Scotland: Rabbie Burns the Musical is off to Broadway


Should be “Rabbie Burns” But ‘Robert’?

Robert Burns born 25 January 1759, died 21 July 1796. Scotland’s favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard, as we know here was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

The very table Rabbie wrote on in the Museum

The very table Rabbie wrote on in the Museum

Got most of that from a website but this is brilliant news for Scotland and Poetry! I grew up with a Grandparent and other older people speaking Rabbie tongue, quoting him and spoke like him often, an era of people who had the older Scottish tongue or a liking for all things older Scottish, same as any old Lady who is proud of where she lives on Earth and her tradition and culture. This is about a man born in Ayr, Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland. He became a global superstar now more so with more tourism and of course the internet, also any poet on Earth worth their salt know’s ‘Rabbie Burns’, in 1886 he borrowed a horse and set out for a life in the big city of Edinburgh, yeah same City as I live 😀 All Edinburgh kids know and can speak some poems, I am now 40 ish years old and can quote a few but my 6 year old Daughter can quote more as she is 2 years into school on the back of 2 years in nursery. Changed days from Rabbie’s for sure!! 😀 😀

~~Via: ~~


IT a 21st century retelling of the story of Scotland’s most famous poet, starring a cast of unknown home-grown actors. Now Robert Burns The Musical has been lined up to play Broadway, the world’s biggest stage.

The musical is written and directed by Scot Tish Tindall and made its world premiere in Aberdeen in January this year. An international tour will kick off with performances in Edinburgh this September, before heading to New York and Los Angeles as well as possible dates in China.

The journey started from a conversation Tindall had with Hollywood producer David Gest at a casino in Leeds. Tindall said: “I was talking to David Gest about Burns and the work he had done with Michael Jackson. He thought it would be good to renew it, to breathe new life into it.” Gest who is famous for, among other things, his marriage to Liza Minelli and his appearance in 2006’s TV reality show ‘I’m a celebrity…Get me out of here!’ grew up as a close friend of late pop star Jackson.

In the 90s he and Jackson produced and recorded twelve songs written by Burns which had been set to accompany a musical under the direction of Hollywood legends Gene Kelly and Anthony Perkins. Unfortunately before the project got underway, both men died and the musical never took off. Now, nearly two decades later, Tindall has rewritten a contemporary version of the musical including themes based on Simon Cowell’s X-factor and Michael Jackson’s hit Thriller – using Tam O’Shanter as inspiration.

The modern musical is due to perform at Edinburgh’s Church Hill Theatre in September before taking to the stage just off New York’s Broadway followed by dates in Los Angeles. There are also rumours of possible performances in China thanks to the country’s somewhat mysterious connection to Auld Lang Syne. The 1940 film “Waterloo Bridge”, in which the song is played, was hugely popular in post-war China and has since become something of a classic. The song has been used widely to teach English and has its own Chinese language adaptation.

However despite international acclaim and the glitz and glamour that performing in New York will bring, the play has maintained its original cast of actors, all of whom were trained at Tindall’s Rock Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA) in Lossiemouth. The cast which includes twenty year old Luke Cockram as Burns, have all been trained at RAPA with the majority having come through an apprenticeship. This remarkable opportunity will take her young cast to what is arguably the world’s biggest stage.Tindall said bestowing practical skills upon people to make them employable was a cornerstone of the apprenticeship scheme at RAPA and her educational philosophy

“We hope that each individual who trains with us can be employed at the end of their training,” she said. “If that is by us that is brilliant and if it is by another play, that’s brilliant too. “There has to be another route for talent that isn’t all about overnight success. It can’t be all about Simon Cowell – not to take away from him – but we want to give young people pride in a craft that they have honed and can go out and use.” Tindall is keen on emphasising that whilst the musical is a working model of a successful education into work scheme, it is also about turning people on to Burns’ work and his relevance to everyday life.

“Burns’ messages are universal, it’s not well known but Abraham Lincoln had three busts in his home of writers who he drew on for inspiration; Dickens, Shakespeare and Burns.” “We’re trying to get his message out to a wider audience and hope to spark people’s imaginations that hopefully leads them to go out and find out more about the man.”

She added it was perfect timing that the play would be staged in New York during Tartan Week, an annual event which is held to promote all things Scottish. “We’re selling Scotland and we’re selling the craftsmanship of the Scottish people,” she said. But she said she was also trying to get away from the ‘tartan and shortbread’ version of Scotland. “What we’re trying to do is to get away from the Brigadoon vision of Scotland and bring it into the modern day.” she said. “The musical is a 21st century story about an 18th century genius.”

~~End Story~~

Brilliant Article here on Rabbie:

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