Brian Cox joins Lyceum as Honorary Patron

Nov 9 2012 | By More

Shonaig Macpherson replaces Donald Emslie as chair

Shonaig Macpherson, new Chair of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company with new honorary patron: Brian Cox

Shonaig Macpherson, new Chair of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company with new honorary patron: Brian Cox

By Thom Dibdin

Brian Cox CBE is to become the Royal Lyceum’s honorary patron. He will help promote individual philanthropic support for the theatre’s development as it moves towards the 50th anniversary of its current incarnation, in 2015.

The Dundee born actor most recently appeared at the Lyceum as Uncle Varick in 2003. But his links with the theatre go back to 1965 when he joined the theatre’s first acting company under Tom Flemming, with the likes of Russell Hunter, Una McLean and Tom Conti.

Speaking of his role as patron, Cox pledged: “I feel passionately about engaging people with the performing arts, and will do all that I can to support the vital role The Lyceum plays in developing the talent of Scotland. We owe it to generations past, present and future to continue the great work that The Lyceum has been doing since 1883, and playing any part in supporting the development of the Company seems incredibly worthwhile.”

As honorary patron, Cox will spearhead individual philanthropy for the theatre. The Lyceum aims to establish a network of patrons who recognise the value of its work and will support its aims by providing funds for producing and staging new work, talent development, and community outreach and participation through the Lyceum Creative Learning programmes.

In an extensive interview on Mark Fisher’s Theatre Scotland website, Cox recalls his time at the theatre under Flemming, whose vision for Edinburgh, he says, “was way ahead of its time”. Outlining the various roles he has played at the theatre Cox talks of his respect for the building and the “fantastic intimacy” about the stage saying: “For me to be a patron feels like a continuum.”

The theatre’s artistic director Mark Thomson agrees: “I can’t think of anyone I would rather be our founding patron than Brian Cox, he was the first person I thought of. As we approach the company’s 50th anniversary we have someone who helped launch it and who has shown his belief in the company by returning several times. This despite a demanding career on international stages, radio, television and Hollywood.

“Most of all I know how seriously Brian takes his commitments, so evident in his work as patron of Scottish National Youth Theatre and as Rector of Dundee University. I’m delighted to have such a talented artist and man of integrity dedicating his time in support of The Lyceum.”

Cox has a successful – and prolific – career on both stage and screen. Some of his most famous film appearances include Rob Roy, Braveheart, The Ring, X2, Troy, and The Bourne Supremacy. He was  the first actor to portray Hannibal Lector on film in Manhunter. He has appeared in numerous successful TV series, winning an Emmy Award and nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Hermann Göring in the television mini-series Nuremberg in 2001.

Shonaig Macpherson elected as chair to board of trustees

Cox is the second appointment the Lyceum has made this week. Shonaig Macpherson CBE, FRSE, Duniv has been elected as Chair of the board of trustees. She replaces Donald Emslie who stood down after serving the maximum term of eight years on the board.

Macpherson is a respected figure in Scottish business, civic and cultural life. She practiced as an intellectual property lawyer for over 20 years, becoming a leader in her field before retiring in 2004 when she was a Senior Partner in McGrigors.

She was the first ever non-executive member of the Management Group and Strategy Board of The Scottish Executive. Her other current appointments include deputy chairman of the Tattoo, she is a Court Member of Heriot Watt University and of the Open University, a trustee of the Robertson Trust and a director of EICC Limited.

Read the full interview with Brian Cox on

Royal Lyceum website:


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