec, 7.30pm
You might have spotted a video created by Barney Artist circling around Twitter to promote his Glasgow show, and if you haven't you should watch it here now. After only selling nine tickets for the show, the East London artist took matters into his own hands and hit the streets of Glasgow to spread the word about the gig. Image: Nathaniel Bailey

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until 21 Dec, times vary
Written in China centuries ago, Pu Songling’s bizarre and fascinating Strange Tales are now brought to the stage by acclaimed immersive theatre company Grid Iron, using puppetry, martial arts and cutting-edge projections. Filled with laughter, magic, sensuality and a dash of horror, Strange Tales will draw you into a world full of mischievous fox spirits, yearning ghosts and shapeshifting creatures where anything is possible. Find out more in a short video with the cast and creative team.

Bergamotte Pop-Up Jungle
Custom Lane, Edinburgh. 5-8 Dec
Looking for some fresh new greenery to brighten up your flat, and inevitably your Instagram account too? If so, enter plant aficionados Bergamotte’s pop-up jungle, heading to Edinburgh’s Custom Lane for four whole days on a three-stop UK tour. A selection of over 3000 plants will be available, with prices ranging from £2-35, so there are options for all budgets. Image: Bergamotte

Wasps Winter Artist and Makers Market
The Briggait, Glasgow. 7 Dec, 11am
Over 80 artists and makers will help make your Christmas shopping as easy as possible by setting up in The Briggait this Saturday for Wasps Winter Artist and Makers Market. Stallholders include Bare Bones Chocolate, Morven Mulgrew, Soft Play (pictured) and Warped Textiles, with food from Finnieston fave MAYZE and the excellently-named Pakora Explorer.

Summerhall's Christmas Market
Summerhall, Edinburgh. 8 Dec, 11am
A staple on Scotland’s Christmas market calendar, Summerhall’s Christmas Market is a must for Edinburgh’s Christmas shoppers. Why would you waste your time traipsing around Princes Street when you could be indoors shopping local and enjoying food supplied by Face Plant Foods, The Royal Dick and more to be announced. Oh, and a hot toddie to wash it all down. Image: Cat Thomson

Barras Beer Bash: Festive Edition
BAaD, Glasgow. 7 Dec, 11am
If you're looking for an indoor weekend event that doesn't involve Christmas shopping but does involve lots of beer then the festive edition of Barras Beer Bash is here for you. Following the success of their first edition in summer, the festival is back with beers from Williams Bros., Vault City, Overtone, Harviestoun and many more. There will also be food, DJs and of course that inescapable festive fun!

Heal Yourself and Move: Free Love (live) and House of Traps
Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh. 7 Dec, 11pm
Free Love conclude a string of tour dates around the UK and Europe, and a massive year, with this late night club show at Sneaky Pete’s, courtesy of Firecracker Records. The Glasgow duo, made up of Suzi and Lewis Cook, last played in the club under their Happy Meals guise and it was an absolute spectacle, so their return to the club is sure to be a glorious affair. Image: Craig McIntosh

Honey Dijon
Sub Club, Glasgow. 8 Dec, 11pm
If you happen to have Monday off, keep the weekend partying going right through Sunday night and into Monday morning as Chicago legend Honey Dijon stops by Sub Club. Dijon is one of the most sought after DJs around at the moment, so don't pass up the opportunity to catch her setting the Subbie basement alight this weekend. Image: Ricardo Gomes

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