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February 2022

McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle (music) – Thurs 17th Feb, 7.30pm

Thursday, February 17, 7:30 pm

Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle – Name a more iconic trio… I’ll wait. First jamming together as teenagers, a quarter century later these Celtic folk heroes are still combining forces to share music with the world. Releasing two studio albums in the last three years, The Reed That Bends in the Storm (2020) and The Wishing Tree (2018) combine traditional, contemporary, and original instrumentals and songs of varying speeds, feels and flavours. Each having undertaken many other musical projects in the past, these veteran musicians have played with the likes of Bob Dylan, John Cale, Joan Baez, Eddi Reader and Paolo Nutini.

McGoldrick is first-class in flutes, whistles and Uillean pipes. McCusker, one of Scotland’s foremost fiddlers, is also an accomplished producer and composer. Doyle, a giant of Irish traditional music who helped found Solas, brings with him powerful rhythmic guitar and confident vocals. The feeling of watching these three play is that of old friends having a great time together. The intimate Universal Hall is the perfect setting for them.

 

“It takes a lifetime of playing to sound as effortless as these guys” – The Herald

 

£16 full price /£14 concessions / £12 Under 16s

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March 2022

Egg (theatre) – Wed 2nd March, 7.30pm

Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 pm

Flying above a PVC-clad set, the talented Sarah Bebe Holmes gives a grounded re-telling of her personal journey to donate eggs to her best friend. Accompanied by live bassy-music composed and performed by Bado Reti, this true story is brought to life for us in the Universal Hall over the course of an hour using aerial theatre. Questions of parenthood, family structure, sexuality, and body choice affect us all in life. ‘Egg’ explores the edges and injustices experienced by people in relation to these in our present society. This acrobatic spectacle will be deeply touching for anyone who is a woman or anyone who loves a woman. The acclaimed Edinburgh/LA-based theatre company Paper Doll Militia, known for bringing a Tim Burton-vibe to the stage, brings this show to us. It has toured around the UK, including sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

Suitable for audiences age 12+, parental guidance advised.

Click here for Paper Doll Militia’s website.

 

£10 Full / £8 Concs / £6 Child (Age 12-16)

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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Old Blind Dogs (music) – Sat 5th March, 8pm

Saturday, March 5, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

With 14 Scottish trad music album releases since forming in 1992, these Old Blind Dogs never run out of new tricks. Join us to hear their latest effort live, the uplifting ‘Knucklehead Circus’, released this winter. A critic from atthebarrier.com has said: The remarkable renaissance of this Scottish institution continues to enthral and amaze. Old Blind Dogs ascend the heights on Knucklehead Circus.” They will play a mix of songs and tunes with guitars, pipes, whistles, percussion instruments, bass, vocals and even a cittern. As you’ll hear from their music, or see from the picture in this space, they’re a crazily lively bunch. They’ve showcased music rooted in the North East of Scotland around the world, as far afield as Bulgaria and the USA. Now you get to see them closer to their home-turf here in the Universal Hall. 

 

‘The Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm; players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion.’

– The Scotsman 

 

Click here for Old Blind Dogs’ website.

 

£15 Full / £14 Concs / £12 U16s 

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

 

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Suzi Cunningham’s Rules to Live By/Eidos (dance) – Wed 9th March, 7.30pm

Wednesday, March 9, 7:30 pm
photo credit Neil Nisbet

Experience a visceral and powerful double-bill of dance, veering between anarchy, punk music, heroism, idolatry, and loss. In a raw and riotous movement-led tribute to Mark E. Smith (lead singer of The Fall), Rules to Live By was born out of a spontaneous tribute dance in front of 150 people on the night of his death. Featuring bold choreography set to thought-provoking tracks, the work is a glittery and rebellious aspiration to a hero’s punk anarchy; a requiem for heroism, hedonism, rebirth, and dark disturbing humour. The second half of the double-bill, EIDOS, pays homage to Suzi’s beloved grandmother – A radical hero, artist, stalwart and her very own Vivienne Westwood. With emotionally unfolding movements, the work embodies female empowerment whilst challenging the difficulties of loss, identity and aging. 

          Suzi Cunningham is a Scottish live-performance artist and Scotland’s foremost female Butoh (Japanese dance theatre) artist. Her work has a strong ecological and political focus, exploring how the primal body meets the modern world. 

 

“…compelling, slinky, yet ferocious…” 

– The Tempo House 

 

Click here for Suzi Cunningham’s website.


Suitable for audiences aged 11+ (contains light swearing) 

£10 Full / £8 Concs / £6 Ages 11-16
 
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Blue Rose Code (music) – Sun 13th March, 7.30pm

Sunday, March 13, 7:30 pm

 

Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Ross Wilson (AKA Blue Rose Code) has created his most triumphant album to date with the self-produced With Healings of the Deepest Kind (2020). Coming from a place of hope emerging from hopelessness, Wilson’s newest songs offer poetic voice and comfort to universal struggles. With influences ranging from folk, country, jazz, Americana, pop and Celtic traditions, it’s difficult to squeeze Blue Rose Code into any one box. No matter the style, Wilson’s poetic music is always infused with soul and emotion. His entourage varies but expect to see him play as part of a five-piece band in Universal Hall. Garnering rave reviews from the likes of Ewan McGregor, Ian Rankin, and Edith Bowman, you’ll be uplifted and definitely not disappointed after an evening with Blue Rose Code. Still not convinced? Then watch the documentary below to see the making of the latest album.

