It might be better known as part of Shakespeareâ€™s As You Like It, but for theatre-goers in Edinburgh, this famous line now has an extra special meaning.
A major refurbishment and restoration of one of the capitalâ€™s leading theatres has included a stunning mural named All the worldâ€™s a stage which has been painted on the dome of the Kingâ€™s Theatre. The 85 square metre dome within the Viennese baroque auditorium has been transformed thanks to acclaimed Scottish painter and playwright John Byrne.
Commissioned by the Festival City Theatres Trust, the spectacular artwork depicts a swirling celestial scene filled with magic and intrigue and includes Jaquesâ€™ well known line from the play. A black harlequin carrying the sun through the clouds and a star-cloth covered flamed-haired woman feature in the mural which is rich in theatrical references.
Working with a team of painters including artist Kevin Leary, Byrne created the mural in five weeks and itâ€™s been a vital part of the restoration of the much loved theatre, affectionately known by some in Edinburgh as â€˜the Old Lady of Leven Streetâ€™. Other work includes the installation of luxurious new seating, new carpeting and a restored interior decoration.
Opened in 1906 the Kingâ€™s is renowned for its art nouveau foyer and beautiful baroque auditorium and hosts a year-long programme of excellent touring drama, as well as the cityâ€™s annual panto which regularly attracts 90,000 people during the festive season.
So when youâ€™re next at the King’s to enjoy the performance of world-class drama, am-dram or the Panto, pause for a moment and look skywards to soak up the beauty of this new artwork. All the worldâ€™s a stage after allâ€¦