One of Scotland's leading theatres will stage a series of Sunday night variety shows in its first season under Scottish playwright David Greig.

Greig, the writer of acclaimed plays such as The Events, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, Dunsinane and the west end hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has unveiled his first season as artistic director of the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh.

The writer said he wants the theatre to act as a place where society can meet and talk beyond the sound bites and often shallow interactions of social media, a "democratic space" where people can meet and encounter the important issues of the day.

He said he was not interested in staging "agitprop" but providing a space to discuss social and personal issues.

Greig said: "We need to encounter each other outside social media, we need to encounter each other in the theatre,

"I love Twitter, it's great, the world would be poorer without it, but we have to encounter each other in depth.

"And books and cinema are very individual experiences, whereas theatre is inherently a shared experience - you are all in a room, and you are watching people who are real in front of needs to be at the heart of the public sphere.

"Twitter is great, but it is disembodied, so it has a tendency towards solipsism and extremity, newspaper are great, but less and less people are reading them, television is complicated at the moment, so there needs to be a place where people gather and encounter each other and talk and think."

Greig said the Sunday Variety Nights will showcase musicians, poets and theatre makers, and was partially inspired by his own Back to Bowie's show of the 2014 Fringe.

Greig also said that staging two major productions where members of the public will take part is a key element of the season.

One of these is The Suppliant Women, one of the oldest surviving plays, about the arrival of fifty women refugees on the shores of Greece.

The Suppliant Women was written by Aeschylus and performed in around 470BC, and was part of a trilogy.

The Suppliant Women will be played by 50 citizens of Edinburgh in the play, which is being written for the new production by Greig and directed by Ramin Gray.

In The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, members of the public will "take centre stage again" in the season finale, a large scale production directed by Wils Wilson.

"It is totally deliberate. I think of a theatre like the Lyceum having a central role in the life of a city," he said.

"I think about Edinburgh as a city of science, of universities, or politics, of law, its working city, and I want the theatre to be out and in all those branches of our life, and the place that gathers us all in together and where we encounter each other and encounter ideas.

"The point about theatre and the public sphere is central to me, because I don't our public sphere is very strong at the moment, I think it is quite denuded.

"I think we encounter each other on social media, where we are dehumanised and we shout cliches at each other - in a theatre we gather, and we are in body next to each other, and on stage, we watch people encounter stories, and so I think there is something about this democratic space which is really at the centre of what we want to do."

The variety shows will not be every Sunday night, but two or three through the season, although there could be more if they prove popular.

"For me its a way of putting writers on the stage which our audience might not have encountered - but also writers they do know," Greig said.

"It's a mixture of a) I love variety b) I love music, writing, words, coming together, and comedy mixed with thoughtfulness.

"I think of writers such as Kieran Hurley is someone who could come up on stage and do pieces of new writing, you could also have just a fantastic band, or you could someone like Denise Mina - it's just a way of shaking [the Lyceum] lose a bit.

"You could bring people in who don't usually come to the Lyceum, but also a way of bringing Lyceum people to bands and to writers who they would love but don't normally encounter."

The season will also see Wind Resistance, the world premiere of singer Karine Polwart's theatre piece, a staging of Dundee Rep's The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, and Jumpy, which will see Bafta winning actress Daniela Nardini, directed by Cora Bissett.

Nardini returns to the Lyceum stage after a gap of 20 years, and Jumpy marks her first stage work in six years.

There will be productions of the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, an adaption by Anthony Neilson, as well as Picnic at Hanging Rock, from Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne and Black Swan State Theatre Company.

Shakespeare's The Winter’s Tale will be staged, as will Noel Coward's Hay Fever, directed by the Citizen's Theatre's artistic director Dominic Hill in a co-production.

A Number, about cloning will be directed by playwright Zinnie Harris, and the Royal Lyceum will also stage Charlie Sonata, written by

Glory on Earth, which will run from 20 May to 10 June 2017, will be Greig's directorial debut at the theatre.

Written by Linda Maclean, the play re-imagines the historic meetings between Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox.

Written by Austrian playwright Peter Handke, in a translation by Meredith Oakes the production will feature a 100 strong, all-Edinburgh and a soundtrack of entirely new music.