21 – 31 MAY

21 – 31 MAY

We want you to make the most of every minute you spend in Edinburgh. That’s why we’ve created Wonder Weeks – a complete guide to some of the city’s best events and brightest attractions during specific weeks of the year.

King’s Theatre: Rambert2

24 – 25 May 2019

Rambert2 is a new group of the world’s best young dancers, coming together to showcase the most exhilarating choreography around today. This new ensemble will be performing two works that launched the international careers of their choreographers. E2 7SD is a breathlessly-paced duet by Sydney Dance Company artistic director and former Rambert dancer Rafael Bonachela and Killer Pig, by Israeli dance superstar Sharon Eyal, is a group work showcasing her intense, utterly distinctive style. Rambert2 will also perform Grey Matter, a new creation by Rambert’s Guest Artistic Director, Benoit Swan Pouffer.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery: Heroes and Heroines, the Victorian Age

Until 31 May 2019

This display brings to life some hidden stories about famous Scots including Thomas Carlyle and Andrew Carnegie. Expect to be challenged. Who chooses our national heroes? To what extent is our view of the past shaped by male military figures? Alongside the familiar men hang portraits of women artists, scientists, writers and suffragists. Also examined is the personal influence of Queen Victoria herself.

[Image: Eric Robertson Miss Maidie and Miss Elsie Scott 1915 National Galleries of Scotland]

Edinburgh Playhouse: Michael McIntyre Big World Tour Continued – Warm Up Show

22 – 23 May 2019

Michael McIntyre’s spot-on observational comedy and trademark ability to turn everyday situations into master-classes of human exasperation have struck chords with millions of fans, cementing him as one of the UK’s most loved comedy performers. He has conquered primetime TV and UK arenas like “an entertainment colossus and he may yet conquer foreign parts with his atypical English effervescence.”

The Queen’s Hall: Erland Cooper

24 May 2019

Orcadian multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Erland Cooper plays The Queen’s Hall as the flagship Scottish date on the tour marking the launch of his second solo album, Sule Skerry. Having grown up in Stromness on the Orkney Islands, Cooper explores the natural world of birds, sea and landscape in an immersive evening of music, words and imagery with soothing piano, strings, & electronics. Support comes from SHHE: Scottish-Portuguese artist, musician and producer, Su Shaw.

National Museum of Scotland: New Ancient Egypt, East Asia and Ceramics Galleries

In February 2019 the 15-year transformation of the National Museum of Scotland was completed with the opening of two stunning new galleries. The Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery presents the remarkable culture and achievements of ancient Egypt highlighting individual stories to give a sense of their values and personal lives.   Discovering East Asia showcases one of the most significant East Asia collections in the UK. From imposing samurai armour to delicate contemporary sculpture, the gallery contrasts the traditions of China, Japan, and Korea and explores the cultural foundations linking all three.

Traverse Theatre: Scottish Dance Theatre Double Bill: RITUALIA & The Circle

24 – 25 May 2019

An exhilarating new double bill from Scottish Dance Theatre: RITUALIA by Colette Sadler and a new commission, The Circle, by world renowned Emanuel Gat, promise an evening of exquisite, cutting-edge dance. RITUALIA re-imagines Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces as a thought-provoking visual feast. Sadler’s interpretation transforms the gender thematics of the original ballet by introducing the idea of androgyny as its point of departure. Emanuel Gat’s bewitching choreographic force powers The Circle, a beautiful new piece of dance with Scottish Dance Theatre’s ensemble of captivating dancers.

The Lyceum: The Duchess [of Malfi]

17 May – 8 June 2019

Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi is the most thrilling and chilling of the Jacobean revenge tragedies – an exploration of male rage and female resistance as two brothers try and control their sister, block her marriage and repress her agency with fatal results. It was these themes of patriarchy versus female empowerment which convinced Zinnie Harris that the play is ripe for an adaptation which chimes with our contemporary concerns surrounding the abuse of male power. She sums up the play as “epic, theatrical and bloody”. Come prepared!

Usher Hall: Aida

Tuesday 21 May 2019

The latest instalment of Opera North’s acclaimed concert stagings, Verdi’s Aida is both monumental and intimate. This work is set in Egypt where Aida, daughter of the warring Ethiopian king, has been captured.   She is forced to choose between betraying her country – or betraying her heart. Enjoy some of Verdi’s finest arias such as ‘Celeste Aida’ and ‘O patria mia’. And in complete contrast, don’t miss Manic Street Preachers on 26 May or start your week-end in Edinburgh with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra: Søndergård conducts Belshazzar’s feast on 31 May.

Rose Theatre Edinburgh: Ben Mcintyre Live – The Spy and the Traitor

Tuesday 30 May 2019

A rare opportunity to see one of the greatest historians of our generation tell the tale that changed the course of the Cold War forever…  Ben Macintyre, expert on twentieth-century espionage and acclaimed author, discusses his new book The Spy and The Traitor – the thrilling and remarkable story of the greatest agent of the Cold War, Oleg Gordievsky who gave us invaluable insights into the Soviet Union’s fears about British tactics. Ben reveals the secret story behind his life and his extraordinary escape from Soviet Russia.

Now showing at Filmhouse

Tuesday 21 – Friday 31 May 2019

Filmhouse is Scotland’s leading independent cinema. The programming changes daily, hand-picked for the audience that is looking for a more diverse, varied and thoughtful international cinema than found at the multiplex. Films that might be trying to say something – emotionally, culturally, cinematically or whatever else.   Dozens of films show this week: from Amazing Grace (the lost Aretha Franklin concert film) to Conformist (Bertolucci’s influential 1970 classic) Tolkien (the early years of J.R.R. Tolkien explored in this moving biopic) or the gripping story about indigenous traditions and the corrupting forces of wealth and power, set amid the Colombian drug trade – Birds of Passage.  

King’s Theatre

2 Leven Street

Phone: 0131 529 6000

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

1 Queen Street

Phone: 0131 624 6200

The Playhouse

18-22 Greenside Lane


The Queen’s Hall

Clerk Street

Phone: 0131 668 2019

National Museum of Scotland

Chambers Street

Phone: 0300 123 6789

The Traverse Theatre

10 Cambridge Street

Phone: 0131 228 1404

Royal Lyceum Theatre

30b Grindlay Street

Phone: 0131 248 4848

The Usher Hall

Lothian Road

Phone: 0131 228 1155


88 Lothian Road

Phone: 0131 228 2688