Arts News!

SIX The Musical Drive In Edition

The Queens Head for the Drive In!

The smash hit pop musical “Six” is the first major production in the UK to announce its comeback in a very clever way! Both the London Productions (At the Arts Theatre, West End) and the UK tour where brought to an abrupt halt due to Covid-19 and with no date yet announced for the London show and the UK tour rescheduled into 2021 the Queens are headed for the Drive In!


Producers Kenny Wax, Wendy & Andy Barnes and George Stiles have confirmed that SIX will play at 12 open-air drive-in concert venues in London and then embark on a UK tour Bristol to Edinburgh as part of Live Nation Entertainment’s Utilita Live From The Drive-In summer season.

Designed to comply with all official guidelines, Utilita Live From The Drive-In will deliver the UK’s ultimate drive-in experience, boasting concert quality sound from a live stage with a full state of the art sound system, lighting rig and high definition LED screens, creating an arena or stadium concert feel in a safe Drive-In setting adhering to the Government’s current social distancing rules to protect fans, artists, crews and staff at all times.

The tour visited Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre in February of this year and enjoyed a sell out five star run and is booked again for another run in spring 2021, you can check out our review at the link below:

The Drive in tour commences on Tuesday 4th August in Milton Keynes at the National Bowl, before visiting Liverpool (Central Docks), Leeds (Leeds East Airport), Bolton (Bolton University Stadium), Teeside (Teeside International Airport), Lincoln (Lincolnshire Showgrounds), Cheltenham (Cheltenham Racecourse), Bristol (Filton Airfield), Edinburgh (The Royal Highland Showground), Newmarket (Newmarket Racecourse) Birmingham (Resorts World Arena) and London (Colesdale Farm)

The Drive in tour will feature both the UK and West End casts working in rotation and rehearsals are already underway! and Tickets go on sale at 8am on 3rd of July! be sure to snap them up for a unique experience!

Six The Musical – Drive In Edition, The Royal Highland Showground, Tuesday 1st – Sunday 6th September 2020. Tickets on sale from 3rd july at 8am from:

Arts News!

Theatre Vs Covid-19

Theatre Vs Covid-19:

Where are we at now:

On the 20th March Prime Minister Boris Johnston informed all Theatres and Performances venues to close their doors to support the fight against Covid-19 just a few days later on the 23rd March the country then entered lockdown. We are now over 13 weeks into that lockdown and restrictions are starting to ease as the “R” number holds steady below 1 and deaths thankfully continue a downward trajectory. The arts world is now looking for answers, how do we reopen the industry safely? If we can’t how do we support the performers, technicians, house staff, musicians and creatives? There are no answers from the UK Government or indeed Fiona Hyslop the Scottish Minister for Culture all we can do is hope the arts come onto the agenda urgently before here is no industry to save.

For now, we Scotsgay arts though we would take a look around the country at what the latest from some our best loved venues are saying in respect of there programmes and when they hope to welcome audiences back.

South of the Border:

the london palladium

Things look difficult right across England, the heartland of the theatre, London’s west end remains shuttered, with acclaimed producer Sir Cameron Macintosh confirming that Hamilton (At the Victoria Palace), Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Les Misérables (The Sondheim Theatre) and Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre) will not reopen until early 2021. This is driven by the time he believes it would take to secure the theatres for Covid safe performances as well as remounting the shows themselves as there respective casts are drawn from across the world. The Theatre Royal Newcastle along with the Mayflower Theatre Southampton and the Birmingham Hippodrome have all extended closure until well into November but all have stated they aim to reopen in time for Pantomime Season. The good news is all these venues and in fact every single theatre across the country are all hard at work rescheduling as many productions as possible so check their individual websites for full details.

There is a glimmer of hope as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is preparing to run a Covid Secure venue test at the famed London Palladium, using technology already in use at the reopened South Korean production of Phantom of the Opera. If this proves successful it could be the key to reopening theatres across the west end and beyond for those that are able to afford the technology needed.

