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Edinburgh Lyceum announces female-led 2023 season of premieres

Highlights include reworkings of Macbeth, Kidnapped and Anna Karenina

David Greig

Artistic director David Greig has announced the 2023 season at Edinburgh's Lyceum Theatre, which features five productions all made by creative teams led by women.

It opens with the premiere of Zinnie Harris' Macbeth (an undoing), a Shakespeare retelling that sees Lady Macbeth taking centre stage, which runs from 4 to 25 February. Harris, who also directs, said: "Having adapted and worked with other iconic female characters such as Clytemnestra, the Duchess of Malfi, Nora and Miss Julie, I've had my sights on Lady Macbeth for a while."

This is followed by the Scottish premiere of You Bury Me (7 to 18 March), winner of the Women's Prize for Playwriting 2020. Written by Ahlam and directed by Katie Posner, it centres on six young Egyptians navigating life after the Arab Spring. Greig said: "We saw an incredible rehearsed reading of this work at the 2021 Edinburgh International Festival, and we are so happy to welcome the full production to the Lyceum main stage." The run is part of a tour that also visits Bristol Old Vic and the Orange Tree Theatre.

From 11 to 22 April, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)'s Isobel McArthur with Michael John McCarthy will collaborate with the National Theatre of Scotland on Kidnapped – a musical reimagining of Robert Louis-Stevenson's classic novel. The world premiere production will be "packed full of 20th century pop music and 18th century romance", and performed by a cast of actor-musicians.

Rounding off the season is another premiere, a radical reworking of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (13 May to 3 June) created by Russian-born director Polina Kalinina and Scottish playwright Lesley Hart. Hart commented: "Polina and I were keen to find an authentic voice for the play, something gutsy, witty, sexy, gritty, rooted in Tolstoy's original and true to me – so definitely not the kind of stiff RP you might associate with stuffy period dramas."

The Lyceum will also stage Castle Lennox (30 March to 1 April) by Linda McLean, created in collaboration with Lung Ha Theatre Company, Scotland's leading theatre company for actors with learning disabilities. Originally due to premiere in May 2020, it's a play with songs by Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) composer Michael John McCarthy, directed by Maria Oller. Greig described it as "a celebration of the strength, wit and resilience of people made to live in the appalling conditions of one of Scotland's most infamous institutions."

The 2023 season will continue the Lyceum's 'Pay What You Can Preview' scheme. Greig added: "These are big, exciting stories. Stories told with music and drama that will suck you in and have you pinned to your seat. From vivid reinterpretations of classics to new writing that exposes stark truths about our changing world - this is a season for everyone. A season for people who love theatre; people who think they might like it but have never tried it; people who think theatre is dry and dusty – we invite you all to come and take your seat."

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