ELAINE C Smith is to play the lead in a new adaptation of Brecht's comedy Mr Puntila and his Man Matti, written by Denis Mina.

The play, to be directed by Murat Daltaban, is a co-production between the Citizens Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.

Originally written for a male lead, this new gender-swapped adaptation tells the story of Mrs Puntila, a landowner who is a ruthless tyrant when sober, but a generous and kind when drunk.

Her chauffeur Matti spends his time extricating her from drunken mishaps while wooing her wayward daughter Eva.

Dominic Hill, Citizens Theatre artistic director, said: “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.”

Ms 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."

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

Murat Daltaban is co-founder of DOT Theatre Istanbul, one of Turkey’s most radical independent theatre companies.

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


ONE of the UK's leading contemporary dance companies is to present its new ensemble with a triple bill of short dance works at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh.

Grey Matter is a new dance work by Rambert’s Guest Artistic Director, Benoit Swan Pouffer, with original music by electronic and dancehall artist Gaika and fashion duo Cottweiler.

The evening performance also includes two works that launched the international careers of their choreographers: E2 7SD, a duet by Sydney Dance Company artistic director and former Rambert dancer Rafael Bonachela, and Killer Pig by Israeli dance star Sharon Eyal.

Rambert2 is a collaboration between Rambert and Rambert School: auditions to Rambert2 took place in February 2018.

From over 800 applications, 13 dancers successfully completed five audition rounds; the final 13 come from six different countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe, with nine having trained in UK dance institutions.

The performances are on 24 and 25 May, both beginning at 7.30pm.


THE Lothian Youth Arts and Musicals Company (LYAMC) has been picked by gospel singers The Kingdom Choir to sing at their Edinburgh Usher Hall show.

The Kingdom Choir became well known following the performance of Stand By Me at the wedding of Prince Harry and the Duchess Of Sussex last May.

Earlier this year, the choir launched a national search for children’s and youth choirs to perform alongside them at each venue of their debut UK tour.

LYAMC will join the gospel stars at Usher Hall on Thursday, May 23.

Carole Gibson from LYAMC said: “We are so excited to be joining The Kingdom Choir on stage at the Usher Hall.”

The 18-date UK tour in April and May includes a first anniversary celebration at the Royal Albert Hall in London, a year to the day after the wedding at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Karen Gibson, conductor of The Kingdom Choir, said: “We had such an amazing experience to be part of the Royal wedding, and we have been truly inspired by everything that has happened to us during this past year.

“It’s been tough to choose the choirs, but so lovely to see so many singing communities out there. From personal experience, I know what singing can do for a person, so sharing that with young people across the country is a really special thing for us. I hope we can make a real impact and inspire a new generation of singers.