Across Scotland:

Back home in Scotland every single theatre continues to remain closed but what’s the news coming from each venue? We take a look at a selection from across Scotland:


Edinburgh has paid a heavy price with the complete cancellation of the Edinburgh Festival season, the annual melting point of creativity and arts will not happen this year but plans are already under way to bring the annual extravaganza back in 2021 and word is also coming from the Edinburgh Fringe Society of a online programme if we hear more we will bring that to you. What about the year-round Venues?

The Festival Theatre, Edinburgh King’s Theatre and The Studio:

the edinburgh kings night

The Capital Theatre’s trust operates three venues in the capital and its latest statement as of the 14th April states that all three venues will remain closed with there respective programmes cancelled until Sunday 21st June, that date approaches this weekend and it seems more than likely that closure will go on until at least the autumn. The King’s hopefully will be open for Pantomime which this year is Sleeping Beauty which is so apropos but sadly after a run of 60 years unbroken the Edinburgh Gang Show wont take place due to the complications of rehearsing the show under Covid conditions even if the theatre were available. In the meantime, the Trust have developed a fascinating online platform of behind the scenes videos and content and community engagement all this while moving as many productions from this year into 2021 and 2022 as possible.

The Edinburgh Playhouse:

edinburgh playhouse night

The Playhouse closed just as it was approaching the end of marathon run of Disney’s The Lion King and the Front of the venue remains decked out in the Lion King Artwork. The Playhouse is a part of The Ambassador Theatre Group and their latest statement from 3rd June confirms closure of all their venues until at least the 2nd of August. Interestingly the Statement goes on to say that they have rescheduled over 15,000 separate performances with that rescheduled programme set to kick off in November. Therefore, a further notice of closure will likely be forth coming to take all their venues, which include 7 west end theatres and 24 venues around the uk into the autumn. The Playhouse themselves have done a Stirling job via there social media of announcing when productions are rescheduled, and the vast majority have been, and tickets still stand valid. Do check their website for full details for each show.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre:

lyceum night

Scotland’s biggest and Edinburgh’s only producing theatre has now completely cancelled its entire 2020 season taking it up to January 2021 and The Theatre, Offices, Studios, and workshops have entered hibernation with most staff placed on furlough. Sadly, we will not be seeing the Lyceum building open in any way for the remainder of the year. However the team at the Lyceum have developed the simply wonderful Digital House Lights Up Programme which includes, Curtain up which will see over 1000 patchwork panels join together to form a new curtain which will be used to reopen the theatre when the time is right. This is accompanied by Lyceum Letters a programme that sees Artists and Public joining together to share their experiences of the great theatre from across the years. The Lyceum creative Learning programme continues online and its bolstered by “Working from home” a programme designed to support performers and creatives across the industry. The Lyceum is also engaging with BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland and delivering Shorts for the Scenes for Survival. A visit to the Lyceum website during lockdown is well worth it.!

The Traverse Theatre:

the traverse

The Trav may have closed its doors, and there updating  the ongoing closure information via there website but they also have put together a stellar online virtual world of creative opportunities. Head to there website for full details.

The Usher Hall:

usher hall night

The Usher Hall is run by the city council alongside the Churchill Theatre and the Assembly room their latest statement confirmed closure until 18th of June, which has passed so expect more information from them soon. Head to their Website.

The Brunton, Musselburgh.

the brunton evening

The Brunton is closed on a rolling basis and there updating the website with updates as and when they are able to. So, keep an eye on their website.


Moving over to the west coast, which not only houses many theatres but all Scotland’s biggest live concerts venue, so let’s check out what they’re saying:

The Theatre Royal and King’s Theatre Glasgow:

glasgow kings

As with the Edinburgh Playhouse both these houses are operated by the Ambassador Theatre Company and their latest statement from 3rd June confirms closure of all their venues until at least the 2nd of August. Interestingly the Statement goes on to say that they have rescheduled over 15,000 separate performances with that rescheduled programme set to kick off in November. Therefore, a further notice of closure will likely be forth coming to take all their venues, which include 7 west end theatres and 24 venues around the uk into the autumn. Let hope they can open the King’s in time for this year’s magical Pantomime Cinderella.

