Music and Musicals Picks

From a dark opera to a Festival debut by a counter cultural icon, there's something for all music tastes across Edinburgh

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Breaking the Waves by James Glossop
Photo by James Glossop
Published 21 Jul 2019

Breaking the Waves (Opera Ventures and Scottish Opera)

King’s Theatre, 21–24 Aug, not 22, 7:15pm

Newly-wed Bess McNeil (Sydney Mancasola) lives in a Calvinist community on the Scottish coast. After her husband becomes incapacitated he urges Bess to find new lovers. But the liasions start to put her at great risk. Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek's adaptation of Lars von Trier's 1996 film—the first of his 'Golden Heart' trilogy focussing on innocent heroines—receives its European premiere as part of the International Festival. 

Henry Box Brown

Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, 31 July–26 Aug, not 12, 19, 7:30pm

Two shows at this year's Fringe are influenced by one remarkable story. The story of an 1850s Virginian, Henry Box Brown, who escaped from slavery by posting himself in a box to freedom. Magical Bones (see our Cabaret and Variety picks and interview) pays tribute in Black Magic at Underbelly. While over at Gilded Balloon's new Patter Hoose venue, CTC New York Ensemble return with their a cappella retelling of Brown's liberating flight.

Jekyll vs Hyde

PBH Free Fringe, Voodoo Rooms, 3-25 Aug, 3:25pm

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel about good and evil undergoes a strange transformation. This adaptation is a battle between two rival artists' visions. One act wishes to stage the story as an operetta and the other wants to play it as a mainstream shlock-rock musical. Composer-comedian Laurence Owen and comedian-novelist Lindsay Sharman's combined talents in making this show have already impressed: attracting the Wilton's Music Hall Fringe Foundation Award, which supports companies coming to Edinburgh.

Neneh Cherry

Leith Theatre, 10 Aug, 8pm

It doesn't seem like thirty years since Neneh Cherry released Raw Like Sushi; perhaps because the punky hip-hop of that first album was so far ahead of its time. Her ability to change artisitic direction has always kept her music fresh. Broken Politics, her latest release, may captures her political activism best, responding to the far-right's ascent, the refugee crisis and abortion. She now makes her debut at the International Festival and will perform songs from all three decades of her evergreen career.