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COMING UP in 2023 






From Get Your Coats On.

Review by Dan Lentell:

posted in 5*EdFestivals 2023

Rated: Nae Bad by Dan Lentell

“Despite many nettle dangers, the Dunn [sic ] Players

have stretched every fibre of their artistic being and plucked a flower – success.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Nae Bad)

There is a grandeur about Scotland and Scottish life that is nought to do with the scenery. It comes from an ancient nobility of character and an elegant refinement of living. Like Livy’s Romans of the ancient Republic, the Scots of yesteryear were superior beings contrasted with their dowdier, less upstanding descendants who are but inheritors and not surpassers. It was those folk to be found in the North British baronial halls and urban drawing rooms of the 18th and early 19th centuries who built so much of what we now appreciate to be Scotland. We petty men walk under their huge legacy and peep about. It is no mean ambition to recreate their world as it was at the ‘45, to breathe life into characters as dynamic as Charles Edward Stuart, Butcher Cumberland, and Colonel Anne Mackintosh. Despite many nettle dangers, the Dunn Players have stretched every fibre of their artistic being and plucked a flower – success.

A cast of eleven in EdFringe terms is a cast of thousands. Together, marshalled under the direction of Kevin Purvis and under the watchful eye of James Shirreff as prompt, they deliver a spectacle as intimate as if Charles Martin Hardie had painted it and as lyrical as if Eddi Reader sang it. The true (and truly astonishing) story of Anne Mackintosh is of a heroine of that rising which won immortality for Bonnie Prince Charlie, if not the restored crown he sought. Colonel Anne defied her husband, the laird of Mackintosh, to raise and lead troops for the Jacobites. The neglect of Anne’s memory is a travesty only now being put right. This production is part of the campaign to provide a fitting memorial to Anne in Leith where even her grave is now lost. Considered alongside a similar movement to erect a statue honouring Dr Elsie Inglis, it seems Auld Reekie is finally doing something about the dearth of monuments honouring the great women of Scottish life. Barring the occasional fluffing of author David Shirreff’s excellent lines, this play is a strong sure step in the right direction.

As Colonel Anne, Carol Robson is the perfect balance of strident and seductive. She commands the stage as Boudiccea might have commanded a battlefield. Her delivery is a claymore thrust into the pomp and circumstance of the men she must outmanoeuvre. Not the least of them is Jerry Ponder as Lord Loudoun. Offstage Ponder, I have no doubt, is a fine fellow. Onstage he so perfectly inhabits the bumptious British Commander in the North that I find myself hoping a chandelier falls on him.

Peter Lerpiniere as Anne’s husband is another great balancing act. Neither too meek nor too mild. A man of peace in a time of war. As his mother, Lady Mackintosh, Fiona Drewery adds fierce gravity to what might otherwise be mistaken for a blousey costume drama. Genny Dixon, as love rival Elizabeth Campbell, is the ideal foil to Robson. Their chemistry is the spring in the step which keeps the drama on a human scale. Caught between them is Richard Jones as Alasair MacGillivray. Jones does not share much more time and space with Lerpiniere than Byron did with Foscolo, but the two big beasts circling one another make the jungle a more interesting patch of earth.

The humanising effect of Graham Bryans, as Anne’s blacksmith, as well as the young chap playing Mackintosh’s nephew, serve to contextualise the drama as an earthshaking event making ordinary folk tremble. Given the mighty fine performances of both Chris Drewery, as Cumberland, and John McEwen, as the Prince, there is a need for honest, ordinary folk to offset the great men of history being portrayed with such dash and style, vim and vinegar. But it’s the costumes, by Upper Circle Costume Hire in Kelso, which truly steal the show and make for an unmissable 80 minutes of spectacularly performed spectacle.

Come for a story which deserves to be told and retold till the rocks melt with the sun. Stay for performances which do more justice than Cumberland. Get your Justacorps on and go see this!                                             Dan Lentell

Duns Players presents:


September 27th - 29th, 2023

The Volunteer Hall, Duns.

Licensed bar.

Tickets: Adult £8, Concession £5.

Available online or on the door.

Lilies on the Land (210 × 260px) (55.562 × 68.792mm).jpg


By The Lion’s Part



Directed by Eloner Crawford

Performed as a radio play

Based on hundreds of letters and interviews with the original WW2 Land Girls:

When your clothes are full of mice, your boots full of slurry, or you don’t know how to stop the tractor you are driving, just laugh and get on with it.

Such was the philosophy of the ‘unsung’ heroes of Britain’s Women’s Land Army in WW2.  This play tells the poignant and often hilarious personal stories of four women who signed up determined to “do their bit” for King and Country.

Licensed bar. Tickets £8/£5 conc.

Available online, on the door or from Nairns (The Post Office),

Duns Market Square.



By Richard Bean
Based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni


Directors: Peter Lerpiniere

and Karen Thomas

Set in Brighton in the 1960s, this hilarious comedy is a classic tale of mistaken identity. The main character, Francis Henshall (failed skiffle band member with a penchant for food, women and money), is employed as minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small-time East End hood, but Roscoe is really his sister Rachel, posing as her own dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers.

Greedy Francis also takes on a second job with Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be reunited with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart.

Let the mayhem begin!

Runtime 2hrs 30mins

Age suitability 14+. Tickets £10/£8 conc.

Interval, Licensed Bar

Duns Players presents:

ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS  by Richard Bean

Wednesday  8th - Saturday 11th November, 2023.

The Volunteer Hall, Duns.

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