MacGregor's Trap - The Show
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Although this page is in the "On Record" section of Spence Music, it was actually a stage musical performed in 1995.
Brian originally wrote both the words and lyrics for a historical musical, back in 1991. The musical was based on Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" and is the tale of a love triangle set in 18th century Edinburgh's Grassmarket area. The main characters are David, Jean, Robbie (Jean's true love), and the evil MacGregor, all who battle through two decades of romance, poverty and war.
Back in 1991 Brian had created the musical as an album and the plan was for it to be performed on stage soon after. However, this plan took a number of years before it came to fruition.
The Edinburgh production was directed and choreographed by Dominic Marshall, who trained at Rambert School of Ballet, performing in many lead roles before turning to choreography. Dominic also wrote an exclusive article for Spence Music on how he got involved with MacGregor's Trap, which can be found through the articles page or by clicking here. The Making of The Trap.
Also within Dominic's article are four photographs from the rehersals. Worth a look on their own. The images here are also from the rehersals, taken by Stuart Spence, who did the sound (and is also Brian's brother).
When the show was eventually performed at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival, held in August, it featured a number of Brian's friends plus a former pop icon Chesney Hawkes. He joined the cast after the initial show had opened and had chosen to stay with the production company despite other offers. Chesney said about about the show "I don't normally like musicals but it was great. It was a rock musical like Tommy and felt like a good fun thing to do."
The cast is shown below.
The cast from left to right: David Balfour (Chesney Hawkes), Catriona (Joanne Ramsay), Mary (Debbie McKenna), boy (Chloe Chisholm), MacGregor (Colin Chisholm) and Robbie Balfour (Brian Spence).
The album of MacGregor's Trap, created in 1991, was released on cassette tape format was available at the event. However, availability of the album is minimal, therefore, if you come across a copy you should consider it a rare find. For more information about the album either click on the navigation bar link or here. MacGregor's Trap Album link.
The table below shows how the various roles in MacGregor's Trap vary between the two versions.
In January 2002 What's On Stage reported that theatre producer Bill Kenwright was behind a new musical - a big-budget musical similar to Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables". It was actually "MacGregor's Trap".
Kenwright and the experienced stage director Bob Thomson, whose credits include Willy Russell's "Blood Brothers", both hoped to premiere the show, which features a cast of 15, in Edinburgh during 2002 before moving it to the West End (London).
The image on this page is photograph of Edinburgh's Grassmarket area, which I thought you might be interested in viewing.
The article by the Sunday Herald provides more than the average article and worth a read. Just click on the link. - Article
More recently, 16th March 2002, Naoki Sawada let me know that Brian has recently finished working on an acoustic Celtic-rock album version of MacGregor's Trap.
Last time I spoke to Brian about this project (mid 2004) he told me that he was planning on doing something with the project again.
In April 2005 a web page was created reviewing the 1995 show. The page on One 4 Review web site, which reviews Edinburgh Fringe shows, had a review and photographs from the production. The website has some great pictures to, so why not go and visit. Link to the MacGregor's Trap review
Page Last Updated: 4th March 2010
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