St Andrews writers create Burke and Hare musical for Edinburgh Fringe

Two writers from the St Andrews area have a new musical inspired by two of the capital’s notorious early 19th century murderers opening at the Edinburgh Fringe.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:06 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:06 pm

‘Flesh’ has been created and composed by John Montgomery and Derek Batchelor, and is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the tale of the serial killers, Burke and Hare, who terrorised the capital's citizens for a year in 1827.

John moved to the St Andrews area in 2000, and Derek, having also settled in the area following retirement, contacted him in a quest to learn to play the guitar.

He discovered that not only did John teach music, he also composed his own songs and lyrics, and had produced several CD’s and given live performances with his band.

Flesh is a tongue-in-cheek musical re-telling of the the story of Burke and Hare.

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John, on the other hand, learned that Derek was using his retirement to indulge his hankering for writing fiction and had some draft novels on the stocks.

Having read some of his material, John asked Derek to sketch out a libretto for a piece of musical theatre that was forming in his mind, with a view to putting it on at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The remit was something that was fast, funny and furious and had an Edinburgh connection – and the result was their musical based on the notorious duo of Burke and Hare.

Derek Batchelor and John Montgomery have created the musical ‘Flesh’.

Flesh is at Surgeons Hall Grand Theatre (Venue 53), Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, until August 13, with performances at 6pm.

For more information and tickets, go to the Flesh website.