Swashbuckling swagger mixed with vibrant pop music and a colourful cast was lapped up at the opening night of classic tale Kidnapped.
It was laughter and applause all the way for the National Theatre of Scotland rom-com adventure based on the famous 1800s book by author Robert Louis Stevenson.
All aboard for a UK tour, the beautiful waterside Beacon Theatre in Greenock was chosen to set sail with this wonderfully written stage show, adapted from the book by writers Isobel McArthur and Michael John McCarthy.
When McArthur and McCarthy were asked to adapt a novel for stage, they chose Kidnapped because it is the most Scottish of tales and the new version certainly nods to this with the choice of inspired local banter, music from such greats as fellow countrymen, The Eurythmics and tartan costumes.
It’s full of fun, punchy one liners and ear popping music and even Scottish favourite Tunnocks caramel wafers are thrown in for the very modern production.
With a lively cast and a colourful set (the wheel on sheep were fabulous!), the show is really worth a peek as 18th century romance meets 20th century music.
Staying true to Stevenson’s version, the story starts with newly orphaned 19-year-old David (Davie) Balfour, who has never left home, had a kiss or fired a gun, as he heads to claim his family fortune.
Only armed with a hand drawn map, Protestant Whig Davie, played with passion by Ryan J MacKay, meets up with his evil uncle Ebenezer (Fatima Jawara), who is intent on keeping his hands on the money.
But before Davie can confront his uncle, cabin boy Ransome (Issac Savage) summons Ebenezer to a sailing vessel and soon Davie is aboard and “kidnapped”. Subjected to an uneasy time amongst pirates, my favourite being Bloody Karen (Christina Gordon), so named to “give her some edge”, Davie ponders his next move.
During the sail, a nearby boat runs aground and its sole survivor and Jacobite rebel Alan Breck Stewart (the impressive Malcolm Cumming) joins Davie on board his brig and the two team up, with the modern version turning the friendship up a notch as the duo enjoy a passionate romance.
Another aside from the original version sees the author’s wife Frances, (Kim Ismay, who has a fine singing voice) an American writer, take on the role as a spirit guide to the protagonist.
Christina Gordon, Danielle Jam, Grant O’ Rourke and David Rankine make up the talented ensemble who not only act with style, but show off their musical talents with an electric guitar, double bass and the drums, leaving the audience awash with applause for a really brilliant show.
Kidnapped tours Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Perth, before heading south to Newcastle and Brighton. For more information on dates and ticket prices and availability (including fiver theatre in (Scotland), please visit: www.nationaltheatrescotland.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs by Mihaela Bodlovic
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