Tag Archives: Stage

Festival Theatre sketching with the Edinburgh International Festival


Super excited to be back sketching in the theatre and watching Scottish Ballet perform MC14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) at the Festival Theatre.

MC14/22 is an emotional piece, sometimes violent, tender, confusing but ulitmately unforgettable. Using 12 male dancers it’s energetic and intense choreography is inspired by St Mark’s version of The Last Supper in the Bible: ‘Take, eat: this is my body’.

Here are some of my sketches as I tried to capture the movement and emotion on stage.



Not an easy task when drawing in almost complete darkness, I scribbled away in my sketch pad and added colour once the theatre lights were turned back up.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the second set ‘Emergence’ but you can see both together at the Festival Theatre until August 20th.


Edinburgh International Festival website

Scottish Ballet website


Emerging artists entertain at the Usher Hall

EmergingArtistsI was blown away by the talent of Ian Watt (classical guitar) and Laura Sergeant (cello) this morning at the Usher Hall.

The talented musicians entertained as part of the ‘Emerging Artists’ morning concerts, which run on Tuesday mornings in September in partnership with Live Music Now Scotland. Lasting around 45 minutes each intimate concert is just £3 a ticket, and free to students.

I sketched from infornt of the organ on the Usher Hall stage, looking down on the musicians and out into the empty auditorium. My sketch was drawn live in pen and then colour added later with water colour.

Emerging Artist concerts on the Usher Hall website

Live Music Now Scotland website

Mad Woman in St John’s Church, Edinburgh

MadWoman_atStJohnsSuch a powerful voice, Monica Salvi is perhaps mad, but definitely talented.

One of the bonuses of setting up my ‘Sketching The Shadows’ exhibition in St Johns Church chapel, was listening to Monica Salvi rehearse, set up and sound check her one woman cabaret show ‘Mad Woman In My Attic’.


Accompanied by a piano player Monica uses her polished and powerful voice to fill the vast church, telling the tale of the many personalities habiting her head! Moving, funny, its a hidden gem of a show.


BONUS: The show tonight starts at 18.30 and is FREE as they are making a video and want the church to be full, so head along early. 


Mad Woman In My Attic! tickets and more information via the EdFringe website

Just Festival website


Sketching a dragon, at the Royal Lyceum Theatre

EIF2015_Dragon_1Dragon, the wonderful and moving story of a boy meeting a dragon, told without words and with amazing puppetry and stage magic that will leave you believing the unbelievable.


Created by Vox Motus, the National Theatre of Scotland and Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre, Dragon tells the story of Tommy whose life, since the death of his mother, has gone from bad to worse. One restless night Tommy goes to the window and throws back the curtain to find himself face to face with a dragon.


Here  have captured a couple of scenes from the play which runs today and tomorrow only at the Royal Lyceum Theatre as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Above shows he Dragon first appearing to tommy as he sits beneath a swing, and below the dragon appears to become a motorbike as it and Tommy play together.


See it if you can, it is a wonderful spectacle.




Dragon on the EIF website


Edinburgh International Festival 2015 launch

EIF2015_launchDirector Fergus Linehan presented his first Edinburgh International Festival launch at the Usher Hall last night

I was there sketching and captured the doodles to the left.


The line up looks as exciting and diverse as ever and kicking the festival off on the 7th of August will be a free outdoors event I am very much looking forward to. Using the stunning architecture of the Usher Hall as a canvas The Harmony Project will combine John Adams’s choral work Harmonium with a series of spectacular animations, projected on to the exterior of the famous building.


With dance, orchestra, theatre and opera the EIF programme for 2015 is packed full of delights, too many to list here. Head along to their website below to flick through the full list of amazing talent that is about to descend on the capital once again. I can’t wait for the summer!


Edinburgh International Festival website


Aladdin at the King’s Theatre Edinburgh

Aladdin_KingsYesterday Mrs Sketcher and I took our three year old twins to the panto for the first time, with mixed results…

The pantomime at King’s Theatre is a Christmas tradition for many in Edinburgh. Just like the brussels, cranberry sauce and turkey, Andy Gray, Allan Stewart and Grant Stott are all back this year, to entertain the crowds this time as Aladdin.


