Theatre (new writing, musical theatre)

  • Assembly George Square - Gordon Aikman Theatre
  • 12:35
  • Aug 28
  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
  • Group: Feather Productions with MJE Productions and Glass Handbag Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 18 months


1974. 10-year-old singing sensation Lena Zavaroni rockets to stardom on Opportunity Knocks, ITV's top talent show. 25 years later, we discover a very different Lena, one for whom the glory days are long gone. Exploring what had happened to her in the intervening years reveals a wholly contrasting story. Written by BAFTA and Olivier award-winner Tim Whitnall and directed by Paul Hendy, Lena, a compelling play with music, features a live band and five-strong cast, starring Erin Armstrong as Lena and Jon Culshaw as TV's original Mr. Starmaker, Hughie Green.

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Cobbled area around the George Square Theatre. If not taking the lift there are about 35 steps into the venue.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 20+
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

hugh mcgauran 94 days ago

Outstanding performances all round 5 stars
Erin done lena proud such a tragic story

Stephen Wilkinson 95 days ago

Highly professional and very emotional show. Superb performance from all the actors - this show must continue to be shown around the UK, loved it.

Jean G 95 days ago

Wonderful, moving play. Poignant portrayal of a very sad story. The father daughter depiction was particularly beautifully acted. What a voice Erin has! Wow! What a talent. The staging and production was fabulous, more West End than Fringe! Raising the bar for the other Fringe shows ;-) The live band added the perfect touch to this standout Festival show. Well done to all involved!

Cameron M 96 days ago

Great show and well taught story. Her father even came to the performance.

Definitely recommend seeing.

Stephen Callaghan 96 days ago

WOW! Blown away by the amazing performances from all the performers but especially Erin who was superb as Lena.
Very poignant and shows how brutal showbiz can be, especially for the young.
Great cast and ensemble work. Well done to everyone. Deserves a west end run.

Karen du Plessis 97 days ago

Fantastic show, very poignant, about a tragic life, great performances especially from the lead Erin and the actors who played her parents.

Highly recommended , especially for those of us who remember Lena & who had hoped that life would have been kinder to her.

Leo MacNeill 97 days ago

An absolute must-see! I did not know the story of Lena Zavaroni prior to seeing the production, but this is a show which has so much for everyone (those who know and love her already, and those less familiar). It celebrates the brilliant artist we lost so tragically young, whilst highlighting the tragic failings which caused Lena’s heartbreaking demise. Still relevant today!

What a cast, what a band, what a brilliant piece of theatre.

John French 97 days ago

This was a very moving show - a big production that deserves a West End run. Although, when Lena was a big star on TV I found her deeply irritating this show tells the real story (Lena didn’t want to sing the horrible songs she was given). Show business doesn’t come out of this very well. Brilliant performances all round and the backing band were very tight

Lesley Johnson 99 days ago

Saw this today (Tuesday) and was moved to tears by Erin's depiction of the vunerable child star that was Lena Zavaroni. I do hope to see this very special & sympathetic play tour Scotland in the very near future. Bravo to all the cast & the live band

David Ferguson 102 days ago

Possibly the best piece of theatre I have seen in over 40 years of attending the Fringe. I will say no more except grab a ticket if you can.

JB 102 days ago

One the best shows I've seen this year at the Fringe. A very tragic story, I was fully sobbing at the end.
Erin Armstrong is an absolute star. She gives Lena her all

anne 104 days ago

Fantastic show. A complex story sensitively told. Voices is are fantastic and brought back a 70s c childhood- John culshaw great as Hughie.
Well done. I bet this will live another live in London!

Carole Z 106 days ago

Marvellous! Erin Armstrong is mesmerising in the title role, and she has such a beautiful and powerful voice. Julie Coombe is excellent as Lena’s mother. Along with Lena’s father, their portrayal of Lena’s short and tragic life is moving and convincing. Thank you!

Petrina McGinn 108 days ago

Absolutely amazing performance by all the cast but especially by Erin Armstrong as Lena. I was sobbing at the end. What a voice! I have never been back to a Fringe show twice but will definitely make an exception for this show! Fabulous!

Carol Newton 111 days ago

WOW just WOW.
Each and everyone of you - fabulous.
A roller coaster of emotions and so very well done.
Great performances by all and a live band really does make it.

liz 113 days ago

A great show. The singing and acting was amazing, sadly such a tragic story.
Take tissues!
Only negative is the stage set of Bute/Rothesay doesn't quite work.
Wondering if it will be made in to a mini series / film?

