A unique opportunity for Val McDermid fans

How do you fancy dinner with one of the biggest names in UK crime writing?

Gourmet Reads is offering twelve lucky readers a unique opportunity to meet Val McDermid at the George Street Bar and Grill on Wednesday 28th October.

Over a three course meal you’ll get the chance to quiz Val about her books, and listen to her talking about her life and writing.

This is sure to be a fantastic evening as Val is an entertaining, and very funny, speaker. Here’s a ‘taster’ from an Edinburgh reads event at Central Library last year.

Gourmet Reads with Val McDermid is £55 per person which includes 3 courses of fine dining and a half bottle of wine.

If you’d like to know more or make a booking please contact grainne.crawford@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 529 7791.

Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Big Draw

Here’s a teaser of a new graphic novel adaptation Peter Pan by local artist Stephen White (‘Stref’).

Stephen will be at Central Library next Wednesday (14th October) to tell us all about how he adapted J M Barrie’s classic story.

This is suitable for anyone interested in illustration, graphic novels, comic art or simply charmed by Peter Pan, aged 9 and over (including those who never grew up)

And if drawing is your thing, you’re in luck, because as part of The Big Draw, the world’s largest drawing festival we’re also hosting art workshops with Sara Beevers, where we’ll be creating garden-related book covers. Artists of all abilities welcome!

And stay tuned for news of our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party…

Book your place now for these and other events.

A year in the lives of Penelope’s Sisters

According to Greek mythology Penelope wove while her husband Odysseus was away at war. Having reluctantly agreed to marry another on completion of her work, she unraveled it every night.

Penelope’s Sisters are a group of textile and mixed media artists who met while studying at Telford College. We use many different materials. Wool becomes felt; plants become paper, threads and strings become woven pictures; fabrics are collaged; glass, plastic or beads become jewellery.

For each month of the year, starting in July 2014 and ending June 2015, we each completed a small picture. The subjects could be anything we had experienced that month, whether it was personal, national or international.

The results can be seen at an exhibition entitled ‘Opening Windows’ at the Art and Design Library, from now until the end of October.

exhibition poster

The Church Hill Theatre at 50

September 2015 saw the 50th anniversary of the Church Hill Theatre. Take a look at this vibrant community theatre in our latest exhibition on Capital Collections.

Students from J R Tucker High School of The American High School Theatre Festival in rehearsal.

Students from J R Tucker High School of The American High School Theatre Festival in rehearsal.

The Church Hill Theatre opened in 1965 with a performance of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. The event is commemorated within Kenny Munro’s sculptural pillars that stand in the venue’s driveway. Look closely next time you’re passing and you’ll see Miss Prism’s bag amongst the symbols and motifs.

Many of the photos in this exhibition were taken during August when we gained privileged access to The American High School Theatre Festival’s technical rehearsals and to the final swashbuckling performance of ‘Zorro – the Musical’.  The photos show the theatre in action and as a hotbed of fresh talent.

Zorro - the Musical, performed by Chadwick School, of The American High School Theatre Festival.

Zorro – the Musical, performed by Chadwick School, of The American High School Theatre Festival.

You can also see lovely pictures from The Church Hill Theatre’s past  (including that inaugural performance and the very first panto) on Edinburgh Collected, where they’re inviting memories of this unique civic space – why not add yours?

Many thanks again to The Church Hill Theatre and The American High School Theatre Festival for all their help and support with this project. In particular, thanks to George Ranch High School, Texas, Poly Prep School, New York, J R Tucker High School, Virginia and Chadwick School, California.

Portobello Book Festival 2015

The incredible line-up for this year’s Portobello Book Festival includes Val McDermid, Carina Contini, Dennis Canavan, Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, Sanjeev Singh Kohli and many more. And it’s all free! Wow!

The fun starts on Friday. More details here.

The story of Edinburgh’s first ever Musical Festival

Scotland, 1815. Where musical tastes could be described as parochial

“Perhaps there is no country in the world where the prejudice in favour of national music is carried to so great a height as in Scotland.”  George Farquhar Graham

Not that’s there’s anything wrong with good old Scottish songs of course, but with our English neighbours responding well to a series of music festivals, many felt that Scotland was missing out when it came to ‘foreign’ and ‘modern’ music.

And so a plan was hatched for an Edinburgh Musical Festival which would include performances of works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven (who was, of course, very much alive at the time).

Seven performances were scheduled, and arrangements were made to transport the Grand Organ from Covent Garden to Edinburgh by sea.

So how did it go? Was the festival an artistic, critical and financial success?

Well, there are two ways to find out. One is to Visit the Music Library and ask to read George Farquhar Graham’s extensive report of the festival and the public reaction to it.


The other is to come to our special bicentennial event at 2.30pm on Friday 30th October, when Dr Karen McAuley, Music and Academic Services Librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, will discuss

An Entertainment Altogether New: Edinburgh’s First Musical Festival

This event is free but ticketed, to avoid disappointment book your place now.

Celebrate International Older People’s Day with us!

This Thursday (1st October) is International Older People’s Day and we’d love you to join us for a special free afternoon event at Meadowbank Sports Centre.

At Active Aging 50 Years and Beyond  you’ll get the chance to speak to people from:

Age Scotland

Citizens Advice Pension Wise

NHS Lothian Falls Prevention

Living it up

Care and repair

Changeworks Heat Heroes


And more. They’ll all be there to give you expert advice and tips on general health and wellbeing. You’ll also be able to pick up this year’s Get Up and Go brochure – your indispensable guide to what’s going on across Edinburgh for the young at heart.

On top of all this we promise toe-tapping and energetic demonstrations, plus we’ll be joining Councillor Lewis, Convenor of Culture and Sport, in celebrating our local heroes at  the annual Get Up and Go Awards ceremony.

And best of all… there will be a tea dance, tea, coffee and cakes from 2.30 – 4.00pm.

The fun starts at 12.30pm. For more information contact  ageingwell@edinburghleisure.co.uk

And if you can’t make it along on Thursday you can of course find all the Get Up and Go activities listed on Your Edinburgh.