John Paul Jones, The Play- Reviews



Really enjoyed show, quite blown away with the musicianship, variety of musical styles, the tightness of arrangements, use of language(s), the harmonies as well as the integration of words and music. If it had not been the last show, I would have come again. When mixing radio drama, if not sure if a scene worked or not, I used to close my eyes and see if I could see the picture. I tried that yesterday and the dialogue and music certainly created the pictures for me".



"....your show was tremendous.  I am shocked it is not on at bigger
venues.....the feel and intimacy of it was really special in the small venue though...."


THE GAIRDNER'S SON - Moira McCrossan, Living Tradition

‘The Gairdener’s Son’, which was presented at the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival at Shambellie House, on Sunday 3rd June and at Kirkcudbright Parish Church on Monday 4th June, is a piece of musical drama to look out for. We have been listening to Alan Reid and Rob van Sante’s album about the father of the American navy, ‘TheAdventures of John Paul Jones’.  It is excellent, telling the story in music and song of the hot-headed adventurer, who moved from humble  beginnings as the son of the gardener at Arbigland on the Solway Coast to master mariner, hero of the American War of Independence, friend to Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and favourite of Louis XVI and Catherine the Great.  However Alan has moved it to another level with ‘The Gairdener’s Son’.  Having researched the story and written all the songs and tunes for the album, he has added a script, telling the story from the point of view of a series of fictional characters, who might have encountered John Paul Jones.  These characters are brilliantly presented by the talented actress, Janis Marshall, who moves effortlessly in character from the old gossiping crone of his home town, to the disparate loves, that he leaves behind and the supercilious and dismissive Empress Catherine.  Ably supported by musicians, Colin Train on accordion and keyboard and Laurie Crump on flute and fiddle, the script weaves together the various styles of the music and songs.  The whole reflects the travels, adventures and travails of this maverick mariner, making a tale that captivates from the first word and note.  I’ve rarely known an hour and a half to fly so quickly. Appropriately premiered in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, where Jones was born, this show will appeal to audiences everywhere.  Look out for it playing in a venue near you. You will not be disappointed.



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