Rock musical sure to end in victory

THE 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is to be the subject of an ambitious rock musical.

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Tommy McGrory is trying to raise £40,000

Entitled 'Freedom', the musical tells the story of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the famous battle.

The music charity behind the production hopes to raise £40,000 to help produce the show, which will be staged at the SECC in Glasgow.

Loud 'n' Proud, based in Renfrew, has launched a 'Kickstarter' campaign to help raise the funds for what organisers describe as an exciting and rousing national event.

Kickstarter is the internet funding website used by artists around the world to help get their creations off the ground.

Paisley man Tommy McGrory is the brains behind 'Freedom' and he is looking for investors to make his dream become reality.

With 2014 being the Year of Homecoming for Scotland, as well as the year that the country votes in an historic referendum on independence, Tommy hopes his musical will capture the imagination of theatre fans.

This year also marks the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Tommy said: "I previously wrote 'I Was There', the rock musical telling the story of the famous Glasgow Apollo

"It was a huge success and it was received well by the audience, the media and also the people who played and worked there.

"This time I have again put

two of my passions together - Scotland and music.

"Put the two together and what you get is an explosive, heart-breaking and yet exhilarating story of Scotland's fight for independence and self-determination set to a background of the music of AC/DC, Alex Harvey, Nazareth, Annie Lennox, Biffy Clyro, The Proclaimers, Dire Straits, Frankie Miller and many more Scots acts."

With Freedom, Tommy intends to tell the story of life in Scotland up until The Battle of Bannockburn 1314.

It will feature awesome battle scenes, spectacular dancers, exciting music and a cast of

more than 200 singers, musicians and actors.

The story is set in the present day, at Wallace Primary School in Elderslie - the birthplace of William Wallace. The day starts off with a history lesson about the school and why it is called the Wallace Primary.

The kids in the class are unruly and can't be bothered with a boring history lesson, but teacher Miss Campbell amazes them with her tales of life in Scotland under the English King Edward.

She transports the youngsters and audience back in time and gives both a real insight to William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Independence.

Tommy added: "It was very important to me that the story was true and nothing was given the Hollywood treatment.

"I have been working with the Society of William Wallace to ensure that the dates, events and characters are all real. Digging into the lives of Wallace and Bruce gave me a real insight into life in the 1300s.

"To capture that era the show features brutally realistic re-enactments of Scottish battles.

"However it's not all fighting and pillaging. There is a love story, an amazing band of friends who look out for each other and, of course, a happy ending."

Despite the referendum, Tommy is keen to point out that Freedom is not an attempt to sway voters one way or the other.

He said: "There's no real link to the referendum at all.

"The reason I wanted this to happen in 2014 is that it's the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn.

"It was a coincidence that the referendum ended up being planned for the same year.

Loud 'n' Proud are acknowledged for their unrivalled quality of work teaching music to young people.

This will be by far the biggest project they have ever produced.

To contribute, log on to www.kickstarter.com and search for 'Freedom the Rock Musical'.

stef.lach@heraldandtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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