David Gest pulls out of Robert Burns The Musical

Gest was due to have a short cameo in the production. Picture: PA
Gest was due to have a short cameo in the production. Picture: PA
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A HIGH-profile celebrity has pulled out of the world premiere of a new musical dedicated to the life of Robert Burns which is to debut in Aberdeen later this month.

“Robert Burns The Musical”, which puts a modern spin on the Bard’s life, is due to have its premiere at the Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen, on Burn’s Night (January 25).

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Producer David Gest, who was once married to Liza Minnelli, was due to appear in the show, in a small cameo role as Tam O’ Shanter.

The initial idea came about when music superstar Michael Jackson offered Gest, 61, use of the family recording studio in California in the 1990s.

They put together the soundtrack for the original musical, Red Red Rose, based on Burns’s life. It featured songs adapted from 12 poems of the Bard.

Twenty years later, Gest revisited the idea, and the show was to be called One Fond Kiss, but was renamed Robert Burns The Musical in pre-production stages.

The musical rooted in the north-east is being performed by Lossiemouth-based Rock Academy.

However, due to clashing commitments, the former I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here contestant says he will now be unable to perform in the show.

The Inverurie-born writer of the musical Tish Tindall, who also stars in it, insisted Gest’s withdrawal would not affect the show.

Ms Tindall, who will act as narrator during the performance, said: “When he [David Gest] asked me if he could be in the show, we decided a cameo role would be the best because of his busy schedule.

“He is planning on joining us at a later date, but we have not announced any further performances as yet.

“People all over the world have asked me about the show, it will bring Robert Burns into the 21st century.

“For a wee lassie from Inverurie to be involved in taking forward something which started off as their idea is just unimaginable.

“I really did fight to keep the premiere in the northeast.”

A spokesman for Mr Gest said: “David has made every effort to move his filming commitment but unfortunately the TV company have a very strict schedule to adhere to which they are unable to change.

“David would like to wish the rest of the cast every success with the production and is looking forward to appearing with you at a later stage in the production.”

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