Royal Lyceum Theatre

Coordinates: 55°56′48″N 3°12′16″W / 55.94674°N 3.20440°W / 55.94674; -3.20440

The Royal Lyceum Theatre is a 658 seat theatre in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, named after the Theatre Royal Lyceum and English Opera House, the residence at the time of legendary Shakespearean actor Henry Irving. It was built in 1883 by architect C. J. Phipps at a cost of UK£17,000 on behalf of J. B. Howard and F. W. P. Wyndham, two local theatrical managers and performers who went on to establish the renowned Howard & Wyndham company in 1895. With only four minor refurbishments, in 1929, 1977, 1991, and 1996, the Royal Lyceum remains one of the most original and unaltered of the architect's works.

In 1965, the building was purchased by the Edinburgh Corporation to house the newly formed Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, who are now the permanent residents, leasing it from the local council.

The Royal Lyceum has been one of the principal venues for the Edinburgh International Festival since the festival's inception in 1947, renting out the building for three weeks every August for visiting companies, and often for a further week to Fringe companies.


The theatre is believed to be haunted and there have been sightings of a blue lady that is believed to be Ellen Terry, the actress who performed at the Lyceum’s first show. In addition a shadowy figure has been reportedly seen high above the stage in the lighting rig.


Academic, refereed papers on the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company 1965 to 2000, by Paul Iles