A play by Alan Richardson
The Life, Times and Works of Sir Walter Scott.
Abbotsford Revisited began life back in 2002 as The Wizard of the North. It was specially written for my own drama group, the Mercators, to be performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Devised as a dramatised reading, (also called a rehearsed reading – where scripts are used by the cast), it documented the life and dramatised extracts from the works of Sir Walter Scott. In 2010, we decided to stage a revival and take a second look at Scott. The Wizard of the North was something of a prototype, so I welcomed the chance to revise, refine, include new historical facts, and add extracts from some Scott novels that were not included in the 2002 version. The script is drawn from many of the excellent biographies available, particularly those by John Buchan and Hesketh Pearson. Scott’s fragmentary autobiography, letters, journals and the prefaces to his novels also provided a rich source.
Abbotsford Revisited includes extracts from most of his famous poems – The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion and The Lady of the Lake, and celebrated novels such as Waverley, The Antiquary, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe, Kenilworth and Redgauntlet. It also includes lesser-known novels like Quentin Durward, St. Ronan’s Well and Count Robert of Paris, and a rare extract from a Scott stage play. The number of performers can be adapted to suit and period costume would be a colourful option.