Brian Cox and Bill Paterson return to Lyceum for 50th anniversary season

Brian Cox and Bill Paterson return to Lyceum for 50th anniversary season

L-R: Brian Cox and Bill Paterson

Waiting for Godot opens 2015-16 programme, followed by Tipping the Velvet

Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre Company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – and to mark the occasion, the 2015-16 season is welcoming back two familiar faces: Brian Cox and Bill Paterson.

Actors Cox (Rushmore, Zodiac, Bob Servant) and Paterson (Truly, Madly, Deeply, Doctor Who, Outlander) both spent the early years of their career at the Lyceum Theatre Company. In September, they’ll appear in a new version of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson.

‘There are so many reasons why Brian and Bill returning to the Lyceum is meaningful,’ Thomson told us. ‘On a personal level I was a fan of them both long before I entered the profession. And I know there are people all across Edinburgh and further afield who will feel exactly the same as I did.

‘They are both loved and admired talents and the fact that they are both tackling Beckett’s extraordinary play gives it a real sense of event. And they are coming with a real affinity with the theatre, its importance to Edinburgh and Scotland as a place to celebrate artists and stories for audiences. The fact that Brian was in the first Lyceum company ever just gives it an extra colour. And the colour is bright.’

Elsewhere in the season, the Lyceum Youth Theatre invites audiences on a guided tour of the building’s spookier corners (Oct), and Andrew Panton returns to direct the Lyceum’s festive show – in 2015, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Nov-Jan) – for the third consecutive year.

In 2016, the theatre welcomes new productions of Conor McPherson’s The Weir (Jan) and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (Feb), while Chris Hannan adapts The Iliad (Apr). And acclaimed theatre company Told by an Idiot join up with National Theatre of Scotland to present I Am Thomas: A Brutal Comedy with Songs (Mar).

But two of the biggest highlights in the 2015-16 season will be the worldpremier of Liz Lochhead's Thon Man Molière (or Whit got him intae aw that bother…) in May 2016, and Tipping the Velvet, a co-production with London’s Lyric Hammersmith that brings Sarah Waters’ acclaimed novel to the Edinburgh theatre in October 2015.

Tipping The Velvet: a Victorian love odyssey which starts in a Victorian theatre,’ explains Thomson. ‘Well, it’s at least a terrific starting point to the idea of the Lyceum telling this story. But of course it’s more than that. It’s the fact that Lyndsey Turner is directing and I think she’s one of the most unique and exciting directing talents in the UK today. It has Laura Wade’s adaptation which had me by turns open mouthed and tearful in her skilful celebration of Sarah Waters’ provocative and intelligent novel. I’ve always thought, too, that the Lyric Hammersmith and Lyceum are natural partners.’

‘There is no such thing as a sure thing in theatre,’ he adds. ‘That’s the only truth I’ve discovered for sure. But I have a real hunch there will be an exuberant evening of Victorian love, sex, politics and music at our theatre that I think might well be un-missable.’

Tickets for the Lyceum’s 2015-16 are on sale from Mon 1 Jun. Season tickets on sale from Fri 1 May.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The full might and magic of the Lyceum's excellent costume and design department gets behind the CS Lewis classic.

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