Fringe gives Duns Players a 5-star review

Duns Players have captivated audiences at the Fringe Festival.Duns Players have captivated audiences at the Fringe Festival.
Duns Players have captivated audiences at the Fringe Festival.
Colonel Anne – Jacobite Heroine by David Shirreff and performed by Duns Players in their first foray at the Edinburgh Fringe has opened to almost full houses, enthusiastic audiences, and a Five Star review.​

Dubbed “an unmissable 80 minutes of spectacularly performed spectacle”, the local theatre troupe bring to life, Colonel Anne, the forgotten Jacobite heroine Colonel Anne Mackintosh. She raised the Clan Chattan regiment for Bonnie Prince Charlie in defiance of her husband Clan Chief Angus Mackintosh who was fighting for the Hanoverians. Colonel Anne saved the Prince’s life at the Rout of Moy, was imprisoned in Inverness Castle after the Battle of Culloden, avoided being hanged for treason against the Crown by Butcher Cumberland and was released into her husband’s custody.

Two years later, she and her husband Angus were guests of honour at the Duke of Cumberland’s ball in London where she famously danced with her old enemy the Duke to a Jacobite tune.

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As one audience member said after the performance: “It’s a cracking story about an amazing lady which deserves a wider audience”.

Performers in full swing.Performers in full swing.
Performers in full swing.

John McEwen, Chair of Duns Players commented: "Duns Players is bursting with pride at the amazing success so far of David Shirreff’s thrilling play, Colonel Anne: Jacobite Heroine, co-produced by David’s cousin, James Shirreff, and directed with aplomb by Kevin Purvis.

"Playing in a central location to almost full houses is a great excitement for the cast of all ages bringing a Duns Players show to the Festival for the first time ever. The Duns Players troupe is relishing the experience - and will be back!”

Playwright David Shirreff has been thrilled to help bring a thoroughly Scottish play to the Edinburgh Fringe and through it rediscover his Scottish roots. “The reception has been great. I think it proves that you can bring a big cast to the Fringe without taking out a second mortgage. I’m so grateful to Duns Players for their hard work, talent and sheer enthusiasm.”

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One of the many reviews says: “A superbly acted production with a pacy script, it highlights dilemmas of love and loyalty against the turbulent background of the 1745 Rising. Highly recommended and congratulations to the Duns Players for such a polished effort.”

Co-Producer James Shirreff adds: “We have had fantastic support from folk in Duns and Berwickshire who have made the trip to Edinburgh to see the play, and we are so grateful to all the people in Duns who have helped with the production. It has been a truly community effort”.

And the final word goes to the Fringe reviewer who says: “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 (coat worn by men in the 18th century) and go and see this!”