"I find most good men occupied in designing and strengthening cages. I do not like cages. I think that the few minutes between the door of the cage and the jaws of the cat make life worth living." Village headmaster William Gillie is killed by the furniture van coming to take away his possessions, as he is being evicted from his home when his school is closed down. He has spent his entire teaching career fighting the Education Board's narrow idea of schooling, trying to inspire his pupils to strive for great creative lives. Having lost his school and his home and with none of his pupils quite finding the wings to fly free, his life is examined by a heavenly Procurator and Judge. For all his efforts to inspire great artistic freedom, did he actually achieve anything in his life? Or is the very act of trying and hoping enough? Combining lovingly drawn characters with James Bridie's trademark dry wit, this wry comedy explores the impact one individual human life can have.
The first London production in over 60 years. Mr Gillie was first produced at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, in 1950, starring Bridie's regular collaborator Alistair Sim; transferred to the Garrick Theatre in London for a successful West End run and was subsequently filmed by Tyrone Guthrie for the BBC.