Edinburgh Festival Theatre
- Box office 0131 529 6000
- Website www.edtheatres.com
With its impressive Colin Ross-designed three-story glass façade, the former Empire Palace Theatre is at once welcoming and grand. It boasts one of the largest stages in the UK; so big that it has occasionally been converted into a studio theatre with room to spare. The auditorium seats over 1900 people on three levels. Maintaining a tradition for variety that dates back nearly two centuries, it programmes everything from popular comedy to classical opera. Not only is it the capital’s home for Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera, it is also one of the cornerstones of the Edinburgh International Festival and, thanks to investment in cutting edge projection equipment, the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Having built a reputation as a leading dance house, it hosts a cutting-edge contemporary dance season alongside large-scale musicals, international ballet productions and a variety of one-night musical and comedy events. At street level, Café Lucia is open daily, and there are bars on each floor open on performance days in addition to private function rooms. The same management runs the King's Theatre.
If you like a little added sparkle with your live entertainment then the prestigious Festival Theatre is the place for you. Built in 1994, the impressive glass facade imposes a sense of occasion as you enter the sleek and contemporary foyer spaces. Enjoy a drink in our spacious bars and take in the insipring views across to Arthur's Seat – but don't let the modern entrance fool you – the traditional 1915-seat auditorium, with its sumptous decor and lavish fittings, has all the grandeur and splendour you need for a truly special theatrical experience.
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Cest Gelabert Conversation
Choreographer and solo performer Gerhart Bonher on the making of Im (Goldenen) Schnitt I.
Exciting contemporary classics from established choreographers each of whom challenged their own genre of dance. Featuring Christopher Bruce’s 'Shift', an energetic study of 1940s factory workers during the war; Jirí Kylián’s 14´20˝ – a sensual duet of feral beauty and human entanglement taken from the choreographer’s…
Fri 16 Aug
Sat 17 Aug
Contemporary Classics Conversation
Christopher Hampson and Jane Pritchard, Curator of Dance at the V&A, in conversation.
Dance Odysseys Discussion
An overview of this unique weekend of dance, chaired by Scottish Ballet’s Artistic Director Christopher Hampson.
Dance on Film Talk
Curator of Dance Odysseys films Nele Hertling shares her thoughts on dance on celluloid.
Dido and Aeneas and Bluebeard's Castle
Desire, obsession and doomed love: Oper Frankfurt’s striking double bill brings together two one-act operas separated by more than 200 years of musical history, yet united in their searing explorations of human relationships. Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas is a poignant masterpiece of early English opera that features some of…
Sat 24 Aug
Don Quichotte du Trocadéro
José Montalvo combines farce, burlesque and commedia dell’arte for the 21st century with urban and modern dance, film and slapstick comedy in his brilliant new show. Don Quixote, in his fifties, decides to achieve great things and finds himself in the dance halls, or Trocaderos, of Europe – traditional meeting and…
Thu 29 Aug
Fri 30 Aug
Relationships come into focus in extracts from the canon of Scottish Ballet’s Founding Artistic Director Peter Darrell, and new collaborators James Cousins and Helen Pickett. Darrell’s poignant Five Rückert Songs embodies the feelings in Friedrich Rückert’s poetry on love, loss and loneliness with lingering steps and…
Sat 17 Aug
Édouard Lock: World Premiere (2013)
Scottish Ballet presents a World Premiere from La La La Human Steps Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer Édouard Lock. Lock is renowned for his extreme, incandescent style of dance and his precise technique. His boldly challenging style has always attracted international attention. His creations are an arresting…
Imprisoned and tortured for threatening to expose the barbarity of a brutal regime, political prisoner Florestan has little hope left. Only a daring feat of heroism by his loyal wife Leonore can offer him a chance of escape – and of justice. Beethoven’s only opera is a cry of defiance against oppression and an ode to…
This is a filmed documentary on Jirí Kylián’s life, way of thinking and most significant creations. Shot in 2011 in The Hague, Prague, Monte Carlo and Paris with Sabine Kupferberg dancing as Kylián rehearses some of his works. Film directed by Christian Dumais-Lvowski and Don Kent.
Fri 16 Aug
The Green Table/Portrait of Mary Wigman
Choreographed in 1932, The Green Table is known as Kurt Jooss’s masterpiece. In this film of a performance in the 1960s by Folkwang Ballet, the dancers include a young Pina Bausch. Portrait of Mary Wigman: at the end of the roaring twenties Mary Wigman provoked a real revolution in the world of dance.
Sat 17 Aug
Im (Goldenen) Schnitt I (reconstruction 1996)
Moving through constellations of wood and Plexiglas pillars, reacting in sculptor Vera Röhm’s space Cesc Gelabert recreates Gerhard Bohner’s original concept highlighting elements of dance, visual arts and music while allowing them to remain autonomous. Bach’s 'Well-Tempered Clavier', interpreted by Keith Jarrett…
World premieres: California’s Helen Pickett – a former dancer for William Forsythe and now Resident Choreographer at Atlanta Ballet – is renowned for energetic yet poetic creations. James Cousins’s contemplative and gripping style has won him the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award. Martin Lawrance shares the…
Fri 16 Aug
Sun 18 Aug
New Voices Discussion
A panel of emerging choreographers discusses the New Voices programme, hosted by Dance Base Artistic Director Morag Deyes.
Not Another Happy Ending
- Directed by: John McKay
- Written by: David Solomons
- Cast: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber
A publisher tries to cure his star author of writer's block by making her unhappy.
Fri 28 Jun
Sat 29 Jun
Sun 30 Jun
Pierrot Lunaire (1962)
This seminal work from American dancer and choreographer Glen Tetley was also the starting point of his now iconic choreographic style – combining modern dance with the elongated line and aerial bravura of ballet. It is a style he perfected through his professional career performing leading roles in the Martha Graham…
Pierrot Lunaire Talk
Christopher Hampson and Jane Pritchard discuss this seminal work.
Reflections on Dance Odysseys
Mary Brennan, Dance Critic of The Herald, chairs a discussion with Scottish Ballet Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, Scottish Dance Theatre Artistic Director Fleur Darkin and Dance Base Artistic Director Morag Deyes.
The Rite of Spring
Intense and visceral, Christopher Hampson’s vision of The Rite of Spring, created originally for Atlanta Ballet, is presented 100 years after the original production revolutionised the world of dance and music. Set to Stravinsky’s exhilaratingly influential score, Hampson uses three dancers – two men and a woman – to…
The Rite of Spring Talk
The Rite of Spring Talk with choreographer Christopher Hampson.
SisGO’s territory is minds, organs, nervous systems. Join an intimate journey into the night. Fleur Darkin merges this company of powerful dancers with the audience to create a riot of choreography. Experience new proximities to the performers in this futuristic love letter to Rudolf Laban. Soundscore includes Plastikman…
Sat 17 Aug
Reviews & features
Perfect pitch - Classical venue guide15 Sep 2008
For those looking for something a little more civilised, Edinburgh and Glasgow have a host of classical venues on offer.