The Pavilion Theatre,

pavilion glasgow

The Pavilion, Scotland largest independent theatre has been closed since lockdown began and sadly its not the first time in recent years it sustained a long closure following the great fire of Renfield street. The theatre has been first class in maintaining contact with its audiences. The team have been hard at work rescheduling as many performances as possible, and you should check the venues website and social media for full details. While you are at it be sure to check out the Pavilions brand new video season showcasing the very best of theatres work over the years.

The Glasgow Events Campus.

glasgow events campus

The Glasgow events campus houses the Scottish exhibition and Conference centre, The Clyde Auditorium (Glasgow Armadillo) and The SSE Hydro. All events have been cancelled the SEC has been converted into the NHS Louisa Jordan an incredible achievement that was delivered in record breaking time. Although the facility itself has not been used it remains on standby in case the NHS requires it.

All Concerts and events have been either cancelled outright or rescheduled with the bulk being in 2021. There are however plans to continue with Panto at the Clyde Auditorium.

Aberdeen and Inverness:

Looking northwards the virus has impacted every single venue from small community halls to the biggest theatres so let’s take a look at:

His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen:

His Majestys night

The Programme at His Majesty’s has been cancelled on rolling basis as they continue to wait for government advice which is very slow in coming, productions wise they are aiming to hopefully present there autumn season starting with Addams Family the musical in early September. This may well change, but fingers are crossed the theatre will be open in time for the panto which this year see’s it stage Beauty and the beast.

Eden Court Theatre Inverness:

Eden court night

Lastly but not least we look at the most northerly mainstream theatre in the UK. Eden court is mixed purpose venue that includes a Cinema as well as theatre. It latest statement confirms all venues are closed until 1st of August at the earliest. There is hope they can have there autumn and winter programme including the annual pantomime.

Given the venue also houses a cinema it may be possible to open that section of the building earlier than the theatre, but this is dependent on the government guidance. Let’s Hope it comes soon.

And Finally!

So, there we have it, a snapshot of where the theatrical world is in Scotland and further afield currently stands. One thing is for sure we have never seen this effect on the arts in its history and we all need to do everything we can to support our venues as and when they open. Its going to be a sad reality that we must Accept not every venue, production or UK tour will re-open in the world we are being told will be the “New Normal”. What ever that Normal transpires to be one thing rings true, Theatre in all its creative glory has survived, Plagues, recessions, and world wars. The curtains will rise again, the bigger questions are, When? And what will the inside of those auditoriums look like? We can but await the answers.


Arts News!

Phantom of the Opera UK Tour Cancels:

Phantom of the Opera UK Tour Cancels:

As theatres up and down the country and producers continue to count the cost of COVID lockdown and with no financial support or information from the Governments of the UK or the devolved nations as to how theatres can safely be reopened. The theatrical casualties are mounting.

The biggest so far is the announcement from Sir Cameron MacIntosh and Really Useful Theatre company that confirms the 2020 UK Tour of Phantom of the Opera which open at the Curve Leicester will sadly no longer continue.

A spokesman confirmed that It is with great sadness that due to the current state of complete shutdown of the British theatre by the Government because of Covid-19, Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group must announce that their new UK and Ireland Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera”, which had only played its opening date prior to a 14 month tour, will not re-open.

The great uncertainty around the duration of social distancing requirements and the perilous financial situation in which many regional theatres find themselves have conspired to make re-routing an entire major tour like Phantom impossible for some time as so many existing tours are needing to reschedule.

The production opened at Curve, Leicester at the beginning of March. Subsequent runs in Manchester and Dublin have already been cancelled. Following these dates, the tour was due to play Birmingham, Edinburgh, Sunderland, Cardiff, Plymouth, Southampton and Bradford.

Whilst it is heart breaking for us as producers as well as for our wonderful cast, orchestra and crew who had all worked so hard to create this truly spectacular but tragically short-lived reinvented staging of the original production, we are determined that the disappearance of the “Phantom” from the British regional stage will not be forever and that when Theatre is back thrilling audiences again the “Music of the Night” will soar once more from the orchestra pit.

Sadly, this will just be the start of many productions effected, lets hope we continue to control this virus, and find the pathway to opening our Theatres, for now the Ghost lights continue to burn brightly.

