Ian McDiarmid’s extremely fine performance as Enoch Powell is resentful, fidgety and frustrated, either from feeling overlooked earlier in life or from illness later on.
Wild: The EIF’s Rhinoceros is a thoroughly contemporary take on a modern classic, combining knockabout comedy with a deep consideration of human society.
Capturing much of the whimsy and regret of David Greig’s 1999 play for young people, the younger of the Lyceum’s Summer on Stage companies make a descent fist of Danny 306 + Me 4eva. More than that, they have found a fresh level of fun in the script, pointing up and finding proper laughs for Greig’s more punning moments – where an adult company might have simply gone for the wry smile.
Extreme care has been lavished on the Lyceum’s Glory on Earth. It has a clarity to its storytelling and performances, backed up by some excellent staging, but never engages the heart or mind as fully as it promises.
Three friends from university in the 1990s occasionally stage reunions that show how two of them – Gary and Jackson – have moved on to careers and respectability (or something approximating to them), while Chick remains a drifting figure, wedded to alcohol.
Philosophical questions that have puzzled us for centuries are given a contemporary yet timeless spin in A Number, presented by the Lyceum in partnership with the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The result is an intelligent, accessible, emotional and beautifully acted piece.
Solidly acted but only sporadically funny, the Lyceum and the Citizens Theatre co-production of Hay Fever is entirely serviceable but all too forgettable. Noel Coward’s 1925 comedy features the selfish, eccentric and theatrical Bliss family, who have each separately invited a guest for the weekend at their Thames-side Berkshire home.
Lucid and engaging, the Lyceum’s Scottish-set production of The Winter’s Tale has much to recommend it, even if it does not quite convince.
Picnic at Hanging Rock, presented at the Lyceum by the Australian companies Malthouse and Black Swan, is a well-crafted production that is never quite as frightening as it wants to be.
Wonderful: While not specifically Christmassy, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland at Edinburgh’s Lyceum proves an ideal fit for the festive season. Hugely colourful, funny, and fascinating, it is thoroughly involving and a little disorienting.
There is a generosity and sincerity to Jumpy at Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre, allied to some impressive acting, even if the end result is not as overwhelming as it might be.
Impressive and timeless: Poetic, political and dramatic, David Greig’s new version of The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus is a striking statement of intent.
Serious fun: Tuneful, hilarious and deeply moving, Dundee Rep’s revival of The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black, Black Oil is a triumph.
The Moliere presented here is a man who can skewer others’ foibles while lacking any kind of awareness of his own faults. He also lacks much of an instinct for self-preservation and treats those around him abominably. That he is so sympathetic is largely due to Jimmy Chisholm’s performance, which combines charm, rhythm, timing and just enough variety-style playing to the gallery.
Compelling: Epic in scope, huge in sweep and utterly human, The Iliad at Edinburgh’s Lyceum is a powerful production.
Exceptional clarity characterises the Lyceum’s production of The Crucible, whose focus on small details reaps rewards but does so at the expense of dramatic impact.
Superbly judged performances and a clever, organic approach to staging make for an effectively spooky time in the Lyceum’s production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir.
This much-loved and cherished story by CS Lewis is cleverly brought to life by Theresa Heskins’ adaptation. And yet, despite its best intentions, this production directed by Andrew Panton falters mid-way, through hammy overacting.
Edinburgh tickets on NTS list:
Big hits and tight flits are among the Edinburgh shows and events announced in the first six months of the National Theatre of Scotland 2016 season.
From the bowels of the Lyceum up into its gods, the Lyceum Youth Theatre expose and explore the building’s hidden spaces and lost souls. These are the places that are little trod in modern times – doorways and stairwells built to facilitate movement through a building which held four times the 658 it can today – or are little seen by the public.