Theatre preview – Hidden Door 2022

Hidden Door has curated a theatre programme bursting with ideas for this year’s festival.

Taking over the Old Royal High School on Calton Hill from 9 – 18 June, the multi arts festival has gathered seven of Scotland’s most exciting new and emerging theatre companies to entertain the audience.

Many of the performances will be taking place in the Pianodrome, an intimate amphitheatre space built out of old pianos in one of the larger rooms of the former school.

At a glance

What to expect

Kicking off the festival are Dripping Tap who will be performing an experimental piece featuring buffon ballerinas interacting with the audience from 9 – 12 June.

On the same dates, Adrenalism, a new Glasgow-based performance company making outdoor and walkabout theatrical experiences, will be presenting Hey Idiots, Text Me Your Climate Change Solutions! Billed as a satirical outdoor show about the climate crisis, toxic masculinity, violence and green washing, it sees performers Lewis Sherlock and Andrew Simpson feature as two PR managers from a fossil fuel multinational looking for blue-sky-thinking solutions to climate change.

Back in the Pianodrome from 10-12 June, Jess Brodie and Victoria Bianchi will be staging Help Yourself, a two-hander based on the concept of a wellness seminar. The two Glasgow-based writer-performers use autobiography and pop culture to examine human nature. This, their second collaboration, will explore quick-fix self-care culture and unpacks our relationship with loss and empathy.

The packed theatre programme continues later in the festival, with four more companies from 16 – 18 June.

They include Oskar Kirk Hansen, whose drag alter ego Mystika Glamoor will be performing Between Revloutions, inspired by the book The F*ggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions. The one-person show sees a lone figure playing multiple archetypal roles of Faeries, Women and Queers, with stories and lessons about endurance, love and solitary under the violence of Men. Edinburgh-based Oskar Kirk Hansen runs multiple cabaret and drag shows in Edinburgh.

Noah Tomson, a physical theatre performer and musician based in Edinburgh and Sakia Longoretti, a multimedia artist based in London, are teaming up to stage The Great Pretender. The performance is a tragi-comic multimedia drag physical theatre show exploring imposter syndrome.

The witch trials will be coming to the Royal High School, courtesy of provocative performer Sweætshops who will be performing witchtrialversion3. Featuring Free Magic Show, the multidisciplinary piece will use movement and AI/Faerie sound to explore the social repercussions of the trials and their impact on present day society.

Finally, SALTYDOLLS return to Hidden Door with TH4T’S CL4SS!!. The Edinburgh company is run by Fiona Oliver-Larkin and Estlin Love, who create joyful work focusing on the voices of women, in particular single mothers. This outdoor piece will be created for Hidden Door, drawing on the history of the Royal High School to celebrate the spirit of teen rebellion.

The programme was selected by a panel led by creative producer Marianne Maxwell.

Marianne Maxwell, Theatre Curator, said: “I am really excited to be working with Hidden Door to curate the theatre programme this year. Now more than ever there is an urgency to give emerging theatre makers opportunities to develop their ideas and ambition and to share them with audiences.

“This year, as Hidden Door takes over the iconic Royal High School, we have created a programme of theatre that is bursting with ideas, these are shows that are brave and funny, playing with style and form that will provoke and entertain the Hidden Door audiences. I can’t wait to see them.”

Hidden Door are working in partnership with the new National Centre for Music.

Hidden Door 2022 is supported by Baillie Gifford and other generous partners and sponsors.

The Skinny are the official media partners for Hidden Door 2022.

Edinburgh brewer Innis & Gunn is sponsoring this year’s festival and will be pouring a selection of their premium beers at bars across the site. 

Tickets are available via or from Citizen Ticket.