I Am Thomas: Collaborating with award-winning poet Simon Armitage, Told by an Idiot, National Theatre Scotland and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edin

I Am Thomas - a brutal comedy with songs

Directed by Paul Hunter

‘It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.’ (Voltaire, 1770)

Collaborating with award-winning poet Simon Armitage, Told by an Idiot, National Theatre Scotland and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh present a wildly comic and provocative piece of music theatre.

 Edinburgh; a cold town on the edge of civilisation, in very much the Year of Our Lord, 1696. The church has spies everywhere. Here, you keep your counsel and choose your words with care ... unless you are Thomas Aikenhead– a loud-mouthed, smart-arsed and likable student at the university. A man in the wrong place at absolutely the wrong time ... trouble is brewing for Thomas.

A rich vein of black humour is exploded in this account of the last person in Britain to be executed for blasphemy. Using Told by an Idiot’s internationally celebrated theatrical invention, we glimpse into Edinburgh’s dark past to reveal this true story with universal resonance.

A riotous and unsettling drama which swings between 1696 and the present day, I Am Thomas is performed with an original live score.

  • "Their work is never less than sublime"
    The Times on Told by an Idiot
  • "Told by an Idiot are the most exciting, enthralling and energising presence in British Theatre"
    Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
  • "Theatre about as inventive, imaginative and fantastical as it gets"
    Time Out on Told by an Idiot

#IAmThomas | #lyceum50

Cast and Credits

John Cobb
Charlie Folorunsho
Amanda Hadingue
Iain Johnstone Performing Musical Director
Myra McFadyen
Hannah McPake
Dominic Marsh
John Pfumojena

Paul Hunter Director
Simon Armitage Lyricist
Iain Johnstone Composer
Laura Hopkins Designer
Paul Anderson Lighting Designer
Adrienne Quartly Sound Designer
Judith Williams Assistant Director
Sarah Weltman Sound Associate
Ben Cox Musical Supervisor
Sian Williams Movement Consultant
Laura Donnelly Casting Director


I Am Thomas | Trailer

★★★★ ‘The ultimate example of gallows humour' The Guardian

Dates, Times & Prices

23 March – 9 April 2016

EVENINGS, 7.30pm
Tuesday - Saturday

Wednesdays and Saturdays

Running time

  • Act 1: 1hr 10mins
  • 20 minute interval
  • Act 2: 30 mins

For Access performances see below.


Individual Tickets

EVENINGS, 7.30pm
Tuesday - Saturday: £15 - £29.50

Wednesday and Saturday: £13 - £25

From £10, not available on Premium Seats

All prices guaranteed until 5 September 2015



  • Thursday 31 March - 7.30pm
  • Touch Tour - 6.15pm
  • Saturday 2 April - 2pm
  • Touch Tour - 12.45pm


  • Wednesday 6 April - 7.30pm


  • Saturday 9 April - 2pm

Read The Lyceum's Access Statement: click here

Press Coverage

Please note some publications make use of paywalls.

‘The ultimate example of gallows humour...show-stopping arrangements by Iain Johnstone with lyrics by Simon Armitage’

The Guardian

'A stark lesson for our times'

Herald Scotland

'Rowdy, fun-packed, and yet deeply moving two-hour cabaret'

The Scotsman

'Emotionally charged, darkly humorous, gloriously comic segments’

The Stage

'Je Suis Charming'

All Edinburgh Theatre

'Rumbustious style'

Edinburgh Guide

'A sparky, fast-moving show'

Lothian Life

'Fiercely well executed'

Edinburgh 49

'The music is impeccable, truly beautiful.'

TV Bomb

★★★★ 1/2
'Hellishly good'

The Reviews Hub

'Fun with fire in its heart.'

Musical Theatre Review

'You'd be a blasphemer to miss this production'

Broadway Baby

'Nobody expects the Scottish inquisition...hints of Northern Broadsides, Kneehigh, Blackadder...even a nod to Python.'

Liverpool Echo

'An alluring and a captivating piece of theatre.'

Liverpool Sound and Vision

'Full of imagination and wit'

Merseysider Magazine

'A mix of theatrical styles from Dario Fo to Monty Python via Bertolt Brecht.'
The Observer

'Great emotional charge and a wry, satirical wit...a bold theatrical experiment'
The Telegraph

'A freewheeling ragbag of richly intriguing ideas....exuberant, frequently daft and fleetingly beautiful.'
The Times

'A boisterous co-production.'
The Arts Desk



Rehearsal photos:

Production photos: