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Bill McLaren: The Voice of Rugby

by Rob Robertson in collaboration with Firebrand 

September 2019 

Bill McLaren                                         Crawford Logan

Bette McLaren                                     Helen Logan

Gregor Lawson/Young Bill                  Sandy Batchelor


Director                                                 Richard Baron

Designer                                               Edward Lipscomb

Lighting Designer                                Wayne Dowdeswell

AV Designer                                         Jamie MacDonald 

Sound Designer                                   Jon Beales


Technical/Production Manager          Pieter Macmillan

Stage Manager                                     Verity Sinclair


Supported by Creative Scotland

Based on an original script by rugby journalist Rob Robertson, Firebrand employed its script development skills, three talented actors and a range of storytelling techniques, including Jamie MacDonald’s superb video projection, to create a gripping, moving and humorous exploration of the man behind the famous rugby commentator’s voice. The showcase production played to standing ovations and six sold-out performances at Heart of Hawick, McLaren’s home town, and celebrated the romantic love story at the heart of an extraordinary life which involved horrific wartime experiences at the battle of Monte Cassino, his personal battle with tuberculosis in his mid-20s and the lifelong passion for his sport and its values which brought him international fame and worldwide popular affection. 

“Telling the life story of such a national treasure is a daunting prospect, but Firebrand and Rob Robertson have shown themselves more than up to the task.”  (Mark Palmer, ***** The Sunday Times)

“Funny, sad and uplifting…this wonderful play explores the challenges and tragedies that shaped him. It is a story that deserves a wider telling.” (Alasdair Reid, ***** The Times)


What the audience thought:


“Hope that this is just the beginning for the play…Whether a fan of Bill McLaren, or someone who just wants to see a brilliant story told on stage, you would not be disappointed. So good.” Rory Lawson (former Scotland captain and McLaren’s grandson) on Twitter


“Absolutely wonderful: so clever, raw, emotional, witty, thoughtful, sensitive and creative…Firebrand Theatre Company are phenomenal!” Lindsay Aitken on Twitter


“Just been to see this amazing play. The cast were superb.” Anne Molloy on Twitter


“A superb production…A very long standing ovation at the end and an extremely emotional and entertaining night. A 5 star show.” Stuart Cameron on Twitter


“Marvellous new play about Bill McLaren…most enjoyable insights into the rugby legend and his life.” Barbara Dickson on Twitter


“Honest, funny, heart-wrenching…If not yet booked to see this don't think twice. Bill would be proud.” David Ferguson on Twitter


“It was absolutely brilliant.” Sheena Graham on Twitter


“Huge congratulations for a superb production. Great humour to great pathos, with all stops between.” Big Blue on Twitter


“Wow, what a fantastic and emotional afternoon watching the play about the wonderful Bill McLaren. Brilliantly written, directed and cast.” Leah Graham on Twitter


“Did I hear correctly that Jim Telfer cried?” Rory Lawson on Twitter


Heart of Hawick, 10-13 September 2019

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