STA records ‘The Wood Demon’

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The first record that caught my eye was ‘The Wood Demon’ press cuttings from The Scotsman. This was a play performed at the Edinburgh fringe festival for three weeks and starred, amongst others, Ian McKellan in 1973.

There are a few written articles relating to the play, what the performance was, how they felt the cast acted, etc and there was also a photo of three of the cast members with Edinburgh castle as a back drop and in the middle there was a cartoon depiction of two of the main characters in costume.

The majority of the records were written at the time, that is, during the three week stint in 1973. It was a record of what the performance entailed, the story, actors and the characters in the play. There was also a short paragraph or two about the writer and his feelings about the play. It is also a record of the parts played by some well known actors and how their performances were viewed then (although the performance by McKellan is viewed in two different lights in the different press cuttings! It’s a comedy so there are bound to be differing views!)

They go on to talk about the production and how much they thought it had cost and conceded that it was only a three week stint at the festival so could hardly be expected to be a big production, have great scenes, props, etc…..a little bit low budget!! We can see from the cartoon how some of the cast members were dressed for the performance and gives us an indication of the time and country that the play is set in.

The audience would have been festival goers and those interested in theatre in Scotland. It would have been a popular production given that it had at least three fairly well known cast members in it but it was being ‘plugged’ in the Scotsman perhaps in anticipation that it could interest others to see the play.

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