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David Greig announces first season at Edinburgh’s Lyceum

David Greig has announced is first season at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh
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David Greig has announced his first season at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre, which includes four world premieres.

Speaking to The Stage ahead of the launch, the second since the theatre received a 17.5% cut in its funding, Greig announced an increase in main stage productions to eleven.

He warned that carrying through the imposed cut by reducing the number of shows could lead to a cycle of reductions from Scotland’s main producing houses that would mean that the country no longer had a producing theatre culture.

Greig has instead reduced the length of time each show runs for, with four of the seven subscriber season shows down to two weeks and only a slight increase in the total number of performances across the season.

“We have to look at new models. It cannot be that everything rehearses for three weeks, then is on for three weeks and never goes beyond that. If you are on for two weeks, that is less risk. If you have got full houses, you can maybe bring it back at some future time or take it on tour – whatever,” he said.

The season includes four world premieres. It reflects Greig’s vision to put the theatre at the heart of the city’s life by including a new adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women in October, that includes a chorus of 50 amateur performers. Greig will adapt this himself.

Performer Daniela Nardini will return to the Lyceum in November, for the first time since 1994, with a new production of April De Angelis’ West End hit Jumpy, directed by Cora Bissett. There are new plays by Douglas Maxwell called Charlie Sonata (April 2017) and Glory On Earth Linda McLean (May 2017).

In January 2017, the theatre welcomes its first international main stage production outside the International Festival with the UK premiere of Malthouse Theatre Melbourne and Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Outside the subscriber season, which also includes three week runs of The Winter’s Tale (February 2017) and a co-production with the Glasgow Citizens of Hay Fever (March 2017), Anthony Neilson is creating a new version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in December.

Dundee Rep’s revival of The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black Black Oil is touring to the theatre in September this year and the season concludes in June with new production of Peter Handke’s The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, in which Greig says he intends to cast at least 100 local amateur performers.

Outside the main stage season, Greig says he will be launching Lyceum in the City, using spaces in the building and other parts of Edinburgh.

Although full plans for this are not yet finalised, he said his vision was for the Lyceum to be an “engine in Edinburgh of both entertainment but also the public sphere and debate”.

Greig was appointed artistic director of the theatre in September 2015.

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