For many theatre aficionados, the top event in the Scottish capital is the venerable Edinburgh International Festival. One of the world's foremost arts festivals, the EIF features dazzling large-scale productions from some of the theatre world's biggest names, with many plays debuting here before going on to tour internationally. This year, be sure not to miss The James Plays, acclaimed playwright Rona Munro's ambitious new trilogy about Scotland's Stewart kings performed by the National Theatre of Scotland – choose one or watch all three. Two of the main venues for the Edinburgh International Festival are also excellent destinations for Edinburgh theatre year-round – the Festival Theatre onNicolson Street hosts an ever-changing assortment of musicals, ballet, opera and other live performances, while the Royal Lyceum Theatre on Grindlay Street (just a short walk from our Premier Inn Edinburgh City (Haymarket) Hotel) stages an exciting season of plays featuring both their own and touring theatre companies, in both new productions and classic revivals. Meanwhile, the Edinburgh Playhouse is the capital's prime destination for big-name touring musicals and other live acts. For quirky, thought-provoking theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, check out creative venues such as the Underbelly and Summerhall, both of which offer a selection of theatre in unique venues. Shows such as CHEF at the Underbelly (the story of a head chef who ends up running a prison kitchen after being incarcerated) and Show 6 at Summerhall (a thriller by the award-winning writer Mark Ravenhill created for the Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre Company) are already generating buzz.