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by David Gooderson

An Eden Court, Comar and Ed Littlewood Productions co production

Ambassadors Theatre, London
West Street

The Scottish Première of Hector, a co-production between Eden Court, Comar and Ed Littlewood Production, opens on Wednesday 21 October at Eden Court, Inverness, followed by an extensive Scottish tour and concludes with two performances at the Ambassadors Theatre, London on Wed 9 December 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Hector is a new production of 'So Great a Crime', originally developed at the Finborough Theatre and published by Oberon in 2013.

The play tells the story of a crofter's son, Hector MacDonald, who became a Knight of the Realm and Queen Victoria's favourite general. Kate Nelson directs and Steven Duffy plays Scottish legend and fallen hero Sir Hector MacDonald.

The cast includes Gowan Calder, Stevie Hannan, Raj Ghatak, Valentine Hanson and Kevin Lennon. The Composer and Sound Designer is Pippa Murphy, Artist in Residence at the Scottish Parliament, set design is by Ali Maclaurin and lighting design is by Simon Wilkinson.

Based on new and extensive research Hector reveals the true story of “Fighting Mac”, Sir Hector MacDonald, and is an exploration of the elitist English class system, the poisonous influence of rumour and gossip and the devastating power of the global press.

Rising from humble beginnings, MacDonald was the son of a crofter, born and raised on the Black Isle to Gaelic speaking, Presbyterian parents. After briefly working as an apprentice to a draper, he joined the army and rose through the ranks to become an NCO. As a result of distinguished service during the Second Afghan War he was offered either the Victoria Cross or a commission. Unusually he took the commission and eventually rose to the rank of Major General. He was knighted in 1901. Following his appointment as Commander of Ceylon, allegations of scandalous liaisons surfaced, and he was forced to return home under a cloud.

Sir Hector MacDonald is buried in Edinburgh, as are his wife and son. He did not have a military funeral and despite the efforts of his family to have a private burial, 30,000 people turned out to pay their respects. Today, in Scotland, he is still considered a hero and a statue to commemorate his memory was erected in Dingwall in 1907 and an annual service of thanksgiving and remembrance for his life of is still celebrated in Malbuie, his birth place.

Was he guilty? Or was he the victim of a plot fabricated by an English Establishment to remove a Gaelic-speaking upstart who got above himself? David Gooderson's other writing includes a musical version of 'The Wind In The Willows' co-written with David Conville with music by Carl Davis and 'Walk or Die' BBC Radio 4.

Hector is supported by Creative Scotland.

Wednesday 9th December 2015
14.30 matinee & 19.30 evening performances
Tickets: £15-£45

9 December 2015