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Edinburgh International Festival Must-See Shows

Auld Reekie is about to bloom into a city of culture and excitement.

10 . 06 . 2019

The Edinburgh International Festival brings thousands of artists and festival goers together from all over the world.

The Edinburgh International Festival recently unveiled their magnificent programme of shows ahead of this year’s festival. With so many shows catering to diverse audiences, we wanted to highlight just a few of the fantastic events on this August. Without further ado, here are our top shows at the Edinburgh International Festival 2019.

Click here for your chance to win a 2 night stay this August

Aberdeen Standard Investments Opening Event: LA Phil at Tynecastle

The festival has hosted a number of unmissable opening events and 2019 is no different. Music and film lovers alike will mass to witness the LA Phil play music from the Golden Age of Hollywood by Korngold, Herrmann and Waxman and a selection from the best-loved film composer on the planet: John Williams.

This epic family-friendly concert will see Gustavo Dudamel and his orchestra take over the iconic Tynecastle Park stadium for music from Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, E.T. and many more. We have no doubt that the first event of the festival is sure to blow you away.

When: 2nd August 2019

Free admission but must be booked in advance.

Book here.

Los Angeles Philharmonic by Sam Comen

© Sam Comen


Peter Gynt

Peter Gynt has always had his heart on being uniquely different compared to everyone else. But when he steals the bride from a local wedding, he sets off on a lifetime journey which will take him to Florida, to Egypt, to a mountain of trolls and finally, only when death approaches, back to his home in Scotland. In this radical new version, David Hare kidnaps Ibsen’s most famous hero and runs away with him into the 21st century, transposing him from Norway to Scotland.

Join Scottish star James McArdle on a provocative and raucous reboot of Henrik Ibsen’s five-act verse play, Peer Gynt. Described as the “centrepiece” of this year’s Festival Theatre programme, be prepared to propel into a free-wheeling world of music, dance, poetry, weddings, coronations, trolls and two-headed children.

When: 1st – 10th August 2019

Prices start from £15.

Book here.

Peter Gynt © Mads Perch

© Mads Perch


The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky’s original masterpiece is an epochal landmark in music. Enjoy a visually stunning and exhilarating dance reinterpretation of his masterpiece. This modern Rite will enchant audiences with their provocative new perspective on the revolutionary ballet of sacrifice and renew. Simply take a look at their awe-inspiring trailer for a glimpse into this dramatic performance.

This piece of art draws upon the Tibetan concepts of cycles of life and rebirth and the indivisible unity of humankind and the natural world. A household name in her native country, Yang Liping has won huge international acclaim for her extravagant, breathtakingly visual dance works, blending Chinese aesthetics and modern expression in a distinctively personal movement language.

When: 22nd – 24th August 2019

Prices start from £15.

Book here.


Eugene Onegin

Komische Oper Berlin and its Artistic Director Barrie Kosky make their return to the International Festival after their spectacular The Magic Flute in 2015. Tchaikovsky’s work remains as one of the most beautiful and lyrical works in Russian music and literature today.

Follow the life of Eugene Onegin as he lives to regret rejecting the shy young dreamer Tatyana as she grows into the woman of his dreams. This heart-breaking love story uses the author’s poetry to create lyrical scenes that contrast the austerities of country life with the excesses and opulence of the Russian imperial court.

Playful, radical and perceptive, Kosky is one of the most renowned directors working in opera today. Eugene Onegin is not an opera to miss.

When: 15th – 17th August 2019

Prices start from £28.

Book here.

Eugene Onegin © Iko Freese

© Iko Freese


Marcel Khalife and Rami Khalife

‘The Bob Dylan of the Arabic World,’ ‘Legendary Singer and Composer’ and ‘folk hero’ are only a few of the terms used to describe the iconic Marcel Khalife. This pioneering innovator of Arabic musical traditions will be making his Scottish debut at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

His eldest son Rami Khalife, a classically trained pianist and composer, and Aymeric Westrich, a virtuoso percussionist, will be accompanying him to create a high-energy rhythm with intimate reflection throughout. Together the trio perform songs from Marcel Khalife’s decades-long catalogue, as well as new compositions fusing classical, electronic and dance music by Rami Khalife.

When: 11th August 2019

Prices start from £14.

Book here.

Marcel & Rami Khalife

© Marcel & Rami Khalife


Night Walk for Edinburgh

Are you looking to get up close and personal with Auld Reekie? Whether you are a resident, a regular or a newbie to the city, this adventure will transform your perception of the Festival City.

Experience an intimate, one-on-one walking tour. A specially created video combined with three-dimensional sound experiences will immerse you into Edinburgh’s past and present as you explore the city during it’s beautiful twilight hours. Not many can say they have walked through a parallel Edinburgh!

Cardiff and Miller are internationally recognised artists, renowned for their work in installation, video and sound. They were last in Edinburgh for their 2008 exhibition, The House of Books Has No Windows at The Fruitmarket Gallery, and have created unique audio walks for cities around the world.

When: 25th July – 25th August 2019 (excluding Mondays)

£15 per person.

Book here.

Night Walk for Edinburgh © Sally Jubb

© Sally Jubb


Mythos: A Trilogy by Stephen Fry

Ladies and gentlemen; stretch your Achilles heel and saddle up your Trojan Horse. The gods, monsters and mortals of Ancient Greece are going to come alive in this rip-roaring romp with Stephen Fry. Effortlessly erudite, witty, chatty and charming: Fry brings classical stories into a modern context.

Enjoy masterfully woven comic anecdotes and disarming ad libs with Fry’s Encyclopaedic survey of the greatest tales ever conceived. Mythos is a gripping one-man tour-de-force from one of the best-loved and most respected cultural figures of our times. Suitable for all ages.

When: 25th July – 25th August 2019 (excluding Mondays)

Prices start from £25.

Book here.

Mythos: A Trilogy © David Cooper

© David Cooper


Connan Mockasin

Psychedelic pop is going to pop off this year with Connan Mockasin’s Bostyn ’n Dobsyn project coming to Leith Theatre. The Kiwi multi-instrumentalist makes marvellously off-kilter music, blending styles and hypnotic grooves with oddball lyricism.

Based on comics and short films Mockasin made as a young boy, Bostyn ’n Dobsyn is about a music teacher, Bostyn, his student Dobsyn. It features music by Bostyn’s band (with three other music teachers) called Jassbusters.

When: 25th July – 25th August 2019 (excluding Mondays)

£25 per person.

Book here.

Connan Mockasin © Sam Kristofski

© Sam Kristofski


Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

They always say that you should go out with a bang, and this year’s festival will be no exception. This spectacular show will bring together a specially choreographed display of over 400,000 fireworks and unforgettable orchestral classics from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, topped of by the magnificent backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Get up close by booking a seat at the Ross Theatre, or enjoy a more casual affair in the Gardens. This is one of the largest fireworks displays in the world and is a dazzling way to end Edinburgh’s festival season. Only one word can describe the closing ceremony: unforgettable.

When: 26th August 2019

Prices start from £15.50

Book here.

Virgin Money Fireworks Concert © David Wilkinson

© David Wilkinson


Stay with us

If you are looking to see any shows at this year’s fringe why not make a weekend of it? We offer fully-fitted, spacious serviced apartments for you and your family to unwind in after a hard day of exploring. We are even running a competition to win a free 2-night stay for 4 until the end of June. Enter now or book your accommodation here.

Click here for your chance to win a 2 night stay this August

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