Sparks fly in Falkirk Tryst’s new Burns’ play

Tryst Theatre performing Spark of Celestial Fire about the life of Robert Burns, written by Kenneth N Ross. Brian Paterson plays Burns
Tryst Theatre performing Spark of Celestial Fire about the life of Robert Burns, written by Kenneth N Ross. Brian Paterson plays Burns

Falkirk’s Tryst Theatre will combine music, poetry and comedy when it premieres a new play about Robert Burns this weekend.

Sparks of Celestial Fire, by Kenneth N. Ross, is on in Alloa’s Coach House Theatre.

Beginning with Burns’ death and moving through scenes of his early life in Ayrshire to his incredible success as a writer, the play paints a vivid picture of Burns’ astonishing life.

And there’s an added bonus of live musical accompaniment from local musicians Ian Scott, Peter Davie and Robin Duncan, all members of the folk group Chapter Four.

Director Alan Clark said: “It’s a fun, moving and affectionate show which celebrates some of the highlights of Burns’ unique life in words and song.

“Burns really was an 18th century rock star! He was a one-man hit factory!”

Alan, from Larbert, is none other than writer Kenneth N Ross and he is delighted to finally be premiering a play that has been a long time in the making.

“I started it 20 years ago, put it in a cupboard, and forgot about it,” he said.

“Then a couple of years ago, I remembered about it. I brought it up to date and wrote the part of Burns specifically for Brian Paterson, who is wonderful in the role, and Jean Armour for my wife Carol Clark, who is also wonderful!”

In addition, nine narrators depict the poet’s short but tumultuous 37 years, while the musicians provide a fabulous soundtrack.

Local historian and musician Ian Scott initially became involved reading the script.

But, said Alan:” I knew I wanted to involve him because there were so many songs we could do.

“Ian, Peter and Robin bring so much to the show – they are really wonderful musicians, playing guitar, mandolin, flute and keyboards. They do a couple of solos and also accompany the cast.”

The play is a follow-up to Alan’s award-winning drama The Lockerbie Bomber.

A read-through for a Burns’ event in Behind the Wall’s Alehouse last year proved to the company this script also had potential and they set about rehearsing in earnest.

Sparks of Celestial Fire is on at Alloa’s Coach House Theatre this Saturday, Sunday and Monday night at 7.45pm.

Tickets, priced £7, are available from the Tryst Box Office on 01324 715886 or at the door on the night.