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The nearest theatre to Edinburgh’s bustling centre is The Edinburgh Playhouse conveniently situated in Greenhouse Place, near Princes Street and Waverly Station. Formerly a cinema until the mid 1970s, The Playhouse is Scotland’s principal venue for high profile stage musicals from both sides of the Atlantic and incorporates a dazzling range of other theatrical genres, including Comedy, Ballet, Stand-up Comedy and Music Concerts. Accommodating up to 3,056 people, Edinburgh’s premier theatre serves a scintillating repertoire of international acts and household names during the three-week Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Both Edinburgh institutions in their own right, The Edinburgh Festival Theatre and The King’s Theatre (managed and owned by Edinburgh Festival Theatres Trust) equally schedule a dazzling showcase of cutting-edge productions and are central to the Edinburgh International Festival in August. Situated in Nicholson Street, The old Empire Theatre re-opened as the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in 1994 and has been magnificently restored to its former art-deco glory, featuring an architectural medley of art nouveau, beaux arts and astounding acoustics to match. Theatregoers can select from a dazzling programme of classical performances by Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet as well as catching a performances from production companies of international acclaim such as the Moscow State and Bolshoi Ballet in this 1915 capacity theatre.
Opened to the public in 1906, The King’s Theatre in Leven Street is a fine example of early Edwardian elegance with its beautifully ornate interior and period features. It has been the regular venue for Edinburgh’s Christmas pantomime season since its inception, opening with Cinderella in its first year and has attracted household names in the Scottish and British acting and drama fraternity ever since. Complimenting its long-standing music-hall traditions, The King’s Theatre represents a outstanding performances from amateur theatre groups, amateur operatic and comedy.
Those wishing to sample Scottish contemporary theatre produced by existing and emerging playwrights, The critically and internationally acclaimed Traverse Theatre purveys an exhilarating range of stage productions and is dedicated to the production of new, innovative material performed by its resident Traverse Theatre Company. Established in 1963, The Traverse comprises two auditoria, fully equipped with contemporary lighting, and audio-visual equipment and the Bar Café, serving a mouth-watering menu of light meals, snacks, cakes and alcoholic refreshments, a popular venue of social gathering amongst theatre and Edinburgh Festival goers.
As Edinburgh’s longest established theatre, The Royal Lyceum Theatre was completed in 1883 and is housed in a stunning Victorian edifice, restored to its former glory. Owned by the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company since 1965, this magnificent Victorian theatre presents an outstanding programme of award-winning dramas from September to May and is a regular purveyor of Christmas pantomime and children’s theatre during the winter season. As part of its seasonal programme, visitors have the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops scheduled every Saturday, giving theatre and drama enthusiasts a flavour for drama exercises and techniques.
Experience Edinburgh's vibrant and eclectic theatre and performing arts programme in April 2006, showcasing a host of productions and musicals tailored for everyone's taste in the theatrical arena. A guide to productions this coming April are featured below at various theatre venues across the city including The North Edinburgh Arts Centre in Muirhouse and The Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh.
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