Nine great things to do in Edinburgh this October
Given how protective JK Rowling is of her creative property, it’s unsurprising that this two-week festival at The Three Sisters is conspicuously light on boy-wizard branding. Not that Ron, Harry and Hermione are completely absent. Aside from daily potion classes (that’ll be ‘cocktail mixing’ for muggles, then), quizzes and, for some reason, a speed dating session, there’s a free ‘Harry Potter’ movie marathon on Tuesday October 17, starting at 7am and running right the way through till 3am. With 20 hours of back-to-back movies, it’s definitely one for the hardcore, Gryffindor scarf-sporting fans. Until Sun Oct 22.
It’s been nearly 20 years since erstwhile Fugee and R&B innovator Lauryn Hill stunned the world with her first (and, to date, only) solo studio release. It’s pretty unlikely she’ll ever jump on the reunite-and-play-the-album bandwagon – she’s more or less dropped out of the public eye, with only a divisive live recording and some flaky appearances in the years since the release of ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’. This gig at Summerhall by an ensemble of London-based session musicians and vocalists, then, is the next best thing. Judging by demand for the show so far – a string of sell-out dates in London and a second date now added in Edinburgh – we’re not the only ones excited about it. Thu Oct 19 and Fri Oct 20.
Whether you have kids or just like to stay in touch with your inner child, the Kite and Trumpet festival has plenty to offer. There’s a focus on design and storytelling, with exhibitions, performances and craft workshops on a range of topics including hat-making, shadow theatre, improv and illustration. Don’t miss Pinokio Theatre’s ‘The Storytelling Machine’, a bilingual stage play built around a scientist’s latest mechanical contraption, which churns out stories inspired by audience suggestions. Thu Oct 12-Sun Oct 22.
Find out more about the Kite and Trumpet Festival.
At this time of year, the distinct smell of sausage and sounds of slightly dubious German accents can mean only one thing: Oktoberfest. Brewhemia has lined up an awesome beer selection for its celebrations, so you won’t have to knock back two-pint steins of supermarket suds. Stewart Brewing, Pilsner Urquell, Paolozzi Lager and genuine German beer brand Löwenbräu are all represented, accompanied by live music, street food (yup, pretzels and bratwurst) and schnapps. And yes, there will also be a photobooth and a strong showing of lederhosen as well. Until Sat Oct 21.
Poet Jenny Lindsay (formerly of spoken word night Rally & Broad) and comedian, writer and entertainer Sian Bevan co-host this cabaret performance night at the Bongo Club in association with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. They’re looking at how we talk about mental health, and whether or not ‘reclaiming’ some of the slurs and terminology surrounding mental health issues could be considered empowering. It might sound a bit heavy, but thankfully they’ve wrangled an engaging and entertaining line-up to help explore the topic, including author Janice Galloway, journalist Vonny Leclerc, musician Marc Rooney, poet Ross McFarlane and band Maud The Moth. Fri Oct 20.
Hear the words ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”’ and three things likely pop into your mind: showers, creepy motels, and that iconic soundtrack, a series of stabbing notes that have become cinematic shorthand for terror (possibly rivalled only by the ‘Jaws’ theme for sheer pant-wetting symphonic intensity). What better way to celebrate Halloween, then, than with this screening of the original slasher film at Usher Hall with the score played live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra? Bonus points if you bring your mother. Fri Oct 27.
Ever been at a street-food market and thought: This is great and everything, but where’s the dancefloor? Or been tearing up the club and wondered: If only I had a hot dog? Well, that’s the premise behind the Meats & Beats festival, which brings you the combination you never knew you wanted to Assembly Roxy. Sample foodstuffs from The Pitt, Rib-Aye Steakhouse, The Mac Shack and Wild & Smoky, grab a beverage from one of the pop-up bars – provided by Stewart Brewing, Fyne Ales, Poco Prosecco and Villeneuve Wines – and dance to everything from '70s disco to present-day bangers. Fri Oct 20-Sun Oct 22.
Find out more about Meats & Beats.
The popular A Play, a Pie and a Pint lunchtime series at the Traverse Theatre is teaming up with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival to present a darkly funny look at how sexism has impacted mental health treatment over the years. Through comedy and cabaret, 'Hysteria!' journeys from the archaic ‘wandering womb’ theory (which blamed women’s ‘emotional excesses’ on, literally, their unanchored reproductive organs floating around their bodies and wreaking havoc) to the more recent practices of gaslighting and dismissing professional women as ‘overly emotional’. Creator Julia Taudevin draws on more than 100 voices, and takes inspiration from the 2016 US election and subsequent global women’s marches. Tue Oct 17-Sat Oct 21.
Are you one of those people who groans whenever the sports round comes up in the pub quiz, but rubs your hands with glee when there’s a ‘name that tune’ music round? Then Jukebox Bingo is the riotously fun music quiz you’ve been waiting for, with themed rounds and prizes galore. Better yet, it’s at the never-not-cool Paradise Palms, so you can sip on cracking cocktails while you rack your brain for that elusive song title. Wed Oct 25.