An eye peers through a keyhole, surrounding it the title of the play is scrawled in handwriting

Cancelled - Life is a Dream

This performance has been cancelled, for more information see the Royal Lyceum Theatre Statement on COVID-19 31 March 2020

By Pedro Calderon, translated by Jo Clifford
Directed by Wils Wilson

“The king dreams he is a king, and lives governing under this deception.”

Following a prophecy that he is destined to become a tyrant, Prince Sigismund is imprisoned by his own father. Released for a day as an experiment, he proves the omens only too right and, as a result, is incarcerated once more and convinced by his jailors that his day of freedom was all just a dream.

Originally conceived to delight everyone from Philip IV of Spain to the meanest of his subjects, Life is a Dream is an extraordinary mixture of high adventure, low comedy, love, intrigue, and intense philosophical and moral speculation, all wrapped up in an astonishing and beautiful web of words.

Calderón’s classic of the Spanish Golden Age is the favourite play of celebrated Scottish playwright Jo Clifford (Faust Part 1 & 2, Anna Karenina, The Lyceum; Eve, National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre). Her lucid adaptation was a smash hit at the 1997 Edinburgh International Festival and this season it will return to The Lyceum in all its riotous and fantastical glory.

Lyceum Associate Artist Wils Wilson (Wind Resistance, Cockpit, Twelfth Night at The Lyceum) will direct bringing the spirit of fiesta and feria to this intoxicating  tale.

“I’ve rarely come across a play that so brilliantly combines profound ideas, neat plotting and blazing dramatic passion.” The Telegraph


Life is a Dream is a Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh production.


Jo Clifford Interview

Dates, Times & Prices

15 May - 6 June 2020

£10 PREVIEWS, 7.30pm
Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Monday 18 May

Preview tickets on sale from 13 April

EVENINGS, 7.30pm
Tuesday - Saturday

£16 - £33

Wednesdays and Saturday

£14 - £29

Running time: to be confirmed during rehearsals


Thursday 28 May, 7.30pm
Touch Tour at 6.15pm

Saturday 30 May, 2pm
Touch Tour at 12.45pm

Wednesday 3 June, 7.30pm

Audio Described by: Alison Downey & Clea Friend
BSL Interpruter:  Yvonne Waddell & Louise Holden
Captioned by: Alison Pendlowski

Read The Lyceum's Access Statement here

Take Part

Free events tailored to the show

Post-Show Discussion
Tuesday 26 May
Join members of the cast and creative team for an informal discussion about the show in the Stalls after the evening performance.

LYT Curtain Raiser
Friday 29 May
Lyceum Youth Theatre members are creating a series of short performances inspired by the work on the main stage for Season 2019/20.
Book your free tickets by calling box office on 0131 248 4848

Talk Show
Monday 1 June
Fresh insight, music and ideas from unexpected places. We invite artists, authors and thinkers to come and watch a show with us - they then take to the stage to share their response to the themes of the play with our audiences.
Book here