 

“They’re surely one of the greatest live acts around right now so if you get a chance to see them in any of their many guises do yourself a favour and go.” – Americana UK

Click here for Blue Rose Code’s website.

 

£16 Full/£14 Concs/£12 U16s

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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Hebridean Treasure: Lost & Found (theatre) – Sat 19th March, 7.30pm

Saturday, March 19, 7:30 pm
photo credit Malik Tajamul

In song, dance and narrative, the inspiring story of a people’s soul.  

In Hebridean Treasure: Lost & Found internationally acclaimed writer, John Philip Newell, works with some of Scotland’s most talented young artists to tell the story of the Celtic spiritual tradition of the Scottish Hebrides using song, dance and narrative to convey both the richness of the tradition in its awareness of the earth,  and its decimation in the Highland Clearances of the 19th century. 

Throughout the performance, composer and Gaelic singer Mischa Macpherson weaves her music around the compelling performance of Bharatanatyam dancer Kirsten Newell, achieving what has never been attempted before – a memory of the forgotten influence of India on the Celtic soul. 

In the retelling of a Scottish tragedy, Newell invites awareness of the universal story of the displacement of native peoples and the consequent loss of ancient wisdom. Hebridean Treasure moves through tragedy to portray the recovery of spiritual vision for the ecological crises of today with beauty, pathos, and hope. 

 

“Hebridean Treasure is a moving meditation on Celtic spirituality – both dance and poem; lament and love song; prayer and blessing”
– Pulse Connects  

 

Click here for Hebridean Treasure’s website.

 

£12 Full / £10 Concs / £8 U16s 

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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Rowan Rheingans: Dispatches on the Red Dress (music) – Thurs 24th March, 7.30pm

Thursday, March 24, 7:30 pm

Don’t think that this is any regular gig from Rowan Rheingans – it’s also a masterpiece of storytelling. Soothing fiddle, banjo, viola & electric guitar music is stitched together with heartfelt narration in this 80-minute, one-woman tour de force. The story takes a clear stand against fascism in this retelling of her own grandmother’s triumphs and tribulations as a youth in 1940s Germany. It’s a testament to how hope and light can be found even in humanity’s darkest periods, a message as powerful now as ever. The music mainly comes from Rheingans’ 2019 album ‘The Lines We Draw Together’. Dispatches on the Red Dress was a massive hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. It won the Fringe First Award, and gained nominations for the Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh’ Award and Filipa Braganca Award for Best Emerging Female Artist. After many five-star reviews, we’re especially delighted to have this important work of art staged in the Universal Hall.

 

“Utterly spellbinding singing and narration… and as the red dress’ true origin unfolds, the revelation will leave you quietly breathless.”

– The Scotsman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

“Sublime…a narrative stitched with the subtlety of an expert dressmaker… celebrates family, nature and the ties that bind and goes on to pack a fierce political punch.”

– The Guardian (Folk Album of the Month) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Click here for Rowan Rheingans’ website.

 

£14 Full / £12 Concs / £10 U16s

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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April 2022

Two in a Barrel (theatre) – Sun 10th April 2pm

Sunday, April 10, 2:00 pm
© photographer – Andy Catlin www.andycatlin.com
‘Two in a Barrel’ is a clown-inspired, physical theatre performance for young audiences. Two lively quirky best friends – Riri and Moku – are confined to a barrel sitting on top of an island of rubbish in the ocean. They love finding treasures in the heaps of plastic on the stage to make their own world of adventure and imagination. However, danger arises when the waste around them continues to pile higher and threatens to cover them altogether. By looking at mass consumerism and the destructive effects (non-bio-degradable) waste has on our environment, this Beckett-meets-Pixar show invokes awareness about environmental activism. Expect plenty of fun, crazy props and set design. Created and performed by Ruxandra Cantir and Sarah Rose Graber as part of SURGE Scotland’s Established Artist’s Residency.
 
 

“Very funny and sympathetic characters. Children from 3 years and up and adults would enjoy this.”

– Edinburgh Science Fest Audience Member 

 

Most suitable for children aged 5-12 but enjoyable for people of all ages.

 

£7 Full / £6 Concs / £5 U16s

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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Fault Lines (theatre) – Sat 23rd April, 7.30pm

Saturday, April 23, 7:30 pm
Photo credit: Beth Chalmers

A fashion show on the fracture between feminism and fabric. Fault Lines is a catwalk which takes you from Haute Couture to bargain bin, from big beats to near silence. Five women come together in a celebration of difference. They dance, they walk. Curate your own journey through a runway show of people like you and people you’ll never know, with a soundtrack selected by you. Susan Sontag meets America’s Next Top Model. Bring your mobile phones and headphones to navigate your own sound journey of the show. Fault Lines is brought to us by the theatre company Two Destination Language, led by Alister Lownie & Katherina Radeva. They are known for encouraging intercultural dialogues through their art.

