Burns - the Musical (Red, Red Rose)

Here John Cairney tells the Burns story with an exciting modern score. Original songs were commissioned from Scottish singer/composer, Geoff Davidson, to match the Cairney book and the result is a new look at an old concept: Burns - The Musical. It was given its first professional performances in a Scottish tour during 1988 entitled 'Scot Free' and was repeated for a series of concert performances in Glasgow at the time of that city's being elected European City of Culture in 1990. The latest presentation in January 2009 was under the title ‘Red, Red Rose’ at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries.

The story is strong. John Cairney knows it well, having performed it as a solo for a large part of his career, and Davidson's music is wonderfully tuneful. There are two good romantic singing leads, half-a-dozen principals, and a superb comedy character in Holy Willie plus the whole chorus of villagers in the first act and society ladies and gentlemen in the second. Music is provided by a small string ensemble. All production rights rest with John Cairney and Geoff Davidson.

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The Ivor Novello Story

Ivor Novello, who died in 1951, is a name synonymous with the English musical play of between the Wars. The world of Novello is one of unrepentant romance from an age that was grim with poverty and depression and under the threat of war. Novello brought people into the theatre to forget the world outside and to lose themselves in luscious melody and in love stories that rang true despite plots and settings that had only a slight hold on reality. Audiences loved Novello and that love was reciprocated by a man who was the embodiment of charm in the theatre.

John Cairney, who wrote the book of the show, says - 'It was my happiest show. It never failed with audiences, because Novello knew exactly what they wanted from a night out in the theatre and he gave it to them - with bells on'.

The cast is one actor who plays both Novello and Narrator. Two female singers complete the cast - a soprano and a contralto. They sing all the famous songs like 'Someday My Heart Will Awake', 'Glamorous Night' and many, many more. Novello's Henry V performance is remembered and his 'Keep the Home Fires Burning' is featured to close the first-half when everyone, including the audience joins in 'We'll Gather Lilacs' for the final curtain. This audience certainly doesn't go out humming the scenery.

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The Chopin Affair

By John Cairney

The passionate affair between Chopin and George Sand is dealt with in this script, which incorporates all the great Chopin compositions. It is an ideal showcase for a concert pianist who plays the haunting keyboard repertoire provided by Chopin, while an actor and actress provide the linking dialogue between Chopin and Sand.

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Badjelly, the Witch

By Spike Milligan.  Adapted by Alannah O'Sullivan

A lively adaptation of Spike Milligan's popular children's story of the same name. In a comic adventure, Tim and Rose go off in search of their cow Lucy, who has been stolen by the wicked Badjelly and her giant servant Dulboot. On the way they meet many wonderful characters including Binklebonk, the tree goblin, Silly Sausage, a barking grasshopper, Mudwiggle, the super strong worm, and the very polite Dinglemouse who was once a banana! Cast: 8 (Female: 4 Male: 4) 

‘Badjelly’ is one of the most licensed scripts from Playmarket, New Zealand.

To license script, contact: info@playmarket.co.nz

Scripts on Robert Burns - Two-Handed Presentations

By John Cairney

‘The Lingering Star’ 
Burns and the Highland Mary Campbell mystery. (With songs)

‘The Thomson Correspondence’ 
Burns and George Thomson and their arguments about Scots song. (With Songs)

‘The Clarinda Correspondence’ 
Burns and Mrs Agnes McLehose in the Sylvander and Clarinda letters. (Original songs)

‘A Drunk Man Looks At Robert Burns’ 
Burns and Hugh MacDiarmid - a playful debate for two actors.

‘As Others Saw Him’
Burns and his contemporaries. What they thought of him at the time.

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Theatre Duologues - Two-handed Presentations

By John Cairney

'Mr and Mrs RLS'

Stevenson and his stormy courtship and marriage with Fanny Vandergrift Osborne.

'Life is a Way of Golf'

An entertainment based on the world's most popular game given away by the Scots.

'A Wilde Fancy'

Another side of a great writer and his family before he was incarcerated.

'The Scotland Story

An exciting trip through Scotland's rowdy history with songs and stories.

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By Alannah O'Sullivan

'Dorothy Parker and Friend'

A wicked wit shares a Manhattan office with her male friend who is a humourist.

'Dear Aunt Jane'

The delightful Jane Austen explains herself - mischievously - to her dull nephew.

'Shakespeare's Wooings'

The best of the Bard's love scenes with the boring bits missed out.

'Famous Love Letters'

All the world loves a lover but the lover is not always loved where he or she loves.

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