Alan Cumming’s Burn coming to the Glasgow stage

Glasgow’s Theatre Royal has announced the National Theatre of Scotland’s Burn will be staged at the city venue as part of a Scottish tour.

A creative collaboration between legendary Scottish artist Alan Cumming and Olivier award-winning choreographer Steven Hoggett, Burn is a powerful new piece of dance theatre inspired by the life and legacy of Scotland’s most celebrated poet, Robert Burns.

The National Theatre of Scotland, The Joyce Theater and Edinburgh International Festival are delighted to be presenting Burn in both Scotland and New York. Following the production’s premiere at the King’s Theatre, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival’s programme, the production will tour to Perth, Aberdeen, Inverness before receiving its New York premiere at The Joyce Theater.

Burn aims to challenge the ‘biscuit tin’ image of Scotland’s National Bard and goes beyond the poetry to focus on the man himself – his poverty, his personal tragedy, his struggles with mental health and his spectacular success.

Performed by Cumming, Burn features the music of acclaimed contemporary musician and composer Anna Meredith, with visually arresting set and video design by Ana Inés Jabares Pita and Lewis den Hertog.

Alan Cumming said: ‘I think all any artist wants to do is tell a story. And If I have one regret in my artistic life it would be that I did not become a dancer and be able to tell a story completely, with my entire body. Robert Burns has always fascinated me. Through his work I feel he tells us the absolute truth of who we are as Scots, but the more I researched him the more I realised I didn’t know the absolute truth of him. Burn is my attempt at trying to tell more of his story using my whole body.’

Winner of Tony, Olivier, Scottish BAFTA and CATS awards and a recipient of multiple Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, Alan Cumming is a much-loved star of stage and screen and is making his solo dance theatre debut in Burn.

This is the National Theatre of Scotland’s third transatlantic collaboration with Alan following his performances as Dionysus in The Bacchae (2007 Edinburgh International Festival, Scottish tour, London’s Lyric Hammersmith and The Lincoln Center Festival, New York) and as Macbeth, which premiered at Tramway, Glasgow in 2012 and was presented on Broadway the following year.

His most recent Scottish stage appearances include Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age (2021), Club Cumming (2018) and Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs (2016), all at Edinburgh International Festival. He went round Scotland in a campervan with Miriam Margolyes for Channel 4’s Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland for Channel 4 and appears in a new Scottish drama documentary My Old School which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He is the author of six books including the best-selling memoir Not My Father’s Son and the recently released Baggage.

Steven Hoggett is an internationally renowned award-winning choreographer and movement director who previously worked with Alan Cumming and the National Theatre of Scotland on The Bacchae.

The National Theatre of Scotland will also be presenting Liz Lochhead’s Medea at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2022.

Touring to Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock (Preview Sat 30 July 2022); King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (Previews Wed 3 – Fri 5 Aug) Sat 6 – Sun 7 Aug, Tue 9 – Wed 10 Aug; Perth Theatre Thu 18 – Sat 20 Aug; His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen Wed 24 – Sat 27 Aug; Theatre Royal, Glasgow Wed 31 Aug – Sat 3 Sep; Eden Court, Inverness Thu 8 Sep – Sat 10 Sep; The Joyce Theater, New York Sep 2022.