Legendary author Alexander McCall Smith's groundbreaking 44, Scotland Street series has been adapted for the stage for the very first time as part of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. C Venues (C SoCo Studio 2A), Chambers Street, will host Andy Jordan Productions' large-scale, yet intimate, promenade production of The World According to Bertie, the fourth installment of the popular series that delves into the recognisable lives of a group of Edinburgh New Town inhabitants, from Thursday 4 to Monday 29 August.
The World Premiere of The World According to Bertie, first serialised in The Scotsman, promises an unforgettable evening in the company of young Bertie as he struggles to escape his yoga lessons and pink bedroom, his perfectionist and overbearing mum Irene, raffish painter Angus whose dog Cyril is under threat, and McCall Smith's many other colourful characters. Bertie dreams of fried Mars Bars and having a dog while his mother insists on psychoanalysis. Everyone is seeking peace of mind and, above all, love.
This lively production, adapted for the stage by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns (Patriot Act, Edinburgh Fringe, 2008) is directed by Warren Hooper (director of over 180 shows and Artistic and Associate Director of five UK theatres), immerses its audience (of only fifty people per performance) in an entertaining and poignant cavalcade of Edinburgh life.
The ensemble cast of actors and musicians bring to life the many memorable characters that McCall Smith so famously created with such humour and humanity for the 44, Scotland Street series. Insufferably handsome Bruce, gorgeous heiress Julia, indecisive Pat, the eminent Dr Fairbairn, bossy Domenica, bighearted Big Lou and hopeless romantic Matthew all make an appearance.
The play is very true to the novel, telling the stories of the major characters exactly as McCall Smith has them in his book. Linking the various stories, including Bertie's, are the themes of friendship and love. Under its bright and sparkling surface, the play raises deep moral issues. Most central of these is how best to raise one's children in a very demanding and confusing world. And where can deep friendship, enduring love, and some degree of happiness, be found in the complex world of bustle and conflicting relations we live in. The deep humanism in McCall's Smith's story is based on the belief that life is at one and the same time ordinary and precious, and that these two truths are intimately connected.
The World Premiere of The World According to Bertie
Adapted from Alexander McCall Smith's novel
by Lydia Bruce & Sandy Burns
Directed by Warren Hooper
Produced by Andy Jordan
Venue: studio 2a, C SoCo (venue 348), at CVenues, Adam House, Chambers Street, EH1 1HR
Dates: 4 – 29 Aug (not 15)
2 performances per day – 19:20 and 21:00 (1hr20)
Ticket Prices: £12.50-£10.50 (£10.50-£8.50)
Box Office: http://www.CtheFestival.com
Fringe Box Office: +44 (0)131 226 0000 / http://www.edfringe.com
Paddy Cuthbert – Podge Publicity – T: 07968 699636 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
Sandy Burns and Lydia Bruce
The World According to Bertie was co-adapted by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns. Their play The Patriot Act was a hit at the 2008 Festival Fringe, where it won virtually unanimous five star ratings, including from The Scotsman, and garnered a best actor nomination. The Scotsman reviewer called the play “a subtle, believable and genuinely thought-provoking piece of theatre.”
The World According to Bertie is directed by Warren Hooper, a hugely experienced theatre director of over 180 shows and former Artistic and Associate Director of five UK theatres. He wrote, produced, and directed the feature film Out of the Shadows, starring Phyllis Logan and Peter Guinness, which has won seven prizes at Film Festivals around the world, including Best Direction at the Cine de Barcelona.
A leading director and producer of new writing in UK theatre and radio, winner of two 'Scotsman' Fringe First Awards, producer/director of 93 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and responsible for introducing to Edinburgh numerous comedians, writers and actors who are now household names.