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Plays by Alan Richardson


The Auld Alliance
Full Length Comedy/Drama

  • First performed by Trinity Church Drama Group of Edinburgh, March 1982
  • A shipwreck, missing treasure and two romances. Intrigue and mystery, set against the background of the Napoleonic Wars
  • Published by Brown, Son & Ferguson

Characters (4m 5f)

Angus Fulton:A retired merchant
Elspeth:  His maidservant
Sarah Fulton:  His wife
Jane Fulton:  His eldest daughter
Mary Fulton:  His youngest daughter
Jennie:  A neighbour
David Chalmers:  A Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Scots
George Strachan:  The local Doctor
A Frenchman

The Setting: A cottage on a remote part of the Fife coast
Period:  1815
Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


During the Napoleonic War of 1815, a French warship is wrecked on a remote part of the Fife coast. A local family give shelter to the apparent sole survivor of the shipwreck, but is he the ordinary seaman he appears to be?

The head of the household, Angus, a retired merchant, is determined to hand the Frenchman over to the army at the first opportunity. That is until he discovers that a casket of gold has disappeared from the wrecked ship. He allows the Frenchman to remain, but insists that he is watched day and night, so all the family become entangled in a web of intrigue and mystery.


Why has Angus misled the army officer who is leading the search for the missing gold by insisting that they haven’t seen any survivors? And why is he so vehemently opposed to an engagement between that same army officer and his outspoken daughter Jane? Is his other daughter, the shy and lonely Mary, becoming too concerned about the Frenchman’s fate?  And who is the Frenchman signalling to at night with a lamp at the window before making his escape?

When the missing treasure falls into Angus’s clutches and the Frenchman flees the house, the mystery deepens. As news of the ending of the war at the battle of Waterloo arrives long after the event, the Frenchman makes a sudden return. Unaware that the war has ended, he acts rashly and seems doomed to long imprisonment. But all is not what it seems.


The Auld Alliance mixes comedy with drama and romance as events reach a happy conclusion - but not before some tense moments and more than a few surprises.

The play enjoyed a two week run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Image of ship in storm

“A colourful play with romance and drama given in good measure, but also with homely warmth and humour" - Amateur Stage

Warmly funny” - All Edinburgh Theatre.com”

“Gorgeous aesthetic and charming dialogue” - broadwaybaby.com

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