 

“women exploring their real, complicated, multi-faceted, and terrifyingly glorious truths” ★★★★★

– The Scottish Play

 

Click here for Two Destination Language’s website.

 

Suitable for audiences aged 14+ due to strong language (in the recorded music) and partial nudity.

 

£10 Full / £8 Concs / £6 Ages 14-16

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May 2022

Julius Caesar (theatre) – Sat 7th May, 7.30pm

Saturday, May 7, 7:30 pm


This rendition of Shakespeare’s masterpiece is set to enthral new and young audiences as well as those already familiar. Presented by Company of Wolves, timely themes such as the thin line between conspiracy & reality, dictatorship & republic, and civilisation & mob rule are explored as Brutus and Cassius plot to kill Caesar to prevent him crowning himself king of Rome. An ensemble of five actors from the Glasgow-based theatre company act out this moment of history that begins with grumblings in the senate house and escalates into outright war. The focus of director Ewan Downie (formerly of Polish Laboratory Theatre) is storytelling, and so each member of a diverse cast will play multiple parts across gender lines. Suitable for audiences aged 11+.

Click here for Company of Wolves’ website

 

£10 full price /£8 concessions / £6 child (ages 11-16)

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June 2022

Hannah Rarity (music) – Wed 1st June, 7.30pm

Wednesday, June 1, 7:30 pm

Following the release of her new 2022 album, Universal Hall is honoured to welcome singer Hannah Rarity. She will be joined by Innes White on guitar and John Lowrie on keys. Many of you will have recently seen Hannah perform with Alexander Chapman Campbell. This Scottish folk gem is former winner of BBC Radio Scotland Traditional Musician of the Year for good reason. She is now one of the most prominent vocalists in our wee nation. Her 2018 debut album ‘Neath the Gloaming Star’ was shortlisted for Album of the Year by the Scots Trad Music Awards.  Her newer album includes interpretations of much-loved classics as well as her own self-written reflections on the times we live in. It promises to soothe troubled souls & worldly woes. See below a link to her new song ‘Scotland Yet’, worth having a tear and a toast to. 

 

“…her exquisitely sounding voice clearly won the hearts of the audience… and (she) is becoming a very bright shining light in the folk world.” – efestivals.co.uk

 

Click here for Hannah Rarity’s website.

 

£14 Full / £12 Concs / £10 U16s

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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Tony McManus & Julia Toaspern (music) – Sat 4th June, 7.30pm 

Saturday, June 4, 7:30 pm
Photo credit: Milton Young

Tony McManus is the leading Celtic guitarist worldwide and has just been listed as one of the 50 transcendental guitarists of all time by Guitar Player Magazine. While Tony is known as a soloist, his frequent collaborations with various musicians have always been a significant part of his work. Julia Toaspern is a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music. She has released two albums of original songs and has performed in both classical and singer/songwriter modes on both sides of the Atlantic. On top of all these her skills as a guitarist are prodigious and make an exciting fit with Tony’s work. Join us in Universal Hall for a night of some of the most skilful guitar playing you can see in this country. Both having powerful, eloquent singing voices too, they will play a mix of songs and tunes.

“Tony McManus’ music is beyond beautiful, it’s perfect.”

– Tommy Emmanuel 

“Julia Toaspern’s bell-like voice and her filigree fiddle playing are thrilling. She moves effortlessly from fiddle to guitar, her solo is impressive.”

– Salon Festival

£14 Full / £12 Concs / £10 U16s 

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

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Elephant Sessions (music) – Thu 16th June, 8pm

Thursday, June 16, 8:00 pm

This show has been rescheduled from 2020

Hailing from the Highlands of Scotland, Elephant Sessions exploded onto the indie folk scene to unparalleled effect with their last album “All We Have Is Now.” The band have since gone on to be finalists as Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 awards and are already winners of the 2018 Scots Trad Live Act of the Year. A truly great band to see live in an intimate venue like the Universal Hall. 

‘Elephant Sessions … are using their instruments like weapons to destroy clichés… We love them’Rolling Stone Magazine

 
 
Please Note:

We intend to have dancing at this event and it will be loud and include flashing lights!

This show has been rescheduled from December 2021. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. Rest assured that any ticket you currently hold to one of the prior dates for this show will still be valid on 8pm 16th June 2022.
 
All ticket holders will receive an email from WeGotTickets to alert them to the new dates and ask if they want to hold onto their tickets for the new date, or receive a refund. Please check your spam mail folder if you don’t hear from them as their mail sometimes gets sent there.

 

£16 full /£14 concs / £12 U16s / £14 dancing (non-seated wristband)

Buy Ticket (10% Booking Fee)

 

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