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Plays by Alan Richardson


The Mercators The Mercators

The Wizard of the North
A Dramatised reading

  • First staged as Wizard of the North by the Mercators at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • Extensively revised as Abbotsford Revisited for the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • The script is available in two versions with running times of 80 minutes and 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Script and performing rights available from the author

The current script is configured for 7 readers - 4 male & 3 female, but numbers can be easily adapted to suit


The Wizard of the North was specially written for my own drama group, the Mercators, to be performed at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Devised as a dramatised reading, (also called a rehearsed reading - where scripts are used by the cast), it documents the life of Sir Walter Scott and includes extracts from many of his works.

 The script is drawn from many of the excellent biographies available, particularly those by John Buchan and Hesketh Pearson. Scott’s fragmentary autobiography, letters, journals and the prefaces to his novels also provided a rich source.

The script is configured for a team of seven readers (four male and three female – marked in the script as M1, M2, M3, M4 and F1, F2 and F3). But one great advantage of this type of script is that the numbers can be adapted by re-allocating the lines to suit your own requirements.

Although the use of a script is customary in a dramatised reading,  the performers should be confidently familiar with the text. There will be obvious instances where a script will be a hindrance, particularly during the dramatised extracts from the novels. The extracts really work best if memorised. Make the most of the mimed sequences and use the extracts from the novels to add movement and action. A dramatised reading doesn’t need to be static.

The Wizard of the North includes extracts from most of his famous poems - The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion  and The Lady of the Lake, and celebrated novels such as Waverley, The Antiquary, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe, Kenilworth and Redgauntlet. I have also included lesser-known novels like Quentin Durward, St. Ronan’s Well and Count Robert of Paris, and a rare extract from a Scott stage play.

The Mercators

"A much more pleasant way to learn about Scott than visiting his monument on Princes Street" - Three Weeks