Rankin and the Union head up Lyceum season

May 1 2013 | By More

Royal Lyceum launches 2013/14 season

Ian Rankin at the Royal Lyceum 2013/14 season launch. Photo © Eoin Carey

Ian Rankin at the Royal Lyceum 2013/14 season launch. Photo © Eoin Carey

By Thom Dibdin

Ian Rankin’s first ever play and a romp about the Union of 1707 are two of four world premieres in the Royal Lyceum’s seven-play 2013/14 season.

Dark Road, written by the crime novelist with Lyceum Artistic Director Mark Thomson, will open the season in September. Union, by Rosslyn-born actor and film director Tim Barrow, will open in March 2014 – ahead of the independence referendum.

Launching the season, Thomson commented on his association with Rankin: “When I approached Ian about writing something together it was as a fan of both the genre and his work in particular. He is one of Scotland’s most successful storytellers but despite his presence in the world of fiction and TV through Rebus in particular he’d never had his stories told in a theatre.

“In fiction, TV and film the crime genre is so powerful and successful. We thought we’d like to try and capture the dark pleasure of that on stage.”

Completing a thriller element to the Autumn, is the world premieres of a new adaptation of Dosteyovsky’s Crime and Punishment by Chris Hannan, whose The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain directed by Dominic Hill won the 2011 CATS award for Best New Play. The production sees Hannon and Hill team up again in a co-production with the Glasgow Citizens.

There is no Shakespeare to the season, although the classics are certainly present. The Christmas show, which will not be part of the Season Ticket package, will be Neil Duffield’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, a version which was much lauded in a production at Dundee Rep. Andrew Panton will be directing.

The now obligatory American 20th century classic opens the 2014 shows, as Tony Cownie helms Long Days Journey Into Night by Eugine O’Neill. Set in Connecticut in 1912 the play explores the conflicts and struggles of the dysfunctional Tyrone family and is considered the most autobiographical of O’Neill’s plays.

A bustling, foul-mouthed, theatrical romp
All the boys: Lyceum Artistic Director Mark Thomson, Writer Tim Barrow, Author Ian Rankin, Director Tony Cowie, Writer David Haig and Director Andrew Panton in the stalls at the Lyceum's 2013/14 season launch. Photo © Eoin Carey

All the boys: Lyceum Artistic Director Mark Thomson, Writer Tim Barrow, Author Ian Rankin, Director Tony Cowie, Writer David Haig and Director Andrew Panton in the stalls at the Lyceum’s 2013/14 season launch. Photo © Eoin Carey

A lighter note is struck with Noël Coward’s classic comedy of manners Private Lives. Although the opening night on 14 February might not be entirely appropriate. The play will be directed by internationally acclaimed writer, director, composer and choreographer Martin Duncan, who was last at the Lyceum with Man of La Mancha.

Tom Barrow’s Union, which opens in March, is described as “a bustling, foul-mouthed, theatrical romp”. Featuring the central characters involved and events surrounding the Act of Union in 1707, the production is timely, appearing in the year of the referendum on independence in Scotland.

“Before writing this play, I knew nothing about the Act of Union in 1707 – it wasn’t taught at school,” according to Barrow. “When researching these incendiary times, an amazing cast of characters were uncovered – Queen Anne, Daniel Defoe, Queensberry, Marlborough – and above all I found the poetry of Allan Ramsay and fell under his spell.

“The events are incredible. Scottish MPs took money and titles to write their Parliament out of existence, and their poverty-stricken, bankrupt citizens were left to struggle on as best they could. The play started writing itself. I’m honoured Union has found a home at the beautiful Lyceum, and am excited to share this incredible story with audiences.”

The final play of the season is the fourth world premiere – the long-awaited Pressure by David Haig. The play was to have opened this May, but was delayed to find a suitable actor to play the lead role of James Stagg, the Dalkeith weatherman who had to make the call about whether the D Day landings went ahead or not. The production will now open on April 30 2014.

Royal Lyceum Season 2013/14

Dark Road
By Ian Rankin and Mark Thomson
Directed by Mark Thomson
25 Sept – 19 October 2013

Crime and Punishment
From the Novel By Fyodor Dosteyovsky
In a new stage version by Chris Hannan
Directed by Dominic Hill
22 Oct – 9 Nov 2013

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Adapted for the stage by Neil Duffield
Directed by Andrew Panton
26 Nov 2013 – 4 Jan 2014

Long Days Journey Into Night
By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Tony Cownie
17 Jan – 8 Feb 2014

Private Lives
By Noël Coward
Directed by Martin Duncan
14 Feb – 8 March 2014

By Tim Barrow
Directed by Mark Thomson
19 Mar – 12 April 2014

By David Haig
Directed by John Dove
30 Apr – 24 May 2014

Details of Season Tickets packages (not including the Christmas production) will be released in May and go on sale at the end of the month.
All tickets go on sale July 2013.


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