Chinese shows at Edinburgh’s Festivals

Edinburgh’s 2015 Festivals feature a  wide range of shows from China. We hope our list is comprehensive. Let us know if we are missing any shows!  And if you only see one of these shows please make sure it is the first on the list from SOAS graduate Louise Reay whose Fringe debut is sponsored by the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

6-30 Aug except 18th: Louise Reay: Its Only Words

1LouiseReayIt’s Only Words – a comedy show in Chinese for people who don’t speak any Chinese at all!  You’ll understand it, but you won’t know why. It’s Only Words plays with the audience’s preconceptions about humanity and communication through a mix of clowning & stand up.

Venue 27, Just the Tonic at the Community Project, Grassmarket

5, 7-16, 18-30 Aug: Detention

2DetentionReturning to the Fringe three years after first delivering Hong Kong style humour and with over 100 performances around the world this non verbal physical comedy features five actors- a Chinese opera performer, a comedian, an acrobat, a drummer and a dancer.

Venue 20: The Assembly Rooms 19.45-20.45

7-11 Aug: Xun

3XunThe integration of the oriental opera body movement and Western modern music. The two contrasting styles combine in a performance that explores ideas of collectivity… ‘Not you and me, only us’.

Venue 259a: Just Festival at Central Hall, Tollcross 20.30-21.50


7-15 Aug  Perpetual Landscape
17-22 & 24-29 Aug: Perpetual Landscape

4PerceptionInspired by autistic children, Comuna de Pedra from Macau presents award winning director Jenny Mok who explores the definition of reality in this solo work using light, sound and physical theatre.

Venue 209 Greenside @ Nicolson Square 20.55-21.40-first dates
Venue 231 Greenside @ Royal Terrace  13.55-14.40-second dates

7-10, 12-16, 19-24, 26-30 Aug: Taiwan Season-The Paper Play

5TaiwanPaperFrom Puppet Beings Theatre, a children and families double bill exploring the storytelling power of ordinary paper.

Venue 26, Summerhall 11.45-12.30

7-9, 1-16, 18-23, 25-30 Aug Taiwan Season – Gaze of the Kavualan

6TaiwanGazeIncisive contemporary dance from Taiwan this satirical post-modern work from Tjimur Dance Theatre explores self, art, sexuality and the traditions of female chastity among indigenous Paiwan and Rukai people.

Venue 22: Dance Base 18.30-19.10


10-17, 19-24, 26,30 Aug: PokER Night Blues

7PokerBased on ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’  US-based theatre company, Theatre Movement Bazaar and Chinese-based Beijing TinHouse Productions present this piece. heightened physicality, dance, humour, and an original text create this intense, touching and steamy fusion between East and West.  In Mandarin with English super-titles.

Venue 26: Summerhall 17.05-18.10

11 Aug: The Sino Profusion Show

8SinoFrom Shanghai’s Hand in Hand Troupe, a famous young artists’ association in China, this show ranges from joyous Han dance, to classical, and from Dai minority dance to Uyghur minority dance.

Venue 123: Acoustic Music Centre@ St Brides 14.30-15.45


11-13 Aug: Oriental Fairy Tales
a series of five shows by performers from beijing schools

9Oriental11 Aug The Charming Oriental City
From Beijing’s Dongcheng City, a group of children growing up near the Forbidden City present a show full of oriental charm.

Venue 123: Acoustic Music Centre@St Bride’s 18.00-19.15


10Happy12 Aug: Happy Hours in Childhood
Students from largest and most famous primary school orchestra in Beijing based at Shijia Primary School will share the appealing music of childhood.

Venue 123: Acoustic Music Centre@St Bride’s 18.00-19.15


11Legend13 Aug: Legend and Modern
Yu Cai Primary School’s dance troupe with waist drums choir as well as the gymnastics team which have won many national first prizes, present the ancient legends of the East and the dynamic civilization of more modern times.

Venue 123: Acoustic Music Centre@St Bride’s 18.00-19.15

12Zebra13 Aug: Wild Zebra (Ballet with orchestral accompaniment)
This fantasy piece created by Zhang Jigang, deputy director and choreographer of the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, showcases the accomplishments of a troupe of young Chinese performers (8-12 years)

Venue 59: Edinburgh Playhouse 19.00-20.30

12Zebra14 Aug: Symphonic Extracts from Wild Zebra
This is a performance of the score from the fantasy drama Wild Zebra.

Venue 123: Acoustic Music Centre@St Bride’s 18.00-19.15



13 Aug: Music of Two Nations

14TwoEddie McGuire,former Chairman of the Musicians’ Union (Scottish Region), and classical zheng performer Dong Yi celebrate the 10th year of their collaboration by giving a presentation with bamboo flutes, classical flutes and Chinese zheng (zither), on the music of the two nations in comparative perspective.

Venue 111: St Andrew’s & St George’s West 14.30-15.30

14-16 Aug: Dragon

15Dragon Featuring fast moving physical theatre, puppetry and original music.  ‘Dragon’ tells the story of Tommy whose life, since the death of his mother, has gone from bad to worse. Created by Vox Motus, the National Theatre of Scotland and Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre. Best Show for Children & Young People at UK Theatre Awards 2014.

Venue: Royal Lyceum Theatre; various times

15-18 Aug:  China Young – Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus

16ChinaYoungBeijing Student’s Golden Sail Art Troupe was founded in 1987, and comprises thousands of students from 80 primary and high schools in Beijing.