Audrey Whitehead 113 days ago

Erin Armstrong is superb as Lena, what a voice. The last song was 5 *. What a sad tragic life Lena had..

Shona Mcintosh 114 days ago

I can only echo the positive sentiments of the other reviewers. This show was fabulous from start to tragic end. As a contemporary of Lena it pulled at my heart strings. One not to be missed 5*****

Katie & Andy 115 days ago

This is a fabulous show, and what a voice Erin Armstrong has! Highly recommended, whether you've heard of Lena Zavaroni or not (we hadn't).

John Clayton 115 days ago

I thought this might be an emotional experience and it was. Even knowing something of how the story must end, it was still a shock. Erin Armstrong is outstanding as Lena. I'd recommend this show to anyone.

Denise McCann 116 days ago

Loved this heartbreaking show. I knew the name but was too young to remember Lena Zavaroni’s fame so it was good to learn about her tragic life in such a powerful, sensitive and well acted performance. The cast were fantastic, particularly the actress playing Lena - what a fantastic voice. Well worth seeing.

Carrie Todd 116 days ago

This wonderful show has been created with love to highlight the trajectory of Lena Zavaroni's life and the impact on her parents of her snatched childhood. It is a shocking and deeply disturbing story of the child star from Rothsay. People of my generation have recollection of Little Lena and much of it resonated with me, being the same age as Lena when I also developed anorexia nervosa. It is a beautifully and creatively crafted show and the audience are engaged fully, singing and acting as the tv studio audience on Opportunity Knocks. There are laughs and tears and the cast are all incredibly talented. The four piece band are excellent and the set is both glitzy and intimate. The star of the show, Erin, sings and looks like Lena and gives a heartwrenching performance. She is convincing even as 9 year old Lena. A great Scottish production which I hope will go on tour to help keep a legacy for Lena and prevent the sad exploitation of young talent happening again in the way it did. Younger audience members who had never heard of Lena, were equally moved and impressed with the true tale told in this way. All credit goes to director, cast, musicians and crew. Five star review from me.

Anne-marie Goldie 117 days ago

A heart wrenching performance from Erin playing Lena Zavaroni with a sensational voice to match! As a child who idolized Lena growing up this play shows the truth behind the glamourous life we all thought she led and how it led to her untimely death. Fabulous performances from all the cast leaving us needing hankies at the end. A show not to be missed!!

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

West End Best Friend (5/5 stars) 95 days ago

Lena is a beautifully tragic story performed by a talented cast and we can't wait to see it go further. Audiences need to see and hear this.

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The Recs (5/5 stars) 98 days ago

Lena is evocative, emotional, brutal and joyous all at the same time.

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Lisa In The Theatre (4/5 stars) 100 days ago

Lena is a beautiful show with an exceptional performance at its heart.

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Bouquets & Brickbats (4.5/5 stars) 101 days ago

Lena captures an incredible true story, and I have to confess I appear to have something in my eyes as it approaches its inevitable, heartbreaking conclusion.

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The Telegraph (4/5 stars) 104 days ago

She lights up the stage and sends shivers down the spine.

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Daily Business (4/5 stars) 104 days ago

The Fringe has seen many plays about the lives of deceased stars from the 60s and 70s in recent years, but none have been more moving than Lena

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Musical Theatre Review (5/5 stars) 105 days ago

Lena speaks an ever-relevant message regarding the pressures of fame and undoubtedly should – and must – have a future beyond the Fringe.

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UK Theatre Web (5/5 stars) 105 days ago

A charismatic performance.

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One4Review (4.5/5 stars) 106 days ago

It’s an unmissable piece of theatre and a cautionary tale.

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The Scots Reviewer (5/5 stars) 107 days ago

Through humour, incredible music, and an impressive cast, Lena documents her life, exploring the highs and lows of fame and being in the spotlight.

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The Stage (4/5 stars) 112 days ago


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The Student (4/5 stars) 112 days ago

This timely play will delight and challenge its audiences, both young and old.

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Líam Rudden Media (4/5 stars) 114 days ago

This is a production with a huge heart and a simple message, be careful what you wish for, life’s not all roses and rainbows.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.