Monday – Week 2

With the key themes, world of play and characters established in the first week’s work on act one, week two begins with an exploration of the key creative challenges of the second act.  The main thrust of the plot in act two concerns Alan Breck and Davie Balfour’s journey west to east across Scotland, through glens and over mountains, pursued by Redcoat Soldiers.  The challenge here is to create this onstage pursuit, the sense of travel, passage of time, risk and danger, whilst remaining throughout onstage.  How to take the characters and the audience from Mull to Glencoe, Rannoch Moor to the lowlands of Lothian and all points in-between.  There’s a temptation here to make the journey overly comic, to have great fun with the running around, the near misses, the general heightened sense of emotion.  But this inevitably leads to a loss of the atmospheres and meanings of these places.  Instead, the pursuit/journey story needs to be taken seriously.  Davie’s physical journey across Scotland is a map of his intellectual and emotional story as his relationship with Alan Breck grows and he begins to learn more and more about the communities and people he visits: a Scotland, a language, a highland community, a way of life of which he knows very little.  His journey of learning is as important as the physical journey to escape the danger of arrest.

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