Don’t be surprised if you find Colin Marr, chief executive of Eden Court Theatre, quietly whistling “We’re in the Money” to himself.
There’s a good reason for it.
As he revealed at the new-season preview at the theatre in Inverness, one show is guaranteed to put them in the money as it features 10,000 real £1 coins.
Mr Marr said: “It’s the strangest question I’ve been asked in my time here: Do you have a safe large enough to hold £10,000?”
“Money . . . The Game Show is about two women who were hedge-fund managers before the financial crisis of 2008 and who have turned to performance art to share their stories of how to make and lose money.
“The show uses £10,000 in actual pound coins and, through a series of interactive games, the audience can get involved and win or lose money, but sadly they’ve to hand it back at the end of the show.”
The new programme features a selection of shows to suit all tastes and ages.
For example, there’s a musical adventure featuring children’s favourite Scooby-Doo, while the much-loved classic play The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie, is touring for the first time in its 60-year history.
Other crowd-pleasers include an evening with Michael Palin.
“John Cleese famously described Michael Palin as the nicest man in the world and we are delighted that he’s coming here to speak about his third volume of diaries, Travelling to Work,” said Mr Marr.
“Along with stories about his travels, he’ll talk about the other side of his life and his love of comedy that took him from a schoolboy in Sheffield to filling the O2 with Monty Python.”
Highlights for this month include Happyness, the Inverness Comedy Festival, now in its third year and running from May 22-25.
The lineup includes Tommy Tiernan, a master of stand-up and regarded as a legend in Ireland, Patrick Monahan, Jason Byrne and The Boy With Tape on his Face. Class Clowns, a competition to find the funniest schoolchild in the Highlands, is back, while CBBC favourites Bec Hill and Patrick Monaghan will present a kids comedy show.
The theatre has a good reputation for innovation and this continues as it stages two shows outwith the venue.
“Squish Squared is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and is a show about how men can get very competitive,” said programme manager Roz Bell.
“It takes place within Inverness Tennis and Squash Club, with the audience watching from behind the glass of a squash court.”
Mr Marr said: “There’s another fascinating show, this time about Peter Williamson, known as Indian Peter, who was kidnapped in Aberdeen, shipped to America and sold into slavery, but eventually returned to Edinburgh where he opened a coffee house.
“Indian Peter’s Coffee House will be staged in a local coffee house and members of the audience will become part of the Edinburgh establishment.”
Other highlights include Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies, which will see local youngsters dance alongside established stars in the groundbreaking show, while Nairn-based author John Byrne has adapted Chekhov’s classic Uncle Vanya to become Uncle Varick.
Starring Inverness-actor Jimmy Chisholm, Byrne has set it in the swinging 60s and rural Highlands.
Musical highlights include shows by Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, May 21; Horse, June 6; the Budapest Cafe Orchestra, June 11; rising jazz star, YolanDa Brown, June 19, while Highland favourites Gary Mullen & The Works return with One Night of Queen, on two nights, August 13 and 14.
Scottish favourite, Elaine C. Smith, last here in the Susan Boyle story I Dreamed a Dream, returns as herself with her one-woman show, Still Standing . . . Just! on July 25. Featuring stand-up routines, stories from a career spanning 30 years and songs aplenty, it’s a must-see for her many fans.
Contact Eden Court Theatre on 01463 234234 or visit www.eden-court.co.uk for more information.