The Lyceum kicks off its autumn season with a barnstorming performance of John McGrath’s The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil – an extraordinary tale of exploitation, conniving and brutality played out in scenes from Scottish history stretched out across the centuries. It gets a 10 day airing from this week with Dundee Rep’s highly acclaimed production performed as a Highland ceilidh, featuring song, comedy and drama. Unlike many older works from the 7:84 canon this account feels as vibrant and resonant today as its first outing, over 40 years ago.
Elsewhere, new artistic director David Greig’s promise to put Scotland’s citizens centre stage is realised over the next few months with his resurrection of The Suppliant Women, a 2,500 year old Greek play that has uncanny parallels to modern issues. The tale of women seeking to break free of social coercion by defying the norms of the age is updated to present day, as a group board a boat in North Africa to flee across the Mediterranean. They are escaping forced marriage in their homeland. Taking their lead from Ancient Greek theatre, the production team are training up local people to act as the chorus. They take to the stage on October 1st.
Meanwhile, in a UK exclusive, none other than Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo will be dropping by for a celebration of his 90th birthday. The author of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and many other satirical offerings will be chatting to his biographer Joe Farrell about his 70 year long career and his superbly provocative works. The Lyceum are also staging an exhibition of his paintings (Fo originally studied as an artist) which have never been seen in the UK.
All in all, a busy couple of months of invigorating theatre ahead for the Lyceum. Book early.
The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil: Sold Out.
The Suppliant Women: 1st Oct – 15th Oct
Dario Fo – Dancing with Colours (art exhibition): 6th – 30th Oct.
A Conversation with Dario Fo: 9th Oct
Pic: Thomas Campean