Producer David Gest, once married to Liza Minnelli, has
pulled out of the world premiere of a new musical dedicated to the life of
Burns The Musical”, which puts a modern spin on the Bard’s life, is due to have
its premiere at the Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen, on Burn’s Night (January 25). Mr.
Gest was due to appear in the show, in a small cameo role as Tam O’ Shanter.
However, due to conflicting commitments, he will now be unable to appear in the
The musical rooted in the north-east is being performed
by Lossiemouth-based Rock Academy..”
Burns was harassed on his death bed by a tailor who insisted on payment for a
military uniform, forcing the poet to beg friends to pay the bill rather than
leave his family in debt according to a new book.
Scotland’s national bard had reluctantly joined the
Royal Dumfries Volunteers in 1795 after war had broken out between Britain and
France in order to secure his job as an excise man and camouflage his radical
political views, which at the time could have led to imprisonment or
transportation to Australia.
The position did not pay but each member was still
required to be kitted out in a fancy uniform which consisted of a blue coat,
with red cape and cuffs with gilt buttons on which was engraved the letters
“R.D.V”. Unable to pay for the uniform Burns was provided the clothes on credit
but when the tailor, David Williamson, learned in July 1796 that the poet was
dying he quickly presented him with the bill. The new book In These Times:
Living in Britain through
Napoleon’s War, 1793-1815 by Jenny Uglow reports: “Burns flew into a
rage, humiliated at having to beg the sum from
The book also revealed the national bard’s last wishes
were ignored. Burns had asked that the Dumfries Volunteers not fire over his
grave as was tradition. He said: “don’t let the aukward squad fire over me?” Yet
on 25 July 1796 soldiers in uniform lined the streets and three volleys were
fired over his coffin.
Yesterday Uglow explained: “Burns joined because he
needed to look patriotic, and stand alongside the authorities in the town, to be
sure of keeping his job – there was much hostility towards radicals in the early
1790s, with a fierce crackdown on anyone who spoke out against the government.
But he kept his radical views in private, as we can see from his
“He didn’t want the ‘aukward squad’ to fire over his
grave, largely because he had just had a row over the payment for his expensive
volunteer uniform. But also, perhaps, he didn’t want to support the authorities
and the war in death?”
believes the Napoleonic campaigns helped make Scotland’s
reputation as a fighting nation: “The Highland regiments won great acclaim in
Egypt and in all campaigns up to Waterloo, and became national heroes,” she
said. She also says Scotland was changed by the experience: “It was affected,
like the rest of the nation, by the drain of manpower, food shortages and the
trade blockades, but particularly by the Highland clearances in the latter years
of the war. The perception of the nation changed, largely through the work of
Burns Cottage gift wrapped
birthplace of Robert Burns in Ayrshire is to be wrapped up in a big red bow as
part of this year’s events to mark his 256th birthday. The
cottage where Scotland’s Bard was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, is being adorned
for the Big Burns Birthday Bash, in events held over 24 and 25
A series of events are scheduled for the Alloway 1759
festival which celebrates all things Burns and takes place over the weekend
closest to his 256th birthday. Events run by the National Trust for Scotland,
include a ceilidh and a “haggis pass”.
Event organiser Stuart Cochrane said today: “The Robert
Burns Birthplace Museum has got Burns’ birthday all wrapped up, so come and
celebrate the bard’s 256th birthday with us. We’ve put together our biggest
party programme ever, at the very spot where the great man was born.”
Along with the Auld Kirk and Brig o’ Doon, the cottage
where Burns was born has been combined with the Burns Monument and the new
award-winning museum building to form the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
Since opening to the public in December 2010, the museum
has welcomed more than a million visitors and has won a series of accolades
including being selected as a finalist for the prestigious Art Fund prize,
securing a five star rating from
Salmon Fishing Season
The salmon fishing
season has been declared open as dozens of anglers lined the banks of the River
ceremonies were held to mark the first flies being cast on stretches of the
A large crowd of
anglers and local residents gathered at the Kenmore Hotel in Perthshire before a
pipe band led them to the water’s edge where they waited for the season to be
A dram was poured
into the river by Liz Grant, provost of Perth and Kinross, before the fishing
got under way. The pouring of whisky is a symbolic gesture to keep the salmon
“in good health”.
famous dog was honoured with a special ceremony on Wednesday 14 January.
It’s 143 years since the death of Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal terrier
known for guarding his master’s grave for 14
A Bobby lookalike, Maggie the Cairn terrier, was due to
attend the commemoration, hosted by Depute Lord Provost Deidre Brock, which also
included pupils from George Heriot’s laying flowers on the grave and Tribute to
Greyfriars Bobby played on bagpipes by Jennifer Hutcheon.