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  • 5.0 star rating

    Funny as panto is, the shows are always marred by a tinge of sadness. The washed up ex-soap actors on stage are often literally dead behind the eyes, and you know that in a couple of years when you read about their suicide in the corner of page 35 of The Daily Star, that their stint in panto was probably one of the deciding factors. Their agent told them it'd be Broadway, instead it was the King's, halfheartedly spitting out dated innuendo to a half empty auditorium, scattered with drunk dinner ladies, bored schoolkids and gay irony peddlers.

    The bleakness of panto is perhaps what I love most about it, and thus I often find watching a former celebrity's descent into the depths still to be a highlight in The King's busy lineup. As you'd expect, the rest of the material on offer here tends to go down the mainstream route, which is often preferable to the gratuitous nudity and feminist messages you'll be relentlessly subjected to on the artier side if the scene. Great traditional decor too, and all round just a pretty wonderful place.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    I saw a few shows there and I always like to go back for more, not only because I really like this old theater inside and out.
    The interior and exterior are both mystic and spooky in its own way. Being one of the last to leave after a show really lets you explore this place. Walk up and down the stairs and take in the presence of old time past.
    Apparently the theater was founded around 1850 and pretty much still display ,or seem to, all its original features: boisterous chandeliers, large stair cases, red carpets and curtains, amazing architecture and lustrous statues.

    It is is also true that the seats are not the most comfortable or that it is not always easy to see the screen with people sitting infront of you or that the downstairs hallways are quite tight and could cause claustrophobic feelings. But this should not be a reason to miss out on a spectacular show only because you are not into old places.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Yay a proper old theatre! My first visit to the Kings and I loved it :-)

    The Kings Theatre has been getting a bit of a face lift recently so I'm not sure based on my first visit what is different but the scaffolding is down.

    When I glanced up to the boxes, surrounded by plush red velvet and gold detail, I was reminded of Anna Karenina and I could imagine Yelpers Anna K and Count V throwing sultry glances each others way across their boxes, grabbing the opera glasses for a closer look, and waxing lyrical about the hidden nooks and crannies where the bars and little tables are hidden as they arrange their next romantic assignation....

    It is really an old style theatre, with marble floors, hidden bars and cute tables for secluded drinking. I can only assume everything internally as been refublished as the paintwork looked restored, floors shiny and the gorgeous period detail had been enhanced. Seats were plush velvet and although like most theatres, not the most comfortable if you are tall or have long legs, they were ok and bareable for the duration of the performance.

    So, I was charmed by this theatre. I suspect that costs for the refurbishment may be recapped through the tickets so it won't be a cheap night out. It is still a lovely experience if you want to leave behind the modern and go for something more old world...

  • 4.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    A thespian's dream...
    Very few bad seats in house...
    Easy to get to!

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in
    Listed in Culture Vultures

    What to say about the Kings...well since my first visit as a nipper to see the famous Stanley Baxter and co as dames, during annual panto season. To my last show in 2012 to listen to a couple of guys whom played piano and told a story of their lifestyle and upbringing whilst learning to play an instrument from an early age...to the recent play "Translations".

    Set in an Irish school, in 1833, it sets the scene the British Army tasked to translate place names from ancient Irish Gaelic to the King's English.

    Owen, brother teacher Manus, returns after period in Dublin, acting as translator and go-between for the British and Irish, a love triangle between Yolland, Manus, and a local woman, Máire, complicates things?

    Directed by acclaimed actor and director, Adrian Dunbar. Translations was the first production by Field Day Theatre Company founded by Tony Award Winner Friel and Stephen Rea, is creatively produced play from one of the greatest living English-language dramatists.

    Quite frankly sitting in an art deco styled theatre such as the refurb'd Kings, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in London's Soho/theatre district; both places should be twinned and adorned by Luvvies alike for sheer exuberance.

    Edina is so lucky to have a real theatre that had it's ups and downs over the years, and lucky me for getting a chance to see this one...recommended to all who like a good "Ménage à trois", a few laughs and possibly tears!  

