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Joe Murphy: Why You Should Come & See ... Young Pretender

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Young Pretender takes a fresh look at the infamous bonnie Prince Charlie and his failed invasion of England and Scotland. The turn at the Fringe marks the premiere of E V Crowe's play in collaboration with the Fringe First award winning company Nabokov (Bunny). Here, director Joe Murphy explains why you should come and see this twist on the history play.

“Something has to shift, so I’m going to make it shift.”

Charlie is 24. By the time he was 12 he had decided that there was just one thing that he was going to do with his life. And now he’s going to do it. He’s told everyone he knows that this is what he’s going to do. That this is who he is.

Invade England and Scotland.


Young Pretender is an exhilarating play inspired by the life of the infamous Bonnie Prince Charlie. The Bonnie Prince took Edinburgh, and set the city up as his launch pad to go on and invade England in 1745 -6. So, seeing as the play is being shown in Edinburgh it couldn't be more perfect! Young Pretender is E V Crowe's answer to the history play: Set in 1745-6 but told with a fast-paced, contemporary style and dialogue, the play delves in to Scotland's rebellious past to engage with the world's rebellious present. It follows Charlie through the glorious triumphs and bitter failures of his rebellion. This sharp new play is about every young person who ever stood up and tried to do something extraordinary - which in contemporary Britain is an issue of burning relevance.

Bonnie Prince Charlie is often simply regarded as the man who failed to invade England and Scotland and restore the Stuarts to the throne. What this play does is not only question your knowledge of the history but also draw a picture of the man and the human behind the figurehead. It completely enlivens who he was and the excitement and drama that surrounded him. He led an extraordinary life and it’s a perfect grounding for the telling of a dramatic story.

Young Pretender can be seen at the Underbelly Cowgate, 4-28 August (not 17) at 16.40.


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