Cast announced for Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti
The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, with Citizens Theatre and DOT Theatre Istanbul, are delighted to present a brand new adaptation of Brecht’s classic master and servant comedy Mrs Puntila and her Man Matti by award-winning writer Denise Mina and directed by DOT Theatre’s Murat Daltaban, who returns to the Lyceum Theatre to direct, following the celebrated Zinnie Harris adaptation of Rhinoceros in 2018.
Originally featuring a male lead, Denise Mina’s adaptation tells the uproarious story of Argyll landowner Mrs Puntila who, when drunk, is a generous and kind-hearted boss who convinces everyone they can have a bright future under her wing. When sober, she’s a cruel and greedy tyrant. Behind the scenes, her shrewd chauffer Matti irons out her drunken mishaps while pursuing a hopeless romance with her already-spoken-for daughter Eva, a match which will only be possible if Mrs Puntila can get over the class divide.
This new adaptation of Brecht’s epic comedy satirising the injustices and absurdities of capitalism promises a hilarious and thought-provoking night of theatre that pulls no punches - the perfect antidote to today’s gloomy political climate.
Taking on the titular role of Mrs Puntila is Elaine C. Smith, one of Scotland’s most loved and recognised performers. A singer, actress, writer, comedienne, standup and political activist, Smith returns to her political theatre roots having spent many years touring with Wildcat and 7:84. She has a career spanning 30 years in theatre, television and film, from starring roles in Two Doors Down (BBC)for which she won a Scottish BAFTA for Best Actress, City Lights (BBC)and Rab C Nesbitt(BBC)to the award-winning UK tours of Calendar Girls and the Susan Boyle musicalI Dreamed a Dream, which she co-wrote with Alan McHugh. She is one of the few women in the UK to consistently headline in major pantomimes, completing eight years at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen and has just finished her 14th year at the Glasgow Kings. Elaine makes her triumphant return to The Lyceum following her performance in Merlin, over twenty years ago.
The production reunites Elaine with award-winning writer, Denise Mina, who worked together on Ida Tamson, a play adapted from a short story originally written for the Glasgow Evening Times for the AyeWrite book festival. Author of the Garnethill trilogy and award-winning The Long Drop, Denise Mina said: “Elaine is such a great performer, and she also invites an audience who might be wary of Brecht, because whilst he’s not always done to be funny and entertaining, with Elaine they know they’ll enjoy it. We want it to be really, really funny. We want people to leave feeling uplifted and angry and motivated to stand up for each other. In the original, Brecht says ‘never accept your rights as charity’, and that’s pretty much the theme of it.”
Smith and Mina, arguably two of the most influential women in their respective fields, will work alongside creatives from DOT Theatre Istanbul who previously found success in Scotland with The Lyceum production, Rhinoceros. Celebrated Director and Founder of DOT, Murat Daltaban and Composer Oguz Kaplangi, who will perform live on stage,will be joined on the creative team by Designer, Tom Piper, whose work is seen regularly on the Citizens and Lyceum stages, and Lighting Designer Katharine Williams.
Joining the cast in the role of Matti is Steven McNicoll (An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, The Belle’s Stratagem, Thon Man Moliére, Venetian Twins, The Lyceum; Rhinoceros, The Lyceum, DOT Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival; The Steamie 30th Anniversary Tour, Tour; Molly & Mack, Long Night at Blackstone, Scot Squad, BBC), and Joanne McGuinness (Local Hero, The Lyceum and The Old Vic; As You Like It, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; The Divide, The Old Vic; Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, National Theatre of Great Britain; Anna and the Apocalypse, Blazing Griffen; Dragon, Glasgow Girls, National Theatre of Scotland) plays Puntila’s daughter, Eva.
The cast further includes Natalie Arle-Toyne (Arabian Nights, The Lyceum; Rhinoceros, The Lyceum, DOT Theatre Istanbul, Edinburgh International Festival; Only You, The Bureau; The Lost Lending Library, Punch Drunk; Eddie and the Slumber Sisters, National Theatre Scotland, C atherine Wheels), Rebecca Banatvala (Rotterdam, Hartshorn Hook; Beyond the Aquila Rift (Love, Death and Robots), Netflix; Habibiti (Maybe She’s Born With It), Lyric Hammersmith; (Red as Rubies) Miniaturists, Arcola Theatre), Richard Conlon (The Belle’s Stratagem, Jumpy, The Crucible, The Iliad, The Lyceum; My Left Right Foot, National Theatre of Scotland, Birds of Paradise; Rachel’s Cousin, Spuds, ÒranMór; The God of Carnage, Tron Theatre; The Whip Hand, Traverse Theatre, Birmingham Rep), Liam King (The Duchess [of Malfi], Citizens Theatre and The Lyceum, Pinocchio, Citizens Theatre), Beth Marshall (Hope and Joy, Stellar Quines, Pearlfisher; Unspotted Snow, The Electrifying Mr Johnstone, Mull Theatre; Yellow on the Broom, August: Osage County, Dundee Rep Theatre; A Christmas Carol, National Theatre of Scotland; The James Plays, National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre of Great Britain; Yellow Moon, Monster in the Hall, Citizens Theatre), Stephanie Payne (Pinocchio, Citizens Theatre) and Chloe-Ann Tylor (The Stornoway Way, Dog Star Theatre; Captivity, Shift; Dark Road, HopScotch Films; Close Quarters, Out of Joint; Trainspotting, Hansel & Gretel, Citizens Theatre).
Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti reunites The Lyceum with long-term collaborators Citizens Theatre, whose recent co-productions include the critically acclaimed Cyrano de Bergerac and Zinnie Harris’ new version of John Webster’s The Duchess [of Malfi].
Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti is supported by Friends of the CitizensReturn to Press