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Thanks to eagle-eyed Burnsian, Keith Landles, who spotted the following article in an on-line edition of The Edinburgh News. The publicity surrounding the film had gone a bit quiet of late, and we are currently trying to make contact with the production team to speak with them direct. From this article, it appears that things are still moving ahead, albeit a bit slower than originally envisaged. Anyway, it's great to see its still on. I'm not so sure about the accuracy of this article however. Burns met Clarinda in the December of 1787….more than 12 years after the death of Ferguson ! Looks like the "artistic interpretation" has started already!…..and why not.
Thanks Keith.

Film-makers go to Old Town on Burns






"IT was a passionate romance that gripped the imagination of generations of Scots. Now the affair between Rabbie Burns and "Clarinda" is about to set tongues wagging again in Edinburgh - with a major film based on their story set to be made in the city.

American heart-throb Johnny Depp and Scots stars Robert Carlyle and Ewan McGregor have been touted for the role of burns, in what is set to be a British blockbuster. The film-makers caused a ripple of excitement in the city today when they confirmed they would shoot in the Capital next year. That has raised the prospect of major Hollywood stars performing in period costume in the High Street and Canongate Kirk graveyard.

Director Vadim Jean, best know for the British hit Leon the Pig Farmer and Beyond Bedlam with Liz Hurley, told the News today an Edinburgh backdrop was an essential part of the film's appeal. "We will definitely be filming in Edinburgh's Old Town and most certainly at Robert Fergusson's grave," he said.

Fergusson, the Edinburgh poet who inspired Burns and tragically died destitute at 24, is buried at the Canongate Kirk. He is credited with playing a major part in bringing together Burns and "Clarinda", the wife of an affluent, but violent, Edinburgh man, whose real name was Agnes McLehose. Their affair began when Clarinda slipped Burns a note inviting him to tea at a party.

What the couple often lacked in physical proximity, they made up for in tenderness in the letters they exchanged - more than 60 of which have survived. To protect their identities, the couple gave themselves pennames, Clarinda and Sylvander. Frustrated by the clandestine nature of their relationship, the romance ended and Clarinda left her Potter Row home to join her husband in the West Indies.

Burns married Jean Armour, the mother of his children, but wrote Ae Fond Kiss and sent it to Clarinda on her return, confirming for many she was the love of his life. The affair has been described as the greatest love story Edinburgh has ever seen.

Despite the passionate story line, the Reverend Charles Robertson, Minister of Canongate and a Burns enthusiast, said he would be pleased to welcome the film crew - with one proviso. "We would need to look at what was going on, although I'm sure with it being this kind of story there will be nothing untoward," he said.

Actor James Cosmo's Alloway Films production company is planning to recreate 18th Century Edinburgh for the film, with the area around the High Street one of the most likely locations. Roz Davidson, Edinburgh Film Focus location liaison officer, who pitched the city as a location to the film-makers, said: "We are delighted they have chosen to use Edinburgh as a location."

She suggested the company may choose to film in closes running off the High Street, such as Bakehouse Close or Whitehorse Close. The production company is refusing to confirm or deny which actors have been approached to play Burns, but film critic Angus Wolfe Murray said: "Robert Carlyle would be the only actor right for the part."

The above article was written by Jane Hamilton for The Edinburgh News of 18th April 2001.

Note from Mac:-
I'm not so sure about the accuracy of this article:- Burns met Clarinda in the December of 1787….more than 12 years after the death of Ferguson ! Looks like the "artistic interpretation" has started already!…..and why not.