Tam's Tall Tales

- Robert Burns the Musical

Robert Burns

Robert Burns the Musical

Pardon my ignoarance, but I never new that the 'Thriller' star Micheal Jackson was a Burns fan and collaborated on a musical based on the poet's life.

The show, which was devised by Jackson and the producer David Gest, came about in the 1990s and now might become a permanent tourist attraction in Edinburgh. Graphic of Michael Jackson © Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons

Rock Academy, a performing arts college in Lossiemouth, Moray, believes that its show is tailor-made for Edinburgh's tourism market and should run for eight months of the year. See Robet Burns the Musical.

A campaign entitled For More Than Just One Day has been started by the college to help the musical to find a permanent home. If that proves to be a success, the organisers plan to take the show abroad in the summer to avoid clashing with the Fringe.

Tish Tindall, the show's creator, said that the drive to allow the musical to be resident in the city all year round had secured support from many figures in the hotel and tourism industries, including the Scotsman Hotel and Lothian Buses.

"We really feel that the musical is tailormade for Edinburgh," she said. "That's what the campaign is about. When I started writing the musical I couldn't believe that I, as a Scottish woman, didn't know enough about Burns. Although we bring Burns out on January 25, I really felt that we should be thinking of and reading the words of the poet for more than simply one day a year.

"I would ideally like to see the musical on in Edinburgh in the same way a Broadway feature would appear, for a substantial run.

"Now we really need people to get behind the campaign. There have been brilliant vibes about the musical from a variety of parties, especially the hotel sector in Edinburgh."

The premise for Robert Burns The Musical was born in 1993 when Michael Jackson surprised Gest, a friend from childhood, with access to his home studio to put the poetry of Burns to music. Both were said to have been lifelong fans of Burns' work.

Gest said last year: "Michael and I as kids used to go around antique bookstores and buy everything we could on Burns. We were fascinated by the words of his poetry - it was so enticing to read these brilliant lyrics."

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
May 2014

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