Eclectic mix at the Eastgate for festival

The Creative Peebles Festival return to the Eastgate Theatre this weekend with an eclectic buzz and a bang.
The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Exodus ... a bit too close to home?The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Exodus ... a bit too close to home?
The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Exodus ... a bit too close to home?

The festival, which runs from Saturday, August 27 to Sunday, September 4, blends performances from the town’s wealth of creative talent with some of the most exciting live music and drama found anywhere on the national stage.

Outside, the week opens with the traditional Callants Annual Busking Competition which will fill Peebles High Street with the sound of music; film screenings in the Moving Images Caravan – one of the smallest ‘cinemas’ in the UK – and a walk and talk themed around John Buchan’s connections with the area.

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Back at the Eastgate Theatre, live music will take centre stage, from collaborations on new work by local musicians, through the classic klezmer of the Budapest Café Orchestra, piano and poetry, plus a dynamic set from Project Smok – a young band making waves with their thrilling blend of trad music and new age pop.

Borders composer Learmont Drysdale.Borders composer Learmont Drysdale.
Borders composer Learmont Drysdale.

Meanwhile, the festival lecture-concert offers a fascinating collaboration between Music in Peebles and the Tweeddale Society – two major creative forces locally – as they celebrate the almost forgotten work and story of 19th century Borders composer, Learmont Drysdale.

Drysdale’s story will be told by Robert England, a former United Nations international development coordinator with a keen interest in the composer’s life and work, while Music in Peebles patron Gina McCormack, together with students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, will perform Drysdale’s music – played in public for the first time in more than a century.

Live drama is also high on the agenda with Borders Pub Theatre’s Tweed Tales bringing new works from six local playwrights to the stage – each with a very different take on the river that has so shaped the local landscape.

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A further highlight comes in the shape of The National Theatre of Scotland’ production of Exodus, a prescient story of how far a politician will go to gain and retain power.

In this cracking drama, which at times seems a bit too true to life, Home Secretary Asiya Rao prepares to make a major policy announcement that will establish her as the front-runner of the political race to become the country’s leader. Alongside her cut-throat and calculating advisor Phoebe, she embarks on a publicity stunt starting with a photo shoot by the white cliffs of Dover. But rather than the tide washing her reputation clean, something else washes up.

Bold, satirical and at times uncomfortably funny, it’s a true tale of our times.

And there’s so much more to enjoy.

Held at the Eastgate Theatre and around, the 2022 Creative Peebles Festival is sure to be a hit with many.

Tickets and full programme details are available from the box office on 01721 725777 or online at