FEBRUARY 2016 in Edinburgh

From light installations and compelling drama to world class art and exhibitions there is so much to do in Edinburgh this month. Here are 12 good reasons to visit this February.


One of Scotland’s most interesting festivals… manipulate… has developed a reputation for showcasing innovative work from around the world in visual theatre and animation… manipulate casts its net far wider than traditional puppetry to bring in the best work from overseas in genres ranging from contemporary puppetry and animation to physical and aerial theatre.

29 Jan - 6 Feb  | Traverse & Dancebase | Website


Created by French artists collective Groupe LAPS, Keyframes uses LED lights tubes to create multiple static stick figures that, when paired with a soundtrack, flash on and off in a choreographed display to imitate movement giving the opportunity to experience the architecture and environment of St Andrew Square in a different light. The 80 light sculptures that will take over St Andrew Square Garden will illuminate in sequence to an original musical composition.

4 Feb - 29 March | St Andrew’s Square | Website

The UNTITLED | Bad Entertainment

Children art the future: young Scots create The UNTITLED: Bad Entertainment Exhibition at Scottish National Portrait Gallery marks culmination of year-long project For one year, four groups of young people in Scotland who have little or no formal training in visual art have been embarking on a series of workshops and exhibitions, designed to unleash their inner creativity.

Now that year of creative work has come to a head with a new exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The UNTITLED displays a selection of work created by the project participants over the last year, and is intended to give a 'powerful sense of the thoughts, feelings and opinions of a generation which is generally little heard.'

30 Jan− 8 May | Scottish National Portrait Gallery | Website

RBS Six Nations

The RBS Six Nations kicks off this February. Wrap up warm and cheer on the home team as Scotland tackles their opponents at Murrayfield.

February | Murrayfield Stadium | Website

BUILD IT! Adventures with LEGO® Bricks

This spring, renowned brick artist, Warren Elsmore and his team display some of their most beautiful and intricate mini-buildings and models .To add to the set, they will also be on-site, building a special three metre model of our very own museum. But don’t let them have all the fun. Join in for some hands-on LEGO® brick activities from February till April. Get creative in the Builders’ Yard, and build your own masterpiece. 

29 Jan - 17 April | National Museum of Scotland | Website

John Bellany and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals

The show, John Bellany and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, will looks at the impact of the hospitals and their role across Europe in the First World War, the experiences of the soldiers in the hospital and the women that cared for them. The paintings and drawings explore the subject of war, field hospitals, nursing and the experiences of the injured soldiers. Bellany's paintings will be accompanied by a specially commissioned poem by Scotland’s Makar, Liz Lochheah. 

’til April | The Scottish Parliament | Website

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival

Feats of daring and adventure in some of the world's most challenging landscapes will be showcased at the annual Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival. The event aims to give an insight into mountain terrains and culture and offers film makers the chance to show their work to a wider audience. "Whether you are a committed outdoor enthusiast or more of an armchair fan, or if you simply enjoy hearing enthralling stories set against incredibly beautiful scenery, there is something for you at the EMFF” 

6 - 7 February  | George Square  | Website

Edinburgh Student Arts Festival

ESAF is a platform for student artists to showcase their work to the artistic community and public at large. The aim is for these emerging artists to engage with the community in a meaningful way. Over 93 visual artists and 7 collectives, 166 performance artists and 17 stall holders will participate at venues across the City over the 7 days. 

12-19 February | 1 City Wide | Website

Capital Sci - Fi Con  

A new sci-fi event coming to Edinburgh, organised by a fan for fans to raise money for (CHAS) Childrens Hospice Association Scotland. A weekend of geeky goodness where you will be able to submerge yourself in another realm. The weekend will host a whole range of attractions and activities, As you enter the building there will be a whole host of sci-fi characters waiting to greet you from Jedi, Aliens, Stormtroopers, Ghostbusters, Daleks and much much more!

27 - 28 Feb | Meadowbank | Website

The James Plays  

The James Plays are a modern cycle of history plays by award-winning playwright Rona Munro. This vividly-imagined trilogy brings to life three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century.  Each play stands alone as a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future; viewed together they create a complex and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood. An ensemble of 20 actors takes the audience through a rarely-explored period of history with playful wit and boisterous theatricality.

3-13 February | Festival Theatre | Website

British Art Show 8

British Art Show 8 explores artists’ engagement with the material world at a time of increasing convergence between the real and virtual spheres. Through works by 42 artists whose practices merge research, studio-based and other production processes, the exhibition investigates new thinking around materiality and reflects on the meaning and manifestations of objects in the seemingly dematerialised reality that marks our times. Echoing recent philosophical developments, objects are considered here as active agents, generative entities, mutating forms and networked realities, rather than being simply defined by their properties or their effects.

from 13 Feb | City Wide | Website

Visionary Palaces | Designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) was one of the most brilliant artistic figures of his generation, known above all as an outstanding architect, whose buildings transformed the appearance of early nineteenth-century Berlin. The  exhibition features Schinkel’s grand designs for two palaces, one on the Acropolis in Athens and the other at Orianda on the Crimean coast. Neither of these lavish projects was realised, but Schinkel’s designs were published during the 1840s in a series of magnificent colour lithographs, which are the subject of this exhibition.

27 Feb− 12 June | National Gallery of Scotland | Website