16 – 23 DECEMBER
16 – 23 DECEMBER
We want you to make the most of every minute you spend in Edinburgh. That’s why we’ve created Wonder Weeks – a short guide to specific weeks when the city’s events and performances are at their most varied and best. There’s an incredible range that’s wow this December – make it Christmassy or not, it’s up to you.
The Edinburgh Playhouse: Disney’s The Lion King
5 December – 29 March 2020
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience that truly wows! Brilliantly reimagined by acclaimed director Julie Taymor, Disney’s beloved animated film has been transformed into a spectacular stage production. At its heart is the powerful story of Simba and his epic adventure to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.
Scottish National Gallery: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (Display)
Until 28 Feburary 2020
In 1874 a group of young artists defied the official Paris Salon by setting up their own exhibition. Including works by Claude Monet, Camille Pissaro and Edgar Degas, it became known as the first Impressionist exhibition, after the initial use of the term in an article critical of the works. The Impressionists rejected the tenets of the French academy with its emphasis on draughtsmanship, ‘finish’ and historical subject matter. Instead, they aimed to capture the transience of nature, the fleeting moment. Highlights in this display include works by Cezanne, Gaugin, Seurat, Degas, Sisley and Vuillard. And the Gallery shop is brilliant for Christmas presents!
The Usher Hall: Raymond Gubbay presents Now That’s What I Call Christmas
All the Christmas favourites wrapped up in one great show – LIVE ON STAGE! Get ready to celebrate with a feast of massive seasonal hits. Sing along to iconic Christmas classics performed by a live band conducted by Robert Emery with guest singer Kerry Ellis and the Capital Voices choir.
Just one highlight of an amazing week at the Usher Hall. Choose from The Chicago Blues Brothers – Christmas Party on December 20, RSNO at the Movies: The Snowman on 22 December or the iconic singer Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes on 23 December.
National Museum of Scotland: The Luxury of Time – Clocks from 1550-1750
4 October – 26 January 2020
Explore the history of early British watch and clock making in this special, small display of rare and significant historical timepieces telling the story of a golden age of innovation. Featuring beautiful objects from the golden age of British clock making in the 17th century, these exquisitely decorated pieces were at the cutting edge of technology and many were the ultimate status symbol of their day.
Traverse Theatre: Strange Tales.
A Grid Iron and Traverse Theatre co-production
30 November-21 December
This festive season, catch two world premieres at Edinburgh’s home of new writing!
Written in China centuries ago, Pu Songling’s renowned Strange Tales are now adapted for the stage. Filled with intrigue, mysticism, sensuality, and a dash of terror, this thrilling production uses puppetry, movement and digital technology.
I Can Go Anywhere (7-21 December) by Douglas Maxwell, is a big-hearted call to arms; a Mod anthem to solidarity and acceptance in an increasingly hostile world, filled with Maxwell’s trademark humour.
City Art Centre: The Italian Connection
September 2019 to 24 May 2020.
Creative links between Scotland and Italy have existed for hundreds of years. In the 18th and 19th centuries Scottish artists journeyed to Rome and Florence to advance their professional training and career prospects. This pilgrimage to the Mediterranean continues with artists finding inspiration in the landscape and culture. The flow of people and ideas has also developed in the opposite direction, with Italian families contributing to the artistic milieu.
The Italian Connection explores this enduring bond, celebrating the ability of art to transcend geographical borders. Featured artists include Allan Ramsay, F.C.B. Cadell, Joan Eardley, Eduardo Paolozzi and Elizabeth Blackadder.
The Royal Lyceum Theatre: An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, a Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh production.
28 November to 4 January 2020
Edinburgh folklore tells us that when Charles Dickens was visiting the city on a reading tour, a stroll through a kirkyard brought him to the tombstone of one Ebenezer Scroggie, inspiration struck and A Christmas Carol was born. Writer and director Tony Cownie (The Venetian Twins, The Belle’s Stratagem) brings this famous festive story back to the city of its birth with a guest appearance from Edinburgh’s best loved Victorian – Greyfriars Bobby!
The Queen’s Hall: Tommy Smith, Solo Saxophone – support from Youth Jazz Orchestra All-Stars
Tommy Smith is one of the world’s leading saxophonists. A presence on the world jazz scene since his teenage years, Smith has gone on to record and work with myriad jazz greats. Smith’s solo saxophone concerts feature acoustic performances of spontaneously chosen melodies drawn from the jazz and folk traditions and highlight his wonderful tone reproduction and improvising capabilities in an intimate conversation with the audience.
The fast changing programme this Wonder Week also offers Handel’s Messiah on the 16th, Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook on the 21st and 22nd – and more.
Festival Theatre: Scottish Ballet, The Snow Queen
7 December – 29 December
Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary year comes to a spectacular close with the world premiere of The Snow Queen. This glittering new production is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale – which was also the basis for Frozen.
Set to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, performed live by the full Scottish Ballet Orchestra. From the bustle of a winter’s market to the shivers of a fairy-tale forest, take a journey to the Snow Queen’s palace, where you’ll find her surrounded by the icy fragments of an enchanted mirror. Choreographed by Christopher Hampson and designed by the award-winning Lez Brotherston, this story of love and friendship is sure to delight.
King’s Theatre: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
30 November to Sunday 19 January 2020
And if its panto you’re after, they don’t come any better than the King’s Theatre’s legendary productions. Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott are back in a circus-inspired spectacular! Joining them this year in his first King’s Panto is River City’s Jordan Young.
Packed full of hilarious comedy routines, laughter, dazzling special effects and hair-rising displays, Goldilocks and the Three Bears will blend the worlds of circus and pantomime featuring magic, music, mayhem and plenty of porridge.
Filmhouse: Knives Out. Directed by Rian Johnson
13 December – 2 January, 2020
A contemporary who-dunnit murder mystery from director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi). Set in a rural gothic house, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is hired to investigate the death of wealthy writer Harlan Thrombrey (Christopher Plummer) while the cast (Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis) pass devilishly, darting stares at each other. Everyone has a secret and you will want to know them all.
A wide choice of other films and documentaries include The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent follows up to her smash hit The Babadook with this violent period thriller) and The Kingmaker (Lauren Greenfield’s acute study into the Marcos family’s return to power in the Philippines).
Plan your travel
When you’ve planned what to do, organise the details with our travel partners Expedia.
A great choice of Hotels and Travel possibilities. Just tell Expedia when you want to visit Edinburgh and they’ll take care of the rest.