CHOICE OF THE WEEK AHEAD:
1ST PATRICK’S PRAISES CANONGATE KIRK,EDINBURGH TONIGHT, 7.30PM; ST ANDREW’S IN THE SQUARE, GLASGOW, TOMORROW,7.30PM St Patrick’s Day is past and gone by almost a fortnight, but Canty, the female quartet from Capella Nova, have sourced a fine collection of chants and songs for the Feast Day of St Patrick that deserve a hearing throughout the year, not just on March 17.
The programme of 15th-century Irish plainsong has already been performed by Canty in Ireland, but since Patrick was, according to legend, kidnapped from Scotland by Irish pirates, it seems fitting that this superb legacy of a medieval Celtic world should be spirited back across the waters and performed before audiences here.
In concert, Canty are joined by the Scottish Plainsong Choir and accompanied by William Taylor, whose improvising on the medieval clarsach is a pleasure in itself. And because this is a bringing together of old and new strands, there’s also a premiere: a new setting of St Patrick’s Breastplate by Michael McGlynn.
2EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL VENUES ACROSS EDINBURGH, TODAY UNTIL SATURDAY APRIL 5, TIMES VARY In the 20 years since the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) first invited the public to take a close-up look at the origins, methodology and new discoveries in the ever-widening realm of science, this annual event has grown in size and popularity.
Nowadays it caters for families in search of a great day out with a difference – check out the fun workshops and interactive exhibitions at Wonderama at the Assembly Rooms, George Street – as well as those adults and older children for whom science is perhaps a career option, not just a serious hobby. The varied talks programme might well be a rewarding option for them.
Those who’ve been to the Science Festival before will be glad to hear that the hugely entertaining Dr Bunhead is back with a show called Crash Test Jelly Babies in which he will test objects to destruction – a process he cheerfully describes as “science made scary, with all the nasty bits left in”. Dr Bunhead, it should be said, possesses just the right personal (and scientific) chemistry to make his shows go with a real bang. His show is at the National Museum of Scotland from Tuesday to Friday at 11am.
For details of the entire EISF, call the box office on 0131 524 9830 or log on to www.sciencefestival.co.uk
3HALF A SIXPENCE KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW MONDAY-SATURDAY APRIL 5, 7.30PM (WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY MATINEE, 2.30PM) Its title may be in old money – and you would be hard pushed to come by twoand-a-half new pennies nowadays – but this roistering, heart-warming musical hasn’t lost any of its entertainment value over the years.
Based on HG Wells’s story about an orphan, Kipps, who comes into money but loses his way when he starts social climbing, the show was written (in 1967) as a star vehicle for Tommy Steele. In this new touring production, his role as the lovable innocent is taken by theatre favourite Gary Wilmot. Money can’t necessarily bring you happiness, but it can secure you a ticket for a show that still packs oodles of Flash, Bang, Wallop. Clockwise from main: Ansel Adams’s work is on show in Edinburgh; Can We Live with You? goes on tour; the EISF is experimental as anything; Gary Wilmot in Half a Sixpence
4CAN WE LIVE WITH YOU? TRAVERSE, EDINBURGH, THURSDAY 2PM AND FRI-SAT 7.30PM Edinburgh’s Lung Ha’s Theatre Company returns with what promises to be yet another full-on, totally topical piece of music theatre. This time, the 40-strong group of performers is reflecting on the pursuit of happiness and our tendency to build castles in the air … and then relocate to other shores in an attempt to find the elusive Shangri-La.
If past projects are anything to go by, then the message that will beam out loud and clear from this energetic, outgoing integrated group, will be finding happiness in what you cannot buy – and that includes your family and friends.
There’s original music played live on stage and probably more than a smattering of tongue-in-cheek mischief at work in the script. One of the things that Lung Ha’s has in abundance is a wicked sense of humour that can target and debunk pretensions, hypocrisy, tokenism and trendy fads. If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, the show is at the Platform, Easterhouse on April 10 and 11.
5NORTHERN STREAMS FESTIVAL THE WYND,MELROSE, THURSDAY 8PM;THE SCOTTISH STORYTELLING CENTRE, ROYAL MILE, EDINBURGH, FRI-SUN, TIMES VARY Musicians and singers from Norway and Denmark join forces with their Scottish counterparts in the fifth Northern
Streams Festival, all with the aim of celebrating the traditional music, song, dance and storytelling of the different cultures. One thing is definitely shared: an enthusiasm for having a cracking good time.
This year’s programme opens in Melrose with a bit of a preview – Music from Scandinavia, featuring Sudan Dudan (Norway) and Svobsk (Denmark), groups that will also be performing in Edinburgh. Sudan Dudan’s repertoire ranges from comic ballads to lullabies, many of them accompanied on the langeleik (the rare Norwegian zither) while Svobsk take their name from a dance where you whirl around in a close embrace until you get all … “svobsked”.
There are workshops, as well as performances. Full details are available from www.ceilidhculture.co.uk or www.eltmsa.org.uk.
6ANSEL ADAMS: CELEBRATION OF GENIUS CITY ART CENTRE,EDINBURGH UNTIL SUNDAY APRIL 20, MONDAY-SATURDAY, 10AM5PM, SUN 12NOON-5PM. You may be aware that, as the clocks go forward tonight, you lose an hour. The good news, however, is that the opening times for this remarkable exhibition have been extended.
The collection of Adams’s photographs – wonderfully absorbing landscapes and images of nature, spanning his career from the 1920s to the 1960s – has proved so popular that Sunday opening has been brought forward to meet public demand, with an extra day, April 20, being added for good measure. It’s a feast for the eyes and mind, and worth catching before it heads back to the USA.