The story of the Scottish outlaw and national hero had quite the legacy in popular culture, and it is this story that was explored in the seasonal exhibition: 'Rob Roy on Stage and Screen.' With over 5,000 musicals, plays and operas based on the poems and novels of Sir Walter Scott, only William Shakespeare has surpassed the extraordinary afterlife of Scott’s works on the stage. Find out how Rob Roy became Scotland’s first ‘National Play’ and, after enthusiasm for adaptations of Scott reached fever pitch in the Victorian period, what happened when twentieth century filmmakers started to distance themselves from his work.
Rob Roy was a musical drama with a clever marketing ploy – almost all the songs used in the productions were drawn from Scottish folk music. Inviting audience participation in these songs ensured the play became known for its patriotic ‘feel-good factor’, despite being set in a period of rebellion and division!
Whilst adaptations of Sir Walter Scott's novels were on the wane in the era of film, directors were lured to the romanticised Scotland that he had done so much to shape. This costume was worn by one of the few Scottish actors to play a part in the 1995 film.