The Citizens Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh are delighted to announce a major new co-production. Elaine C Smith will play the lead role in a new adaptation of Brecht’s comedy Mr Puntila and His Man Matti by Denise Mina, directed by Murat Daltaban.

This new adaptation will reunite Elaine C. Smith with celebrated Scottish crime writer Denise Mina, having previously worked together on Ida Tamson in the 2006 Play Pie and a Pint season.

Originally written for a male lead, this new gender-swapped adaptation tells the story of Mrs Puntila, a landowner who is a ruthless and greedy tyrant when sober, but a generous and kind benefactor when drunk. Her shrewd chauffeur Matti spends his time extricating her from drunken mishaps while wooing her wayward daughter Eva, a match which will only be possible if Mrs Puntila can get over the class divide.

Glasgow born Smith is one of Scotland’s most loved and recognised performers, having earned ‘national treasure’ status. She is a singer, actress, writer, comedienne, raconteur, standup and political activist. She has been awarded two Honorary Doctorates from Glasgow University and the University of Dundee and is Patron of numerous charities.

With 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 musical I 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 13th year at the Glasgow Kings for which she won an award as ‘Best Fairy’ at the British Pantomime Awards in London in 2018.

Of the casting, Dominic Hill, Citizens Theatre Artistic Director commented “Elaine has always been a huge supporter of the Citizens and I’m thrilled that she will be playing the lead role of Mrs Puntila in our upcoming co-production with The Lyceum of one of Brecht’s best and most entertaining plays. Puntila is a truly joyous and funny role, which Brecht laces with a good dose of comic satire. I know that Elaine will bring her well-known comedic acting skills and keen political acumen to create a brilliant night out for our audience in Glasgow.”

Of adapting Brecht’s epic comedy, author of the Garnethill trilogy and award-winning The Long Drop Denise Mina said “I’m thrilled and delighted to be working with The Lyceum, Citizens Theatre and DOT on Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti, I’ve been a fan of Brecht since I was 14 and an adaptation of Caucasian Chalk Circle was one of the first theatrical projects I ever worked on so this is a golden opportunity. I’ve long been an admirer of Elaine C. Smith and can’t wait to work with Murat Daltaban – a complete dream team.”

Mina was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2014.

Murat Daltaban, co-founder of DOT Theatre Istanbul, one of Turkey’s most radical independent theatre companies, will direct. Daltaban previously directed the CATS award-winning production Rhinoceros at Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in 2018.

Of the co-production, Dominic Hill commented, The Citizens Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh have long enjoyed a close relationship. Working together has enabled our two theatres to present some fantastic co-productions in recent years, and I’m delighted that we’ll be working together again.”

Tickets for Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti at the Citizens Theatre at Tramway will go on sale Summer 2019.

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