It was the first time for the Sketcher twins and to celebrate we booked a box on the left of the stage, which worked out well as we could easily take our wee girl out each time Grant’s Abanazar baddie came on to thunderclaps and booming drum beats!


By the end she and her brother were both enjoying the show, the lights and special effects were great, as were the jokes that made Mrs Sketcher and I chuckle. I’d definitely take the twins back next year, but perhaps not mention Mr Stott will be back too 🙂


Below is a previous sketch of the King’s Theatre exterior, a beautiful building which dates back to 1905. The sketch is available as a print from just £18, which you can buy from the link below.




Aladdin ticket information

Kings Theatre sketch for sale


Nutcracker explodes into Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre this Christmas


Filled to the brim with wonder, colour, costume and sparkle, Peter Darrell’s magical world of The Nutcracker comes to Edinburgh this weekend at the Festival Theatre.


Mixing new creative ideas with designs and scenarios from the original 1973 production, with rich sumptuous colours and heavy luxurious materials bring a lavish Victorian feel to the stage. Peter Darrell’s choreography is brought beautifully to life by the Scottish Ballet with Tchaikovsy’s famous music adding to the spell.


I sketched frantically unable to capture all I was seeing, as the stage continually transformed as if in a dream. Here are my doodles form the night but there was so much more. The final sketch below sees the Prince and the Fairy take to the stage as snowflakes begin to fall from the sky…


Step into the magic this Christmas and see the wonder for your self, The Nutcracker runs at the Festival Theatre until Saturday 3rd January 2015.


The Festival Theatre website





A Blooming Surprise at Assembly Roxy

24 hours ago I didn’t think I would be watching a clown on stage going through an emotional journey about loneliness, hope and love.

But here I am in a dimly lit theatre at the Assembly Roxy in Roxburgh Place, watching the magical, hypnotic Sáras Feijóo tell the tale of a brave soul, on a journey to find love. After receiving an invite to sketch at the dress rehearsal I feel privileged to find out about the show and given an insight into the production and planning of an independent show.



On for only two nights I suggest you don’t miss ‘Blooming Surprise’ at 7.30pm on Fri 12th or Sat 13th December, you will be captivated, perhaps tearful and truly uplifted by the end of the one hour one woman show.  For more information and tickets visit the links below.


Assembly Roxy website

To buy tickets for Blooming Surprise

Blooming Surprise on facebook




It’s not easy being a Stick Man in the Spiegeltent

StickMan_SpiegeltentYesterday the Sketcher family met the Stick family in the wonderful Spiegeltent at St Andrews Square.

As fans of Stick Man and his endeavors for many years it was great for us all to see the Julia Donaldson story come to life. Telling the tale of Stick Mans many dangerous scrapes, including being bitten by a dog, used as a pooh stick and almost being set alight, Scamp Theatres production does a superb job and packs a great deal of wit and imagination into the hour long show.


The twins loved it and the new songs we had learnt. A favourite part being the funny swan who got his head stuck in a saxophone! Clever writing and acting by the talented three on stage made the show much more for me than the original story. I definitely recommend it for the young and old alike.


Stick Man at Spiegeltent website


Helen Lawrence, at the Edinburgh International Festival

EIF_HelenLawrenceTonight at the King’s Theatre catch this Canadian Stage production of Helen Lawrence, a tale of corruption and murder set in 1940’s Vancouver.


The production combines numerous visual techniques to bring the post war tale to life. With a combination of theatre acting, on stage filming which is then projected (with computer generated back drops) onto a huge thin screen which hangs like a veil between the audience and stage.


The techniques captured my attention I liked the spectacle of it but after a few moments of trying to follow both the screen and on stage acting  I forgot the actors were there and began watching the screen more, with the cinema like graphics and huge close ups. For me the screen was over shadowing the stage and could of been used more sporadically to make more impact.


The sketch is in black ink, with a water colour wash, drawn from the stalls. The black fade was added digitally.


For more information and to book tickets for tonight.