Dundee’s favourite son Oor Wullie is going on tour in a musical…and the bumper show launches in the city.
The DC Thomson cartoon character will be on stage in the Dundee Rep Theatre and tickets are selling fast for all venues throughout the country.
And artistic director, Andrew Panton, reckons it is the perfect way to mark the 80th anniversary of Dundee Rep who are performing the first ever Oor Wullie musical.
Oor Wullie has featured in DC Thomson Media comic strips in the Sunday Post for since 1936, earning him the title of ‘Scotland’s Favourite Son’ in a public vote in 2004.
The spiky haired scallywag from Auchenshoogle is joined on stage for fun-loving adventures with his pals Fat Boab, Soapy Soutar, Wee Eck and the rest of the Sunday Post gang.
Andrew said: “We are very excited about the show and it is a great way for us to share our birthday with Oor Wullie who recently had his own 80th birthday.
“It is a brand new and original score and the show has been written by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie.
“And for the music we are keeping it close to the Scottish roots and very contemporary. It draws on the origins of the comic for inspiration.
“So there is Scottish music hall plus a lot of pop as well from throughout the eight decades.
“I have been the artistic director at Dundee Rep for two and a half years now and we have done a lot of ambitious projects. It is our residents ensemble who are performing and we are really excited about the world premiere being staged in Dundee Rep and really looking forward to it. We’ve been planning it for a long time.
“And it’s such a story that is so close to the heart of Dundee.”
The show is running from November 23 until January 5 before touring Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr, Stirling and Inverness – with more dates to follow.
Oor Wullie also marks an ongoing partnership with the internationally-acclaimed Selladoor Worldwide who recently commissioned and produced another DC Thomson favourite, The Broons.
And that was also directed by Andrew in a highly-rated 2016 tour.
He said: “I directed the Broons separately as a freelance director three years ago.
“But that was not a musical.
“Oor Wullie is a character that immediately connects with Dundee and I’m thrilled that as part of our anniversary season we’ll be once more collaborating with Noisemaker to bring this story to life on stage at the Rep – surely the only stage he could start this new adventure?
“We have a great cast of actors from the Rep and I am sure the audiences will love it.
“We were very keen to draw on the origins of the comic, as I said, to give us real inspiration.”
Meanwhile, David Hutchinson, chief executive of Selladoor, spoke of his enthusiasm for the production.
He said: “We couldn’t be happier to follow our production of The Broons working in partnership with such a fabulous creative team and theatre to share a story of the superbly observed and fantastically funny Wullie.
“He and his gang hold a very special place in many hearts with a history spanning generations. And we cannot wait for what promises to be a memorable night at the theatre for the whole family.”