    Even nowadays people daily don't dress like they do in this play anymore, but if you like period costume and have a hunger to see, these cossys, but not in a museum then you may have missed your chance, for now!

    4 stars, five if they were to reduce the price of G&T's, gets my thumbs up!

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    I love going to the theatre. I love the old-worldly idea that stage-shows can still prove attractive in a 21st century world full of tech in which we can watch the latest blockbuster on a hand-held tech device. There's something romantic about slowing down, taking time, and making a whole evening out of a theatre show.

    And it is with this old-world romanticism that I also love the physical theatre. The ornate cornicing on the ceiling. The plush red carpets. The fold-down seats made of wood, not plastic. Even the lack of cup holders. The carved Greek masks around the stage. The old Stage Curtain. The lack of popcorn scattered, and instead replaced by an ice-cream service at interval that hasn't changed since I was a wee girl.

    I hadn't been to the King's Theatre until last night, when I went with the Yelp Book Group for our first outting, to see an adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel (Go Back for Murder, based on Five Little Pigs). The show itself aside, I did love this theatre. I'd rate it my second favourite theatre in Edinburgh, the first being the Lyceum.

    It's smaller than the Playhouse, and with not as grand an entrance in size, but certainly still in decoration and design. The thing I found unusual, but also liked in an weird way, was the slightly maze-like route to the Stalls. We passed little alcoves that had people seated around minature bars, and other little alcoves that just had seats, with an almost hidden bar again, and then on the left a door that led to the Stalls, but which had no sign suggesting so.

    The theatre itself is comfy to sit in. The seats give more leg room, and are less rickety, than at the Festival Theatre. It's a smaller room than both the Festival, Lyceum and Playhouse (I think) but I felt more intimate and perfectly suited to the show we saw.

    So now, if a play I wanted to see were showing at the King's, I wouldn't hesistate to go. It's comfy, it's in a nice slightly quieter spot, but with nice bars and restaurants close by, and it has that old world charm that for a few hours can have my phone on silent, and instead enjoy the intimacy of a live, staged show.

  • 4.0 star rating

    My regular experiences at the Kings Theatre occur every year at Christmas time, when I go to see whatever pantomime is showing with my wee cousins, who actually now seem to be getting to that age where they think it's all a bit too childish. I, however, don't seem to have reached that stage yet, and still chuckle away at all the super cheesey gags and take great immature joy in joining in with the chanting and general "he's behind you" panto talk. It's just good honest no frills comedy, although I may have to sit with my sweeties and ice cream on my own this year, if my younger relatives decide this is the year to become grown up.

    As well as the annual panto, the theatre also hosts plays and productions all year round. The theatre space itself is very traditional and retro looking, which I enjoy, as coming to a theatre like this still gives that feeling of a grand, old fashioned night out in striking surroundings.

  • 3.0 star rating
    First to Review

    The Kings Theatre (or Festival Theatre, if you want to be picky) holds a very special place in my heart! Every Christmas they play host to the always-enjoyable and never-cheesy Christmas Panto! Everybody loves panto...oh no they don't. oh yes they do!

    The theatre itself is in a great location, just off Lothian Road and has been around for years. It offers a brilliant choice of plays and dramas and is a venue for Edinburgh's local amateur societies. It has maintained it's traditional style and retro appearance but still managed to make it look good  - I'm sure you'll know what I mean by that musty smell that always seems to be in old theatres ? Although there is a must in the Kings Theatre, it is very faint.

    Ok, the seats are old-fashioned and crams everybody in so you can barely move throughout the performance, and ok the bathrooms have seen better days, but it's all part of the experience!

    I always make sure I visit the Kings Theatre for my Panto fix at Christmas, and always keep an eye out to see what is coming. It's a great place to experience theatre at a low-ish price and in a nice environment. The last play I went to see was Calendar Girls, so you can understand the calibre of performances to expect at the Kings Theatre.

    • Qype User dawnyf…
    • Edinburgh
    • 18 friends
    • 114 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    Excellent theatre, the decor is opulent, the seats are comfy, there are plenty of toilets to cope with the interval rush and the bar staff are quick and efficient! The quality of the shows is second to none & ticket prices are reasonable!
    Always a must for the panto at christmas!

