North Edinburgh Arts Theatre Project: 1d Tenement Opera. A story based on the lives of people who lived in an Edinburgh tenement over two centuries: the tenement eventually became part of Edinburgh Corporation’s Slum Clearance Programme, some of the tenements were sold for just 1d, and in 1959 one of the last tenements collapsed and a little boy was killed. This was known as the Penny Tenement Collapse; local people told stories of being in the bath and the end of the room falling away, others spoke of desperately trying to save their babies and children as floorboards started to slope away from under them. The 1d Tenement Opera has been devised with the people of North Edinburgh (some of whose families were living in the city centre before the Slum Clearance Programme) working with various artists and director Stephanie Knight. 7pm, North Edinburgh Arts, 15a Pennywell Court. Free: donations very welcome. Please contact the Box Office to reserve your tickets: call 0131 315 2151 or email email@example.com. Also at same time on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th January 2015.
Easel Sketching in the Gallery – January: sketching in the gallery, led by artist Damian Callan. A different subject each month, sometimes with a model. All materials supplied. 2-4pm, Scottish National Gallery (main gallery floor), The Mound. Free: no booking required. Also at same times on Friday 16th January.
Mayfield Salisbury Thursday Club: this week Kathleen Hendry talks about A Trip to Turkey. 2-4pm, Upper Hall, Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, 18 West Mayfield. All most welcome: 50p per session, £3 annual membership (you do not have to be a member to come along). For more information call Florence Smith on 0131 663 1234.
Story time: 9.30-10.30am today and every Thursday (and Friday!), Edinburgh Bookshop, 219 Bruntsfield Place.
Big Scream: screenings exclusively for parents/carers and their babies under 12 months. Low lights are left on in the auditorium and nappy-changing facilities are available. This week: The Imitation Game (12A). 10.30am, Cameo Cinema, Home Street. Membership of the Big Scream Club is required for each adult: this costs £5 and lasts until your baby’s 1st birthday; members then pay Picturehouse members’ rates for tickets (no ticket required for your baby). Book via website or call the Box Office on 0871 902 5723. ‘A great way to meet other new parents’.
eBook Surgery: find out how to borrow eBooks, emagazines and audiobooks for free, with some one-to-one guidance on how to get the most from your device. 2-5pm, Leith Library, 28-30 Ferry Road. To book a 30-minute slot, speak to a member of staff or call the library on 0131 529 5517.
LGBT Learning Disabilities: Social Circle. Social Circle is a monthly group for LGBT people who also identify as having a learning difficulty or disability. The theme for this session is ‘starting new relationships’. 2-4pm, Lifecare Centre, Cheyne Street. Booking essential: please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about joining the group.
SOLD OUT! Away Game: some of Scotland’s most exciting writers come together to raise money for food banks. Gordon Johnstone (of Glasgow-based The Grind) and Craig Allan (Falkirk-based [Untitled]) present an evening of music and poetry; writers include Dickson Telfer (Refrigerator Cake), Gordon Legge, Bethany Ruth Anderson, Samuel Best, Cee Smith, Karyn Dougan, Paul Tonner, Elyse Jamieson and StAnza International Digital Slam and Tartan Treasures 2014 winner Stephen Watt. All acts are donating their time free, and all of the proceeds will go to Edinburgh food banks. The Grind showcases fiction and visual art from people in Scotland and the Scottish diaspora. [Untitled] is an artist-led publication that aims to shine a light on visual art and writing around Falkirk. 7-11pm, Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. Tickets cost £5 (minimum donation) and can be booked via Brown Paper Tickets here. This event has been classified 12A.
An Evening with Tariq Ali: Tariq Ali is an English-Pakistani writer, journalist and filmmaker, member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and regular contributor to The Guardian, CounterPunch and The London Review of Books. 7-9pm, Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 35 Dalmeny Street. Tickets cost £4 (£2 low income/unwaged) and can be booked via eventbrite. This event is organised by Common Weal North Edinburgh & Leith.
In the Footsteps of George Forrest: a chance to hear first-hand details of the Friends of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s recent botanical tour of China’s Yunnan province under the skilled leadership of RBGE’s alpine plants expert John Mitchell. 7.30-8.30pm, Lecture Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row. £6 (members £5): no advance booking required.
Cafe Voices: the Tides of Fortune and Change. With New Year comes the reawakening of the light, as we emerge from our winter dreams with the seeds of new ideas for life’s adventures. Join David Campbell to celebrate how those dreams may turn out, through story, music and song. The Centre’s monthly storytelling session, with an open-floor section for storytellers to tell their own tales, in the relaxed surroundings of the Storytelling Court. 7-9pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. £5 per person: tickets can be booked via the Centre’s website here or by calling the Box Office on 0131 556 9579.
Ecumenical Friends of St Cuthbert’s: Walter Dunlop will speak on The History of St Andrew’s, Jerusalem. 12.30pm, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church Hall, 5 Lothian Road. All warmly welcomed. Bring your own packed lunch, tea and coffee provided. £1.50 per person. Organised by Edinburgh City Centre Churches TOGETHER.
Hector’s House Roller Disco: strap up and take in the sounds of the 70s and 80s, soundtracked by Gavin Miller and Hector’s residents. 9pm-3am, Studio 24, 24-26 Carlton Road. Numbers will be strictly limited so you are advised to get your tickets as soon as possible. £10/£8 includes hire of skates and wristguards, spectator tickets (which allow you to join the party but not skate) £5, available from Skiddle.com here (booking fees apply).
The Forth Valley Chorus Open Evening: Forth Valley Chorus has won the Women’s Barbershop UK National Championships five times – and it’s looking for new members. If you are a singer who likes performing, come along to the open evening and find out more; you’ll be made most welcome! 7.30-10pm, Bristo Baptist Church, Buckingham Terrace/Queensferry Road. The Chorus is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International. For more information, take a look at the Chorus’s website, where you can even hear its members sing! Rehearsals are held every Thursday evening at Bristo Baptist Church.
Craft Scotland Roadshow: hear about opportunities available to makers in 2015, and let Craft Scotland know how it can help you to take advantage of these opportunities. The session will begin with news about Craft Scotland’s projects and planned activities for the year ahead; after a tea break, small discussion groups will give input and feedback. 2-5pm, Gayfield Creative Spaces, 11 Gayfield Square. Free, but places are limited and should be booked via eventbrite. Further roadshows will take place in Glasgow, Dundee, Dumfries & Galloway and Inverness.
The Hourglass Factory: Lucy Ribchester launches her new novel, set in 1912 London as the suffragette movement reaches fever pitch. Broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George is sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond; finding herself fascinated by the tightly-laced acrobat, Frankie follows Ebony across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret. Then Ebony mysteriously disappears and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks….from the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined. 6pm, Waterstones West End, 128 Princes Street. Free tickets are available from the shop: for more information call 0131 226 2666.