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Seven top tips for what's on across the Highlands and Moray from Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 11

By Kyle Walker

Every week What's On North offers up seven top picks from across the north of Scotland for arts-lovers to feast on. This week features big top brilliance, fiddlers' fabulousness, and comedy capers!

1 A WEEKEND of events in Cromarty will give folk fans the chance to learn and celebrate one of Scottish traditional music’s most vital instruments.

The Black Isle Fiddle Weekend returns for its ninth year from Friday to Sunday, and while tuition is now fully booked there are still tickets available to a concert on Saturday evening with the weekend’s four tutors – who perform together as supergroup Rant – along with duo Mairearad Green and Anna Massie.

The concert at the Stables, Cromarty, takes place from 8pm on Saturday night, and tickets cost £12 (£8 under-18s). For more info go to www.fiddleweekend.co.uk

2 ONE of Scottish folk’s most accomplished singer/songwriters visits Caithness this Friday for an intimate performance.

Orkney’s Ivan Drever – best known for his work with Wolfstone – makes the trip over from his home in Norway for a special show at Reiss Village Hall on Friday night.

The BYOB show begins at 8pm and tickets cost £10 – go to www.lytharts.org.uk

3 A THEATRICAL version of a much-loved kids book will be casing up a couple of castles this weekend.

Heartbreak Production’s take on Gangsta Granny – David Walliams’ best-selling novel about 11-year-old Ben, his gran, and her big secret – comes to Gordon Castle on Saturday and Brodie Castle on Sunday.

For more information about the shows, or to book tickets, go to www.heartbreakproductions.co.uk

4 ROLL up, roll up, the circus is in town – as Zippos Circus sets up its big top at the Caledonian Stadium from Tuesday.

Presented by ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE, the circus’s new show The Magnificent Top Hat promises a dazzling array of acrobats, aerialists, contortionists, comics and motorcyclists.

The thrilling Brazilian Lucius Team of five motorcyclists in the famous Globe of Death will take centre stage plus, returning by popular demand, is Paulo Dos Santos– a brilliant 3 foot 6 inches tall showman, acrobat and martial artist.

For more information or to book tickets, go to www.zippos.co.uk

5 FRINGE preview season continues to hot up with another double bill of rising Scottish stand-up talent set for the Drouthy Cobbler this Sunday.

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd and Rosco McClelland both visit the Elgin festival bringing new hour-long shows to test out on the Moray audiences ahead of the Edinburgh festival next month.

The night begins at 8pm and tickets cost £5 – go to www.thedrouthycobbler.uk

6 A SCOTTISH Ballet production suitable for little audiences is coming to Ullapool next week.

The company’s Wee Hansel and Gretel – based loosely on their 2016-17 production of Hansel and Gretel – comes to the Macphail Centre on Wednesday, offering a 50 minuteshow to introduce young children to the magic of ballet.

There are two performances – 11am and 1.30pm – and tickets cost £11.50 (£40 family). Go to www.macphailcentre.com

7 A YOUNG folk trio are the latest band to hit Croy Village Hall as part of its ongoing Croy Live series.

Assynt – featuring David Shedden (pipes/whistles), Graham Mackenzie (fiddle) and Innes White (guitar/mandolin) – visit the village hall on Thursday for a concert as part of their Scottish tour.

Later north dates include Mey Hall on Friday, July 12; the Ceilidh Place, Ullapool on Wednesday, July 17; and Nairn Community and Arts Centre on Monday, July 22.

Tickets for the Croy show cost £12 (£6 under-16s) and the show begins at 7.30pm. Search Croy Live on Facebook.

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