Ticket Holders for the Edinburgh Festival Theatre run of the show will be contacted by the Box office directly.

Arts News!

Dance Horizons, Innovations Change of Platform:

Dance Horizons, Innovations Platform

As the arts industry continues to feel the ongoing effects of the current restrictions that sees Theatres and performance venues until the end of June at the earliest. Companies across the country are busy rescheduling dates were possible and we urge you to keep an eye on individual websites for full details on the ever-changing situation.

Edinburgh based dance company Dance Horizons had planned to stage their annual Innovations Platform in Edinburgh’s The Studio on 1sr May and was rescheduled to 18thJuly. However, given that theatres may well not be open even July the company have announced a new date set in the autumn.

Innovations was initiated with the ambition of championing creative innovation within the field of contemporary dance. Opening doors for dance artists and companies at all stages in their career as a catalyst for presenting their work to new audiences.

Innovations have held platforms annually since 2014 presenting eclectic and diverse programmes by artists from the UK and abroad. 2018 saw the platform open its first Edinburgh Fringe Festival Edition, giving artists the opportunity to present their work in the heart of the biggest cultural and arts festival on the planet.

The platform is currently programmed on a seasonal basis at Capital Theatres in Edinburgh in combination with a series of micro-platforms and events as part of other UK festivals. Innovations is produced by Dance Horizons, Edinburgh and benefits from an industry board made up of currently working dance makers, choreographers and organisations to continue the platforms work in supporting the wider dance ecology.

To date, the platform has presented over 7 editions of works by more than 14 dance makers and companies at various stages of their professional careers.

Speaking to company CEO Oliver Anwyl he said “We extend our sincere gratitude to the dedicated team at Capital Theatres for their ongoing support and guidance to artists, companies and producers as the effects of the pandemic rip through our already fragile industry. It has been a turbulent time for small organisations and independent artists but the resilience of our industry will persevere and we will be back, stronger than ever”

The spring Dance platform will now be staged on Saturday 31st October 2020, followed closely by the winter edition on 28th November both of these performances return to The Studio Theatre and will feature the same programme as previously announced including Company Concentric, London. Peter Twyman Dance Company from Edinburgh. Stefano Neri from Italy and Lost Movement Company, from the Netherlands

Let’s hope these are the dates to see the best of Dance from across Europe.

For tickets go to:

Arts News!

Edinburgh Festivals Cancelled for 2020!

Edinburgh Festivals Cancelled for 2020! 

As the world continues the battle against COVID 19 and we here in Scotland continue in our Lockdown lives and making social distancing a reality. The theatre world remains closed down and annual summer events continue to fall one by one into cancellation or rescheduling for later in the year.

For the last few weeks, the combined Edinburgh Festival organizations have painstakingly been meeting with officials, stake holders, performers and the city itself to find the right answer to the question, do we continue with this year’s planned festival events? The answer is sadly No.

For the first time in 70 years The Edinburgh International Festival, The Edinburgh Art Festival, The Edinburgh Book Festival, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival are cancelled for 2020.

It’s a heartbreaking time for the industry and for the city and the repercussions of this decision will be felt well beyond August. However, this is the right decision and we at ScotsGay arts commend those who had the difficult job of making this decision.

Yes August may be four months away but with those most vulnerable being shielded for 12 weeks our city and country will still be coming back to some sense of normality, there is simply no way the infrastructure and planning which takes months for every venue to go through could be achieved in the time frame that’s left.

In the bigger picture it will be a time for reflection and a chance to breath and welcoming the world to Edinburgh would at best be insensitive and at worst utter madness. A fallow year may be just what the Combined Festivals need to refocus and rediscover the true spirt that saw the birth of the festivals in the first place.

Speaking of the true spirit of the festivals, who knows where we will be in four months, if restrictions are eased and theatres do reopen, perhaps it will be a chance for local companies to take centre stage and entertain the great city that Edinburgh is, and the world can be reassured, Edinburgh and Scotland will be ready to welcome the world back in 2021.

For now, people matter, and the message remains clear, Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

Official Statements can be found at the following links: