A musical play. Book, music & lyrics by David Wood. Based on the book by HRH The Prince of Wales, published by Hamish Hamilton.
The play was first presented in 1986 by Whirligig Theatre at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, followed by a tour including Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, and a Christmas season in the West End at the Albery Theatre. The production was also televised for Channel 4 by Verronmead Limited.
Set in the Highlands of Scotland, the music, colour, humour and drama in THE OLD MAN OF LOCHNAGAR provides a treat for the whole family.
The story follows the quest of the Old Man, who lives in a cave by the Loch under the mountain, Lochnagar, to save the Gorms from the menacing Giant Gormless. His quest leads him under the sea, through the air and into Gorm Grotto and features a wealth of eccentric characters, including the Pig Eagle, a grumpy Grouse and a thrace of Loch-Haggis!
David Wood writes : Applying for the rights of THE OLD MAN OF LOCHNAGAR involved a visit to Buckingham Palace to meet the Prince of Wales’ Private Secretary. I was delighted that my play was approved by the Palace, but sad and a little miffed that the Prince himself never came to see it!
Whirligig Theatre opened the production in Aberdeen at a time when the Royal Family would have been staying at Balmoral, but sadly they never responded to our invitations to attend the show.
I thoroughly enjoyed directing the production, which proved an excellent vehicle for the entire Whirligig team, particularly Susie Caulcutt, the designer, Sheila Falconer, the choreographer (a Scottish lady!) and Peter Pontzen, the musical supervisor (married to a Scottish lady!).
Iain Lauchlan was a delightful Old Man. Some years later he invented the Tweenies.
The original production employed ten actors, with some doubling.
“If Prince Charles ever decides not to become King, he needn’t worry. His future as a writer for children is assured. Provided, of course, he has the common sense to stick with David Wood as adaptor of his stories … this musical play is one of the best to come the way of Nottingham’s children for years.”
Nottingham Evening Post
“The best entertainment in town for children”
“… a delightful mix of humour and mythical creatures … Whirligig Theatre have captured the enchantment of the story and given it an exciting theatricality … scenes such as the Underwater Kingdom of Lagopus Scoticus with its refracted lighting and the enchanting Gorm Grotto decorated with thistles and bagpipes are the sort of magic kids dream of.”
Western Morning News
“… an infallible blend of stunning sets (by Susie Caulcutt) full of theatrical tricks (there is one breath-taking moment when the Old Man, snatched up in the Pig Eagle’s talons, disappears into the sky); projected shadow effects; catchy songs; excruciating puns and a succession of colourful characters … the kids were enthralled.”
“David Wood, who set it to music, also directs – and creates a show of enormous charm, delight, visual surprise and zany humour, bound gently together by his cheerful, ebullient and tuneful score …
magical, indeed, is the key word in THE OLD MAN OF LOCHNAGAR, which appeals to, and delights, the child in all of us with its lovely amalgam of fantasy, comedy, puppetry, dance, acrobatics and much else.”
Eastern Daily Press
“Mr. Wood’s gift as a consummate storyteller combined with the heir to the throne’s well-known Goonish addiction to innocent ribaldry and puns to thrill the eager young audience with a conspiracy of mad cap adventure … a trio of scene-stealing Haggis is typical of Mr. Wood’s ability to harness the royal sense of the ridiculous to pure theatrical entertainment.”
The play is published by Amber Lane Press The piano/vocal score is published by Samuel French Ltd. First Class Professional, Repertory & Foreign Rights : Casarotto Ramsay Ltd. UK Amateur Rights : Samuel French Ltd.