FREE The Shahnameh: A Persian Medieval Epic Wed 31 Mar, 2pm. Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, 287 2550. Iranian poet Azin Haghighi explores the epic poem Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), which tells the story of Iran from creation to the dawn of Islam, and the life of its author Firdawsi (AD 935–1020). FREE Unsettled Objects Artist Talk Thu 1 Apr, 7.15–8.15pm. Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, 287 3050. Artists Peter Kennard and Cat Picton Phillips produce work together under the name kennardphillips. Their ‘Haywain with Cruise Missiles’ forms part of the current Unsettled Objects exhibition at GOMA. Hear them talk about their work, which is primarily a response to the Iraq war, and also about Kennard’s involvement with the peace movement. Workshops One Day Workshop with Dr David Hamilton Sun 21 Mar, 10am. £65. Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, 01847 808207. Dr David Hamilton talks about Quantum Field Healing and how thoughts and emotions impact on brain structure. FREE GoMA Bites: Wandering Words Sun 21 Mar, 1–3pm. Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, 287 3059. Adult creative writing workshop, taking inspiration from the artwork around you. Banish Monday Blues Mon 22 Mar, 7–8.30pm. £10. The New Sports Cafe, 292–331 Sauchiehall Street, 07842 414765. Joyworks laughter workshop on the last Monday of every month. Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art Class Sun 28 Mar, 4–7pm. £7 (£5). The Arches, 253 Argyle Street, 565 1000. Burlesque art class with a relaxed atmosphere, music, drinks and interesting models. FREE Researching Your Local History Wed 31 Mar, 10am. Glasgow Women’s Library, 2nd Floor, 81 Parnie Street, 552 8345. Taster session ahead of a ten-week course in researching local female history (which starts on Wed 21 Apr).

Edinburgh Activities & Events FREE Thursday Health Walks Thu 18, 25 Mar & 1 Apr, 10.15am. Royal Botanic Garden, 20a Inverleith Row, 552 7171. Enjoy fresh air and meet new people on a health-boosting garden walk at the RBGE. Part of the Paths for all Partnership. Under 16s must be accompanied. A ‘Close’ Encounter with Medium Chris Conway Fri 19 Mar, 7–10.30pm. £40. The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street, 0870 070 6244. Join Most Haunted’s Chris Conway as he reveals secrets from the close’s mysterious past. Part of Mary King’s Ghost Fest.

✽✽ Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show Fri 19 & Sat 20 Mar, 7pm. Friday £16.50–£21.50 (after party £3); Saturday £75–£1000. Corn Exchange, 11 New Market Road, 477 3500. This accomplished student-run show has a student night on the Friday with raffle prizes to be won and magic from Mr Drummond Money-Coutts. Saturday is a black tie VIP night with more magic as well as a three-course meal and, of course, each night includes a show of top fashions, which in previous years have been designed by Versace, Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier. This year’s nominated charities are Marie Curie, The Scottish Association for Mental Health and Poppy Scotland. Weapons of the Hall Sat 20 & Sun 21 Mar, 11am, noon, 1.30pm & 2.30pm. Included in admission: £11 (£8; children £6). Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, 225 9846. See the impressive collection of weapons on display in the Great Hall, and if you ask the Victorian Steward very nicely, he might just let you handle them.

FREE City of the Dead Psychic Fair Sat 20 Mar, 1–6pm. Charge for readings. The Tron, 9 Hunter Square, High Street, 225 9044. Psychic fair including Tarot readings and palmistry. Part of Mary King’s Ghost Fest. The Victorian Mourning Tea Sat 20 Mar, 7.30–9.30pm. £10. Edinburgh College of Parapsychology, 2 Melville Street, 220 1433. Mediums will try to bring messages through from loved ones and will read tea leaves for messages. Part of Mary King’s Ghost Fest. Ditch & Switch Thu 25 Mar, 7–10pm. £10. The Voodoo Rooms, 19a West Register Street, 476 3276. Clothes swapping evening with tips from style and beauty experts and champagne and cupcakes on arrival. Guid Crack: Ceilidh Culture Club Night Fri 26 Mar, 7.30pm. £3 (suggested donation). Waverley Bar, 1 St Mary’s Street, 228 1155. Fergus McNicol hosts an evening of storytelling and music at a special edition of the monthly storytelling club. Part of Ceilidh Culture. The Lords of the Congregation Sat 27 & Sun 28 Mar, 11am, noon, 1.30pm & 2.30pm. Included in admission: £11 (£8; children £6). Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, 225 9846. Meet two of the key figures in Scotland’s Reformation, and discover the story of how they ended up on opposite sides in the end. FREE A Tale of Two Squirrels Sat 27 & Sun 28 Mar, 1–4pm. Royal Botanic Garden, 20a Inverleith Row, 552 7171. Scotland’s native red squirrel population is in decline, due in part to the squirrelpox virus transmitted by grey squirrels. Scientists at the Moredun Research Institute talk about their efforts to conserve the red squirrel. Part of the International Year of Biodiversity. Niddry Street Vault Overnight Ghost Hunt and Breakfast Sat 27 Mar, midnight–6.15am. £60. Niddry Street Vaults, 0800 917 1067. Investigate the very haunted vaults of Niddry Street and see if you can make it to breakfast. Tickets from info@edinburghparanormal.co.uk Electric Tales: April Fools’ Day Thu 1 Apr, 7.30pm. £6 (£4). Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 556 9579. Comedy meets storytelling meets April Fools madness as the Stand and the Scottish Storytelling Centre let their worlds collide.

