Lyceum sets return

Sep 28 2021 | By More

Big bold plays mark the Lyceum’s return season

There have been moths, floods and ceiling collapses, but the Lyceum will finally reopen in November with a big, bold season of plays, according to its artistic director David Greig.

Sitting down to talk about the season, accompanied by Lyceum associate artists Wils Wilson and Zinnie Harris, Greig said: “We felt it was important to try to come back with bold and big and pure theatre – and be confident about theatre and about story.”

Lyceum artistic director David Greig with associate artists, playwright Zinnie Harris and director Wils Wilson, on the Lyceum stage. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

The Lyceum has announced six new productions between October and next June. In October it re-opens for live theatre with Life Is A Dream, which had originally been planned as the final show of the 2019/2020 season.

The Christmas show will now be a new play, Christmas Dinner, co-produced with Catherine Wheels. The previously planned production of the Snow Queen will now be staged in 2022.

The New Year will see a shorter than usual subscriber season of four plays, starting with a new play by Zinnie Harris, Scent of Roses, which she describes as like La Ronde, but with a lie which is told in the first scene and is then transformed into each new scene.

Meaning of Zong, written by and staring Giles Terera in a co-production with the Bristol Old Vic, follows the aftermath of the massacre of 132 enslaved Africans aboard the ship Zong in 1783, which led indirectly to galvanise the abolition movement in the UK.

meaty drama

Red Ellen, written by Caroline Bird and directed by Wils Wilson in a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse and Northern Stage, tells of revolutionary socialist politician and journalist Ellen Wilkinson who became a national figure when she played a prominent role in the 1936 Jarrow March.

The season closes with the revival after 16 years of the Lyceum’s 2005 production of Tom McGrath’s Laurel and Hardy. Tony Cownie will be returning to direct Barnaby Power and Steven McNicoll.

“There is a theme to the season, which is about meaty drama,” says Greig. “All of it, in its different ways, is reflecting on how should we live, both personally and as a society, through the medium of a good story.

“The link is in that medium of theatricality. In each of their ways they all can only be plays. They are, absolutely and determinedly, live theatre performances.”


Life is a Dream
29 October – 20 November 2021

Christmas Dinner
6 December 2021 – 2 January 2022

Scent of Roses
25 February – 19 March 2022

The Meaning of Zong
13 – 24 April 2022

Red Ellen
4 – 21 May 2022

Laurel and Hardy
3 – 25 June 2022

Tickets for the new season will go on sale from 10am on Tuesday  28 September 2021 from


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