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We’re back!

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

In 2019 award-winning Firebrand collaborated with writer Rob Robertson to premiere our

acclaimed 5***** production of Bill McLaren: The Voice of Rugby to sold-out audiences at Heart of Hawick, under Richard Baron’s direction.

Now, in response to the difficult times we’re all enduring, we have used Bill’s previously

unpublished diaries, letters and poems, to create an original new romantic drama about an unknown period of the sporting icon’s young life which has extraordinary historical and

contemporary relevance.

Set in 1948, Bill McLaren: Fighting the Enemy is the untold story of demobbed war hero Bill McLaren’s inspirational battle with tuberculosis, an airborne disease known as the “captain of the men of death”, and the fascinating links to fellow-sufferer George Orwell and the creation in a Scottish sanatorium of one of the most famous and influential novels of all time, 1984.

Conceived as a “radio play for the stage” and spiced with humour, science and nostalgic song, Firebrand’s imaginative new drama will remind us of the galvanising qualities of hope, courage, creativity and human resilience, while telling the passionate love story of Bill and girlfriend Bette Hill that helped shape the Man behind the legendary Voice.

Generously supported by Live Borders and The Bill McLaren Foundation, and again directed by Richard, Bill McLaren: Fighting the Enemy will play for four performances at Heart of Hawick on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th November at 2.30pm and 7pm. Tickets from

More news soon!

Ellie, Richard and Susan x

The critics on Bill McLaren: The Voice of Rugby:

“Telling the life story of such a national treasure is a daunting prospect but Firebrand have shown themselves more than up to the task.” (5* Mark Palmer, Sunday Times)

“An extremely emotional and entertaining night. A 5 star show.” (@StuartCameronTV)

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