Fairs FREE FrameWork Until Fri 19 Mar, 9am–5pm. Adam House, 3 Chambers Street, 650 8058. Charity art sale with proceeds going to The Princes Trust. Scottish Motorcycle Show Sat 20 & Sun 21 Mar, 9am–5pm. £12 (£7). Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, 0870 730 0194. This year’s Scottish Motorcycle Show is another action packed two day event with numerous attractions for visitors: stands from some of the top manufacturers in motorbikes, live shows, bike trials and celebrities. The Wedding Show Sat 20 & Sun 21 Mar, Sat 10am–4pm; Sun 10.30am–4pm. £6.50 (four tickets for £25). Murrayfield Stadium, Roseburn Street, Murrayfield, 346 5000. The largest east coast Scottish wedding show. Scottish Breeds Dog Show Sat 27 Mar, 8am–5pm. 50p. Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, 335 6200. Annual canine competition.

Festivals Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace 2010 Thu 18 Mar, times vary. Prices vary. Various venues, 331 4469. A celebration of the aspects of spiritual peacemaking with a wide range of events including spiritual retreats, workshops and conferences.

✽✽ Mary King’s Ghost Fest Thu 18–Tue 23 Mar, times vary. Prices

vary. Various venues, 0845 070 6244. Edinburgh’s dark tales and paranormal activity once again come to the forefront for Mary King’s Ghost Fest. See listings.

Around Town

The Hairy Bikers’ Big Night Out Bearded twosome Dave Myers and Si King get

revved up to wax lyrical about their cooking and riding exploits. In a stage show directed by funny-man Bob Mortimer the pair mix cooking, chat and more as they meander through the tale of their friendship and discuss the cookery books and television series that made their name. Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 25 Mar; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 27 Mar.

Food & Drink WoodWinters Friday Tastings Fri 26 Mar, 5pm. £5. WoodWinters, 91 Newington Road, 667 2760. Wine tasting on the last Friday of the month.

✽✽ The Hairy Bikers’ Big Night Out Sat 27 Mar, 7.30pm. £19.50

(£17.50). The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. See Glasgow.

Sport Superhero Spirit Challenge Sat 27 & Sun 28 Mar, £10 (children £7; under 5s free). Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, 335 6200. Future Cheer regional cheerleading competition with a superhero theme. Talks Strange Minerals in the Outer Solar System Mon 22 Mar, 7.30pm. £3 (£1.50). Royal Observatory Visitor Centre, Blackford Hill, 668 8404. Helen Maynard contributes to the observatory’s winter talks series. FREE Past, Present and Future: Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art Tue 23 Mar, 12.45–1.30pm. National Gallery of Scotland: Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, The Mound, 624 6200. Director Katrina Brown gives a talk on the festival’s development and the projects that will form part of the programme. Curtain Raisers: Everyone Tue 23 Mar, 6pm. £5 (£3; under 18s free). Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 248 4848. A poetry reading and musical performance from author Jo Clifford, actor Suzanne Dance and cellist Sarah Whiteside connected to the Lyceum’s current production, Every One. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society: Royal Road to the Incas Wed 24 Mar, 7.30pm. £6 (children, students & members free). Royal Botanic Garden, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, 01738 455050. Broadcaster and traveller John Pilkington describes his ambitious voyage along the so-called Royal Road, which links the Inca capitals of Quito and Cusco. Curator’s Choice: Out of the Box Reaching New Audiences Fri 26 Mar, 2pm. £5 (£4; members free). National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, 225 7534. Christine McLean, Community Engagement Manager, talks about reaching out to people for whom visiting the museum can be a new and

challenging experience. Booking required. FREE National Gallery Highlights Tour Sat 27 Mar, 2–2.45pm & 3–3.45pm. National Gallery Complex, The Mound, 624 6200. An introduction and tour of the key paintings in the National Galleries’ permanent collection. Meet at the main entrance. The Night Sky in Summer Mon 29 Mar, 7.30pm. £3 (£1.50). Royal Observatory Visitor Centre, Blackford Hill, 668 8404. Stuart Lynn gives a heads up on what’s going down in the sky at night. Workshops The Colours of Grief: Transformation and Healing in Times of Loss and Change Thu 18 Mar, 9.30am–4.30pm. £20 (£15). Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, 331 4469. Workshop on getting through loss, change and grief. Part of the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace 2010. Introduction to Pole Dancing Workshops Sat 20 & 27 Mar, 11am–1pm. £16.50. Studio Below, Medusa Hairdressing, 26 Bread Street, 07860 523537. An introduction to this unusual method of keeping fit. Lyceum Theatre Classes Wed 24 Mar, 10.30am–noon. £5. Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 248 4848. Owen Dudley Edwards leads theatre classes based on the Lyceum’s current show. Jenny Littlejohn’s Drawing Class Wed 24 Mar, 6–8pm. £5. Royal Botanic Garden, 20a Inverleith Row, 552 7171. A life drawing class with a difference. Each class is based on a theme from the current exhibition and you bring whichever materials you wish to draw with. Suitable for all levels of experience. Email lyoung@rbge.ac.uk to book. Creative Writing Workshop with Jo Clifford Sat 27 Mar, 10.30am–1pm. £10 (£7). Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 248 4848. Adult workshop using poetry and story to explore to the things left unsaid after death.

Check out the GreatOffers on page 6

4–18 Mar 2010 THE LIST 31