A new comedy play has been written to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.
As Long As But A Hundred Of Us is the latest work by acclaimed playwright Mike Gibb whose previous plays include Mother of All the Peoples, Clarinda and Lest We Forget, which marked the 20th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.
Mr Gibb, former editor of the magazine Masquerade and UK correspondent to the US glossy magazine Show Music, said the latest project had held a long time fascination.
“When I was younger, and until the wife objected, I used to have a framed copy of the Declaration of Arbroath hanging on the wall,” he said.
“As a consequence I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write something to help commemorate this hugely significant event in Scottish history.”
He said his aim had been to write something that paid tribute to the significance of the Declaration without boring audiences, so he has injected plenty of humour into the piece, including a comedy song called Moan that will be sung by the Pope.
Award-winning songwriter Eddie Cairney, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has put together the music with a title song by Mr Gibb’s long-time collaborator Mairi Warren.
On April 6 1320, nobles from across Scotland gathered in the town’s abbey and, in the presence of King Robert the Bruce, signed what has become the most iconic document in Scottish history.
The letter, sealed by eight earls and around 40 barons, was addressed to the Pope in Avignon, asking him to recognise Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.
Mr Gibb said that although the play remains faithful to the sentiments expressed by the Declaration of Arbroath, it tells the story with humour.
The cast of the new play will include Dundee actors Scott McRuvie, Kris George and Sinclair Ross who were all stalwarts of another of Mr Gibb’s productions Five Pound & Twa Bairns.
Graeme Smith and Eddie Cairney will also appear in the play which will be performed twice during the memorial weekend including a performance at the Aberbrothock 700 Concert at the Webster Theatre in Arbroath on April 6.
Mr Cairney said: “I’m very proud of this play and it’s going to be a lot of fun to be involved in when it comes to the stage.
“I’ll also be taking to the stage to perform which must be in the genes because my cousin is the well-known film and television actor John Cairney.”
The event twill also feature a showcase of music from Outlander the Musical which was written by Mr Gibb with music by Kevin Walsh, performed by Dundee actor Sue Robertson and Scott McRuvie.