Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

KIDNAPPED To Tour The UK in 2023

Kidnapped is a colourful new take on Stevenson’s historical adventure story.

KIDNAPPED To Tour The UK in 2023

Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure novella is touring Scotland and Northern England in a riotous new retelling in 2023. Opening at the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock and touring to Theatre Royal, Glasgow; Edinburgh; Eden Court, Inverness; Perth Theatre and Northern Stage, Newcastle from 24 March to May 2023.

This swashbuckling new production from The National Theatre of Scotland, adapted by Isobel Mcarthur with Michael John McCarthy, premieres at the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock in March 2023 before touring to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Perth and Newcastle.

Kidnapped is a colourful new take on Stevenson's historical adventure story about David Balfour who leaves home for the first time and must grow up fast to solve a family mystery and take revenge on an evil assailant. This vibrant production is a coming-of-age rom com for today, which celebrates the poetry, humour and heart of Stevenson's writing.

Co-created by Isobel Mcarthur and Michael John McCarthy, writer and musical supervisor of the Olivier award-winning Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), Kidnapped is packed full of 20th century pop music and 18th century romance performed by a dynamic ensemble of actor-musicians.

"I don't believe it......I finally have a chance at a decent future - and my only surviving relative pays to have me knocked unconscious and forced onto a knackered old boat by a load of bloody... Pirates!"

19-year-old Davie Balfour has never left home, never been kissed and never fired a gun. Armed with nothing but a hand-drawn map, he heads off on an adventure like no other - quickly realising that he has a lot of catching up to do. The production follows Davie on a journey of eye-opening discovery as he navigates murderous foes, Jacobite outlaws and the most inept crew of pirates this side of the Atlantic.

This version of Kidnapped reframes the relationship between the central characters Davie Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart as a romance, which is played out through their adventures across the Lowlands and Highlands of a Scotland, still reeling from the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. Robert Louis Stevenson's wife, Frances, an American writer who supported Robert throughout his writing, also features in the production in the role of a spirit guide to the protagonist.

The music - performed live - is arranged by Michael John McCarthy and will include well-loved songs including denim-clad Americana, late 90s love songs, art rock, protest anthems, 80s synth-pop, Gaelic folk song and more.

Isobel Mcarthur is an Oliver award-winning actor, director and playwright. Her plays have toured the UK and have been performed internationally. Her five-star West End adaptation of the classic novel Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) is currently on tour. Previous work for National Theatre of Scotland as an actor includes Edwin Morgan's Scots language Cyrano De Bergerac ( with Citizens Theatre) and as writer/co-director of The Quiz! (with BBC Scotland) as part of Scenes for Survival.

Michael John McCarthy is a musician, sound designer and composer for stage and screen. He has worked on over eighty theatrical productions and has collaborated on the making of ten Scotsman Fringe First Award winners, most recently The Last Return by Druid Theatre Company. He is the musical supervisor & co-sound designer on Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of), winner of the 2022 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play, and his previous work for National Theatre of Scotland includes The Cheviot, The Stag, & The Black, Black Oil, Rocket Post and In Time O' Strife.

Isobel Mcarthur and Michael John McCarthy - Kidnapped co-creators said

"In Kidnapped, there seemed to us to be more of Stevenson the man, his beliefs and experiences, than in any other of his works of fiction. His deeply romantic view of being human, his attempts to hold onto a sense of innocence and wonder at the world, his lust for travel, his attraction to glamour and physical strength... they are all here! In this novella, Stevenson asks what it is to be Scottish, to be in in love, to be a grown-up - all through the telling of a historical tale, full of humour, heart and song. It's a true adventure story - where body, heart and soul are put through their paces - to, by turns, thrilling, moving and humorous effect. We just couldn't pass it up."

Kidnapped was originally written as serialised fiction in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886. The novel first appeared in book form from Cassell and Company in July 1886 and has since been adapted a number of times with numerous versions for film and television. Edinburgh born Stevenson based many of the characters and events in the much-loved classic on actual people and places. Principal characters Davie Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart are celebrated in a 15 foot tall statue by Alexander Stoddart situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh near Corstorphine Hill.

Touring to Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock (previews Fri 24, Sat 25, Tue 28 March) Wed 29 March - Sat 1 April 2023; Theatre Royal, Glasgow Wed 5 - Sat 8 April 2023, Edinburgh Wed 12 - Sat 22 April 2023; Eden Court, Inverness Tue 25 - Sat 29 April 2023; Perth Theatre Wed 3 - Sat 6 May 2023 and Northern Stage, Newcastle

The National Theatre of Scotland's popular Theatre for a Fiver scheme will be available at all Scottish venues for this tour, available, on this occasion, for 12 to 16 year olds and those on Universal Credit.

Access - further information about accessible performances will be announced later in the year.

Cast and full creative team to be announced.

From This Author - Natalie O'Donoghue

Review: THE COMMITMENTS, Theatre Royal, GlasgowReview: THE COMMITMENTS, Theatre Royal, Glasgow
December 6, 2022

The Commitments musical has been adapted from the novel by Booker prize winning author Roddy Doyle himself and is directed by Andrew Linnie.

Pet Shop Boys To Headline Edinburgh's Hogmanay CelebrationsPet Shop Boys To Headline Edinburgh's Hogmanay Celebrations
December 6, 2022

The duo will welcome the arrival of 2023 with a greatest-hits show, performed to an audience gathered in Edinburgh from around the world

Further Additions To Edinburgh's Hogmanay CelebrationsFurther Additions To Edinburgh's Hogmanay Celebrations
December 6, 2022

Further additions to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Programme including FREE New Year’s Day Sprogmanay and First Footin’ events

Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, King's Theatre, GlasgowReview: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, King's Theatre, Glasgow
December 2, 2022

Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle finds herself transported to a cursed castle and held captive by a hideous beast. To her surprise, the castle is full of magical characters placed under a spell by an evil enchantress. Can Belle see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose? Or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl who has melted his heart?

November 27, 2022

When a tornado rips through her home, Dorothy Blawna-Gale and her trusty dog Tronto, find themselves landed in the mystical land of Oz. To get back to their beloved home they must embark on a treacherous and lethal journey through all sorts of hilarious bampoterry.