A’body’s favourite family is heading to the theatres of Scotland this autumn.
The Broons – Maw, Paw, Daphne, Hen, the Bairn plus a guest appearance by Oor Wullie – are celebrating their 80th anniversary with a stage show.
The play will see the gang prepare for Maggie’s much-anticipated wedding, building on a storyline that appeared in the strip in 1977, before mysteriously disappearing before it had a chance to go to print.
Playwright Rob Drummond is the man tasked with turning the goings-on of 10 Glebe Street into a two-hour show.
He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was asked if I wanted to write a Broons play – what an honour!
“It’s so iconic – the family are almost like Scottish royalty. Being asked to do the show is important and it’s certainly quite daunting.”
The research for the play took Rob right back to 1936 where he dusted off some early editions of the comic strip for inspiration.
“I jumped into the world of the Broons,” he said. “I looked at some of the first annuals to be published and just read from there to try and work out what the characters sounded like, who they were and how they fitted into the family. I tried to become a Broons expert in a short amount of time.’’
Rob’s version of the Broons will be much more than a pantomime of the familiar cartoon strips.
He explained: “I wouldn’t say that it is a panto, no. It’s a comedy, but it’s also got a feel-good vibe at its heart. Every story of the Broons from the beginning centred around a family that stuck together no matter what, and I know how important it is to convey that same message on stage.”
“They are a family that’s stayed the same for 80 years. There’s something in there that’s more than just a few laughs.”
So what can the audience expect?
“I didn’t want to do anything too out-there with the story line – I wanted to keep it as true as I could to the Broons comic strip that we all know and love,” Rob continued. “I wanted to keep it completely loyal rather than trying to do anything too smart. There’s going to be loads of live music in it, too.”
“What has stayed the same is the qualities of the family. Those qualities are Scottish through and through – not taking yourself too seriously, family being a top priority and having a laugh when things get tough.
“Everybody knows a family like the Broons – or else they are that family!” Rob laughed.
At the time of going to print, casting is still under way and Rob is as keen as everyone else to know who will be chosen to recreate the characters.
“That is somebody else’s job to match the characters with the actors – my job is just to write the script. But I am curious to who will be playing who.
“I am under huge pressure to get this right. I’m stuck between excited and terrified! It’s a good kind of fear though. And I hope that the audience thoroughly enjoys.”
Can Maggie really, finally be getting married? Return to Glebe Street, the But an’ Ben, and the Kirk to find out!
∙ The Broons appear at Perth Concert Hall (Sept 27-Oct 1), Inverness Eden Court (Oct 3-5), Kirkcaldy Adam Smith Theatre (Oct 6-8), Stirling MacRobert Arts Centre (Oct 13-15) Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre (Oct 17-22), Ayr Gaiety Theatre (Oct 24-26), Dundee Gardyne Theatre (Oct 27-29), Edinburgh King’s Theatre (Nov 1-5) and Glasgow King’s Theatre (Nov 7-12).
For tickets, visit https://www.selladoor.com.