Robert Burns: Enjoy a dram as lassies reply to the Bard in new show premiering in Edinburgh

Tam O’Shanter, Tales & Whiskey comes to Edinburgh, performed by Fiona Herbert, Shian Denovan and Andy Dickinson. Pic by: Jim Devine

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Imbued with a feel for the darker side of ​a Capital​ so ​frequently synonymous with lofty ambition, big airy buildings and green open spaces​,​ Tam O’Shanter, Tales & Whiskey ​is a show that ​challenges audience expectation ​s with two of the tales recounted boasting ​an intentionally ‘lassies fee​l’ to counterpoint​ the laddishness of ​Burns’ works.​

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Andy Dickinson, Artistic Director ​of Stolen Elephant Theater Company, the show’s producers, sa​ys,​ “After a slight delay with dates due to you know what, we are over the moon to be bringing Tam O’Shanter, Tales ​and Whiskey to Edinburgh this spring.

Writer and performer Andy Dickinson Pic by: Jim Devine

“Featuring arguably Scotland’s most famous lad, the one and only Rabbie Burns, with ​two​ ​lassies ​replies in the ​t​ales​,​ audiences can expect lots of laughs and a little bit of the scary stuff, with a wee nip of the water of life to help take the edge off.”

Tam O’Shanter, Tales ​&​ Whiskey premieres on Friday​,​ April​ 15, at the ​Assembly Roxy​, Roxburgh Place, returning on the two following Fridays, April 22 ​and​ 29​. A contemporary take on the ​G​othic Edinburgh of Rabbie Burns, it combines Scottish folklore, iconic poetry and live music, all washed down with a wee dram of whiskey.

T​he show is the brainchild of Dickinson ​and ​features​ three of the​ bards​ most famous Gothic poems, two reworked traditional Scottish folk tales, some Burns​’​ ballads, and a dram of one of Scotland’s finest single malts.

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Shian Denovan, award-winning actress who has worked across film, TV and theater. Pic by: Jim Devine

The works featured are Death and Dr Hornbook, which tells of an unexpected run-in with Death out on a barren moor, Address to the De’il, an out and out rant at the devil himself, and, of course, Tam O’ Shanter, the undoubted masterpiece of Scotland’s national poet.

Performed by Fiona Herbert, an award-winning storyteller, ​and ​Shian Denovan, an award-winning actress who has worked across film, TV and theater​ and can currently be seen playing​ Iris Morgan in Channel 4 TV series Murder In The Carpark ​,​ streaming on All4, the cast is completed by writer and performer Dickinson himself.

Audiences will also enjoy some toe-tapping courtesy tunes and The Court Of Equity, an ensemble formed to celebrate Burns’ songs and comprising Douglas McQueen Hunter and Douglas Caird, best known as members of folk rock band, The Picts. The Court of Equity focuses on the works of Robert Burns, along with other well-known traditional music and songs. They have released two volumes of his songs and poems by him. The band’s unique musical style lends the adaptability of Scotland’s Bard.

Aimed at Burns’ fans old and new, Tam O’Shanter, Tales ​and​ Whiskey ​aims to ​allow​ ​audiences to engage with the bard’s work and the traditions around Scottish folk stories and the telling of tales in a new and dynamic way​.​

Fiona Herbert, award-winning storyteller widely accepted as one of Scotland’s finest Pic by: Jim Devine

Further details and tickets, priced £15 (£12 concessions), for Tam O’Shanter, Tales ​and​ Whiskey at the Assembly Roxy are now on sale here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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