National Theatre of Scotland present: 'The Driver's Seat' at The Lyceum, Edinburgh

The Driver’s Seat

By Muriel Spark
Adapted and Directed by Laurie Sansom

“What are her thoughts? Who can tell?”

Adapted for the stage for the first time, The Driver’s Seat is one of renowned novelist Muriel Spark’s most gripping and disturbing books.

At the centre of this taut, darkly comic thriller is Lise, an enigmatic young woman travelling  alone to an unnamed city, and searching for “the one”.

She seems keen to leave a trail, acquiring a brightly coloured outfit and an equally outlandish set of personas in her encounters with a series of extraordinary, bizarre and desperate individuals.  But as the subject of her search eludes her, her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic.

All the while, in a police incident room, the hunt is on for a killer. As the tension builds and the twin narratives intertwine, The Driver’s Seat asks if we are ever truly in control of our own lives.

This World Premier production is adapted and directed by the National Theatre of Scotland’s Artistic Director Laurie Sansom (Director of The James Plays) and features a highly distinguished cast of Scottish and international performers, including Morven Christie who creates the central role of Lise.

The production is designed by Ana Inés Jabares Pita, overall winner of the 2013 Linbury Prize, the UK’s most prestigious award for stage design.

Supported by The Linbury Prize for Stage Design which is funded by The Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury charitable trusts.

Recommended for ages 14+
The Driver’s Seat contains a scene depicting violence that some audience members may find upsetting.

Join the conversation:  #DriverSeat
Touring to: Tramway, Glasgow |  2 - 4 July 2015

Cast and Credits


  • Ivan Castiglione
  • Morven Christie
  • Ryan Fletcher
  • Gabriel Quigley
  • Sheila Reid
  • Michael Thomson
  • Andrea Volpetti


  • Laurie Sansom, Director
  • Ana Inés Jabares Pita, Designer
  • Chris Davey, Lighting Designer
  • Philip Pinsky, Composer/Sound Designer


Dates, Times & Prices

13 - 27 June 2015

EVENINGS, 7.30pm
Tuesday - Saturday

Saturday 20, Wednesday 24 and Saturday 27 June

Running time: 1hr 40minutes (no interval)

For Access performances see below.

*A £1 transaction fee applies to all bookings.


EVENINGS, 7.30pm
Tuesday - Saturday

  • Full Price: £25
  • Lyceum Season Ticket Holder: £20
    (Please contact box office for discount, not bookable online)

Saturday 20, Wednesday 24 and Saturday 27 June

  • Full Price: £20
  • Lyceum Season Ticket Holder: £15
    (Please contact box office for discount, not bookable online)


  • From £10*

*A £1 transaction fee applies to all bookings.



  • Tuesday 23 June, 7.30pm
    Touch Tour - 6pm


  • Wednesday 24 June, 7.30pm
    Signed by Catherine King & Yvonne Strain


  • Tuesday 23 June, 7.30pm
    Captioned by Glenda Carson

Read The Lyceum's Access Statement here

Press Coverage


Michael Shand, TV Bomb
"Spark’s prose – adapted for the stage by Laurie Sansom – is searching… so intimate it seems to be written on your skin."

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman
"Sansom’s production excels, re-creating the story in a single, fluid and sustained 90-minute movement of set, sound and seven-strong acting company...a superb piece of 21st century theatre"

Neil Cooper, The Herald
" alluringly elliptical study of self-invention and everyday madness."

Thom Dibdin, The Stage
"Stark realisation of a Muriel Spark novella that exposes a raw nub of everyday sexism."

Mark Brown, The Telegraph
"Such a stylised and psychologically intense play requires both an excellent lead and a fine ensemble. Sansom has found himself both."

Alex Eades, The List
"...dark, dense and astonishing piece of theatre by the National Theatre Of Scotland – and guaranteed to keep you up at night."

David Pollock, The Big Issue
"Morven Christie's performance in The Driver's Seat is exceptional, cycling through a range of conflicting personae"

R G Balgary, Public Reviews
"...thought-provoking stagecraft..."

Alan Brown, Edinburgh 49
"Prime Muriel Spark"

Click on the quotes for full articles

"There are layers of ambiguity running throughout the story, and it's really hard to do ambiguity onstage, so how you create those mysterious layers without confusing the audience is really key." Neil Cooper, The Herald

"It's not the industry part that bothers me. It's the assumption that an audience isn't interested in women and 51 per cent of that audience are women. It's kind of heartbreaking that women have never seen a reflection of themselves in film or on television, whereas every type of man, every age group of man, their story has been told." Morven Christie in The Herald

"The Driver’s Seat avoids invoking pity for its subject, but draws together her lifelong preoccupation with misogyny and the politics of victimhood." Willy Maley, National Theatre of Scotland

"Capturing Spark’s voice on stage is always a challenge, but this has to be one of her most dramatic and mysterious stories, lending itself to theatrical reinvention." Scottish Field