It’s been described as the most beautiful Victorian Theatre in the world (others have too I’m sure), and it’s hard to disagree. The Lyceum opened in 1883 and it’s a lush velvet cocoon of red gold and blue sat under the most glorious chandelier you will ever see (it crashed into the auditorium once killing 20 – no I’m kidding, the theatre was empty at the time).
The Lyceum is one of Edinburgh’s few ‘producing’ theatres, which means it mounts its own productions rather than ‘receiving’ touring ‘commercial’ shows. This means the work is less mainstream, slightly more experimental but most often thrilling and engaging. It aims to deliver the classics (Miller to Shakespeare) as well as new writing and a fabulous Christmas Show (not a pantomime) that is a staple of many Edinburgh childhoods.
Despite its grandness, it’s actually incredibly intense and intimate – it only has 658 seats on three levels. It’s a living museum and an incredibly contemporary hotbed of art, politics, music, laughter and thrills.
Nothing in Edinburgh comes even remotely close to The Lyceum for experience. The other city theatres are either much larger or much smaller. And it really is its size that creates the perfect theatrical experience.
I adore the Lyceum, the almost perfect blend of old and new that’s thrilled me to the core on many, many occasions. My personal tip is get a seat in the front row of the stalls and smell the actors’ sweat. And you’ll never be fleeced here. Most tickets cost under £25.