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Elaine C Smith to star in gender-swapped Brecht play as part of Royal Lyceum’s new season

Elaine C Smith Elaine C Smith
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Scottish crime writer Denise Mina is to create a gender-swapped version of Bertolt Brecht’s Mr Puntila and His Man Matti for Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre company.

Elaine C Smith will play the title role in the show, marking her return to the Lyceum stage for the first time in 20 years.

It forms part of a season that has a 50/50 gender split in terms of both writers and directors across its ten productions and has three world premieres.

It also includes the theatre’s first co-production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti will run from February 28 to March 21, 2020, as part of the theatre’s 2019/20 season.

The co-production with the Glasgow Citizens will be directed by Murat Daltaban of DOT Theatre Istanbul, following his success with Zinnie Harris adaptation of Rhinoceros in 2017.

Mina said: “I’ve been a fan of Brecht since I was 14 and an adaptation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle was one of the first theatrical projects I ever worked on so this is a golden opportunity. I’ve long been an admirer of Elaine C. Smith and can’t wait to work with Murat Daltaban – a complete dream team.”

The season opens with David Greig’s previously announced adaptation of Solaris and will include Fuel’s Barber Shop Chronicles.

Elizabeth Newman, the recently appointed artistic director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre, will direct Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon, the first ever co-production between the two theatres.

It will open in Pitlochry in March, prior to the start of its summer rep season, and run April 3 to 25 at the Lyceum.

Jo Clifford has updated her 1998 adaptation of Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s Life is a Dream, first staged during the EIF of that year. Directed by Wils Wilson, it will run May 15 to June 6 to close out the season.

The Royal Lyceum Edinburgh 2019/2020 season at a glance:

Solaris by David Greig, adapted from Stanisław Lem’s novel
Directed by Matthew Lutton
September 12 – October 5

Love Song to Lavender Menace by James Ley
Directed by Ros Philips
October 9 – 12

Barber Shop Chronicles by Inua Ellam
Directed by Bijan Sheibani
October 23 – November 9

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, based on the novel by Charles Dickens
Written and Directed by Tony Cownie
November 28 – January 4, 2020

Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of) by Isobel McArthur after Jane Austen
Directed by Paul Brotherston
January 23 – February 15

Mrs Puntila and her man Matti by Bertolt Brecht, adapted by Denise Mina
Directed by Murat Daltaban
February 28 – March 21

Wind Resistance by Karine Polwart
Directed by Wils Wilson
March 25 – 28

Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon
Directed by Elizabeth Newman
April 3 – 25

Castle Lennox by Linda McLean
Directed by Maria Oller
May 1 – 2

Life is a Dream By Pedro Calderon, translated by Jo Clifford
Directed by Wils Wilson
May 15 – June 6

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