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Eilidh's Blog: A Quick Guide to Theatre in Edinburgh

By Megan 06 Mar 2019

If you have an interest in theatre and want to be able to experience more of it, Edinburgh is the place to be.

From large scale musical productions to more student-friendly plays at budget prices, Edinburgh has it all, right on your doorstep. In Edinburgh city centre you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from a theatre or stage, and at any time of the year there’s always something interesting to go and see.

If you want to see a musical, the Edinburgh playhouse never fails to impress, acting as a stop for many touring companies staging world famous shows. The Christmas 2018 production of Cyndi Lauper’s uplifting musical, Kinky Boots, was an inspiring and elevating experience which tugged on the audience’s heartstrings, made them laugh and had them humming the catchy tunes weeks after they left the auditorium. This was soon followed by a production of American Idiot, the stirring musical based off Green Day’s hit album of the same name. This fiery production was full of the angst and rebellion of young people dealing with a political climate that is failing them, and as a result proved to be popular among students and young people. With Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat coming to the playhouse in March and Matilda in April, there’s always a new show to experience. Tickets for the playhouse can range from £20 to over £50, so it’s definitely a treat to save up for, especially if you’re a student on a budget, but it’s definitely worth having the experience of seeing such a high standard of performance at least once while living in the city, even if visiting the theatre isn’t usually your first choice for a night of entertainment.

There is also a vast array of great options for students who would prefer not to spend as much on a night at the theatre. Shows that are put on as part of the Edinburgh Fringe are often far cheaper to attend than they would otherwise be and are still of an incredibly high standard. As well as the affordable tickets, you are also giving support and recognition to theatre-makers who are trying to gain experience and make their way into the industry, many of them students like yourself. Free Fringe is also a great option- a programme which runs as part of the Fringe each year where you can see wonderful pieces of theatre for free.

In Edinburgh, there is also a lot of theatre’s who stage straight plays, which are often overlooked for bigger productions of popular musicals. Both the Traverse Theatre and the Royal Lyceum- which are situated right next to each other on Lothian Road- offer discounted tickets for students priced at £12.50 and £10.00 respectively, which is an absolute steal for some of the entertainment offered. These prices stay the same across all performances, meaning that in November 2018 it was possible to see The Unreturning in the Traverse (a beautiful play put on by world-famous movement-based theatre company, Frantic Assembly) for a phenomenal price considering the standard of performance. Frequently checking the websites for both theatres is a great idea to look for affordable opportunities to see what can turn out to be extraordinary pieces of theatre.

Edinburgh is an absolute gold mine for the dramatically inclined student seeking to pass their time with a trip to the theatre, if you know where to look for the right productions at the right prices.

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Megan part of the QMU Browzer Team
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