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What’s on this month? Carnival, cocktails, ghouls & gore – a month of frighteningly good fun!

Samhuinn Fire Festival

It’s like a live scene from C S Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, heralding the changing of the seasons on the cobbled Royal Mile.
The Samhuinn Fire Festival is basically a celebration of ‘out with the Summer and in with the Winter’ which coincides with Halloween, meaning that if you didn’t already have an excuse to dress up you do now!
The torchlit performance along the Royal Mile includes wild drumming, acrobatics, fire-dancing and the sight of beautifully intricate costumes worn by dozens acting out battles between the forces of Summer and Winter.
The festival is put on by the volunteer-run Beltane Fire Society so show your appreciation and bring some change for the bucket shakers!

Samuinn Fire Festival is on October 31 at 9pm in the Royal Mile. Free

Festival of the Dead

festival of the dead

“Festival of the Dead infuses elements of carnival, circus, theatre and unadulterated partying to bring you a fiesta like no other.
“Carnival pageantry, giant skull processions, acrobats, dancers and beautiful decorative art & costumes.” None the wiser? No, us neither.
But what we do know is that Festival of the Dead is a riotously colourful party that mixes burlesque, face painting and fire breathing set to a house/garage musical backdrop. Face painting costs extra, so best overdo the makeup before you catch the bus into town.

Festival of the Dead comes to the o2 Academy on October 19. Also at Edinburgh Usher Hall on September 29.

Edinburgh Cocktail Week

Portrait of happy girlfriends holding martini glasses with cocktails

Long gone are the days of tipping a splash of lemonade into a pint tumbler of vodka and declaring yourself an ace mixologist.
The science of making cocktails has come on in leaps and bounds in recent times as modern methods take the mixing of alcohol with fruity flavours into an exciting new dimension.
Aye, right!
Pseudo-science aside, we all love a good cocktail on a night out and to this end Edinburgh Cocktail Week offers up a full seven-day programme to satisfy your lust for the stuff. Centred on the Cocktail Village at Festival Square, the festival reaches out into over 80 bars throughout the capital, with weekday wristband passes starting at £6.
Throughout the week there will also be a program of events & parties across the city as brands and bars collaborate to host exclusive events for wristband-holders. Expect mini masterclasses, vibrant DJ sets, industry experts, free merch and some fancy cocktail flairing as brand ambassadors and mixologists unite to shake, stir & strain a repertoire of creative cocktails.

Edinburgh Cocktail Week is based at Festival Square and runs at various venues from October 15-21.


A scene from Fame The Musical Tour @ Palace Theatre, Manchester. Director and Choreographer Nick Winston. (Taken 19-07-18) ©Tristram Kenton 07-18 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550  Mob 07973 617 355)email:

Ask anyone you know over the age of 40 about the original Fame TV show and within seconds you’ll be drowning in happy tears of nostalgia.
But unlike power ballads, brick-sized mobile phones and questionable fashion trends, this is one throwback that you’ll be glad to welcome into the 21st century.
Disclaimer: Blatant website copy and paste to follow. Based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film, Fame is the international smash
hit sensation following the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life. This bittersweet but uplifting triumph of a show explores the issues that confront many young people today: prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, sexuality, substance abuse and perseverance.
Couldn’t have put it better myself!

Fame is on at the King’s Theatre from October 23-27.

Glasgow Horror Festival


Now, being scared out of your wits isn’t for everyone. Me, for example.
But there’s a large group of people out there who will gladly pay good money to be subjected to all manner of terrifying experiences in the name of entertainment.
Luckily for those freaks/fear aficionados, Glasgow Horror Festival returns this year to offer its ghoulish audience a selection of classic movies from the genre as well as live shows, meet & greets and a ‘scare room’, among other attractions. Demonic burlesque performer Roxy Sparks’ performance involves a possessed nun, fire breathing, whips and chains. The event has expanded to take place over the whole weekend before Halloween – mainly at the Classic Grand – as Glasgow looks to position itself as an even scarier version of itself!

The Glasgow Horror Festival takes place on October 27-28.

previews by Susie Daniels