Venue 123: Acoustic Music Centre@St Brides 18.00-19.15


17-18, 24-25, 27 Aug: My Journey Through China

18JourneyClassical Zheng performer, Yi Dong, now on her 14th visit to Edinburgh will take her audience on a musical journey through the spirit of China.

Venue 111: St Andrew’s & St George’s West, George Street – various


17-18 Aug: “Weight x 3”  &  “5”

27TaoTAO Dance Theatre has taken the dance world by storm. Choreographer and founder Tao Ye’s ritualistic aesthetic combines with the rigour and exploration of contemporary expression to create hypnotic and mesmerising works that represent the cutting edge of creativity.
Venue Royal Lyceum Theatre 20.00-21.30


19 Aug Xinran – SOLD OUt

20XinranWhile China partially relaxed its One Child policy in 2013, its legacy is apparent as China is full of ‘little emperors’ – cosseted single children in whom the hopes of the nation now rest. Now a Guardian Journalist, Xinran left China in 1997. The story of China’s one-child generation is told in Buy me the sky, a startling glimpse of a country in rapicd transition.

Venue: Edinburgh Book Festival, Charlotte Square 19.15-20.15

19 Aug: China Conservatory Orchestra 2015 Concert

20ChinaConsThe history of Chinese folk music has a long lineage. In this show traditional instruments such as the bangdi, liuqin and zheng, are introduced to the audience via a piece entitled “An Instrumental Guide to the Traditional Chinese Orchestra”  followed by nine more pieces.

Venue 150: Edinburgh International Conference Centre 14.30-16.30.


19 Aug: Dong Yi’s Special Programme on the Zheng for Chinese Lovers’ Day

21DongYiClassical zheng performer and one of only five soloists who has performed in the Great Hall of the people, Dong Yi returns to Edinburgh for the 14th time with music of love stories and poems.

Venue 60: Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile 19.00-20.00


19-30 Aug: Around the World, My Journey Continued After You Left

22AroundNew musical from award-winning director Zhao Miao. Lee is 88 and loves her husband very much. During 50 years of marriage, they regularly cruise the world, but then her husband unexpectedly dies. A lonely Lee sells her assets to take a cruise again, on her own, determined to start a whole new journey… China’s leading physical theatre company interweaves traditional Chinese philosophy with Western theatrical traditions.

Venue No 7: New Town Theatre Venue, George Street 19-30 Aug 15.45-16.50

20-22 Aug:Chinese Art and Culture Festival

19SCCCEdinburgh’s first ever Chinese Arts and Cultural Festival featuring a traditional Sichuan opera, authentic singers, a spectacular troupe of young drummers and more all set alongside a three day interactive celebration of authentic Chinese arts and culture. Price includes multiple shows on each day.

Venue No 150 : Edinburgh International Conference Centre 14.00-18.00

21 Aug: Lang Lang – SOLD OUt

29LangLangPoetry and pyrotechnics, intensive and introspection, Lang Lang is a global star.  While his solo Festival concert on 21 August is sold out he is performing Bartok’s Piano concerto No 2 on 19 August with the Philharmonia Orchestra. For info on the concert on 19 August please click here.



23-31 Aug: Mountains and Seas – A Chinese Rock Musical

27MountainsPremièred at the National Theatre in Taipei in 2013 this sell out show later toured Taiwan.  Based on the script ‘Mountains and the Seas’ by Gao Xing-Jian the show features integrated theatre, rock music and visual effects describing events from the beginning of the world to the first emperor.

Venue No 278: Spotlites, Hanover Street 16.00-17.05

 24-27 Aug Titus Andronicus

23TitusWeAct is the premier amateur theatrical drama group in China, and in 2014, was the first company to bring Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’ to the stage in China. By leveraging the oriental thinking and elements, the bloodiness and the tyrannical story of Titus Andronicus is played out with implicit aestheticism.

Venue No 278 Spotlites 14.00-15.20

 26 Aug Pipa & Erhu from Jing-hua Gao and Zhi-qin Zhu

24PipaPipa and erhu are commonly nicknamed as Chinese lute and Chinese violin. Jing-hua Gao and Zhi-qin Zhu,  graduate students of the China Conservatory and multiple prize winners since childhood, make their UK debut in a concert on these two characteristic Chinese musical instruments. Both historical and contemporary works will be played. Part of the sixth Glamour of Jasmine Chinese Arts Festival.


Venue No 60: Canongate Kirk, 19.00-20.00

26 Aug Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang

Two charismatic and accomplished musicians come together for a Festival recital of Brahms violin sonatas. Powerful Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos with Chinese-born Yuja Wang an  virtuoso pianist together perform Brahms’s three violin sonatas.

The Queen’s Hall 11.00-12.45

26-29 Aug Qiuzi

26Qiuzi1938, during the Sino-Japanese War, a worn-out young Japanese lieutenant unexpectedly saw a beautiful face that was familiar yet distant. As the night fell on the Green Willow Hotel, fate had also befallen… ‘Qiuzi’, based on a true story, is the first modern grand opera in China. Seventy-three years after its premiere, student performers from Nanjing University of the Arts are recreating this epic opera in a 90-minute concert to yearn for peace and humanity.

Venue No 209: Greenside @ Nicolson Square 16.30-18.00

Please note that the Confucius Institute for Scotland is not responsible for any of the content of any of the shows listed above.