City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Kidnapped: RL Stevenson's Ripping Adventure Yarn Live


By Lindsay Corr - Posted on 14 May 2015

Billy Mack and John Winchester - Kidnapped: When Kilts Were Banned

Seven years after its original inception, Donald Smith’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Scottish novel returns to the Scottish Storytelling Centre for two performances.

Smith’s script was originally written for the One Book - One Edinburgh campaign organised by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature in 2008, and it is an entertaining, fast-paced romp through one of Scotland’s greatest fictional stories.

Presented with wit and pathos, this high octane performance delivers adventures in friendship, falling out and growing up to a new generation as Donald Smith explains:

"The verve and pace, the sheer poetry of Kidnapped switches people on immediately, even if they’ve never engaged with RL Stevenson, and it’s presented in a humorous way to make it accessible to older children and young people.

"Bottom line is it appeals because it is a fantastic story involving Highland and lowland history. It is about the repression of Highland culture – the banning of the kilt, the pipes and the language – and is a mammoth tale that easily holds the attention of an audience."

Gavin Paul – who acted in the original production – now takes the reigns as director with Billy Mack and John Winchester enjoying the action of switching between characters and he has been enjoying bringing it back for performance as he states:

"It’s been a real pleasure to bring Kidnapped: When Kilts Were Banned back to the stage after great response first time.

"It’s a fantastic story that appeals to young and old alike, and with Donald Smith’s action packed script plus two great storytelling performances in Billy and John. Hopefully everybody can enjoy it as much as I have."

Set in 1751, the story of Kidnapped is the epic adventure of David Balfour, a 17-year-old boy who, in setting out to find his uncle, Ebenezer, never dreamed that there was a fortune that was rightly his, that he would narrowly escape being murdered and that he would be kidnapped but saved from a life of slavery.

Meeting with the Jacobite fugitive Alan Breck Stewart, and shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland, they witness the murder of Colin Campbell, "the Red Fox", and are forced to flee across Scotland to Edinburgh before David can claim his rightful inheritance.

Kidnapped: When Kilts Were Banned is being performed at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Friday 15 May at 7pm and Saturday 16 May at 2.30pm