The theatre scene in Edinburgh is incomparable with almost anywhere outside New York and London and at the heart of the many wonderful theatres and performance venues is the Edinburgh Playhouse. Formerly a cinema, the Playhouse has a huge capacity of 3059 which makes it the UK’s largest operating non-sports theatre. Dedicated to musical and traditional theatre, as well as some musical acts and performers, Edinburgh Playhouse is a fantastic venue for taking in a show and enjoying some of the bestselling theatre performances the UK has to offer. It is only half a mile – less than 10 minutes walk from The Royal Scots Club.
Edinburgh Playhouse was opened in 1929 as a super-sized cinema and it was inspired by the famous Roxy Cinema in New York. John Fairweather, the specialist cinema architect, was behind its design and it has a beautiful finish which makes it enjoyable for its appearance as much as the shows on its stage.
The popularity of the Edinburgh Playhouse means its calendar is packed out, even into 2017 and many big shows and travelling troupes from the West End and beyond are more than happy to tread the boards in one of Edinburgh’s most famous venues.
For 2016 there are a huge range of acts and shows to look forward to. In January and February there is still a little Christmas spirit lingering, with the Royal Scottish Ballet performing The Snow Maiden, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. February also sees some of the world’s most famous musicals hit Edinburgh with Blood Brothers and Hairspray, starring Claire Sweeney and Tony Maudsley arriving at the end of the month too.
March brings the Jersey Boys to the Scottish capital and also the Opera and Ballet International present three Ellen Kent productions including Carmen. March ends with the drama and glamour that is The Rocky Horror Show, starring Diana Vickers and Paul Cattermole.
There is fun for the kids by May with two Horrible Histories shows and by July all those big name shows are back again with Cats, Lionel Bart’s Oliver and Chicago, starring Eastenders’ John Partridge and X Factor winner Sam Bailey.
September brings Billy Elliot to the Edinburgh stage and there are plenty of dates throughout the year still to be filled, despite both Mamma Mia and the tour of the West End bestseller The Commitments already booked in for 2017 at the Playhouse.
The UK’s biggest theatre is proud to host some of its most famous shows and many more are bound to be announced before the calendar is completely full and it’s a great excuse to visit Edinburgh and enjoy the fantastic cultural atmosphere.