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    it's been years since i've been to the king's theatre so when i attended go back for murder with the yelp book group i was pleasantly surprised.  someone had mentioned to me that the theatre had been refurbished after being briefly closed.  and indeed it had been!  the lobby remains the same with the nice old marble floors and stairs leading the various levels of seating.

    we wandered into the stalls and sat down on some newly uphosltered seats.  they were red and plush and there was loads of space in between the rows so i could put my bag down and still have space for my feet.  quite a nice feature when you're a girl who carries a large hand bag. it also looked like all the cornice work had been cleaned and fresly painted and the private boxes newly upholstered as well.  i think even the floors might have been new!  so everything was very new and shiny!

    i can't make much mention of the other areas as i only sat in my seat, i didn't buy concessions (although these seemed a bit highly priced), get a drink from the bar, or use the toilets.  but the rest of the yelpers that did use these parts seemed to find it satisfactory.  in terms of the play, it was only ok a bit dry and didn't seem to have the same dramatic build up as the book it was based on.  this is hardly a comment on the theatre though.

    so yes, the kings theatre is lovely and newly refurbished so very enjoyable to go for a show.  if something takes my interest i'll definitely make a trip back there.

    • Qype User YoungP…
    • Edinburgh
    • 5 friends
    • 43 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    After going to see 'Trainspotting' and 'The Twits' in the Kings Theatre I was very impressed not only by the production but by the theatre itself. The elegance of the King's Theatre is unrivalled and despite being in need of some renovation you can still admire the painting of the ceiling and red velvet seats.

    The value for money is excellent as the productions are usually excellent. The range of productions that are hosted by the King's Theatre is second to none so there will be a play for you at some point each year. There is also several pantomime productions and child friendly plays which makes it a perfect setting for family theatre.

    • Qype User Giffor…
    • Edinburgh
    • 3 friends
    • 39 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    A theatre fit for a king...well, yes, in fact. The King's theatre is a grand and decadent setting for dramatic and emotive theatre productions.

    Set amongst marble and plush gold encrustations, it is an ideal setting for some Shakespeare. Indeed, it tends to attract tradtional theatre productions and high-quality acting performances.

    Wear something smart, sample some fine wine and sit back and enjoy the show!

    • Qype User jmk0…
    • Edinburgh
    • 0 friends
    • 69 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    I went to see the play The Importance of Being Ernest at the Kings and I have to say I cannot imagine a better setting to have watched it in.

    The Kings is a traditional red velvet seats and curtains with gold coloured decoration kind of place, and although it is slightly on the worn looking side, for me that just adds to the authenticity of it.

    The usher staff and the bar staff are very friendly. The only downside is the same as most theatres - not enough ladies toilets!!!

  • 5.0 star rating

    I went to this place a small couple of weeks ago and the srevice was exellent. I was shown to my seat and shown where the bar was at break time. I rate the service  marks, the only problem was at the second half someone sat in front of me which I suppose can not be helped.

    • Qype User Las…
    • Edinburgh
    • 2 friends
    • 52 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    This is a stunning theatre which is a real piece of history in Edinburgh. Located at Tollcross, this was indeed established as the theatre built for the King. Take time to stand outside and cast your eye over the exterior of the building, it really is lovely and I know nothing about architecture, but I'm impressed! Inside, I really expect it to look a bit careworn, but actually it doesn't feel that way at all - they have maintained the feeling of utter elegance at the Kings, lush red velvet seats and curtains, chandeliers and gold braiding, it truly is a lovely experience and adds to the excitement of the evening's entertainment. T There is a small sweetie kiosk, although most visitors tend to nip across the road to the local Scotmid during the intervals. There's also a bar upstairs too, as well as the obligatory toilets - although I do wish they'd bear in mind that us Ladies usually end up in a huge queue at interval time, there are never enough toilets, no matter where you go, and unfortunately the Kings Theatre is no exception. hings were not looking too good for a while a couple of years back, when there was a campaign to save the theatre, and I truly hope that it will survive and it's a real gem.

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