Records of Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

Items relating to the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company 1966-1996. Includes: 

  • Scripts, programmes 1968-1996
  • Photographs, correspondence, financial papers, press cuttings and production papers, relating to the Gateway, Royal Lyceum and Little Lyceum theatre 1966-1980
  • Production files, including prompt scripts, cast lists, production schedules, performance reports, tour information 1966, 1974-1980
  • Royal Lyceum/Little Lyceum: posters 1970s
  • Ground plans for specific productions 1970s
  • Plans, including plans for Royal Lyceum Studio Theatre, and other Scottish Theatres 1970s
  • Programmes relating to plays and events staged at the Royal Lyceum Theatre 1890-1965

Administrative / Biographical History

The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, opened on 10 September 1883  under the management of J B Howard (died 1895) and F W P Wyndham (died 1930), a partnership which in 1895 became Howard & Wyndham Ltd. All of the great actor managers and their companies appeared at the Lyceum - Wilson Barrett (1846-1904), Sir Frank Benson (1858-1939), Edward Compton, George Edwardes and Sir Donald Wolfit (1902-1968) among others. The 1930s saw the Brandon Thomas seasons while the 1940s and 1950s belonged to the Wilson Barrett Company. In 1960  the theatre was sold to an Edinburgh businessman, but soon it became likely that his intention was to tear down the building and use the site for development.

Edinburgh City Corporation took over the theatre in 1964  to house the newly-formed Royal Lyceum Theatre Company which operates to this day. Tom Fleming (b. 1927), from the Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh, set up the company which was first known as the Edinburgh Civic Theatre Company. The first season was in Autumn 1965. Fleming resigned in 1966 and was replaced by Clive Perry. The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company became a limited company in 1977  (Company no. SC 062065). A studio theatre, The Little Lyceum, was opened in 1975 and operated mainly during the Edinburgh Festival, but was demolished in 1989.

The Company's artistic policy enables the Company to present plays from both the British and International repertoire of classics. There is also an extensive commitment to new writing and adaptations by Scots writers. The Company is in permanent residence in the theatre, which is also used for other productions during the annual Edinburgh Festival.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the online Scottish Theatre Archive catalogue at

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Jo Peattie, Scottish Archive Network Project

Conversion from MS Access database, formatting and controlled access terms added by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, November 2002

Related Material

GB 247 STA Inglis: James Inglis Collection of material relating to the Wilson Barrett Company at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Geographical Names